Have you heard about the mom who saw someone watching her son at Costco? Or how about the mom who swears her daughters were being targeted for sex trafficking at Target? Did it happen in your hometown? Did you know them? Did you click on their posts and share them as fact?
I am not trying to make light of these situations. We as moms are definitely supposed to be vigilant in keeping our children safe, being aware of our surroundings, and listening to our instincts when a situation doesn’t seem quite right.
But I am concerned about what I am seeing on social media for an entirely different reason–we are fear-mongering. We are taking a situation from someone that we don’t know in a scenario we were not a part of and using that to warn everyone everywhere about the dangers of shopping with our children!
For God gave us a spirit NOT of fear but of power and love and self-control – 2 Tim. 1:7
In my newsfeed, I see moms warning about the dangers all around us. From the moment our children are born, we worry about whether or not to let them “cry it out,” whether we should co-sleep or leave them in their crib, and whether we should breastfeed or formula-feed. We learn early on about the hidden dangers at the playground and over-compensate with antibacterial wipes and hand sanitizer. We worry about allowing them to play in their own neighborhood because we can’t keep our eyes on them at all times. We don’t want them to ride bikes or rollerblade or ride scooters because we are afraid they will get injured. We worry that their sniffles are more than just a little cold. We fear that we aren’t giving them enough organic fruits and vegetables. I could write all day about the fears we moms face with our children!
But moms, we need to stop and take a breath. The fear-mongering has to stop because God has commanded us to not be afraid!
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go – Josh. 1:9.
I know that you are thinking that this was a command to a great commander, Joshua, who was taking over leading the children of Israel. But aren’t we commanders of our own little armies? Aren’t we fighting just as hard for our children as we soldier beside them in the day-to-day trenches where our children battle?
Satan loves when we are afraid. He loves to steal our joy from being a mom and place such fear in us that we can barely breathe or stand to be away from our children for even a second. When we allow fear to take hold in our hearts, we are turning our eyes away from God and looking at our own insufficient selves to take control. And that’s what we are–insufficient control freaks!
But God didn’t just command us to not be afraid and then leave us on our own! He promised to be with us wherever we go! That means Costco, Target, or even the local park!
The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe – Prov. 29:25.
We are supposed to be vigilant in taking care of our children, but we are allowing the enemy to set a snare for us when we allow fear to reign in our hearts!
But now thus says the Lord, He who created you, O Jacob, He who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I give Egypt as your ransom, Cush and Seba in exchange for you – Is. 43:1-3.
We belong to God. Our children belong to God. He has called us by name! Do you really think that He doesn’t care? When we allow fear to lead our decisions, we are demonstrating a lack of trust in the One who has redeemed us!
Do you think that it was easy for Jochebed to lay her baby in a basket in the most dangerous river in Egypt? But she trusted in God.
Do you think it was easy for Hannah to give her son to serve in the temple when he was still a young child? But she trusted God.
Do you think it was easy for Mary to raise a Son who she knew would continue down a path to crucifixion? But she trusted God.
God has called you to mother these children right now. And in this season of mothering, He is also calling you to be faithful to trust in Him. Your children are watching you in your journey of faith. When you refuse to allow them to try new things because you are afraid, you are setting them up for a life of faithlessness. They feed on our fears and grow into fearful grownups themselves.
So, Mama, when you are fearful of hidden dangers at the grocery store or germs at the playground or life in general, let me encourage you to set your eyes on the One who loves you so much that He gave His own life for you! You have nothing to fear when you put your trust in Him.
Casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you – I Pt. 5:7.