Whether you celebrate Halloween or not, it’s hard to escape the season. All you have to do is walk into Walmart, and an evil witch with green skin and fiery eyes is there to greet you. Take a few more steps and you run into the aisle covered with ghoulish sounds and fake bloody knives. I’m all for a some good pumpkin fun, but the scary stuff can be over the top, especially when you have little ones with you. We can turn this fall season into a learning adventure. Teach your kids to “fear not” this Halloween or anytime.
“Fear Not” Is The Most Common Commandment
Let’s face it–we live in a scary world. It doesn’t have to be Halloween to be fearful. God recognized this. Instead of making the most common commandment not to lie or not to kill, the commandment given most often in the Bible is “Fear Not.” In fact, the Bible tells us to “fear not” more than 365 times. That’s more than once a day for an entire year!
The Reason We “Fear Not” Is Because God is Acting on Our Behalf
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10 ESV
I love that after the command not to fear, God reassures us that the reason we are not to fear is that He has got this. Whatever we are afraid of is no match for God. God is moving into action on our behalf.God reassures us that the reason we are not to fear is that He has got this. Click To Tweet
Putting the Command Into Action
One of the scariest times of my life was a few years ago when I had a mysterious illness. No one knew what was wrong, but they suspected it was cancer. I went through numerous medical tests, including and MRI. If you know anything about MRIs, you know that you have to be still. I kept repeating this verse in my head…
Moses answered the people, ‘Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today… The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Exodus 14:13-14 ESV
Praying that prayer was what calmed me and enabled me to endure the fear and the questions surrounding my circumstances at that time. We need to teach our children to pray to God when they are afraid too.
As much as we would sometimes like there to be one, there really is no magic formula for praying a prayer. You can teach children to talk to God and share their hearts, but an example can be a blessing to those concrete thinkers. A great way to teach children how to pray when they are scared is to read I’m Not a Scaredy-Cat: A Prayer for When You Wish You Were Brave by Max Lucado. It’s a sweet example of how we can be fearful of the things we encounter in life, but prayer can help us overcome. In the story, a cat discusses his fears. Then he prays this prayer…
God, you are good.
God, you are near.
God, you are here!
And, God, you love me.”
The cute repetitive and rhyming text makes it perfect for children to jump in and read with you. They will figure out the patterns and have the prayer memorized by the end of the book. Then you simply need to pray the prayer with them a few times when you notice they are fearful. Before you know it, you will see hear them saying the prayer without prompting when they encounter a scary situation.
Go forth and “Fear Not!” But when you do, say a little prayer. You will feel better and be living out God’s most frequent commandment!
For some wholesome, scare-free fall fun, check out these awesome Autumn Family Adventures!
What frightens your children? How do you teach them to “fear not?”