When our children are afraid or unsure, we must train them to not let those feelings control them. We must do our best to look at the circumstances and their emotions with discernment and perspective, using God’s Word as our lens.
Often parents adopt their children’s fear and uncertainty. The “What If” infection is as contagious as the common cold and just as prevalent. As we listen to our children’s concerns, sometimes we let those questions take tangible form and become a hologram-like reality that feels real, though it isn’t.
What if no one in our son’s class will become his friend this year?
What if our daughter endures ridicule because of her birthmark for the rest of middle school?
What if? What if?
In parenting, it’s crucial to make space for our children to share their concerns, fears, frustrations, and feelings. It’s also crucial for us to speak the truth in love to our children. Instead of accepting our children’s “What if’s” as reality and getting dragged into wasting time worrying, we must help our children take back the reigns of their reality wagon and hand them back in God’s hands.
When we give in to the “What if’s” and allow our children to obsess over specific situations or feelings without speaking the truth in that situation, it’s as though we encourage them to surrender control to the fear, concern, or feelings. As believers, we aren’t to be controlled by or enslaved by anything that distracts us from honoring God. We are to be led by God and His truth.
When our children start to spiral out of control in any fear, frustration, or feeling, we must lead them into the truth. We can’t force them to believe the truth, but we can pray for them to see it and understand it.
We can continue to encourage and empower our children to embrace the truth and move forward into God’s reality for them. We do this by training them truths about their circumstances and emotions from God’s Word, by showing them how people in the Bible and in Christian history have handled these circumstances and emotions (both good and bad examples), and by talking them through scenarios in which the “What if” doesn’t stop them being open to God’s leadership in their lives.
No matter the circumstances, God will be with them and guide them. We need to be like sunflowers, pointing them to the Son, by keeping our faces fixed on the Son.
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1
What can you do to point your children beyond their current circumstances to God’s leadership in their lives?