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When the lights fall and I’m lying motionless in a smudge of darkness, my prayers become loose and frayed and worry sets in. While many contend that worrying is “normal,” I know that many more would suggest it reveals my own lack of trusting God to hold the future. And as much as I’d like to say that notion is ridiculous, I know better.

In today’s world, we worry about any and everything. Does red dye in food cause hyperactivity? Does aluminum in our deodorant cause cancer? Should we quit drinking milk? Is red meat as bad as they say? Will our identities be stolen while we’re at the lakeshore? It can be maddening, really, and I think that we as Christians have a tough job when it comes to responsible stewardship and responsibly seeking health…while not getting sent into a tailspin with worry.

For me–and probably many of you–one of the concerns that immediately rises to the surface has to do with trusting our kids as they become more independentand trusting that with God’s help and by his grace our parenting will prepare them for good choices and right living. Of course at this point I have no reason to think our children will turn to trolls when they hit fifteen, however, I do wonder:

  • When my future teen leaves to spend time at a friend’s house, can I trust that he will really be where he claims to be?
  • Can I trust that he or she will seek solid friendships instead of falling into the wrong crowd?
  • Can I trust that she will refrain from watching TV shows or movies that clearly lie beyond the boundaries we’ve established?
  • Will I be able to trust him to walk away when buddies pull out a Playboy or Maxim Magazine?

So one of the little things we’ve been trying to do is to use the language of trust with small things. For example:

  • “Son, if I set the timer, can I trust that you’ll turn off the computer when your time is up?”
  • “Daughter, it’s lights out and radio off at 8:30 tonight.  Can I trust you to do that?…or will I have to come back to check on you?”

Of course all this is an unproven and untested in the real world, but my prayer is that the kids will begin to see that trust is earned in small steps and with daily decisions.  Jesus himself says it perfectly in Luke 16:10:

“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.”

Parents out there, what are your biggest worries? And what are your techniques for instilling the importance of trust in your children?

Please leave a comment and share them below so we can encourage each other!