Through the years I have increasingly realized the value of having a teachable heart. Esther 2:15 beautifully summarizes the blessings of that to me: "When the time came for Esther to go to the king, she asked for nothing other than what Hegai, the king's eunuch who was in charge of the harem, suggested. And Esther won the favor of everyone who saw her." Because Esther was willing to receive and heed council, she not only won favor, but became a queen who God used to save His people.
My two year old is starting to say things about being afraid of the dark. Because he was an "unexpected blessing" and the other two are a little older, I was reflecting back to what we did when the other two went through this time frame of fearing the dark, monsters under the bed, etc.
We tried EVERYTHING we could think of with my daughter when she was almost 3. The happy stories and songs before bed, praying together, checking the room/closet before getting into bed, nightlights, music playing, flashlights, "God is Bigger Than the Boogieman" by Veggie Tales, you name it; you can bet we owned it or had tried it. One day it dawned on me that there was one thing we hadn't tried...
The Bible is clear that we are in Spiritual warfare. Ephesians 6:12 "For we wrestlenot against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."
That the enemy of our souls seeks to kill, steal and destroy (even women & children...) I Peter 5:8 "Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaringlion looking for someone to devour."
I decided to teach my daughter how to "fight." (In the Spirit.)
Now, I didn't pull out the Bible and show her all of the verses about spiritual warfare; I simply explained to her that God loves us, sent His son to pay the price for our sin (in VERY basic terms - He took your consequence for your behavior) and because He is our Savior; there is power in Jesus's name. (Philippians 2:10 "that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth"; even demons fear Him - Mark 5:10, Mark 9:39)
I simply told her the next time she was afraid that there was a monster under her bed, footsteps walking into her room, etc. She should say out loud, "Go away in Jesus Name!!" Even monsters have to obey God. That night, my husband and I were laying there in bed and heard her yell, "Go away in Jesus's Name!" Then silence. She didn't cry, didn't come get us, didn't want to come sleep in our bed. In fact, after that night, her nighttime fears all but stopped.
It worked wonderfully until one day we went over to a friend's house (who had a VERY LARGE dog...) Can you guess what my daughter yelled at the top of her lungs at the dog? ;) Thankfully, it was a friend of mine who was a sister in the Lord so we were able to have a good laugh over it.
Our middle child (Gentle Strength) also did this when he was little. In fact, the other night after we had read a chapter of "The Swiss Family Robinson" where the father and sons encounter a boa constrictor, (great right before bed reading...) He hugged me and we were about to pray when he said, "Mom, I know that there isn't really a snake under my bed; but I'm just a little afraid...how do I pray about that again?" "The power is in the name and blood of Jesus Christ, Buddy, pray in Jesus' name..."
It's not just children who deal with fear though is it? There are times when my husband is traveling where I will literally leave my Bible open on the nightstand. Times when we are in a situation where there is viable reason to be fearful in our surroundings. Imagined or real; the truth is still the same. There is power in the name and the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. Here is one of my favorite Scriptures dealing with fear:
2 Timothy 1:7 "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."
Lives near Washington D.C. with her wonderful husband of 15 years and their three precious children. She is the Co-Founder of Bloom! (a ministry for 4th/5th Grade Girls,)and she enjoys speaking at ladies events. Shanda is a Proverbs 31 Ministries "She Speaks" Graduate and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org