Opportunity In Every Challenge


The irony of motherhood is that while Momma is busy raising her child with the hope of cultivating maturity, the child is simultaneously causing her to evolve as a human being. The conflicts in family life promote growth in parent and child alike.

These same challenges, unfortunately, hold an added level of complexity for Mom. She has the double duty of teaching her child to manage conflicts while struggling to handle them gracefully herself. She will teach by her example whether she appreciates the situation or not.

However, it might serve a mother well to embrace these daily annoyances with a bit more acceptance. Buried beneath the surface of an unwelcomed challenge lies treasures which the wise mother will unearth. It is under the pressured environment of a problem that many virtues can develop, which happen no other way.

There are countless examples of challenging circumstances which produce universal benefits. Let’s explore the following:

  • The creation of precious gems. Consider how a diamond is formed. Under the heat and pressure of Earth’s surface and gravitational pull, volcanic rock is baked over time, yielding what is highly valued in the marketplace. Without these harsh conditions, this precious stone would not exist.

  • The making of water pearls. Found in the depth of the sea is the water pearl. If we examine how the pearl is formed, we will discover another example of the opportunity in a challenge. Natural pearls form when an irritant such as a parasite or grain of sand finds its way into a clamshell. In response to the irritation, a fluid called ‘nacre’ is produced which coats the intruder until a lustrous pearl is formed. The clam’s response to the irritant yields a jewel of great value.

  • The improvement of the body. Consider the obsession with exercise. We are willing to pay monthly fees for a gym membership because we know that lifting weights and riding a stationary bike develops strength, endurance, and lean muscle mass. We know that growth occurs as a result of challenging our current limitations.

  • The development of good character. Even the virtues we desire to build into a child comes through a complicated process. Patience, for instance, only develops under the most unpleasant circumstances. The same conditions which test one’s patience also produce its higher development. Many attributes only grow stronger in the furnace of affliction.

Hidden beneath the drudgery of daily challenges is something quite special which is being built up, namely, patience, endurance, and mental fortitude. In light of the benefits which challenges provide, it seems fitting to teach a child while he or she is young that valuable skills are being developed which go far beyond the apparent mundanity of picking up one’s dirty laundry, for example.

When Mom teaches her child to embrace discomfort in the course of learning and to look for more significant benefits in the situation, frustration will diminish quicker. The case may then be viewed as fertile soil for development. This mindset has the potential to positively shape the future.

The child who is open to learning from his circumstances has a higher capacity to take in new information with the right attitude. When the challenge presents itself, the experience can be viewed in light of opportunities for growth. The unpleasantness typically associated with a problem is more tolerable and makes for a well-rounded child ready for all the possibilities a challenge will provide.