2 Timothy 1:7
For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
Have you ever wished that children came with a manual? Even the best parents can be afraid of what might happen to their kiddos or wonder if they’re doing their best. I’ve heard it said that fear is false evidence appearing real. Too often, I believe that we as parents operate out of fear- fear for constant safety, fear of what other parents will think of us, fear of what other children will think of our kids, fear of the future, fear that our children will hate us, and fear that we might not like our kids. Paul wrote to his spiritual son, Timothy, in this letter. With personal conviction, pleading, and passion, Paul offers three ways that Timothy can overcome fear. I believe these truths also are key to parenting with out fear. Continue reading and I pray that you’ll be encouraged.
The power I’m referring to is not political power or power that’s seen in the latest superhero movie, but power of the living God living inside us. Jesus promised us the Holy Spirit in John 14:16-17 and Acts 1:8. This power should strengthen us in our daily battles. Moses experience the Spirit of God on him. The disciples experienced Jesus with them. We can experience the power of God living in us! Next time you’re facing a battle with your kids, remember that the same power that raised Jesus from the grave now lives in us. God gives us strength, which leads to endurance, patience, and joy (Colossians 1:11).
God is love, and love comes from God (1 John 4:7-12). This truth means that we possess the ability to love others even when it’s not convenient or when it becomes hard to love. John 3:16 states, “For God so loved the world…” It does not say for the world so loved God. In fact, God demonstrated his love for us in that while we were still sinners, He died for us (Romans 5:8). The Great Commandment is to love God and to love others (Matthew 22:37-40), which means it is an action to be done. Love is also a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22), which means is is evidence of our relationship with God (John 13:34-35). God not only gave us a command to love, but the Spirit and ability to do so. God does not call the qualified, but rather, He qualifies the called. Parents, you’ve been called to love your children at all times, just as God has loved us. Show your love for your children today through your actions (1 John 3:18).
I wish God gave us a spirit of control. That would seem real useful for parenting, don’t you think? Dad, why do I have to do that? Because I said so… Dad, but why? Because I have the power of control!! Instead, He gave us the spirit of self-control. This truth means that we can rule over our emotions instead of our emotions ruling over us. The fact that God gave us this spirit means that we have the ability to choose better now. Paul encourages the church at Colossae to let the peace of Christ rule in their hearts (Colossians 3:15), and the peace of Christ should rule in our hearts as well. I think it’s funny that self-control is the last fruit listed in Galatians 5:22-23 because it’s hardest to show self-control at the end of the day or when you’re tired. Don’t believe me? Tell me, what do you crave at the end of the night, fast food or vegetables? As parents we must be aware for our need to grow in the area of self-control, but we can take heart that God has given us the ability to do so.
We can face and conquer our fears with the God’s power, love, and self-control. What would the rest of this week look like if you parented out of God’s power, God’s love, and God’s self-control? Would you speak more softly? Would you give more generously? Would persevere more strongly?
My prayer for you this week is to live in these truths, trust God with your fears, and allow God to transform your parenting with God’s power, God’s love, and self-control.
High School Pastor
North Ridge Community Church