Over the past few weeks, we’ve been woken up in the middle of the night or early morning to our little girl’s calling “I’m afraid! I’m afraid!”

Crawling into bed with Keekers, we’d ask why she was afraid. Sometimes it was monsters. Sometimes it was shadows. My heart sank as I knew what the source was.

Some very well-meaning books and videos have made their way into our home – and through them has come the introduction of fear – fear of monsters and fear of shadows. Until these stories had been read and watched, and pictures looked at, our children did not know what it meant to be afraid of monsters or to be afraid of shadows. They had blissfully slept the night away most nights, rising only to use the bathroom and return to their beds, if they woke at all. We had no need to teach them that monsters were not real, and there was nothing to be afraid of.

Now that we have to deal with this, we have a tremendous opportunity before us! We don’t do spray bottles to spray away monsters. We don’t do silly magic tricks or make up stories about not being afraid.

But we DO assure our little ones that God is with them. We sing of God’s love and protection for them. Steve Green has a couple of great albums for young children (and parents too! :D) with bible verses in song, and I still remember “When I Am Afraid I Will Trust In You” very well. We quote scripture to them. We tell them that God is always with them, will always protect them, that Jesus is near and he will never leave nor forsake them. And most importantly, we pray for them. Praying for them to know and feel God’s presence, to have faith in him, to trust him and to grow in love for him each day.

It usually only takes doing this once with them to calm their fears. They’ll settle back down and return to sleep, comforted, knowing they are safe, not just because mommy and daddy care and are protecting them, but because they have a God who has given his angels charge over them.

Faith like a child. Jesus said “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 19:14)

Often our children surprise us with their memory and knowledge of God. Their simple faith and clear cut answers to questions about who God is and what he has done for us.

But sometimes we have to be the ones to bring our children to the feet of Jesus. Instead of using the wisdom of the world to fight problems, we need to use the wisdom and love of God, taking every opportunity to point them to Christ, to build up their faith in God, so they will know Who to turn to.

How do you point your children to God? How do you help them when they are afraid?

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