Awhile back 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. There she was tears running down her face, crying because she had dreamt that she had gotten 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 is one of the scriptures that my husband has taught our kids to say every night. 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 forgets. How often do we forget scriptures that we know like the back of our hands!? Fear is something that can so cripple us and paralyze us. In those moments we need to have the Word handy so that we can turn to those familiar words and remind ourselves of God’s promises.
Here are some other verses to help us fight fear.
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
The NASB version says: “Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you for I am your God”
For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.
But now, this is what the Lord says— he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.
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 – are they really afraid, or just manipulating you? If they are really afraid, should you stay with them to help them now, or should you make them deal with it themselves so that they are able to deal with it in the future? It is such a gut-wrenching decision! Plus, it always comes at the most inopportune time when we can’t “afford” to be dealing with this!
All of our children at some point have dealt with fear, especially at night when they are going to bed. We have tried multiple things: nightlights, music, laying in their room or hallway, and others, but the most effective tool has always been scripture. The other things are not wrong and are sometimes needed, but it is so important to equip your children with scriptures when they face any battle. When one of our children had a daily struggle with fear we played the Books of Matthew or John on CD for them as they fell asleep . This way they feel asleep to the Word instead of their scary thoughts. (A funny consequence is that at one point they knew much of the genealogy of Christ, including Jehoiachin, Shealtiel, and Zerubbabel!)
My husband came up with a page of scriptures, some paraphrased, that the kids have memorized. They say them every night before they go to bed so the last thing that they are thinking about is how safe they are in the hands of God. Over time we have seen a change. They are less fearful and are better equipped to handle it when it does occur. Just a few weeks ago I was told by the same daughter that she woke up in the middle of the night with a bad dream. She informed me that she didn’t call for me but instead said her scriptures, sang a song and went back to sleep. Praise God she is starting to learn to go to God first and trust that He will meet her and help her overcome her fears!
Here is a copy of the document. Feel free to use it for yourself or your kids. (Our kids actually kept the paper in their beds…something they could touch as a tangible reminder that they were safe.)
Printable: | Do Not Be Afraid |
What are things that you do to calm your fears? What has worked for your kids?
Please share – every kid is different and we need to learn from each other!