A Child's Call for Courage
Fear is something all people face. From the time we’re babies, there are things that scare us—both real and imagined. For children, fear can be an overwhelming emotion. It’s hard for our little ones to be courageous when threats seem so big, they feel so small, and they cannot stop their knees from trembling.
During the elementary years, our children’s anxieties turn from imaginary circumstances—such as scary monsters under their beds—to more internal concerns. Thoughts about rejection from friends can become predominant, as can the fear of failure. As children become involved in team sports or other activities where competition can be intense, their self-esteem can be damaged if others don’t acceptance them or they do not achieve the goals they have for themselves. As a result, they may begin to worry that they are somehow unlovable or unacceptable.
What can parents do to help children become courageous in the face of fear? A few things that may help include:
Pray about it.
Pray aloud with your child about the concerns and fears he’s experiencing. This helps your child know you take his thoughts and emotions seriously, and that you trust in God to help him. Remember, right now you’re the greatest person of influence in your child’s life. Modeling prayer for him will go a long way.
Talk about it.
Conversations with your children are never wasted. These precious early years of their lives are foundational for building your life-long relationships with them. Take advantage of the brief moments you have together to get in touch with your children’s feelings about their daily activities. Share with them about times in your own life when it’s been difficult to be courageous, and how you learned to trust God to help you.
Read about it.
Take time to read key Bible verses and stories with your child about biblical characters who also faced fearful situations. The Word is full of encouragement to children about how faithful God is to comfort us in our times of need. One Bible verse that is helpful for children to remember is, “When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You” (Ps. 56:3).
Remind your children that regardless of where they are or the circumstances they encounter, God is always with them. They can trust Him to guide them through scary situations to lives of courageous obedience.
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