Several years ago I was jolted awake by the screams of my daughter having a bad dream. As I rushed to her room, I tried to wake up enough so that I didn’t run into the door in my haste. There she was with tears running down her face, crying because she had dreamed that she had been left behind and was all alone. I tried to comfort her telling her that I would never leave her, but she still kept crying. As I held her, I prayed to God and asked for wisdom of what to tell her. The verse that came to mind was one of the Scriptures that my husband has taught our kids. It is Hebrews 13:5-6 paraphrased.
“God has said: I will NEVER leave you. I will NEVER desert you. So we can say boldly: The Lord helps me. I will NEVER be afraid!”
My daughter can quote this verse better than I can, yet in the darkest hour of the night she forgot. Have you been there? How often do we forget Scriptures that we know like the back of our hands?
Fear is one of the most complicated emotions we face. Fear of the unknown. Fear brought on by trauma or past experiences. We can even have fear when something exciting is about to happen. It is an emotion that everyone on this earth feels at some point in their lives.
To make it even more complicated, fear can surface at predictable times, but it can also come out of left field for no good reason at all. Sometimes it makes sense, while other times it is unexplainable.
Fear is something that can easily cripple us or even paralyze us. Regardless of the source or explanation, our job as parents is to equip our children to handle their fears. When fear arises, they need to have the tools to fight back. Scripture memorization is one of those tools. When they recite Scripture over and over it goes deep into their heart and mind. Then when a situation presents itself the Holy Spirit can bring those Scriptures to mind to help them fight the fear.
Here are some verses we like:
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.
Isaiah 43:1-3 But now, O Jacob, listen to the LORD who created you. O Israel, the one who formed you says, “Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.”
Philippians 4:6-7 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you life in Christ Jesus.
Fear is one of the most frustrating things that all parents deal with. You feel so helpless to fix it! You go through the mental games – is your child really afraid, or just manipulating you? If they are really afraid, should you stay with them to help them now, or should I have them work it out themselves so that they are able to handle it in the future? It is such a gut-wrenching decision! Plus, it always comes at the most inconvenient time. Can I get an “Amen”?
Today we would like to share with you one tool we have used with all of our children. In the younger years when fear was a little more prevalent, we would make these Scriptures a part of our bedtime routine. They would all say them together every night as a prayer and Nathan would end the prayer times with “Love, God.” (Because these Scriptures are promises that God is telling us.) Some of the kids would also keep a copy of the verses under their pillow. That way if they got scared in the middle of the night, they could touch the page and be reminded of the promises found in those Scriptures.
Over time we saw a change. They were less fearful and were better equipped to handle it on their own when fear did arise. Many months after the bad dream had terrorized my daughter she came to me saying she’d had another bad dream in the middle of the previous night. This time she didn’t call for me, but instead said her Scriptures, quietly sang a song, and went back to sleep. Praise God she had put into practice what we talked about! She went to God first and trusted that He would meet her and help her overcome her fears!
This is a success in my book! The more our children learn to trust and depend on God, the better equipped they will be to take on this crazy world! I won’t always be right there for them, but God ALWAYS will!
Check out this packet of Scriptures to battle Fear.