Children of all ages experience fear of one kind or another. A two year old fears the scary forms lurking in the dark. Teenagers experience anxiety over fitting in socially. But whether your child is uneasy over his first day of school, or can’t sleep at night fearing a global tragedy such as the events of 9/11, you can help him understand that no matter how big the monster under the bed, how scary the test, or how tragic the disaster—God is BIGGER. The following are some guidelines that may prove helpful in discussing frightening times with your child.
During fearful times, keep these tips in mind:
- Listen to your child and look for subtle indications of fear.
Keep in mind that not all kids verbalize their fear, act out, or have nightmares—the child you know well may be suffering silently.
- Realize and deal with your own fears as a parent.
Children can sense your fear, and it will spill over onto them. Surrendering our children to Him in prayer is a step that says God is sufficient—even for our most precious gifts, our children.
- Limit media exposure.
No one needs graphic pictures of disaster replaying over and over in his mind—especially not a child.
- Encourage Scripture memorization.
The Holy Spirit will bring God’s words to mind at the right moment. You and your children may want to compile a list of Scripture verses you can commit to memory whenever fear comes to visit. Begin with Psalm 56:3.
- Don't forget the power of music.
Nothing sticks like a catchy tune. Provide music in your home that reminds kids of our BIG God.
Once you have identified your child's fears, and your own, put them under the microscope and see how BIG God looks in comparison!
Follow These Famous Fear-Fighters
God looks BIGGER than all our problems when we learn what He did for the fear-fighters in the Bible. One of the greatest way you can help your children conquer their fear is to read to them from God's Word. The Bible is full of men, women, boys, and girls who faced their fears with God's help.
Here are five fear-fighters that focused on God instead of their fear—even in the scariest circumstances.
Daniel's faithfulness to God brought miraculous protection from the mouths of hungry lions. Turn to Daniel chapter 6 to find out how he emerged alive from the lion's den.
Once an orphan, Esther was taken from rags to riches and made a great queen. But God's plan for Esther was only beginning when she took the throne. Read the Book of Esther for an epic drama full of bravery, romance, deception, and heroism.
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego
Remember the three men in the fiery furnace? Even when flames were flying, God was there. Visit Daniel chapter 3 for the unforgettable story of these three fear-fighters.
He was only a boy. But he knew he could slay the giant, Goliath. What kind of match was David for the great Philistine? First Samuel chapter 17 records the famous duel.
Imagine being told you would be the mother of Jesus. How would you respond to such an awesome responsibility? Mary's most intimate reactions are captured in Luke chapter 1.
The God who helped these fear-fighters can help you be a fear-fighter too!
This article was excerpted from Turning Points, Dr. David Jeremiah's Devotional Magazine. Call Turning Point at 1-800-947-1993 for your complimentary copy of Turning Points.