As I have been busy serving the children and making sure our Sunday Kids Church classes are running as smoothly as possible, I have often thought about you and the amazing job you’re all doing with your children.
Since my children are all mostly grown, my youngest being 17 and having graduated from high school now (how can that be!), there are some things I reflect on and wonder if it might be helpful for me to share with parents who are in the thick of raising their littles. There’s one thing that is most prominent in my mind that I dealt with and even allowed to drive my parenting choices much of the time as my children were young. That thing is fear.
There are so many things that can cause parents to fear. They range from things so simple as being afraid your children won’t have the appropriate toys to help them learn to being afraid for their salvation and walk with Christ. The newer the parents, the greater the variety of fears, simply because they are embarking on an unknown adventure and the life of this precious little one is in their hands. And who knew you could love someone so much! I’ll never forget listening to one new mom talking about her agony over choosing just the right baby bath tub to ensure her baby had the best bathing experience. That sounds so minor now but a new mom could easily get hung up on that kind of process.
This subject deserves a book, which I have considered writing many times, but for now I just want to encourage you and expose the lie that fear is. Fear will keep you very busy trying to control everything you can possibly control to protect, teach, help, guide etc, your child. You name it, fear would have you control it. And where control is unattainable, anger may assist to force the matter. It can become a demonic three ring circus lorded over by a religious spirit if left unchecked. So you see where I’m going with this. Fear is not your friend. Right away, we see how it is unquestionably an obstacle that keeps us from trusting in God and therefore, impressing that pattern onto our children.
So what’s the answer? Well, scripture makes it clear that perfect love casts out fear. (1 John 4:18) What does it look like to parent from perfect love? How many of us are still working on believing and receiving that perfect love for ourselves, right? How then can we demonstrate it? Here are some truths that Holy Spirit walked me through so I could begin to resist fear and put my trust in Him in the area of parenting.
Grace. God knew what I was when He entrusted these beautiful children to me. He is able to overcome my every mistake.
My children are more His than mine, therefore, He will help me know what to do. If I ask for help, surrender my will and listen, He answers. Remember, God isn’t controlling, He’s loving. You may have to unlearn some things and discover who God is as your loving Father.
Fear likes to mask itself as wisdom. Don’t fall for it. Check your motives. If fear is behind your thought process, think again. Decisions should never be made out of fear. Be careful to pay attention to what is behind the pressure and the action.
Look beyond behavior and see your child. Fear will keep you from getting to know your children as God created them to be and have you trying to impress your image on them rather than discovering God’s image in them. Fear will also have you reject the parts of their personalities that you don’t understand. Converse with their Creator about who they are and be amazed at what He has created in the miracle of your children.
There’s more but I’ll stop there. What I hope to accomplish in this brief post is to help parents become aware of any areas of fear where the enemy might try to come in and steal the joy from their parenting journey. It’s an amazing adventure discovering immeasurable treasure as we get to know our children and see God’s image in them. It should be full of joy, discovery, overcoming, victory and celebration, even in the midst of struggle.
God abundantly bless your journey and may joy increase in your home and parenting experience!