Modeling Bravery in Motherhood
For as long as I can remember I have been a control freak. As a young girl, I never liked being paired in groups or teams for school projects because I didn’t like giving up any control of things that would affect me. As a wife, I often jump in to take responsibility (ie: control) wherever I can, believing I’m making life easier for my husband. As a mom, I often put off teaching my kids things they could do for themselves, feeling like it’s “easier” just to do everything myself – then I know it’s all done right and I don’t have to deal with the inconvenience of mishaps.
Over the years God has been opening my eyes to the dangers of desperately trying to hold onto control in my life and I now see what has been the driving force behind this behavior for so much of my life. It all boils down to pride and fear. When these two things work together in our hearts and we allow them room to grow, we keep ourselves imprisoned, never able to walk in the fullness of the freedom bought for us.
Feeling out of control is terrifying – especially as a wife and mom. What if something bad happens? What if we lose something precious to us? What if we make a fool of ourselves? What if we get hurt? Fear breeds anxiety in our lives and our natural response is to fight for control any way we can – to protect ourselves.
But as believers we are called to an unnatural response. We are called to place our hope and our trust in God’s supernatural ability to “work for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28, New International Version)
You see, it’s not just about us. Our children are watching and learning how to view life and respond to the many ups and downs they will face. They see how trials and challenges affect us and they are learning how to react by watching us. We have a sacred opportunity to model true bravery to our children by surrendering our desire for control to the one who is faithful to complete the good works he started in us.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 5:13, NIV)
What more precious gift could we give our children than showing them what it looks like to bravely release fear in our lives and place our hope and trust in an almighty, loving God? Let’s explore what exactly this looks like in action.
1. Let them see you respond in prayer
Anytime life throws a curveball at you, instead of reacting from your flesh and engaging your fight or flight response, drop to your knees in prayer and ask God for his strength, peace and power to overflow in your heart. Train yourself to do this as a first response, and do it boldly in front of your children so they learn.
2. Share the stories of God’s faithfulness
One of the most impactful things my mom ever did for me was to share the testimonies of each an every time God was faithful in our lives. When there was no way the bills were going to get paid, and somehow God provided, my mom shared that with me. When something really hard was happening, and circumstances looked bleak, my mom found the silver lining and focused on the growth that was taking place amidst the struggles. No matter how bad things get, God is always good and always faithful, and by sharing our personal testimonies we can plant the seeds of belief in our children’s hearts.
I leave you with this, mamas, because it is such a good truth to have in your arsenal as you step up to bravely battle fear in your life:
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your mind in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7, NIV)
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