Compassion for ‘Special Needs’ Families – Part 2

21 Nov

SpecialNeedsBoy--withBookYesterday, we learned (straight from some moms’ mouths) of their struggles with special needs children. Perhaps some of their words stirred your heart. They appreciate help and hope, just like any mother.

So, what are some ways we show compassion and come alongside these moms?

  • Remember that God has a special purpose for their special needs children. All children are a heritage from the Lord (Ps. 127:3). Jesus answered cynics that a blind man’s blindness was not caused by sin, but “that the work of God might be displayed in his life (John 9:1-3). God doesn’t waste anything … even the extra chromosome in the Down syndrome child. God has a special place in His heart and purposes for the weak (1 cor. 1:27).
  • Be careful not to judge; respond to people with special needs (and their families) as you would to Christ (Lev. 19:14; Matthew 25:34-40).
  • When you find yourself staring at someone who looks different, or a mom who is struggling with a child ~ stop staring! Smile and communicate with your eyes that you are in their corner.
  • Pray for the mom silently, that God will bind up her wounds (Ps. 147:3), strengthen and sustain her (Ps. 6:2a; Is. 40:29; 2 Cor. 12:9)
  • Accept special needs kids as one of God’s creations, and listen to their parents without judging. Perhaps your own children are a struggle, too; but the special needs parents will probably feel they have a tougher time. They don’t need condemnation or rationalization. They need listening ears, compassionate hearts, and ~ if God speaks to you about ministry ~ the offer of help.

There are many organizations that can help parents of children with Autism, ADHD, Down syndrome, blindness, deafness, genetically-caused disabilities, etc. But in the church, we can practice all the biblical “one another” scriptures (see list) in practical ways and support these precious families ~ sharing love, comfort, encouragement, etc.

I’m glad the mothers at iMoms have each other and a safe place to share and vent.  But we all can be more sensitive. We can show we care. Do you have some other suggestions to help others know how to respond and help? Please feel free to share.

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