This is the second week of the guest blogger series on scriptures to teach your children and how to model them in your home. If you missed week one, you can read it here: Psalm 119:11-Teach Them to Treasure God’s Word
It was in mid-March, the beginning days of our time in quarantine here in Toronto, that I was feeling very distracted with all the news of the pandemic. Frankly, I was overwhelmed. A million questions were running through my mind. How bad is this going to get? How long will we be in lockdown? How, as a mom, do I not fear what is happening in this world? And how do I help my three children to not be afraid as well? I didn’t have answers to my questions, and I was struggling to trust God. Do any of you mamas ever feel this way? Distracted? Overwhelmed? Afraid?
The morning I was feeling so distracted, I stopped to spend time with the Lord as I usually do. As I sat there, He very tenderly spoke this verse from Isaiah to me…
“Do not fear for I am with you, do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
It’s a verse I already knew. I had heard it many times before but that morning with God when I told Him I was afraid; it spoke to me in a powerful way. I was afraid of the unknown and concerned I wouldn’t know how to confidently walk my children through this odd time. And in the midst of this pandemic, He considered my fears and provided His truth in Isaiah to transform my heart. I went through a process of first being anxious and fearful to then being anchored in His hope.
How? It was the realization of His presence that disarmed my fear.
“And He said, My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest.” Exodus 33:14
Rest. Not fear.
Not rest as in taking a nap or getting to bed early (although that sounds wonderful!) but rest as in allowing God to replenish my soul even in the midst of this chaos. Because when we’re in His presence the fear subsides, and His rest takes hold of our hearts. Not only ours but He can do this for our children too.
“These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”
These two verses reveal the importance that we as parents have in modeling and living out the word of God in everything that we do!
Teaching Our Children to Rest Not Fear
Our kids can rest in Jesus rather than live in fear when we guide them in His truths daily. This is where a healthy fear of the Lord begins and where unhealthy fears of the world take the back seat.
My four-year-old daughter, Lucy, often tells me she’s afraid at night. Whether it’s from some character she saw in a movie or something she’s made up in her imagination, she doesn’t tell me her fears for me to remain silent. No, she expects me to comfort and reassure her. This is how God is with us. Even when we’re not sure how to express our fears into words, He gives us His Holy Spirit as our helper to reassure us that He is in control (Romans 8:26).
So, how do we guide our children to fear the Lord and not fear the things of this world?
We read the Bible together and pray. Our family devotions are a part of our morning routine. We want to teach our children that starting our day with the Heavenly Father sets the tone for the rest of the day. When we begin our morning in His presence, we’re helping our hearts take rest in Him for whatever may come our way throughout the day. We’re declaring He is in control and we can trust Him! We’re currently using this resource for our family devotions, https://www.amazon.com/Long-Story-Short-Ten-Minute-Devotions/dp/1935273817. We’ve loved seeing how Old Testament stories point forward to God’s story of salvation through Jesus.
We memorize scripture and meditate on it. Every week we memorize one of God’s promises. So when fear rears its ugly head, we can encourage one another with scripture that we’ve hidden in our hearts. We’ve found Seeds Family Worship a tremendous resource for us https://www.seedsfamilyworship.com/. This resource is full of songs (actual Bible verses) that help kids memorize and mediate on the word in a really fun way. It’s great to have on in the background at home or in the car when you’re out and about.
We talk about our fears together as a family! Most children from a very young age, need and want to be heard. Creating space in your home that allows healthy dialogue is key in our kids’ mental wellness and spiritual growth. Take time as a family to discuss your fears together and then look to scripture to find some examples of how people of the faith sought the Lord for help. Share some of your fears first! Being vulnerable as a parent in front of our kids is needed. Setting a time aside to do this can be very helpful in the beginning. Whether you talk around the dinner table or have a scheduled family meeting, the goal is to let everyone share, feel heard and encouraged.
In Isaiah 41:10 we see how God protected His people. The Israelites could take comfort in Him, there was no need for them to fear because God went before them. And guess what? He goes before our families too! In fact, He’s always 100 steps ahead (my guesstimate!).
When we’re distracted, overwhelmed, or afraid, we have to teach our children that our first course of action is connecting with our Heavenly Father. We claim His promises that tell us He is with us and fighting our battles with uncertainty for us (Exodus 14:14). He’s calming the winds, putting out the fires and preparing our way to victory in Him and for His glory.
I still don’t have all the answers to the questions that I had that day in mid-March and the pandemic is still raging, but God has proven Himself over and over to my family that He is in control of the details. If we rest in His presence, read and pray the word of God together and discuss our fears in a healthy way we can have indescribable peace in the midst of life’s storms.
“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
If you are currently working to combat fear in your home, You might also find encouragement from this post…Teaching Your Children Positive Thinking from Scripture
Guest Blogger Bio.
Hi, I’m Erin! I’ve been married to my wonderful husband Sebastian for 16 years.We have three kids – ages 10, 8 and 4. I love helping my children and women grow in their relationship with Jesus through discipleship. After serving 13 years in Poland and Canada with the International Mission Board, we are transitioning to the UK to work as the Affinity Trainers for all of Europe.
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