Parenting From Fear Or Courage?

cropped-dsc_0765.jpgI’ve been a parent for 48 years. Boy! I’m old.

Over this half-century I’ve seen many changes in our culture—including our Christian culture. I’ve watched the family structure crumble little-bit-by-little-bit. It’s a huge contributor to the other social ills of 21st Century America, in my opinion.

Struggling to be the best parent I could taught me many things. I look back and see the mistakes I made and wish I had done many things differently. But the grown-up thing to do is to look forward, not backward. Instead of dwelling in regret I try to help remedy some of the problems my good intentions caused.

To that end, I’ve tried to be an encourager, a prayer-support and a counselor (when asked) to my adult children as they parent their youngsters.

I’ve decided that one of the biggest problems contemporary American parents have is that they operate out of fear instead of courage.

Most of the parents I have encountered over the past 25 years are simply afraid.

  • Afraid of being too strict
  • Afraid of being too lenient
  • Afraid of being accused of child abuse
  • Afraid their kids will turn out “wrong”
  • Afraid their kids will hate them
  • Afraid they can’t provide all the “stuff” their kids want
  • Afraid their kids will fail
  • Afraid they will spoil their kids
  • Afraid their kids won’t love God
  • Afraid other people will think they are bad parents
  • Afraid they’ll mess their kids up for life
  • Afraid their kids won’t be healthy
  • Afraid their kids will be bullied
  • Afraid their kids will be shunned
  • Afraid their kids will get hurt
  • Afraid their kids will have bad teeth, bad complexion, bad grades…

Do I need to go on?

book-1209805_1280God’s Word teaches mothers and fathers to parent from a position of strength-not fear. It is with the strength we gain from placing our confidence in Christ that we encourage our kids, understand our kids, protect our kids, teach our kids and develop our kids’ potentials.

Parenting does NOT come with a “How-To” manual, EXCEPT the Word of God. It’s the most sacred, most powerful job in our culture yet anyone can sign up for it with no qualifications whatsoever.

Frankly, I don’t see how anyone can succeed at parenting without The Lord Jesus, The Holy Spirit and the Word of God to lean on.

I can only be a strong parent if I’m standing on a solid foundation. And that foundation is the truth of the Bible.

I can only be a strong, confident parent if my confidence is in the Lord. It isn’t easy to be a strong parent—to do what you believe is right for your kids—to be different from their friend’s parents—to be the tough parent. It isn’t easy, but it is right.

Most parents I talk with are too afraid of being wrong to do what is right.

To encourage each of you parents I borrow some words from an article titled “How To Be Confident In God” at


Our confidence is anchored in God. He never changes. He is never out of control. He is never taken by surprise. He never loses. Our circumstances don’t affect God; he affects our circumstances. God never missteps. He has no glitches. His ability to function is never overloaded. He never breaks down or crashes. He is our proactive, loving heavenly Father, who not only has a plan for our lives, but also has the resources to make happen everything he intends.


Our confidence does not depend on what we have or what we have done. Our confidence is in a person—our unfailing God, who shows up in every situation, circumstance, and condition in which we find ourselves. This causes us to be resilient, to persevere, to endure.


This kind of confidence is what the Bible calls faith. Biblical confidence is an enduring faith.


I leave you with a few Scripture references to enCOURAGE you in parenting. Read them. Mark them in your Bible. Write them on the chalkboard in the kitchen, or on your bathroom mirror. Believe them. Trust them. Parent from them and the position of strength they will give you.



2 Chronicles 32: 7-8

Hebrews 4:16

Jeremiah 17:7

Psalm 20:7

Philippians 1:6

Philippians 4:13

Proverbs 3:25-26

Psalm 44:6

2 Comments on “Parenting From Fear Or Courage?

  1. Hi Jean! I sure agree with your thoughts about parents fears, and your advice is helpful, as it points them to the Bible. BTW I’ve been a parent for almost 47 years!!

    • Thanks, Kathy. I wish I could have learned this parenting stuff a lot faster. Bet you do, too.

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