Fear tends to be one of the defining emotions of raising children. I suppose I would have to say anger is another, but that is a discussion for another post! Fear grips the heart of the mom of a newborn, “Is he still breathing?” “Can I take care of this little one when I wasn’t doing that great taking care of myself?” Fear grips the mom of a toddler, “This one knows no fear so I am afraid for him all the time.” The mom of the elementary child fears her child being bullied, teased, or unable to do well in school. The mom of a teen, well she worries about EVERYTHING–driving, drugs, alcohol, premarital sex, pornography, etc. And the mom of an adult child is afraid she has not properly prepared her child for the adult life. She wonders if she has put “enough” of God’s Word into him/her. Has she lived out her faith “adequately” to help her adult child resist temptation, refuse the worldly philosophies of this college professors, and the vain imaginations of the world, the flesh, and the devil?
Many of those issues should cause fear to grip our hearts. If the fear presses us to seek the Father and His Word then it proves to be a good thing, not bad. But if we allow fear to be the controlling emotion of our mothering experience it will paralyze our walk with God and imprint our children with our irrational fears.
I love this passage in Ps. 11:1-3, “In the Lord, I take refuge; how can you say to my soul (here he is referring to hearing tempting from the world, the flesh, and the devil and their deceptive thoughts, seducing spirits, and doctrines of demons), ‘Flee as a bird to your mountain; (that is give into fear and run for cover) for behold, the wicked bend the bow, they make ready their arrow upon the string to shoot in darkness at the upright in heart. If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?'” (notes mine.)
Fear can be a healthy emotion to keep us from mixing electricity and water, picking up poisonous snakes, standing in a thunderstorm with a metal rod, etc., but when it becomes irrational and misplaced, Satan uses it to keep us locked in a prison to cause us to be ineffective for Christ. The writer of Psalms asks the question, “What can the righteous do?” And here is the answer in Ps. 11:4, “The Lord is in His holy temple, the Lord’s throne is in heaven.” That is, when you are afraid look to Jesus. Fix your eyes on Him. He is still in His holy temple. He is still on His throne and His mercy endures through all generations!
Live above the downward power of irrational fears and turn those menacing thoughts into prayers for your children and/or yourself. You will find a liberty in Christ you could never know apart from Him. And you will teach you child, by example and exhortation, to trust in the Lord with all your heart!