On the way home from church last night, one of my fascinating children talked about being afraid a year ago watching fireworks on July 4. I’m still interested in knowing how they understand fear, and I was particularly fascinated to wonder why this memory was brought up at that time. (We were merely looking at and talking about all the ball field lights across the city as we drove home.)
I agreed that fireworks could be scary (I don’t ever want them to feel silly talking about their fears to me).
I told them about being afraid of fireworks when I was a little girl. (empathy)
Then I asked if King David was ever afraid. Do you know how they answered?
No! [in a “silly mommy” tone of voice] Their answer tells me that they still don’t understand what bravery is.
Once again I reminded them that King David is the one who wrote: “What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee” (Psalm 56:3).
I’m starting to wonder though, whether I’m making it too simple. Sometimes fear can be a problem. God says he “has not given us the spirit of fear,” for example. We are also told not to worry, which is a form of fear. We are told several times directly to “fear not.” And I’m curious because I asked myself what the Bible word for brave is. Is it trust? I looked up these words in Bible Gateway and didn’t find much help. Any thoughts?
What about the word ‘courage’ as the bible word for ‘brave’? The Bible mentions quite a numner of times (to the Israelites especially) to ‘be strong and of good courage’. It seems that many times the phrase comes along with a mention that the Lord’s presence will be with them. Perhaps trusting that God is with us even when we fear is considered bravery?
My two cents worth!
Of course! You’re absolutely right. Thanks for stopping by! I’ve enjoyed your pictures of your sweet baby on your blog. 🙂
Jay Younts says
Courage is the right theme. As the previous comment mentioned God told Joshua to be strong and courageous for he was with him. A good distinction to make is between fear and weakness. We are weak by nature. This weakness naturally leads to fear and worry. However, the Scripture tells us that God’s power is made perfect in our weakness. II Cor. 12:9 It takes courage to recognize that we are weak but that we can trust God to give us the strength we need to follow him. With this mindset we don’t have to be defensive about weakness. This is a powerful lesson for children to learn. Perhaps even some adults could learn from this truth as well. 🙂