Now that we’ve had a chance to briefly pull apart each of these questions on video, here we have the main points summarized for you in one spot. Hopefully, this will become a resource you refer back to again and again. You can be sure that this is a solid entry point for parents, in that you will explore verses from 18 out of the 66 books of the Bible (27%) in just these 10 questions alone. We appreciate any feedback from you, so that we can make this the best tool possible for parents of children with special needs.
1. WHAT DID I DO TO DESERVE THIS?
• BIBLICAL REFERENCE POINTS: John 9:1-3, Romans 3:23
• You may not have done anything to “deserve” having a child with special needs. In fact, this may be a hidden blessing that has not yet become apparent to you. We all sin. We live in a fallen world. And because of this, bad things happen, whether we deserve it or not. The good news is that God can and does recycle these pains for our good and His glory!
2. HOW CAN A LOVING GOD ALLOW THIS?
• BIBLICAL REFERENCE POINTS: Hebrews 12:5-11, Romans 8:32, 2 Timothy 2:13
• Because we have a free will, sin came into the world through Adam and Eve. In this fallen world, bad things happen, contrary to the way God originally intended for us. In order to save us from the terrible consequences of sin, God sent His only Son, Jesus, to pay the price for our sins, dying on the cross. God loves each of us so much that He was willing to make that excruciating sacrifice just so we can be with Him in heaven forever. He is faithful and loving. On that you can always rely!
3. IS GOD PUNISHING ME?
• BIBLICAL REFERENCE POINTS: 1 John 1:9, Revelation 12:10; Philippians 3:12-14
• How will you ever know if God is truly punishing you? This may be an example of God allowing your circumstances in order to put His awesome work on display! (See question 1) Even if you are absolutely certain in your soul that your child’s special need is a direct result of your sinful actions (fetal alcohol syndrome may be an example), God offers you complete forgiveness. Furthermore, we cannot turn back the hands of time to rewrite certain lines of our life story. God wants us to put our past sins behind us, and strain forward toward the precious life He is offering us. Don’t let “the accuser” hold you captive in wondering if your child’s diagnosis is a punishment from God!
4. WHY MY CHILD?
• BIBLICAL REFERENCE POINTS: Matthew 5:45, Matthew 18:14, Genesis 1:31
• Maybe the question should be “Why NOT my child?” If rain falls on the lives of both the good and the evil, and if His desire is that NONE should perish, why is any child deserving of a special need over another?
5. WILL MY CHILD GO TO HEAVEN IF THEY NEVER HAVE THE CAPACITY TO ACCEPT CHRIST AS THEIR SAVIOR?
• BIBLICAL REFERENCE POINTS: Psalm 11:7, Psalm 140:12, Ephesians 2:4-7
• Time and again in God’s word He confirms to us that He is completely just and completely merciful. He tells us He is close to the brokenhearted. We can feel confident in knowing that He will not forsake our children who do not have the capacity to accept Christ as their Savior. And we must not forget that only God fully knows what is inside the hearts of our special children. There may be a relationship with the Lord that our child may not be able to express, but God is fully engaged in!
6. WILL MY CHILD UNDERSTAND THE GOSPEL?
• BIBLICAL REFERENCE POINTS: Isaiah 55:10-11, Matthew 18:3-5, 1 Corinthians 1:25-29
• In His Word, God assures us that when we share the good news, it will not be in vain. Therefore, we can be comforted by know that whether it be through music, pictures or the spoken word, our loving Father is creating positive change in our child’s heart that we may not fully recognize as “understanding the gospel”.
7. WAS THIS CHILD AN ACCIDENT?
• BIBLICAL REFERENCE POINTS: Job 14:5, Psalm 139:13-16, Luke 12:4-7
• Each of us was known before we were ever born. That’s no accident! God’s permitting will allowed this child to affect the world around them with the differences they have in order to serve a specific purpose for their lives. When days seem dark, that’s pretty exciting, precious news!
8. WHY WON’T GOD HEAL MY CHILD?
• BIBLICAL REFERENCE POINTS: Genesis 32:24-30, Exodus 4:10-12, 2 Corinthians 12:7-9
• First know that God always heals. That healing may come in the form of changing our hearts or physical freedom. We can be certain that all physical suffering will be removed from us when we reach heaven. But on this earth, God may allow a special needs or illness to remain in order to increase our faith, to increase our full reliance on Him or to reach others with the Good News.
9. WHAT GOOD CAN COME OUT OF THIS?
• BIBLICAL REFERENCE POINTS: Genesis 50:20, 2 Corinthians 1:3-4, 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
• What culture fails to recognize is that God is glorified and life enriched through those who are weak or challenged. When people see our kids, who would have every reason to be continually angry, sad or demanding with a smile on their face, they wonder why. This gives us the opportunity to point to our Strength, the Lord. Comforting others who suffer can also be another wonderful good that comes out of our difficulties.
10. WILL THINGS EVER GET BETTER?
• BIBLICAL REFERENCE POINTS: John 16:33, 2 Corinthians 4:17, 1 Peter 1:3-9,
• Although some days parenting a child with special needs can feel heavy and never-ending, in light of eternity, it is only temporary. In fact, Jesus promised us that there will be troubles in this life. In light of that fact, the good days should bring us great joy. Victories may be measured in inches rather than miles. But when they come, they are beautiful. And when we reach heaven, there will be so much more for us to celebrate than for those who did not face these struggles on earth.