How do I raise my kids in the context of this world so they aren't fearful?
We live in a chaotic world. There is a lot that could be cause for concern and fear. Think about the latest headlines – things like terrorism around the globe. There's a lot out there that can create and cause fear. How do we as Christian parents raise children in the context of this world not to be fearful?
There are a couple things that I would suggest. We need to do a much better job teaching our children about God and who He is. That's the starting point in teaching our kids not to fear. By teaching them about the nature of God and His attributes, ultimately they come to see that God is the kind of being that can be trusted. He's the kind of being that that can offer protection. He's the kind of being who has purpose and plans. The only person in the universe who can be ultimately faithful and will not let you down is God. We need to teach them about His attributes what He's like.
It's more than just saying God is love. We need to explain what that means and how that relates to His actions. Teaching our children from a very early age the nature of God and His attributes is a starting point for helping them not to fear. Then, they can put their trust in a being who can secure their future and their eternity and who can protect them.
As parents, we are often the first pictures of God, so it's not just this abstract concept, but God gets embodied in us. We become the first representation to young children about who God is. I want to teach about whom God is, but then I want to model for them what it looks like to be a loving parent, that authority figure, and that adult who loves. What does that look like?
I want to love my kid well and take care of them. When I do that, it then reflects to them the nature of God and what He's like. Teach about God, and then model the attributes of God so they know Christ is transforming you. When you do those two things, you create a context in which fear is pushed out by their security. We want to help them transfer their trust ultimately to God and find that in Christ, we have nothing to fear.