05 April 2013

What if my kids start resenting "the work?"

This question must cross the mind of every missionary parent, at least at some point.

I know it has crossed mine… and more than just once.

First, I wonder- What would it look like, their resentment, I mean? Would my child become angry and act out? Would I see sullen and negative with constant complaining discouraging everyone around him? What if my child grew sad, depressed and began to withdraw from life in general? Could her resentment of my calling impact current or future desires to have a relationship with Jesus? Might one of them dislike missions and end up with a deep standing, negative attitude towards missionaries or others working internationally? What if they begrudge the opportunity to have normal childhood experiences? Will my kids feel I’ve somehow deprived them by my choices? Will the hours my husband and I have spent ministering to others spur jealousy and envy of missed afternoons by the pool or mornings spent playing alone in the sand because Mama was busy translating at the computer? What if they are convinced I’ve chosen God and my career over them?...

And for the rest?
Please join me today, where I'm discussing this missionary parent conundrum


  1. Most of your kids were born when you and Tim had already begun your ministry (or had at least begun training for it), so it wasn't a sudden uprooting of a teenager like Colleen talks about in her story. And you've taught them right from the start how important it is to follow God's leading. That teaching is crucial to their taking in stride the differences between theirs and non-MK's everyday lives. It allows them to understand not only *that* you've chosen this life, but also *why* you've chosen it.

    1. so true that our children really have known nothing else. and yes, we've tried to teach them that it is important to follow God's leading. but doing things well or right... following the conventional wisdom... is still no guarantee that my kids will turn out right or that they won't struggle.

      i think another closely related issue, one that hasn't really been touched on in this post (and the resulting conversation at LOVS) is what happens when our kids choose differently than we want/hope for their lives and they say it is because of their life that we've chosen for them... am i responsible, at least partly?

    2. No, it's not a guarantee, but...

      Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

      All you can do is your best, and leave the rest in God's hands. There comes a time when every person has to make his own choices, and has to take responsibility for those choices. You instill in them a godly character, and then trust God that the choices they make will be the right ones, even if those choices turn out to be something you didn't expect.


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