By Don Gentry
Getting Back on the Horse
In Part 1, I told you the story about my daughter and I being thrown from a horse, and the decision we had to make in response. However, this wasn’t the end of the story . . .
After checking the horse, the saddle, and taking a ride myself, I decide to continue the ride. I then decided to try to convince those around me that it was safe to continue riding. It took some convincing of others present but we continued on with our day.
You might be asking yourself: Why do I tell you this?
Our children are going to have fears.
You are going to have fears.
Government systems throughout history have used scare tactics and fear based rhetoric to sway people groups for years. Parents often motivate their children through fear. We create rules of safety to help assure ourselves that if our kids follow the rules it will create an environment of safety and control!
We have the opportunity as parents to help our children overcome their fears. We will never do that if we feed and give into our fears, which in turn often project onto our children.
Take the Risk
As a pastor I have had the opportunity to observe many parenting styles. What I have found is that parents who help their children ask questions of legitimacy and reality of their fears, help their children become far more adjusted in life.
I like to call this the “Calculated Risk Parenting Style.” I am sure some of you would not be comfortable with my personal calculated risks. I’m ok with that; however, I want to challenge you to see that when we live a life of fear based decision-making, we limit what God can do in our lives and especially what God can do in the lives of our children.
The Bible is full of stories of people responding in fear and missing out on the incredible blessings of God. On many occasions they not only missed his blessings but they also incurred his wrath. Why?
When we respond in fear we eliminate faith.
I’m not trying to tell you that you need to put your kids on horseback. What I’m trying to ask is, “Do you live a life of fear?”
Take an honest evaluation of yourself: Have you made decisions based on fear or calculated risks?
If we are truly honest with ourselves, safety and control are simply illusions. Anything can happen in life, but we go to great lengths to make ourselves feel better, thinking that we have covered as many scenarios as possible.
As a parent or guardian, I challenge you to identify your own fears first, then help your child identify their fears. Create a plan and then create opportunities to establish how you are going to learn to make decisions without being controlled by fear.
Let’s choose to be intentional about helping our child make decisions based on faith, trust, and calculated risks, rather than illusion, safety, fear, and control. God’s love, God’s word, & God’s fame would never have been and will cease to be proclaimed if people live in fear.
If you take anything away from these posts, it’s this:
Choose to make decisions with faith and boldness!
(2 Timothy 1:7; I John 4:18; Joshua 1:6-9)