I’ve had the unique privilege of growing up in an amazing home. My parents are godly, solid parents who—while they are not perfect—have raised me and my siblings well.
However, I also have worked with over one thousand different kids in the past two years. I’ve spent over 2,500 hours in the past two years working with different kids who come from different situations and many of whom have difficult home lives. I only preface this article with this information so that you know exactly where I am coming from on all of this.
Recently a girl tried to kill herself. I knew her well and knew that her reason for attempted suicide was a difficult home life. There are countless other situations in which children and teens and even young adults and older adults feel stuck in their home life. For some, it is that they are being abused and cannot get help. For others, it feels as though things are always tense at home. Still, others feel like they simply are ignored at home.
I want to address these three separate areas in what may feel like a disjointed article, but if you bear with me to the end, I promise it will all tie together.
Abusive Home Life
I have had to call the child abuse hotline multiple times for kids that I work with and every time it is terribly sad. It’s sad because I know that it will tear apart the life of the child I’m trying to help. Of course, it will help them in the long run, but in the immediate future, their lives will be dreadful. Court dates, home inspectors, a broken home—these are just some of the things that come with making that call. However, I do not wish to make this the main point of the article. Let me just make note that if you or someone you know is in an abusive home situation, get help. Talk to anyone on our team, talk to a counselor at school, talk to someone who can provide help for you and those who you know.
This is a big one for many people, especially teens. Many people have told me, “I just cannot wait to be eighteen, then I can leave home.” There is a lot of tension in many homes, but we must remember that we are called to rise above that. Paul writes, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone” (Romans 12:18 NIV). So rather than letting the tension and conflict drag us down, we are called to extend peace to those in our family.
This means that we are to love others, no matter what. And let’s not add fuel to the fire, but do what we can to defuse the situation. Learning to do this while being “stuck” in a tension-filled home will translate into many good qualities later in life. Learn the lesson that God has for you, rather than spend your entire time wishing to be gone from the situation.
Ignored at Home
Many people feel like home—the place where they should feel the most warmth and love—is where they feel the most isolated. They feel as though they have no one to talk to and they just want their isolation to end, but they cannot figure out how. The first thing I would like to say about this is that Jesus should be your number one friend. James says, “Draw near to the Lord and He will draw near to you” (James 4:8 NIV).
Second, I think a lot of times parents don’t understand that their children are feeling isolated and ignored. Communication is vital and I think that is what a lot of times is lacking. You need to communicate well with those around you. And if you cannot depend on them, you can always depend on Christ.
So, this article may have felt a bit disjointed to you, but I wanted to cover three angles on the topic. The main point is to dance in the rain. Accept that God may be putting you through a trial so that you can learn something. Pray that He would reveal this reason to you in His time.