How to Grow ‘Faith Muscles’
Parents who go to whatever lengths necessary to prevent their child from having to face adversity sometimes acquire the nick name of ‘lawnmower parent.’ What is often an innocent desire to make a straight path for our kids could actually get in the way of what He may be trying to do in their lives.
Proverbs 3:5-6 says “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.” When we model for our kids a humble trust in the Lord and encourage them to seek His word for the answers to life, we show them the manual on wise living.
Well-meaning parents have great intentions, but in essence, handicap their kids by preventing them from growing strong ‘faith muscles’, and as a result we have kids who struggle with anxiety and cannot handle adversity. Often, a parent is motivated by fear rather than trust. Have you read the following passage from C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe? Mr. Beaver is answering Lucy’s question about Aslan:
“Is he—quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion.” That you will, dearie, and no mistake,” said Mrs Beaver. “If there’s anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they’re either braver than most or else just silly.” “Then he isn’t safe?” said Lucy. “Safe?” said Mr Beaver; “don’t you hear what Mrs Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”
Training our kids to follow Christ means a life of adventure and risk. It may not be easy at all. But oh, He’s good! If you find yourself worried, or anxious or nervous for your kids’ safety, that makes you normal. Yet we must continue to trust our Savior with our most precious gifts, our children. We are called to steward them well and provide a safe and nurturing home, but we also must trust that God loves them and has their very best interest in mind.
Our job is to keep the long view in mind for our kids. Rather than crafting the perfect childhood, where every facet is curated, what if we instead focused on teaching them to grow in personal responsibility and help them to cultivate a deep trust in the Lord? This way, no matter what life has for them, they will have deep roots of faith that will hold them fast.
Psalm 1 says it so well:
“How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers.”
Ultimately, isn’t this what we want most for our children?
Praying for you all as you train up your kids in the way they should go… it won’t be easy, but oh it is good.
By Mrs. Mindy Orr
Woodcrest Christian Middle School