“Are you scared?”
“Yes, of course, I am, I’m a parent!”
It takes courage to be a parent. It takes courage to be a parent that boldly follows Jesus and speaks up about him. Letting your kids see your fear about this and your desire to grow in boldness could be a powerful help to your child’s faith.
Fear is an interesting sensation. I remember as a young teen walking home in the dark. I knew where I was going but the lighting was poor. Even though I wasn’t in a dangerous area, I had pangs of fear. I must have had just enough confidence that I was going to make it home safely because I felt the ability to analyze the feeling of fear and reject it. I could feel that fear wanted to take over but I was able to not let it stop me from making it to my destination.
I’ll admit I struggle with fear, as it relates to speaking up for God, and as it relates to my parenting.
In the Bible passage, Paul has just said that Timothy has a sincere faith in Jesus so he should fan into flame the gift of God.
For this reason, I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner.
2 Timothy 1:6-8 NIV
As Paul talks to his younger friend Timothy, he urges him to be bold in his faith. As we include ourselves in this scripture, we see that God did not give us a Spirit of fear or being timid. The Spirit we have received is of power, love and self-discipline.
People are afraid of all kinds of things. Some people are afraid of bugs, snakes, clowns, water or being late. These are not the kinds of fears Paul is talking about.
What makes us timid? We fear people’s opinion of us. Sometimes we feel like we aren’t good enough – that we aren’t good parents. Sometimes we aren’t bold in using our gifts or speaking up about Jesus because we don’t know what to say, what gifts we have, or the ways we could help people. Sometimes it’s our own sin that makes us timid. We don’t speak up for God because we have not confessed and received the freedom of forgiveness.
Because of the Spirit in us, we have His power available to help us have courage. We have a love that isn’t from ourselves. We have the self-discipline to help us do the right thing. Our boldness comes as we yield control of our lives to the Holy Spirit.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.
Romans 1:16 NIV
I don’t love waterslides. I get dizzy. I’ve seen the signs on a slide that if you want to go slow, sit up all the way down. If you want to go fast, lay down. I usually play it pretty safe and slow. That picture of me sitting up on the slide makes me wonder what it would be like if I was 10X more bold for Jesus.
Do you fear what people think about you/your parenting? What gifts you have?
How are you boldly using your gifts to speak up for Jesus and serve people?
Why does confessing sin help increase our boldness in serving God and speaking up?