Here are a few questions I got at a recent Bible study for teenage girls. And here are a few short answers.

1. What do you do if your (Christian) parents are having a conflict?

This is a tough spot for a daughter to be in. The first thing I would say is to pray for them. Pray that God will open their eyes and bring a peaceful resolution. Second, remember that this is their problem and not yours. When parents fight, not only do the kids feel awful, but they also feelĀ  responsible to help fix it. I’m not saying that God never uses daughters to help parents with their marriage issues, but it’s not likely. So, in your prayers, give the burden to God. Don’t carry it yourself. Third, be careful not to take sides unless everyone can see who is in the wrong. Be respectful to your parents, even to the parent who is being a stinker. Chances are always good that you’re only seeing half the story, if even that. If things are really bad, give your pastor a call and ask him for input on how you can be a good daughter in this situation. Calling him for help is not disrespectful to your parents; but chatting about your parents’ problems with your friends might be.

2.What if you worked hard for something and you didn’t get it. How do you get over not being sad about it?

This is a great question and having a good theology is a solid comfort in situations like this. Maybe you worked hard to get a scholarship to college, but it was awarded to someone else. You filled out all the forms for a job, but by the time you submitted it, the job was gone. These are the times when you can be rock solid sure that God means all this for good. He is steering your life. He didn’t want you to go to that college or get that scholarship or job. Not because He doesn’t want you to succeed, but because He has other plans for you. Better plans. So trust Him and thank Him for protecting you and loving you. Don’t give way to regret and disappointment. Receive it from the hand of a kind and generous Father and give thanks.

3. How do you get yourself out of a bad mood?

When you wake up in the morning in a bad mood, then you have a choice before you. You can either give way to the bad mood and let it sit on your head all day, or you can ignore it and brush it off. If we think about our bad mood and make allowances for it (feed it), it will just get bigger and badder. But if we ignore it and fill our mind with our duties, it will shrink up and disappear. Bad moods must be fed to survive. Starve it.

4. What should you do if you get easily annoyed at little things? How can you prevent annoyance?

The world is full of provocation and each of us will have plenty of opportunities to be provoked. So we should be prepared for these things. Pray ahead of time. Ask God to help you see temptation coming so you can respond sweetly. Start out your day knowing you will be provoked. Watch for it. Then when it comes, think, “Okay, here is my chance to respond kindly.” Pray for the Holy Spirit to give you patience. A fool shows his annoyance at once. A wise woman doesn’t react. Pray that you will act, not react. You can’t prevent the provocations. They will come. But you can prevent annoyance by prayer and by God’s grace. View each provocation as a little quiz. Then ace your quiz.

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6 thoughts on “Q & A

  1. Great advice! The first one might not be as applicable to one who is married, but the others certainly are. Your thoughts on #2 put me in mind of something my husband and I like to remind our kids (and each other): when God takes something away, it is to give us something better. Seeing this happen to us over and over has been very exciting! I remember the book, ‘The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment’, as helpful to me when I was single…hmmm…perhaps I should revisit it. :)

  2. Thank you. I needed this. I’m in my thirties and my parents are divorcing. I’m having a difficult time balancing my respect for both of them as my parents with the constant emotional tension that they are providing. I needed the reminder of the fact that I don’t always get the whole story as I listen to both of their hurt feelings and slanted perspectives.

  3. Great advice on all issues! Your advice sure can help many get through some very difficult times. Thank you for sharing this.
    Brenda
    Down Memory La La Lane

  4. Thank you for posting this. It is hard for me to always have a good mood and not to get easily annoyed by all the little things that don’t gomy way. Your advise has really helped me.

  5. I wish I had learned this a long time ago instead of bearing the burden of my parent’s conflict. God was my rock, keeping me , helping me to continually love and forgive. Unfortunately, it often ended in having to choose sides (unconsciously). I have many scars from that, but I am thankful, no bitterness. However, I do have a lot of trust issues that stem from this…I know the Lord can heal, but do you have wisdom for me?

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