What are we supposed to be telling our kids? What are they hearing in their own social circles? How in the world do I share the light of Christ with my children? How do I protect my kids? Parents, we may be afraid and uncertain, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be courageous. Courage means acting in spite of the fear. I believe this is what we are called to do right now. We need to be courageous in several ways as we parent our children.
1. Courageous Consistency -- Right now, our kiddos need us telling them continuously and consistently about who God is and who they are. While it may feel like they aren’t listening, they really are. When I think back to my childhood, I couldn’t tell you what our breakfast devotions were about, but I can remember that we had them. I hated it at the time, but now I’m so thankful because it laid a foundation for me. I can imagine that my parents wanted to skip it due to our lack of appreciation and their lack of time, but it was impactful, and I’m so thankful they were consistent. We can tell our kids about God through devotions, through music, through prayer, through simple conversation. And when it comes to telling them about their own identity, we have the amazing ability as parents to share with them WHO THEY ARE in Christ--a new creation, a child loved beyond imagination, a child uniquely designed for the glory of God. Is this what they are hearing from you? If not, how can you be more courageous in this? 2. Courageous Love -- As parents, we know that sometimes the love our children need the most is NOT the fun or snuggly kind. It’s the kind of love that makes them hate us for a little while. We have to be willing to sacrifice our own comfort and feelings as parents to reach the hearts of our children. Sometimes showing love to our children takes effort and creativity, and we need to be courageous to do it well. Are you willing to show them love in a way they understand? This may mean making a complete fool of yourself at a father/daughter dance. It could mean holding your tongue so that you don’t shame your teenage son in front of his friends. This takes courage. It takes being vulnerable and open. 3. Courageous Confrontation -- I’m sure you have noticed that as a parent who wants to raise your child on the foundation of the gospel, you find yourself fighting with every cultural norm in our society. It’s exhausting! My husband and I have struggled with this step of courageous parenting A LOT. Confronting the lies that our children are told (either verbally or through more subtle ways) takes a lot of intentionality. It means I need to know what my kiddos are hearing. I need to be talking with them and understanding their world. I’ve had many conversations with my husband about how we are going to address the different world views that our boys face each day at school, on screens, in books, etc. We tackle these topics together. We pray about them. We aren’t going to hide our faces in the sand and hope our kids are going to turn out okay. We know that if we don’t speak up courageously, the enemy will fill in the silence. This cannot be. We love our boys too much to let that happen. It’s time to practice some courage. 4. Courageous Trust -- The last area of courage I would like to mention is in trusting our God to hold our children in his capable hands--trust that he hears our pleas and prayers; trust that he knows the days our children are in and that he put them in this time for his perfect plan. He knows what he’s doing even if we don’t understand or see it. We need to trust that his promises are true and will never fade away and that all this hard work we are doing as parents is not done alone but in the strength of the Holy Spirit. Our kids need us to show up with courage this year. If you need some help to know how to do that, please get in touch with our children’s ministry for resources and support. **Photo credit: AMA Divine Photography*Artwork by Amelia Furman Mixed Media, “Courage” Part of the Good Word Collection, available through www.ameliafurman.com.
Amelia Furman has been a member of Faith for eight years. She is a professional fine artist and teacher who specializes in mixed media art.At Faith, Amelia serves on the writing team and encourages others in blessing people with their creativity. She loves telling meaningful, thought-provoking stories that shape imaginations and minds for God’s glory. Amelia is from Pennsylvania and enjoys painting, reading, running, hiking, and laughing.