Tuesday, 04 October 2022

Helping to Grow up with Optimism and Hope

A precious child, a girl, died. I will call her Tina although that’s not her real name. Her family was friends with someone we know. Tina was a sixth grader - she committed suicide last week.

Why? Despair. I can relate. Growing up in an alcoholic home I lived with a constant sense of impending doom. Not until I became an adult and could control my own life did this daily feeling of foreboding leave me. It became manageable when, as a Spirit-aware Christian, I was able to live without fear. Years later, my childhood made me an empathetic and highly effective counselor. It gave me a heightened awareness of the general plight of American children today.

It horrifies me to see how many children live in fear from sudden annihilation from a terrible virus or scare tactics of climate change. Where are the protectors of our children? Sadly some school teachers even intensify these fears.

I want to snuggle these children, embrace and reassure them that the world most likely will not be ending in 10 years. I am not scientifically trained but I do have enough common sense to realize that’s ridiculous. There used to be a concern that the earth would become too cold to sustain life. Now scientist have flipped to worrying that we are in a state of dangerous global warming. We also used to hear news that we were over populating the earth. The new worry is that there are too few people to adequately populate many countries.

What I want to say to today’s children is, Don’t worry. Your Father in heaven knows what you need and will provide for you. He is the one who created the world and is in charge of this earth. You could cover the earth with litter from end to end (not that you should) and earth would survive. Of course, we want to be responsible and not pollute our resources. But we can be environmentally wise, not paranoid.

I simply don’t want children at increased risk of living in sadness or gloom or contemplating suicide because we’ve painted a horrid sense of doom for them. I suggest parents have discussions with their children. Aunts, uncles and grandparents also can discuss any concerns children may have. Reassure them that God already knows and has an appointed hour for their homecoming to Him and they can live a secure joy-filled and carefree life trusting him. God’s got this world and it won’t end until he ordains its time. Every child can fully enjoy this beautiful adventure called life.

Let’s make sure we’re not responsible for any of the circumstances that led to Tina’s suicide. We can intentionally help our children grow up with optimism and hope, not fear and despair. Will you join me in this endeavor?

Columnist: Dr. Judith Rolfs

Judith Rolfs Dr. Judith Rolfs
An author and professional marriage and family counselor, Judith focuses on motivating adults and children to live their best lives - emotionally, physically and spiritually. In her thirties, she researched the complexity of the natural world and moved from agnosticism to faith in Jesus as her Lord and Savior. She’s written how-to books for men and women's relationships, parenting skills, and devotionals like God’s Near and Jesus Time. Judith wrote the beloved Tommy Smurlee and Grella Weller mystery fantasy series to develop children's morality, creativity and imagination. Her books on triumphing over cancer evolved from her child’s experience. “Enjoy God and love well” is Judith's life motto. Visit her website at www.judithrolfs.com  

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