Fearless Parenting - Encouragement for Today - May 16, 2018

Kathi Lipp

May 16, 2018
Fearless Parenting

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7 (NLT)

While raising my kids in the late ‘90s, the overwhelming theme I heard from other parents, church members and Christian books was consistent: Protect your children at all costs.

As Christian parents, we were told to not let our kids:

  • consume any media (unless it was the Adventures in Odyssey radio program)
  • listen to secular music (and even some Christian rock was considered too edgy)
  • play with kids who weren’t from Christian families (unless they were specifically doing so to eventually invite them to church. Yes, these kinds of playdates were a thing.)

Fear is a very powerful force. It can make us fear our kids will make the wrong choices. It can make us fear a lack of control. It can make us fear being viewed as bad parents. I’ve also seen how fear can absolutely be the most destructive tool in our parenting bag.

Instead of fear, God longs for us to see His power and love and grow in self-discipline. As 2 Timothy 1:7 reassures us, For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.”

So how do we moms transition from parenting out of fear to fearless parenting? I’ve got a few ideas.

  1. Talk about the steadfastness of God. God has given us a spirit of power and we are powerful because we are His. Make sure your kids know the power they possess because of Who lives in them.
  2. Teach your kids how to love others well. You are their first example and their first teacher of loving well. Loving when circumstances are tough and when your kids are difficult are both great examples. Then, teaching your kids to love people even when they are unlovable is one of the best skills they can possess.
  3. Transition from the role of protector. It’s easy to want to stay in the role of our kids’ protector longer than we should. And with all that goes on in the world, who can blame a mom for wanting to keep her family safe?

As an adult, my friend Kimberly endured the unimaginable — being taken at gunpoint while walking to her car after work. Fortunately, after hours of terror and devastation, Kim survived that kidnapping and has gone on to share her story of hope. But of course, no trauma is wrapped up in a tidy little package. Not only did those events affect Kim, but they also affected her whole family, including her mom, Ann.

For years, Ann felt overwhelming guilt for not being able to keep Kim from such a horrific situation. But after years of praying and processing, Ann came to understand that her role was not to protect her daughter.

Kim says, “My mom came to this place of peace after my kidnapping. Even though I was a 28-year-old woman, she somehow thought she should have been able to protect me from that event. She realized her job had been to prepare me to handle all the things life would throw at us kids — not protect us from anything ever happening.”

As our kids grow, our job is to fearlessly transition our parenting from protecting to preparing our kids and trusting them to God. And He’s given us the ability to do that because of His power in each of us.

Heavenly Father, my prayer is that I parent out of the love You have poured out for me and my child. I pray that I never parent out of fear, but out of the unending love and grace You’ve shown me. Let my child see glimpses of You through my love for them. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (NIV)

Isaiah 41:10, “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” (NLT)

If today’s devotion resonated with you, you’ll appreciate Kathi Lipp’s newest book, The Mom Project: 21 Days to a More Connected FamilyTake this 21-day journey and discover creative ways to speak to the unique personality of each of your children. These highly adaptable challenges will have your family smiling, talking and feeling closer than ever before.

Kathi would love to connect with you at her blog, KathiLipp.com.

How would you like to be free from fear? (Especially in parenting?) Let us know your thoughts by leaving a comment on our website today, and you’ll be entered to WIN a copy of The Mom Project by Kathi Lipp. To celebrate this new book, Harvest House will give away 5 copies! {We'll randomly select 5 winners and email notifications to each one by Monday, May 21, 2018.}

What is a parenting fear that holds you back?

What’s one step you can take today to move from fearful to fearless parenting?

© 2018 by Kathi Lipp. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries thanks Harvest House Publishers for their sponsorship of today's devotion.

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Originally published Wednesday, 16 May 2018.