Life can be scary. Especially for your kids. Their lack of size, life experience and knowledge can make even things that don’t concern adults incredibly frightening for them. Being a faithful, productive Christian requires courage. Your kids will need courage to make godly choices when those around them aren’t. They will need the courage to share their faith, even though they may be rejected. God may also ask your kids to do things to serve Him that are frightening in some way….whether it’s public speaking or traveling alone to minister in a country that is unfamiliar or something else entirely.
What are some things you can do to raise your kids to be courageous Christians, fully living the life God has planned for them?
- Tell them the stories of courageous people in the Bible. So many of the people in the Bible needed courage to do what God wanted them to do. Some of those stories are obvious, but don’t forget the more obscure stories either. Your kids need lots of examples of the different ways they may need to be courageous during their lifetimes.
- Teach them courage is not recklessness. Jumping off the roof to prove God will take care of you is reckless, not brave. Teach your kids to think through possible consequences. Is the event requiring their courage something God is indeed asking them to do, or are they just being tempted by Satan to do something reckless?
- Remind them courage is not the lack of fear, but doing the next thing God wants you to do in spite of your fear. To your kids being kind to the person everyone at school mocks can be just as terrifying as being thrown in a den of lions. They need to learn to do the right thing no matter what.
- Help them memorize a few Bible verses they can recite to themselves in their heads as they face their fears. What those verses are should be ultimately chosen by your kids. They know what verses comfort them. Psalms has a lot to choose from or Google Bible verses to give me courage. Memorizing the verses means they will have them ready whenever they need them….without stopping to look them up.
- Talk through common situations when they may need courage. Walking through likely scenarios can give them helpful practice in what they can say or do. Practicing makes it more likely they will make good choices when those scenarios occur in real life.
- Teach them how to pray for God’s help and read scriptures that reinforce their trust in God. Knowing their strength comes from God will give them the extra courage they need.
- Remind them to follow God’s path for their lives…even when it doesn’t make sense. This is tough to teach and learn, but can be so helpful as they get older. Being courageous is a lot easier when you are sure you are doing what God wants you to do and not headed off somewhere by yourself on your own agenda.
- Admit being courageous does not always have a happy middle, but it will have a happy ending. Some Christians mistakenly believe that when they are brave for God, nothing bad will happen. We know from the lives of Jesus, the Apostles and thousands of Christian martyrs, that just isn’t true. What God does promise is a happy ending – spending eternity with Him in Heaven. It’s why so many martyrs could endure martyrdom without rejecting God to escape it.
Being courageous isn’t easy, but using the tips above will help your kids be braver than they might have been otherwise. The world needs more courageous Christians. Wouldn’t it be great if your kids were some of them?!