A few years ago, one of my children woke up in the middle of the night, wide-eyed and trembling with fright. She didn’t know why she was afraid. She just was. She has always been fearful at night, but this night she was very scared.
No matter what I said, she couldn’t comprehend what I was saying. I found myself raising my voice louder trying to reason. Finally, I realized that she didn’t need me to scold her or give her reasons NOT to be afraid. She just needed me to hold her. And that is what I did. She cried and cried. After about five minutes I prayed with her and she let out a deep breath of relief.
This time I was there to hold her and help her, but how do I prepare her for the everyday circumstances that are sure to come in the future? How can I help her be brave?
Life is hard. Really hard. We all learn that at some point. Some of us sooner than others.
As moms, we do everything we can to prevent our children from learning that hard truth, but instead of preventing (like I was doing in trying to get my daughter to just “get over” her fear) maybe we should focus on preparing.
Follow along with me as we join Joshua in the Bible. Moses has just died and Joshua has the enormous responsibility ahead of him to lead the Israelites across the Jordan River (and they weren’t always the most compliant, if you know what I’m sayin!). At this point I would say “Ummm are you sure God? There is no way…”
And God says this to Joshua:
“Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give to them. Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified, do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:6-9
God was encouraging Joshua. He was standing beside him, cheering him on. When every circumstance seemed against Joshua, God told him to be strong and courageous! Be strong and very courageous! Be strong and courageous!
This may seem simple to you, but I think it can be life changing for our children.
In our home we have taught our children a simple phrase.
Hazaq V’ Amatz! (Hahzahk Vah Amahtz)
Sometimes we say it quietly, sometimes we shout it, and sometimes we pump our fist in the air as those words roll from our tongues.
It is Hebrew. It means Be Strong and Courageous. Hazaq V’ Amatz!
Our children NEED those words. And do you know why I know they need those simple words? Because let’s be honest – We do too. I have had to whisper them to myself in the dark moments of despair just to remember that He. Is. There.
One thing I want my children to know is that God is fighting for them. He is beside them. He won’t give up on them. As they face trials that will surely come their way, I want them to be brave and strong like the example we see in this Bible story with Joshua. There are so many examples to share with your children of men and women in the Bible who had this courage and strength.
A resource like the Brave Girl’s Bible Stories is a great book for our daughters to read. It is an exciting new brand and storybook to help girls grow into brave, confident daughters of the King. Young girls will grow in their knowledge of the Bible and in their faith by getting to know the Brave Girls—Hope, Gracie, Glory, Faith, and Honor—five modern-day friends. They share their strengths and struggles and how they discover bravery in women in the Bible.