Freedom Parenting In a World of Fear

by | Jun 10, 2024

One of the biggest challenges of being a Godly mom is that our kids are daily facing the ramifications of living in a dark and fallen world. The question is:

How does that challenge impact the way we parent? In other words, is it our job to protect our kids from anything that would harm them and choose to parent from fear, or equip them to face whatever opposition they might face and parent from a place of freedom?

I might argue, that’s it’s both, while including a daily prayer. It’s a guidance for how we are encouraging our kids to be a light in the darkness, while also protecting them from unnecessary harm.

The reality is, in our age of information overload, we are bombarded with a myriad of ways our kids might be influenced, and at the extreme sense significantly harmed, by evil people. Yet, research shows that in the vast majority of neighborhoods, that fear is overblown. As quoted in an article by the Growth Equation:

 

“Adults feel threats everywhere because they get twenty daily alerts on the neighborhood or Facebook app that they would have been oblivious to a few years earlier. The threats feel more salient because adults are more inundated with them. The predicative brain does its job, turning up the dial on threats because they seem more frequent or real. Yet almost all of the data shows it’s safer now than when kids were running around freely in the 1990s.”

 

One of the most important jobs as a parent, moms in particular, is to protect our kids. But more importantly, our job is to disciple them, to point them towards Jesus and what it means to be a follower of Him. We are to trust HIM and His plan for our life, rather than protecting our safety and comfort at any cost. And, when our children do face danger or difficulty, He will use that toward their ultimate good.

Certainly, one of the devil’s most effective strategies is to use our fear to undermine our parenting and our children’s ability to develop into healthy, committed disciples of Jesus. 

It is repeated in the gospels that being a believer in a fallen world is not going to be easy. It is not going to mean a painless, easy life as Jesus clearly communicates in the Sermon on the Mount

“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad! Because great is your reward in heaven. For in the same way, they persecuted the prophets before you.”

– Matthew 5:11-12

 

So, the goal in parenting isn’t to create a “bubble” for them where they don’t interface with the challenges the world brings.

But what does this mean? How can we show others our trust in Jesus while responsibly protecting our kids from unnecessary harm?

 

Joshua 1:9 says “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Here are three questions to consider as a daily check:

1.  Am I making my decision out of fear or freedom?

As parents, we make many small and big decisions for our kids every day-what they are going to do and not do, who they are going to see and not see. The challenge is that we immediately go to the worst-case scenario, or prayerfully ask the Holy Spirit to guide us to allow our children to have experiences that provide them opportunities for relationship and growth.

The question to ask is: Am I TRULY trusting God with my child today or giving into the anxiety and fear that Satan would want us to fall into?

2.  How are my rules or boundaries reflecting the gospel?

An essential part of Christian parenting is placing clear boundaries that align with biblical truths to help provide them the freedom to live for the things of God.

 

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.

-Galations 5:1 (NIV)

When we, as loving, Christian parents, honestly reflect on the rules we set for our kids, we have to ask ourselves: Are these rules to empower them to live freely in a way that God would delight in? Or are they rooted out of the anxiety-driven, people-pleasing rhythms of the World?

It’s easy for our decisions to be more influenced by social media, friends, and societal pressures than what is clear in the Word and what reflects right living with God.

Ultimately, when our kids can live joyfully, ready to take on the challenges and pressures that they face in HIS strength, they will shine the gospel to everyone they encounter.

3. Am I ultimately trusting God with my children? 

Do we, as parents, really believe that God is always with us and with our children? Does that reflect how we treat them, or do we feel the need to control, protect, and defend at all costs? 

Let us declare this promise over, with, and around our kids:  He is their protector, their shield, their guide and their strength. They must feel from us that we trust in Him more to protect them than relying on our own insecurities.

What secure, mighty warriors we will raise for His glory!  

 

Is the ultimate goal of parenting to raise happy kids? Good kids? Successful kids? In this episode of our MomQ series, Raising Virtuous Children, we discuss the purpose of our parenting according to the Bible – to point our kids to His truth and grace. We also hear from one of our mentor moms, Sue McAlinden, about practical ways to center our homes around God’s truth in the depths of parenting. Listen below if you would like more information about “freedom parenting in a world of fear”.

 

 

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