Um, wow. Let’s start by saying I was speechless and had no clue how to respond. In fact, I had to laugh and say “yes you do Micah, yes you do.” Within one moment I realized that Micah and I had entered a new season. He was too old for me to be monitoring his bath time, yet alone washing his hair. Yes, at six I was still monitoring his bath time, while he washed all his private parts. In regard to raising two young boys, I have realized I have no clue as to what I am doing or how I should be responding. While there is something very intrinsic regarding motherhood, it is all so very foreign.
It was in that moment that I realized how I needed to let go, and allow my son to do the things that he has been trained to do. I am by no means suggesting I am no longer to engage in parenting, but as I continue to teach my children, the more they will be able to function on their own. We live in a society filled with parents who are pressured to “over parent.” I believe that we do this because of fear. You see when I am honest with myself, I choose to monitor his bath time out of fear he won’t wash himself well enough and I will be the one with the smelly boy. Even further, I fear that Jay maybe won’t care enough to make sure he is clean, leaving me with a smelly boy. I see parents, including myself fear our children will be last in the class, undereducated, not liked by others or even worse “that” child.
I recently read a bumper sticker quote that said “fear makes people do stupid things” So true. I can look at my life and see the moments I have reacted out of fear. Being a parent is one of those areas where it is hard not to let fear rule or dictate what you do. Fear that someone(often our husbands)will betray us in some way so we never let go and love them freely, fear people will not like us for who we really our so we create this facade hoping we will never be found out. We hold back all that we have for fear of losing it all, missing out of what it is like to give with freedom and joy. Or simply fear to pursue God.
It is a battle. We are trained and conditioned to become better people based on our strength, we can actually do something that will eventually lead us to find our inner peace, if you don’t control ever move of your child, have them in every possible extracurricular activity, they will always be in the “B” group (code for your child isn’t good enough, but why be honest when we can just put them on the B team and make every feel okay about themselves). I can go on and on as to how we live life based out of fear, but this isn’t the life God has called us to or created us for.
God has called us to live life through love which is the complete opposite of fear. He sent His Son Jesus out of love. He conquered death out of love. Paul says in the Bible, “Love never fails”— But the reason love never fails is honestly because God never fails. He is love! In 1 Corinthians 13 Paul breaks down what love looks like. Yes, love has a look, just as fear, pride and anxiety have looks.
Here is the reality. My children will never excel at much if I parent out of fear and not love. My husband and I will never get to the next level if I operate out of fear (and mostly pride) and not love. I will never fully accept myself if I don’t recognize the love of my Heavenly Father towards me and how much of a game changer that can be.
Today, as we approach this new week I challenge you to see what areas of your life you live out of fear. Why you fear what you do? How can you love differently this week? How can you love your children and not parent out of fear? It is a hefty task, but I know as you begin to pursue God and His love, His love can cover all inadequacies.