The other night Bethel came downstairs. She was afraid of a tornado.
I regretted showing them tornado pictures the night before, and sleepily asked her if she could do anything to control the tornado.
When she answered no, I said “The good thing is that God can control the tornado, so we can trust him.”
She left. I don’t think she was all that convinced. Then God reminded me that there are things in my life that I don’t have control of, either. And I don’t always do a good job of choosing to trust. As I fell asleep, I prayed that God would help me to trust, too.
Here is the significant wisdom thought: When I correct my children, or encourage them with God’s truth, how is their situation mirrored in mine? How am I using Scripture to help either situation? I’ve found that invariably, I’m dealing with something similar.
Thinking this way does several things for me:
- I am kept from being too harsh with my children for not responding the way I think they should.
- I can communicate compassion with them, “This week I had a hard time trusting God, too. Let’s pray together and ask God to help us.”
- I can see weaknesses in my instruction. “Just trust God” isn’t enough. What else does a person need to know and remind himself of?
- I am driven to search the scriptures more, to find answers that satisfy me and my children, instead of being satisfied with some answer that I heard once but never found planted in my own life.
- I am kept humble when I see my own sin in childish garments. It’s a lot easier to me to see their problems: the utter selfishness, the lack of humility and repentance. But those problems are in me, too.
- I often gain insight into helping my own self. I might not have been motivated to find answers and deal with sin in my own life, but it’s startling to realize my children are dealing with similar things (sometimes by following me).
I like this, particularly this idea of comforting my children when they are scared. It’s so easy for me to say “trust God,the Bible says, ‘when I am afraid, put my trust in Him.'” But often, I’m dealing with some fears too, and I’m not really trusting Him. Of course more goes into it all, because sometimes I just want to tell my kids, God is in control, and we totally could be harmed in this storm. He hasn’t promised to keep us safe; and those are good words sometimes, but not very comforting to your 4 year old!! So these, again, are good thoughts!
I have had this same mental struggle! We don’t want to lie and say, “Nothing bad will ever happen. No tornadoes will ever destroy our home” and so on, but we also want them to be confident that God will never leave them or forsake them. I told Bethel sometime recently that part of our fear of danger is the amount of time we spend thinking about it. When I don’t spend time dwelling on all the dangers in life, I am better able to put them all in context. Easy to say, hard to do.
I try to remind my kids when harm comes to them, or things aren’t going the way they’d like, that this too is part of God’s plan, but we can trust that it will work towards our good. We don’t need to understand how or why, just know He loves us. I love it when I can then point out later how whatever happened was “good” for us for a particular reason. God’s sovereignty is such an important part of ridding ourselves of fear.
This hit home for me. I have a worrier/fearful child, and she comes by that fear naturally. I have tried to teach her verses, yet they fall flat. I think the truth is they fall flat because Mommy has yet to fully learn and/or embrace them. . . convicting to think about. . .