Let’s rewind for a second to the good old days. My husband speaks of his 90s childhood in small-town America fondly. The day started by exploring with friends and ended at dark after a long day of play. There were no cell phones. So, venturing out truly meant leaving the nest to make the day your own. In one of his stories, he reminisces on riding a float down the river to a town several miles away. He made it home for dinner after walking back, but it was nothing unusual. Just a day of good, solid play. Mothers today would freak out if their kids “wandered” off for the entire day, and probably for good reason. For better or worse, we are hyper-aware of the dangers lurking around every corner. Back then? The world was a nicer a place and moms were made of something stronger than Lysol: faith.*
We must remember that our children don’t belong to us.
I remember clearly what my husband said to me after we miscarried. God loves our child so much, he decided to take her back to Heaven to be with him. While there are no verses to support this statement, he had a point. Children are a gift and we do not own them. While we are called to protect them and raise them to know the Lord Jesus, we are not to isolate them from every potential disaster.
Mamas, I know you love your children, but we must recognize that God has the first right to them. He is the author of their story and no coddling on our part will keep them from his will. Whatever that may be.
We must rest in the promise of good plans.
The greatest comfort we have as mothers in that God’s plans are for our good. Even the bad things that happen are ultimately for our good. And, if we hope to emotionally survive, we must rest in his promises.
Helicopter-parenting is exhausting. Eventually, we begin to restrict our children’s curiosity and ability to thrive – all because of the “potential” of harm. Pretty soon, everything we see is a hazard. We aren’t able to leave our babies without excessively worrying about their care. We don’t trust them with our husbands. Even if we don’t speak the words, we will doubt other’s competence to care for our children. But God does not want us living like this, Mamas.
We must pray for wisdom.
Christ calls us to lay our cares at the foot of the throne. This includes every fear that grips you in your parenting. He is interested in what is causing you stress and wants to take the burden.
The Bible says that if anyone asks for wisdom, God will give it to them (James 1:5). Ask the Lord for wisdom on a daily basis. Ask him to show you what hazards are worth your time and which ones distract you from the greater purpose. Ask for his peace (Philippians 4:7) to envelop you and believe that it will be enough.
Mamas, God will show us the truth if we are willing to listen to him. He wants us to rest in his grace as we enjoy the journey of watching our little ones grow.
We must accept the uncontrollable.
The day will come when you must leave your child in the care of someone else. Eventually, someone is going to give them a snack that you don’t like. Someone is going to let them jump on a trampoline without a safety net and it’s going to be okay.
In rare situations, horrible things happen to beautiful children. That is the unfortunate reality of sin, but you can’t let those things control you.
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. (1 John 4:18)
Rest easy, knowing that the one who holds the world also holds your child. That same God wants what is good – the best – for your little one. Trust that he will protect your child from things you cannot. Then let go of the anxiety you are facing.
Whenever Jesus was tempted, he quoted scripture at Satan. Do the same. Perfect love casts out fear. Say it with me: Perfect love casts out fear. If you have to, scream it at the top of your lungs because perfect love does cast out fear.
Mamas, motherhood is so much more than anxiety and fear. Don’t let those lies keep you from embracing the joy set before you in your children.
Of course, we are supposed to protect our kids, but never should we act in fear of the potential. There will always be the threat of something bad happening. We can never eliminate that reality, but we shouldn’t dwell on it, either.
Don’t be that mom whose child has no life because of her fears. Protect your little one, but trust that God is holding the rest.
Perfect love casts out fear.
*This is in no way a suggestion to let your kids wander free. Nor is it a dig at moms who use Lysol. Please know that our heart is for every mom to do her best to care for her children, all the while living without the weight of fear in her life.