It’s 10:00 a.m. and I’m eating chips straight out of the bag. My thoughts wander to the big stories of the week—I’ve been practically glued to the television news–even though the news of the week saddens my soul.
These, coupled with the many pesky burdens of my own small life have crushed me lately and kept me up at night.
Maybe you’re in the eating-chips-out-of-the-bag-at-10:00 a.m. mode these days, too. Maybe you’re saddened by the state of the world or by the details of your own life.
Maybe you’re scared.
Maybe you’re recognizing your own fear in the eyes of your children and you’re wondering how on earth do I process all of this let alone explain it?
Dropping my two oldest daughters at school on the morning of 9/11 left me feeling much the same way. I wondered how I would hold it together enough to alleviate their fears. I wondered how best to talk to them about what was going on. I wondered when I would ever stop crying.
My own fear felt so big that I wasn’t sure how to deal with theirs.
And yet I knew that as their mom, I needed to provide some wisdom, some answers. At the very least I needed to give them some reassurance that the world was going to be OK, even if it didn’t feel like it at the time.
The events of this week feel slightly like 9/11 to me. I’m stunned. I’m saddened. I’m weary of this world and want Jesus to return more than ever.
It’s hard, scary even, to be a parent in this world today. But moms, in these days more than ever, we MUST be parents who show our kids the right road to travel—a road that takes us past our fears and into a place of trust in a living God.
How do we do this?
1. Recognize the source of our fear. God is not a God of fear. He tells us over and over again in His word to “have no fear,” “be not afraid,” and “do not fear.”
The enemy wants nothing more than for us to live in fear and to run from the truth. As John 10:10 tells us, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.” Do not let the enemy win this battle and steal your hope. Stand firm in God’s word and do not fear.
2. Recognize the real threat. More than ever we hear about the dangers our kids face, both physically and emotionally. Earthquakes. Plane crashes. Bullying. Stranger danger. Even though, statistically speaking, we live in a safer world than ever before, we still wonder how to protect our kids.
I wonder, however, if the real threat to our kids might be a danger we can’t see. A spiritual danger. We know that we have an enemy who wants to destroy us, and our kids, yet sometimes we don’t like to think or talk about that. When we leave our children to “figure things out on their own” we put them in great peril.
Jesus told us plainly:
“And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matt. 10:28)
Rather than focus on dangers that might appear more evident but which may not even be real, we need to focus on spiritual dangers that are much more devastating to our kids and have a more lasting effect.
3. Recognize God’s promises. Talk to your kids about their fears, but reassure them with the truth of God’s word.
“The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever.” Psalm 138:8
“Fear not, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
Are you fearful today, mama? Do you have a child who needs reassuring? Do you need to be reminded of who is in control?
Hear God’s word:
“Be strong and courageous, do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6
Be encouraged. Hold fast. Fear not.