Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Parenting Fears

A US parenting website recently did a survey to identify the top 5 fears parents have for their kids. Interestly, the top 3 are my top 3:

Fear #1: I'm afraid my child won't get the education and opportunities she needs to reach her potential.

Fear #2: I'm afraid that someone will hurt or attack my child.

Fear #3: I'm afraid that my child will be injured in an accident, like a car accident

Fear #4: I'm afraid that my child won't fit in socially or will get picked on.

Fear #5: I'm afraid that my child will have health issues, such as obesity, anorexia, etc.

Fears 4 and 5 I don't worry about so much, probably because I didn't really fit in socially at school, was a bit of a loner, and had obesity issues. However, it didn't hurt me, I think it made me stronger.

I didn't get invited to any of the parties where peer group pressures were rife. I didn't rely on any physical attributes to gain friends, or boyfriends, but rather actually had to work on my character and personality (and still needs lots of work!!).

I learned to be self-sufficient in God, rather than relying on others for my motivation and and fulfilment.

John Maxwell says 'if you want to change the world, you have to be different from the world'. So not fitting in socially - well I can think of worse fears.

But fears 1 to 3 I think would be every parents' fear. What does God say that we can rely on to address these fears?

1. "Do not be over-anxious about anything, but by prayer and earnest pleading, together with thanksgiving, let your request be unreservedly made known in the presence of God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7

2. "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11. This includes our kids. God has a plan for each of them, and so we need not fear that they won't get the right opportunities to reach their God-given potential because God will direct their steps.

3. "Have not I commanded you? Be strong, vigorous, and very courageous. Be not afraid, neither be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9

4. "Yet the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen [you] and set you on a firm foundation and guard you from the evil [one]" 2 Thes 3:3

5. "You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world." 1 John 4:4

6. "You who sit down in the High God's presence, spend the night in Shaddai's shadow, Say this: "God, you're my refuge. I trust in you and I'm safe!"
That's right—he rescues you from hidden traps, shields you from deadly hazards.
His huge outstretched arms protect you— under them you're perfectly safe; his arms fend off all harm. ...
Yes, because God's your refuge, the High God your very own home, Evil can't get close to you, harm can't get through the door.
He ordered his angels to guard you wherever you go. If you stumble, they'll catch you; their job is to keep you from falling." Psalm 91:3-7

If we are without God's protection, then these fears are real. When we are in God's protection, He says "fear not - for I am with you" and we can rest in His promises.

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