Sharing our faith should be a major focus in the daily life of every Christian. Yet many of us feel a wave of something akin to terror when we even think about sharing our faith, especially with strangers. Part of our fear is caused by our insecurity about our own Bible knowledge and whether or not we can answer questions. I think the other part of our reluctance is a fear of appearing foolish. Not because we believe in God, but because we actually have an unresolved fear of public speaking.
If we want to train our children to share their faith in God with others, we need to provide them with opportunities to develop a level of comfort. Part of that reassurance is teaching them the important role of the Holy Spirit when we make the attempt to share our faith with others. Allowing the Holy Spirit to work through us though requires us to open our mouths and start talking to people about God. For many, this means having to overcome their fear of speaking in public.
Our church has a play every year featuring our children. Almost as soon as they can walk, the youngest ones become barn animals at the birth of Jesus. Our daughter is a natural introvert, so our first experience was somewhat traumatic. Stomach aches and tears peppered the couple of days before the performance. Her first thirty seconds on a stage took as much parenting energy as teaching her to drive.
Fast forward almost fifteen years. Our introvert is getting ready to compete nationally in a public speaking event after placing first in our state. Although she will probably always be a little more nervous than an extrovert would before speaking, she now hops up on the stage and can speak comfortably with audiences of various sizes.
Did you know God wanted moms to have some earthly backup? I think that is one of the reasons Paul told the older women to teach the younger women. (Titus 2:3-4) God knows being a mother is one of the greatest blessings on earth. He also knows it is one of the greatest responsibilities.
I don’t know about you, but when I am responsible for something incredibly important, I tend to get a little stressed. Add the love a mother has for her children and the pressure can be overwhelming at times. I remember when my daughter was an infant, there was a part of me that may just have thought it was important to make sure she breathed regularly. After a few days of motherhood, I finally realized she probably didn’t need me to watch her breathe every breath just in case she forgot one!
Most non-profits will tell you one of their biggest battles is convincing people to no longer be apathetic about the social problem their group is trying to address. Many spend countless hours and dollars developing ways to help people understand the urgency of the problem. Groups like charity: water and Toms have actually done a great job of informing and engaging people about their mission with creativity and style.
We know our world is filled with more problems than we can count. We know God commands us to serve others and teach them about God. The pure enormity of the problem is overwhelming. So overwhelming, most people become apathetic. It is easier to block out all of the problems and opportunities and focus on our little world, where we feel like we have more control. The problem is, not only are we not in control of anything, the problems of the greater world can become so large they begin to invade our personal worlds. I think everyone learned that lesson in very real and horrible ways during World War II.
If you are following our 12 month plan to teach your children to live more like Jesus, we have already covered Bible reading, prayer and Christian relationships. April is the month to add “training your child to help the hurting with love”. Sounds easy, but it is actually more complex than most people realize.
This is going to sound a little strange, but a lot of times people help those who are hurting with the things that they would want and not necessarily what the other person actually wants or needs to feel better. I think we get tangled up in the whole empathy thing and think it means what we would want done in any given situation is what everyone would want or need.