“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” ~ Proverbs 3:5-6
The first step, or building block, in overcoming our parental fears is to give them to God. We need to trust God with our kids. I know that sounds simple. I know it seems like the classic Sunday School answer.
When my kids were little, every Sunday on the way home from church, I would ask them what they learned in children’s church, hoping this would lead to a spiritual discussion on the way home. As a parent, we want to maximize our kids’ learning opportunities. I remember one Sunday when my son was around kindergarten age, I asked him what they talked about in kids’ church.
“You know, Dad,” he replied.
I said, “Son, I really don’t know. I was in big church.”
“We talked about that guy.”
“What guy?” I said.
“You know, Dad. That guy. The one we always talk about.”
Again, I said, “What guy?”
“Jesus!” he said. “Every Sunday, we talk about Jesus!”
I fully realize it sounds too simple that the first essential in overcoming our parental fears is to trust God. It is simple and obvious. But it is not easy. In fact, it is easier said than done.
As a parent, we need to know that God loves and cares for our kids more than we do. I know that this is a difficult concept for us to wrap our finite, little brains around. In our minds, there is no way that anyone in the world could possibly love our kids more than us. Well, God does. And this is the first step in overcoming our fears.
In the Bible, God tells us over and over again, “DO NOT FEAR”. From the book of Genesis to the book of Revelation God instructs us not to be afraid. And the reason we should not fear is because He is with us. We should not be afraid, because God is with us. We have the promise of his presence. He says that he will never leave us or forsake us (Matthew 28:20). And if God is for us, who can be against us (Romans 8:31)? God is for us. God is for our children. God wants what’s best for them. He is with them. He cares for them. He has a unique purpose and plan for their lives (Jeremiah 29:11). He wants them to prosper and be successful.
So, our faith is in the person and character of God. We are not to walk around in fear. But we are to walk by faith. We are to choose faith over fear. And our faith is not a blind faith. It is not a dumb faith. It is a faith based on the character of God and the truth of his word. So, we are trusting in the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe. God not only created the universe, but he sustains it. He is involved in every detail of our lives. He is not an absentee God. He knows us by name. He knows the number of hairs we have on our heads. A sparrow does not fall to the ground apart from the will of God (Luke 12:7).
So, trust God. It is far better than the alternative. What is the alternative? The opposite of trusting God is trusting in ourselves. Wow, that is a scary thought. And that brings us right back to our fears. Certainly, we have an important role to play, and we will discuss this in next month’s article. But if my child’s wellbeing was placed solely on me, I would collapse under the pressure. If my child’s life depended entirely on my wisdom, talents, and hard work, then the responsibility would be overwhelming. Yes, we have an important job to do but even in our role, we are completely dependent on God. We are to do our part and trust God to do His.
So, the first step in overcoming our fear is to trust God. We aren’t depending on ourselves. We aren’t depending on our family. We aren’t depending on our schools. We aren’t depending on our community. We aren’t depending on our government. We are depending on the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. We are depending on a great God.
Jonathan Howes has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Finance from Jacksonville State University and a Master in Divinity Degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is the lead pastor for Graystone Church. Locations include the Ozora Campus: 1551 Ozora Road Loganville, GA 30052, the Walton Campus: 723 N Broad St Monroe, GA 30655 and the Oconee Campus: 1275 Lenru Road Bogart, GA 30622.
Phone: (770) 466-3159