Encouragement for Today - Mar. 25, 2009

March 25, 2009


Despairing Parents

Susanne Scheppmann


“My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word.”
Psalms 119:28 (NIV)



Thud! I heard my son’s feet hit the dirt outside his bedroom window. My heart sank. I had been right when I told my husband, “He’s going to run-away. Watch.”


The whole afternoon and evening had spun into a disaster. My adolescent son had gotten into trouble. We were in the middle of discussing it with him when the phone rang. My husband listened as his ex-wife told him that his daughter had run away that afternoon.  I watched the panic cross my husband’s face as he dug for more details about what had happened.


In addition, I spied my son’s alert face and witnessed a light bulb go off in his adolescent brain. I could tell he thought, “I’m going to run away too! We sent my son to his room while we managed the bigger problem of the moment – my stepdaughter.


Sure enough, he went on the lam. My thoughts raced. Should I go after him? Should I lock him out of the house? Or should I wait and search for him later? I felt emotionally and physically exhausted.


Both my husband and I were stricken with confusion and sadness as we battled through all the drama and trauma in our family. That evening we despaired. How could this happen? We tried to be good parents. It seemed that with three teenagers, life was a never-ending crisis.

Things did turn out OK. My stepdaughter returned home to her mother. We found my son, and my husband coaxed him home. Everyone went to bed, and two exhausted parents prayed for a better tomorrow.


That was several years ago. Children mature. Time heals. And God is faithful to the prayers of a despairing parent. He feels our heartaches. He sees our tears. He grants us the courage and guts to keep on parenting.


Our key verse today acknowledges the pain we may experience, but it also points the way to gaining strength—God’s Word. If you are a despairing parent, seek the Lord’s comfort, wisdom and strength by reading and praying Scripture each day. God is our source of strength when we come to our wit’s end in the life-long career of parenting.


Dear Lord, thank You for the gift of my children. I am honored You set me apart to be their mom. Yet, at times parenting is hard! I ask You for guidance and strength. Remind me of the joys of parenting when I despair. Help me keep a balanced outlook. I ask You to provide me with special Scripture that I can pray for my children. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


Related Resources:

Divine Prayers for Despairing Parents by Susanne Scheppman


Blended Families by Maxine Marsolini


Listen to Today’s Radio Show for more encouragement when parenting is hard.


Visit Susanne’s blog


Application Steps: 

Read and memorize Psalm 4:3 and 5:3. Then pray for your children and know that the Lord hears you call to Him. Wait in expectation for His guidance.



Where do I place my trust and hope when it comes to my child?


Do I recognize that Jesus loves my child more than I do?


Power Verses:

Psalms 144:12, “Then our sons in their youth will be like well-nurtured plants, and our daughters will be like pillars carved to adorn a palace.” (NIV)

Psalms 147:3, “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” (NIV)

Isaiah 49:25, “But this is what the Lord says: ’Yes, captives will be taken from warriors, and plunder retrieved from the fierce; I will contend with those who contend with you, and your children I will save.’” (NIV)


© 2009 by Susanne Scheppmann. All rights reserved.


Proverbs 31 Ministries

616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road

Matthews, NC 28105




Originally published Wednesday, 25 March 2009.