I don’t consider myself an overly fearful person. I’ve always been practical about the dangers in our world. However, since I’ve become a mother I will admit that I do think about things a lot more than I used to. TV shows that I used to watch (like CSI, etc.) I find disturbing, as I imagine some of these tragedies happening to my child. But, I don’t dwell on them. I don’t have nightmares at night about it.
I will say, that being pregnant, I have found myself having more nightmares (or daymares), especially when driving…but I’ve heard that can be connected to hormones, so I’m hoping they don’t stick around.
The last few months, though, I’ve begun to wonder what the Lord is trying to teach me about fear. My pastor ran a series on Sundays about causes of stress, fear being one of those causes, and the effects of it on our lives both physically and spiritually (you can hear those messages on the church website here). At the time I was thinking, these are good messages, but I don’t have a problem with that!
Then, last week, we had a visiting pastor preach almost an INDENTICAL message on fear as what Pastor Parrett had preached. At that pointed I started to wonder what the Lord was trying to say.
Finally, this week I sat down to continue reading my book of the month “What A Son Needs From His Mom” and chapter 4 is on overcoming your fears. Wow, what is the Lord trying to teach me?
It is so easy, as church-goers, to sit back and say, “God must be trying to teach somebody here, something, because I certainly don’t have a problem with that!” But I’ve found, that it is much harder to examine my own life and ask, “What is God trying to teach ME?”
And to be perfectly honest, I’m still praying about the answer to that question.
In her book, “What A Son Needs From His Mom”, Cheri Fuller explains how fear can be legitimate (I wouldn’t let my 2 year old cross the street unattended) but it can also be destructive (ie. cause us to become dominating and can also cause us to forget about God’s existence).
Our fears can negatively affect our children as well. I know a mother, with teen/preteen children, who struggles with fears that really have no basis. Her fears have spilled over into her children’s lives, causing at least one of them to hang on to the same fear even though there is no basis for that fear.
It’s one thing to be afraid of a bee (especially if you’re allergic to stings) and quite another to be fearful of lady bugs (which don’t normally bite or sting).
So, how do we keep ourselves from being overly fearful and forgetful of God’s protection? I definitely don’t have all the answers.
Cheri Fuller says that it is often helpful to enlist the help of a male family member who can point out to you when your fears are irrational and need to be reigned in (could be a grandfather, father, husband, brother, etc).
Pray for your children. If you don’t know where to start you can check out this prayer calendar that I created to help myself in my own personal prayer time. Entrust your children to God, though. We can’t hold onto them. It will only make them resent us the harder we try.
Get into God’s Word and Replace your Fear with Faith. I think this is the most important step that we, as mothers, can take every day. And this advice is not just for mothers of sons…it flows over into all aspects of raising children. I find that if I don’t spend time in God’s Word in the morning, I am more apt to be short and cranky with my child then those days that I do find the time to spend with God. And it IS about “finding” time. We find time for everything else it seems except for cultivating a relationship with the Person who should be the MOST IMPORTANT in our lives. God is not the author of fear, therefore, the closer we get to Him, the harder it is going to be to hold on to our fears.
When I think of Biblical examples, I see Sarah, Abraham’s wife. Her fears about child-bearing (or her lack thereof) kept her from believing God’s promises to her. She LAUGHED at God. How many times have we laughed at something God has promised us? “I know God says He will protect us, but I just know if my child does this I’ll never see them again!” Well, isn’t that us laughing at God’s promise to us?
Then, after Sarah gives birth, she continues to fear God’s plan for Isaac’s life, and forces Abraham to expel Hagar and Ishmael from their camp (a situation that she caused, remember?). Did she really think that God was not already in control of that situation? We need to make sure that our fears do not come between our children and God’s plan.
I know I need to continually examine my own life in regards to this subject but I hope it has been a help to you as well.
Happy Monday, Everyone!