“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7
In Paul’s letter to Timothy, he explains that God has not given us a spirit of fear (some translations say timidity) but of power, love, and a sound mind. The definition of a sound mind is “having the capacity to think, reason, and understand for oneself”.
What does this verse mean for our children?
Fear can be irrational, but our kids don’t realize that. Their minds are still processing life, so what we see as a small thing can seem so big to our little people!
As parents, this verse gives us confidence that God provides good ways to handle the things that make them feel afraid.
When we talk about the topic of fear with our kids, they can begin to learn how to think through their fears, understand more about them (which can help fears feel less overwhelming), and remind themselves of God’s truth the next time they feel scared or anxious.
What Does the Bible Say About Fear?
Here are five great verses you can share with your child to bring comfort the next time they share their fears with you:
Exodus 14:13 (NIV)
Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today.
Psalm 118:6 (ESV)
The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?
Psalm 56:3-4 (HCSB)
When I am afraid, I will trust in You. In God whose word I praise, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear. What can man do to me?
Deuteronomy 31:6 (NIV)
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.
Isaiah 43:1 (RSV)
But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.”
Applying God’s Word to Fear-Filled Situations
Here’s a simple way for you to talk about these Bible verses with your kids and for your kids to apply these verses to their life:
- If they’ve shared a fear with you, or if you’ve noticed them struggling, pick the verse that applies best and take some time to have them read the verse out loud. Or you can read the verse to them and point to each of the words if they’re not yet independent readers.
- Talk about what the verse means and how it can help them with their fear.
- Ask: What are some of God’s promises to you in this verse?
- Write a couple of the keywords in the verse on a notecard and put it on their bulletin board or somewhere else in their room so they can see those words and be reminded of God’s care and protection!
For instance, if you’re talking about the Deuteronomy 31:6 verse, you could help them write down the words “strong”, “courageous” and “God goes with me”!
This is a great tool because these words will pop into their heads, even if they can’t remember the whole verse. These “keywords” will stick!
Talking about fear and what God’s Word says doesn’t mean that our kids will never again be afraid. But they can be comforted and encouraged and learn to trust what the Holy Spirit says instead of what their fears tell them.
Because God is always with them and will never leave them, our children can face their fears with the strength and power of the Lord!