“Even more desirable than being able to die peacefully is being able to live fearlessly.”—Dr. Alex Lickerman. Fear, worry and anxiety are so complex in their origins and in the ways each of us manages these emotions best for ourselves. But as adults, we can adapt and offer two spiritual tools to kids that may be helpful for them in managing their fear of death: 1) loving reassurance, 2) communication with God, others and self. In today’s post, we look at the first of these tools.
Spiritual Tool #1: Loving reassurance of God’s protection from fearing death
In Part 1 of the discussion about children’s fears of dying, we discussed that there are no guarantees of being protected from harm. Bad things happen to good people. But God does offer children protection from fearing death.
Healthy fear protects children
Part of God’s protection is seen in the presence of healthy fear—fear that produces brain chemicals like adrenaline to propel the child out of harm’s way.
Love dispels fear
Another side of God’s protection from fearing death is found in the child’s confidence that God’s love is there and love dispels unhealthy fear. “How they choose to perceive a threatening event dictates their response to the situation,” observes Becky Bailey.
Kids might relate to this word picture—God’s love is like an umbrella that can protect them from fear. Using this spiritual tool can allow children to still see the world as a beautiful place, a friendly place. They can think about how their family loves them and God loves then. “Love is the very best thing for making fears and worries go away,” Molly Wigand says.
When love increases, healthy thinking, good judgment and peace of mind all improve.
Children who trust in God may find themselves able to live fearlessly, even through the valley of the shadow of death.
Next week: Spiritual Tool #2 — Communication with God, others and self
Tweetable: When children look for reassurance as they face of their fears and worries, spiritual resources can play an important role, in addition to emotional and psychological helps. Here’s one such spiritual resource. Click to Tweet