I love being scared, which makes October one of my favorite times of the year. Before I was a Christian and a parent, I spent a lot of time watching horror films. Even though, I no longer indulge in horror movies, there is something about being scared that I still love. Whether it’s from entertainment, roller coasters or even a haunted house. And while I like being scared on purpose, I do not like to be scared unintentionally. I don’t like normal people jumping in front of me trying to get me to jump back. It’s not fun. If I am going to be scared, it has to be my choice.
No one wants to be fearful for real. There is a different type of fear when you are in a haunted house or watching a scary movie, than having fear in your real life. It is scary when something jumps out in front of you, but having fear of losing your job is terrifying. Freddy Kruger is scary, but the bank wanting to foreclose your home is worse.
As adults, we know the difference between real fears and ones that are made up. We know Freddy isn’t real, but you can lose your home. Because one is real and one is fake, we are able to put up safeguards so the real fears don’t happen. But, your children do not know the difference between things they should be fearful or and things that are fake. They do not know that a scary movie is fictitious and cannot harm them. As a parent it can be difficult to shelter your children from fictitious fears during this time of year, While watching football, scary previews are shown during the commercials. Neighbors put up Halloween decorations that may not be the most kid appropriate.
So what can we do, if our child gets scared?
Whether it be a real or fictitious fear, there are some scriptures we can use to limit our fears.
1. Trust In God“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” Psalm 56:3 (NIV)
David was being pursued by his enemies and instead of fear taking over his life, he put his trust in God. There is nothing in this world, that should make us fearful. Trust in God fully, and fear will leave.
2. Give Your Fears To God.“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)
We can give our fears to God with thankfulness, no matter what the situation is. And then God’s peace will guard your life. It won’t keep fear away, but when it does come back, we simply need to pray with thanksgiving and the peace that passes understanding will be back in your life.
3. God Is Always With You“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6 (NIV)
The Israelites were afraid to enter the land that was promised to them by God. Our fears can cause us to not fully trust God. However, we can know that no matter what happens, God is always with us.
Something to Try
Here is a simple game you can play with your child. It’s called “Trust Walk”. All you need is a blindfold and a good size space to walk around in. If you have a messy playroom, that will be perfect. Blindfold your child, and tell them to follow your commands and to trust your words. Lead them around the area of obstacles for a short period of time and make sure they stay away from anything that is harmful.
Once you’ve navigated them safely around the room, take off their blindfold and show them the path you took them through and the obstacles they avoided. Explain that they were able to make it through because they trusted in your voice. Then make the point, even though we can’t see God, we can trust in Him to lead us through life.
Those verses not only apply to our children, but can be applied to us as well. We can allow our realistic fears to take over our life. Some fear is good, because it prevents us from crossing dangerous lines, but too much fear restricts us from God’s blessings in life.
Teach your children to trust God fully, but also apply that same teaching to your own life.