The thing about cloth diapers

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Did you know that studies show that toddlers who wear cloth underwear tend to potty train faster than those that wear disposable pull-ups?

I have a two year-old now, and we’re in the middle of potty training. And 9 times out of 10, we have cloth on him. Because we’re ready to be done with this stage!

Do you know why children who wear cloth underwear train so much faster?

Because when they go to the bathroom, they feel the discomfort. It’s not immediately wicked away by a disposable diaper.  They feel the same discomfort you’d feel if you wet your pants right now.

It’s not a pleasant feeling.

Discomfort is a great motivator

Discomfort is a great motivator for a child to not pee their pants. Because they instantly feel the discomfort, and until someone changes their pants, they remain in that discomfort.

It’s as if part of their growth comes through pain.  And part of their immaturity is allowed to hang around if they are never exposed to that difficulty.  In other words, their difficulty is wasted (no pun intended) because they don’t feel it.

Don’t Waste the Pain

The exact same thing can happen in our lives.

Difficulties have the chance to grow us.  To help us take steps of faith towards God.  Or, we can move so quickly past them that we waste them.

If you never feel the sting of defeat, the pain of losing someone you love, the failure of your plans, the loss of a job, a bad decision, rejection, heartache, or just the dark side of the soul…then you can’t grow through the pain.  Difficulty incubates growth.

Some of the greatest times of growth in my life have come on the heels of great failure.

I don’t know what you’re going through right now.  But I know something about your struggles.  You can act like the pain’s not there.

Or you can acknowledge it, feel it, invite others into it, and grow through it.

God allows difficulties to fall on us because He’s interested in our growth.  Because without pain, growth ekes.

Don’t waste pain.  Let God use it for good.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. – Romans 8:28




Christ follower, husband, father, writer, small groups pastor at Saddleback Community Church. Communications director for the Small Group Network.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Suzanne

    This is a great post, Ben. Even though I know it to be true from experience, I want to avoid future pain. God has done incredible things in my life through pain.  We can’t waste it or keep it to ourselves when He shows us grace in pain.

    • Ben Reed

      Very true, Suzanne.  Thanks for chiming in!

  • Jason Vana

    This has definitely been true for me, too. I seem to grow the most when God allows pain in my life. Thanks for this Ben!

    • Ben Reed

      I’ve been tracking along with your blog, Jason.  Seems like God’s been growing you a lot lately!

      • Jason Vana

        Thanks Ben. It hasn’t been the easiest season of my life, but definitely one I wouldn’t trade for the world.

  • Will Johnston

    Our senior pastor, Mark Batterson, once said that God is far more concerned about changing you than changing your circumstances.  That one stuck with me.

  • Keri

    Visiting from Larry’s.  :) 

    This post just gives me the giggles because we are in the midst of potty training, too.  I just wish cloth/underoos didn’t have to be so messy when they have accidents.  :( 

    The idea of not wasting the pain-sooooo good, Ben.  God is always teaching us something.  But, we have to be open to learning the lessons.  What I find the most helpful and what brings me the most hope in a painful situation is knowing that God will use it to allow me to comfort someone else. 

    3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.  (II Cor 1:3-4)

    • Ben Reed

      I’m glad you’re giggling, Keri…I’m sure I will one day, once we’re through with this season! (j/k)

      You’re so spot on with 2 Cor 1:3-4 reference.  So much wisdom there!