We live in a world of craziness and perversion. This week, the CBC published an article of the dangers of a popular messaging app that many young kids and teens use to stay in touch with friends. Within moments of starting an alias profile, grown men were already approaching this “alias” asking for sexual pictures and being downright perverse. We have enough in this world to be legitimately concerned over, but as parents we must 1) be wise and 2) guard our hearts. Be wise, yes, to the ways of this world and to do our best to protect our kids. Secondly, to guard our hearts, so we don’t allow the fears of “what if” to creep in our hearts and minds and allow those fears to dictate the way we parent.
When my father was just a young boy, he was out in the fields with his younger brother. He was asked to watch him as my grandparents farmed their land. My Dad’s brother climbed a fence approximately 4 feet tall, and fell backwards. As a result of this fall, my uncle (my dad’s brother) had a brain bleed and died. From that time onward, my Dad never liked anyone climbing anything. As kids, we were never allowed to climb trees, hop on fences to get a better view of things. It was strictly, two feet on the ground at all times. I never really understood this ridiculous rule when I was young, but the older I got, I could see that he had allowed the fear of “what if they fall”, to take root in his heart. Through his negative experience he allowed his fear and disappointment to dictate his parenting. This is a small example of the overall principle. What are some fears in your life that affect the way you parent? Do you project your own personal fears on your children and allow them to limit your children’s life experiences? If you answered yes, I have three things to share:
- You owe it to your kids to overcome your fears; for their sake and yours. You are allowing this fear to rob your children of life experiences. You may be allowing fear to rob your family of beautiful memories that families are built on.
- By continuing to parent in fear, you are also taking away valuable life lessons that are only learned through mistakes and falls. It is impossible to fully protect your child from every negative situation or bad possibility that could come their way. We need to do our best to protect our children from harm, but some lessons are learned best through experience. However, this can be hard unless you have #3 take place.
- You need a revelation of the love of God for yourself and your children. A few years back, I was so nervous to leave my three kids as I traveled to South Africa. My youngest was only about 1.5 years old and even though I knew this was a “God trip”, I was scared to leave my babies behind for 18 days. My mother- in –love shared words of wisdom that were shared with her by a great woman of faith; “You know,.. God loves your kids more than you do”. I remember having mixed feelings of shock and wonder. Shock, because I know how much I love my kids. Wonder, because I can’t fathom the love my heavenly father has for my children.
God loves your kids more than you do. His love is perfect. He is a perfect father.
Here are two simple steps you can do to help you parent in faith rather than fear:
- Pray for kids. Ask God to protect them and for the Holy Spirit to guide them. They may not have a relationship with God yet, but they are spirit beings too and they are watching your relationship with Christ. His Spirit is moving in their lives, whether we think so or not.
- Ask God to reveal His love for you and your children. Get ready to be blown away. Sit and listen for His still small voice and write down what He says.
Always remember, be brave. Have courage.