Fear is the belief that someone or something is dangerous and likely to cause pain or a threat. It’s the belief. That little word is the good news about this very real emotion that adults and kids alike all experience. Our belief is in a God who cares deeply for us and has given us a book that is full of Scriptures telling us not to fear but to trust Him completely. So how do we help our kids overcome fear and walk as the Bible teaches us to walk?
1. Create a safe place for conversation.
The worst is experiencing fear but keeping it inside. Fear is crippling already, but not talking about it is even more damaging. Create a place for your kids to talk about what they’re scared of. Many times just speaking it out dispels the fear.
2. Admit that you yourself experience fear sometimes.
Sometimes kids are reluctant to admit what they’re scared of. There’s nothing that breaks down walls better than humility. There’s comfort in knowing other people, especially their mom or dad also experiences fear. Even though they may not understand this truth at a young age, let them know that being brave is talking about the things that scare them.
3. Teach your kids to make prayer the go-to when they are feeling fearful.
Nothing brings a sense of peace calm like talking to Jesus.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. Philippians 4:6
4. Read Scriptures together that talk about fear.
God’s word is the truth, and the truth is that God doesn’t want us to carry fear in our heart. He is longing for us to bring those fears to Him.
For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” Romans 8:15. When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. Psalm 56:3 But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I give Egypt as your ransom, Cush and Seba in exchange for you. Isaiah 43:1-3 For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. 2 Timothy 1:7 I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. Psalm 34:4
5. Read books and Bible stories about those who have dealt with fear.
My favorite story is when Joshua took the lead after Moses. I can’t imagine how he felt with those big shoes he had to fill! God tells him right away in Joshua 1:9, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Another great book is I’m Not A Scaredy Cat by Max Lucado. The humor combined with the important message that God is always near is perfect for helping the younger audience remember to trust in God completely with their fears.
Fear is real and natural. Thankfully, God has given us lots of reassurance through His word that it’s not something we need to carry on our own. Teaching our kids this at a young age will help them have the tools to overcome fear in a healthy way as they get older.
What steps have you used to help your kids overcome fear?