“We practiced an active shooter drill today.”
Those words from Lee Nienhuis’ grade-school aged son, Ryan, felt like a gut punch. She could barely hold herself together when he told her, “We pile up in the corner like puppies, and we hide.”
That wasn’t the only time Lee was confronted by the darkness her children face in this world. Another incident happened in church. The congregation was singing the hymn I Have Decided to Follow Jesus. Lee could hear her son Ryan singing when they reached the words: “The cross before me, the world behind me. No turning back, no turning back.”
Lee had sung the song herself for years, but at that moment, it took on new meaning. Her son would have crosses to bear throughout his life. And she had no way of knowing what those experiences might be, nor could she control them.
A lot of parents are gripped by anxiety. They worry constantly about the dangers their kids face. Earthquakes. Severe weather. Mass shootings. Impending doom from some financial scandal. Some days the world feels like it’s spinning out of control.
As Christian parents, we want to our children to be heroes for Jesus. But to raise brave warriors, parents need to become brave warriors.
After Lee realized that her fear was negatively impacting her ability to parent, she sought answers and learned how to be BRAVE:
- B is for believe God. Not only believing that there is a God, but believing His promises about our children.
- R is for reflect. Self-reflection helps parents discern where their children are in their developmental and spiritual growth.
- A is for ask forgiveness. There are no perfect parents. In the kingdom of God, our humility is our strength.
- V is for vigilant prayer. Pray like it depends on you.
- E is for equip your children. It’s the parents’ job to teach children what following Jesus looks like in their generation.
If you need help overcoming your fears as a parent, tune in to our Focus on the Family Broadcast “Heroic Moms Raising Godly Heroes.” We’ll help you to be a brave parent, so you can raise brave kids for Christ.
Lee is a speaker and a coordinator for Moms in Prayer International. Her book, Brave Moms, Brave Kids: A Battle Plan for Raising Heroes is available in our online store, but we’d like to put this resource into your hands for a gift of any amount. Give us a call at 1-800-A-FAMILY (232-6459). If you can’t afford it, we’ll find a way to get it to you. Check our website for details.