What if, what if, what if?
Every potential scenario would flash through my mind, from the possible to the outrageous. I was frozen by fear, almost too afraid to leave the house.
Fearless parenting has been a recurring theme in my life. Not because I am good at it, but because I’m not.
But fear doesn’t come from God, fear paralyzes, fear makes us cocoon us and our children forever so that we all grow warped and restricted and never break out, grow up, and fly beautiful and free.
The thing is, fearful mothering simply shows that we don’t trust Him. Do you worry about your childrens’ future? Does their misbehavior give you a sense of panic? Do your friends think you are ridiculously safety-conscious? Do you constantly say “no” to new adventures? Do you always try to manage and control?
It might feel like these things aren’t a big deal, but in truth, they will destroy your kids.
God has made us to live in faith and freedom. I don’t mean stupidity or recklessness. But we can raise our children with confidence that He has authored their lives. Fear makes us hold on with iron clutches. Fear makes us rail at our kids when they mess up. Fear makes us negative people who raise frightened, crippled children.
Bad things ARE going to happen. We live in a broken world. We can’t stop all of them. We need to listen to God in case he is warning us about one of those things. But we shouldn’t let the possibility—the assurance—of bad things make us withdraw, wrap up, and isolate. The bad things that will happen are probably not the ones you worry about!
Mamas, stop letting your imagination control you!
I officially gave up fear a long time ago. It’s a weak spot that tries to come back. But I can’t describe the crazy joy of walking in faith and freedom over my children. When one of them struggles with a besetting sin, I can entrust him to the world’s great Heart-changer. When God calls one of my children on a mission trip a world away, I can rest peacefully in the knowledge that she’s cared for by the Best. When politics and world events make me want to cry, I remember: God made my children for such a time as this! When I see that one of them has a heedless, impulsive streak, I watch carefully and I pray hard. Because I will parent these little ones imperfectly and I can’t prepare for every eventuality—but God can.
I’m still not good at fearless parenting. Panic and control still try to horn in and run my life. But I’m a lot better at resisting it. At resting in God. At trusting him. Because I can’t protect my kids the way I’d like to. But the Perfect Parent? He’s got it under control.
If you read here regularly you might have noticed some erratic posting patterns. In an attempt to be a better writer and more effective blogger, I’ve been experimenting with different things…Thanks for your patience as I learn! I have lots more thoughts about Fearless Mothering…Hope you’ll stick around to read them!