Day 3: When A Child Breaks Your Heart

Today’s post is a little harder to write because I am not a parent. Several friends of mine over the years have allowed me glimpses into the challenges of parenthood and, in particular, the heartache a child can cause. The reasons are vast:

  • rebellion
  • mental illness
  • strong will
  • physical limitations
  • idiotic decisions
  • abusive behavior
  • anger
  • immaturity
  • ______________

Parents, you can probably fill in that blank better than I can.

Your child, whether small or grown, can leave wounds on your heart, be they deliberate or unknowing. Even if reconciliation occurs, the scars are left as reminders of the hurt. I’m blown away by the love a parent has for a child even when there is so much pain associated with the relationship.

Parents whose children have gone astray or seem hopeless, today’s prayer is for you.

Dear Heavenly Father,

I see the pain of parents who are in agony over their children:
They don’t know how to show the child their love and guide them in a way that seems to get through.
Or their love is refused, doors slammed in their faces.
Their child seems out of control, unable to behave in an appropriate manner.
Or their wisdom falls on deaf ears by a child determined to go his own way.
They want to embrace but are met with sullen anger or violence. 

Provide comfort to these fathers and mothers. Cradle their wounded hearts in your loving arms. Erase the shame of feeling that they have failed. Give them hope for a restored relationship. Bathe them in peace that can come only from you and from knowing that their child is ultimately not theirs, but yours. When at their wit’s end, help them turn to you.

Watch over these wayward children. Mature them, so they see the wisdom of mom & dad. Turn them away from doing harm to others or themselves. Protect them from dangers they are unaware of. Heal the malfunction in their psyches, the infirmity in their bodies. Let them clearly see the love that mom & dad has for them and understand that their parents seek only what is for their good.

God, I ask that you would use these difficult days to draw both child and parent closer to you. Surround them with people who will lift them up and encourage them. 

And thank you for being our Heavenly Father who patiently loves us and calls us to abandon our foolish schemes and turn to you to be restored in relationship with you.

In the name of your son, Jesus,


This is Day 3 of 31 Days of Prayer for the Hurting (click to find links to the entire series). If you know a parent who is struggling and who would appreciate this prayer, would you share this post with them? If you have a struggle as a parent and wish to share it, I will pray for you today.

To read more great 31 Dayer posts, check out the original site, hosted by The Nester.

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1 Comment

  1. Maria Dupuis

     /  January 4, 2013

    Of course I think of G’s parents in this message. We talked much on the way home from Fla. after the Christmas holiday about how we are both blessed by the wisdom we gain from your mom with each conversation and visit we share with her. We cherish time with her because we remember about so much time that was lost in past years. As your message says; the love of a mother can be overwhelming, even when there is much pain associated with the relationship. I added a prayer today for the parents who sometimes are the ones that need to mature and hope I see the day when we gain love and wisdom from both his parents. Until then, I remember your mom’s words to us from the Bible; Don’t throw pearls before the swine. I say where there is life, there is hope and I keep faith God will touch hardened hearts with His love and wisdom. Your message today is bound to help other parents in many situations God’s blessings to you for sharing your insight.


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