Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Parenting with Fear

If I let my imagination wander, it would probably take me about 3 minutes to come up with 99 reasons to be afraid as a parent. School shootings. Pediatric cancer. Autism. Peer pressure. Will he turn his back on his faith? Is the car seat installed correctly? Will he choke on a hot dog? Mmm... hot dogs... Wait, back to the fear. Will he make a bad choice that will dramatically affect his future? Will he slip and bust his head on the coffee table. It goes on and on. If I let it.

Last night a friend told me that her son who has special needs was hurt by a teacher at school. It's being investigated and a thorough body exam is going to be performed. My first reaction and question was, "Are YOU ok?" I don't know what I would do if it was one of my children going through this except that I would just want to hold him and not stop holding him. But we can't. We have to let go. We can't hold their hands all the time, and even if we could, there would still be danger.

Parenting with fear is not Godly parenting. God has given us these tiny people to care for. They are His, not ours yet we act like he's tossed them to us saying, "Best of luck!" That's not to say bad or even tragic things won't happen, but when we parent with the understanding and trust that we are supposed to parent with, it can bring about an entirely new sense of peace.

An article on, shares this insight:
Evelyn Christenson, author of What Happens When We Pray for Our Families, encourages parents to pray "releasing prayers" for their kids. By releasing your children to God in your prayers, you're acknowledging his sufficiency - a scary prospect. What if we surrender our kids only to have God respond by doing something awful? I had to pray a releasing prayer when I held my one-month-old son Christopher the morning of his open-heart surgery. I gave my son to God, and Christopher died five days later. But I know now that my prayer didn't cause Christopher's death. Instead, it prepared me for the loss because I'd already acknowledged that he belonged to God. Instead of anger, there was peace.

A final thought, I was recently talking to a friend about her children and a trauma they had been through, and I reminded her that God loves her children more than she does. As moms, we have to let that sink in. We think, NO ONE loves my kids more than me. It's not possible. But it IS possible and it IS true. God's love is perfect, all knowing, all consuming, and we must allow that to bring us the peace that will drive out the fears. All 99 of them!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for posting this today….I just finished the online renewal for the diocesan Safe Environment Program. After logging out, I (jokingly) told our girls that they weren't allowed out of my sight for the next 40 years!
    The reminder that our children truly belong to God is always a good one…and good for you for only coming up with 99 reasons to be afraid! ;)