The American culture is particularly focused on productivity, quick fixes, and formulas.
None of the above applies to someone who is grieving the loss of a child.
Even many church cultures are influenced by the American culture. The Bible is full of pro-active mandates and it fits nicely with the culture’s mantras.
As Christians, we have to reign ourselves in. I know I practice this in my own life. What I do, think, and say must be God’s heart.
Instead, I often see this scenario: people who are “victims” are encouraged to rise above it, press on, and fight the good fight. It’s like telling someone who just got a leg mangled in a car accident to walk.
Grieving people have mangled hearts.
And because we are an impatient culture, there are few who are willing to be patient with grief. What I mean by that is not being there 24/7 for someone who is grieving, but to keep in mind God’s heart: Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit … in humility value others above yourselves … (Philippians 2:3)
This means the person who is grieving is not going to be who he or she was before the grief. Just like the person with the mangled leg will have scars or a limp for the rest of his life. If your theology is only to “press on” with faith, you will have expectations for people which are unrealistic.
Personally, I’ve been gossiped about and expected to rise above my loss. I know first hand the push of productivity, quick fixes, and formulas. Forgiveness is not a problem. But being exposed to it is.
Further reading here.
If you are grieving and have felt the angst of an environment of producing, quick fixes, and formulas being applied to you, next Monday’s post is for you. As I’ve listened to the stories of Christians who are grieving, I’ve found many broken-hearts; disillusioned with their experience. My hope is to help rescue you from becoming bitter or turning away from God altogether.