Have you been listening to the unsettling news of national protests sparked by the events in Ferguson, Missouri? Between domestic troubles and foreign conflict, crisis is always on the radio and the nightly news. It’s even part of the conversation at our holiday dinner tables.
In response to unrest, law enforcement, pastors, school staff, and company security teams are called upon to guide, protect, and console those in their care. And as 24/7 caregivers, parents also bear a big burden and gain a great blessing during these tough times!
Children, especially the very young, wrestle with fear as a natural part of growing up. But anxiety becomes especially intense when scary things happen close to home. Fear is difficult because it often comes upon us from circumstances outside of our control, but we can choose how we address it. Living in fear is not God’s will for us! He gave us faith in Him that replaces our fear with trust and thankfulness in Him.
What do we do as God’s beloved children in times of fear? We “take it to the Lord in prayer” and stay grounded together in God’s Holy Word.
That’s why we love to encourage families to get in the habit of gathering for a regular devotion time during fearful times and when life is going smoothly. Family devotion time reminds kids of God’s promises for them and can be a ‘safe place’ where everyone can talk about their concerns. Kids learn, and parents remember, the important truth that God’s Word applies to their daily troubles and joys! In the middle of crises big and small, children find immeasurable comfort and stability in an established devotional time.
Check out these excellent devotional companion books and ideas, designed for tough times and all the time:
- One of our favorite hardcover picture books for younger children, I Will Not Be Afraid, addresses children’s common fears and points them to God’s perfect love, which casts out fear and gives us Jesus.
- Older children starting to ask big faith questions will love Family Time—a chronological study of Bible narratives, paired with devotions and prayers. Dive into questions such as “Can we really trust God as we face difficulties and challenges?” and “Will God help me when I’m afraid?”
- Do you have a family Bible at home, or do your children have their own Bibles? Grab a pen, highlighter, and sticky notes to mark all the ‘No Fear’ passages. Have your Bible ready to go when the children in your life need to receive God’s encouragement during fearful times.
“[God] has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ So we can confidently say, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear’” (Hebrews 13:5–6; ESV).