what if we stopped being afraid of…
the sun – and chose sunscreens wisely that weren’t full of poison but didn’t cover every inch of our children in sun-blocking clothing because we’re afraid of skin cancer?
wheat gluten – and eliminated it from their diets because we know that it attacks stomach linings and breaks down in to straight glucose (and what’s the point of it in this highly processed condition anyway?) and we removed it out of wisdom and not fear or embarrassment?
school shootings – and prayed over our children in the morning and raised them to be brave and courageous and to have wisdom even in trying environments? and if we didn’t have the means to remove them from unhealthy schooling, what if we stepped in to make healthy changes that instead we usually just complain about?
peanut butter – and educated ourselves on why allergies are so prevalent to begin with. and until our children are delivered of allergies, what if we used earthly wisdom and carried Epipens?
bullies – and taught our children how to be the voices that speak wisdom and life into their friends. what if we created a culture, in our homes, that was opposite of bullying and so full of security that our children weren’t even afraid of bullies but instead were empowered to shut them down with truth?
sex – and talked to our children about the awesome thing that sex is? what if we teach them all about sex, the physicality and the spirituality, and helped them see the beauty in sex? and then what if we taught them about pornography, unabashedly, and explained to them the deep roots of insecurity, deceit, and broken trust that it creates and that perversion is the thing that is used to make sex ugly. because God made it to be beautiful. what if wisdom was at their side when they chose their mate?
video games – and taught our children that a game that kills and hunts and maims people isn’t a game, that’s terror. and we will teach our children how to discern a game that is fun verses one that is instilling fear.
screen time – and taught them that they don’t need a screen to be entertained or satisfied or happy – that no Facebook, or dvd, or netflix, or instagram, or snap chat, or video game will ever fulfill them the way a face-to-face conversation will. what if we parents use our authority and wisdom and don’t allow screen time to buy ourselves time?
there are so many fears that i can add to this list. some of them are even my own.
what if we quit teaching our children to settle in lives that are comfortable and never press boundaries? what if we just quit coddling our children? because really, all that is is holding them hostage to our own fears. we won’t let them go to summer camp, day camp, church camp or even a friend’s to spend the night. why? because we won’t get to see them or snuggle them to bed that night? or is it because we feel out of control? what’s holding us back from allowing them to experience life and have fun? why aren’t they signed up for just one extra-curricular activity? are we nervous for them to be away from us? or are we afraid they’ll fail and we can’t handle those emotions? did we forget how many times we failed as kids? and how many tears we cried? it was painful (i remember) but it built awesome character. and why won’t we let our children cry at swim lessons?
why do we think they’re going to be scarred if they have to struggle a little?
part of getting to the next best thing that God has for us, in life, is often times filled with struggle. and if we don’t take the headphones off our children’s ears and turn off the video games, and refuse the dvd player to play when just driving to the grocery store, we’re going to raise a generation of children who are socially inept. and insecure. and self-centered.
i want to walk up to a 5-10 year old who will look me in the eye and smile and say, “hi my name is… nice to meet you.” but lately, i walk up to them and find earbuds, or eyes looking at the ground, or their whole body slathered in sunscreen and it’s a cloudy 70 degrees outside.
we aren’t raising a bunch of babies, y’all. and our job isn’t to toughen up children to survive a harsh world. our job is to raise these children into adults who are confident and secure, who are loving and know that they’re loved. we are raising children to think and have sharp discernment. we are raising a generation that God purposefully gave to us for a specific purpose. this world needs Spirit filled children that are full of bold courage, and peace and outrageous love, and wisdom and a sound mind, and filled with creativity and skill, and anointed to heal and bring forth life. if we, seeing the world, walk in fear of what these children are walking into, we’re going to dim their lights with fear. our fears.
take some time to ask the Lord if you’re walking in fear and, if so, where it is that you might be holding your child hostage to your own fears. and then take a small step forward to instill courage into your child by way of wisdom and godly freedom.
keep moving forward in grace and laughter and enjoying this weird, awkward, fun and awesome ride of raising children!