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Covid Convos – #1 Fear

How do we lead our kids through this pandemic? With conversations around FTL.


Fear. Trust. Love.


Let’s start with fear.


Fear


It is highly likely that your kids are feeling some sort of fear during this time. Whether it’s fear that they can never go to the park or pool again. Or whether it is that they, or someone they love, might get sick – or even die! It can be a really scary time for a kid. Our world is panicking. It’s all over the news. Shops are crazy. Everything is closing down. They’re stuck at home. Regular routine gone. This is enough to frighten anyone. Then, imagine you couldn’t comprehend why it was all happening as well! That’s where so many of our kids are at.


So what do we do?


Well our starting place, is to draw the fear out. Help them to realise, and possibly articulate, what they are afraid of. Be clear that it’s normal to be afraid, and ask them to share if they are willing. Here is a version of a possible convo:


Parent: Lot’s of people are scared about what is happening with coronavirus. Is there something that you are afraid about it?

Kid:

Parent: Lot’s of people are scared about what is happening with coronavirus. Is there something that you are afraid about it?

Kid:

Parent: Are you listening to me?

Kid: … What?


Ok – so that’s the normal version. Let’s try a version that actually get’s somewhere now:


Parent: Lot’s of people are scared about what is happening with coronavirus. Is there something that you are afraid about it?

Kid: What happens if Grandpa gets sick?


Now – you have the option of going 2 ways here. You could downplay the fear (hint: don’t go this way) and say that everything will be ok and there is nothing to worry about. Or, you could embrace the fear and address it from a biblical perspective. (Spoiler alert: I’m going to suggest this is the way to go!) I want to suggest that this is the way to go. There is legitimate fear here, and if we ignore it, we won’t be setting our kids up well at all. We miss an opportunity to point them to God. But if we hit it head on, we will teach them to turn to God in a mature way, whenever they face things that are scary. For the rest of their lives! And as we know, there are plenty of scary things in this world.


So let’s see how this convo could possible play out:


Parent: Lot’s of people are scared about what is happening with coronavirus. Is there something that you are afraid about it?

Kid: What happens if Grandpa gets sick?

Parent: That’s a scary thought isn’t it? What are you worried could happen to him?

Kid: Could he die?

Parent: Yes he could. That’s a sad and scary thought hey?

Kid: I had a bad dream that that happened last night.

Parent: Oh I’m so sorry to hear that! I can understand why you would be feeling scared about this.


Now – how do we turn this to God? Well in future posts I will talk about turning it to trust and love. But let’s keep it in the realm of fear for now. Check out these sweet Bible verses:


"Do not call conspiracy everything this people calls a conspiracy; do not fear what they fear, and do not dread it. The LORD Almighty is the one you are to regard as holy, he is the one you are to fear, he is the one you are to dread.” Isaiah 8:12-13


Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Matthew 10:28


The message here is not “don’t be afraid because God will protect Grandpa from coronavirus”. The message here is, “don’t fear death as much as you fear what God can do”. Now this has some very clear application into the conversation. If Grandpa is a Christian, you can ask whether they think Grandpa would be more afraid of dying when he is friends with God, or when he is an enemy of God? And you can praise God that Grandpa trusts in Jesus, so that whether or not he dies – which will be super sad for us of course – he fears God, and is totally safe with him.


If Grandpa isn’t a Christian, you can talk about how it is so important that he trusts in Jesus before he dies – whenever that day comes. It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living GodHeb 10:31. This is great motivation to pray for him and tell him the gospel!


Whatever the case, what a good opportunity to use the fear around us everywhere to teach your kids who truly to fear!

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