5 Ways to Avoid Being a Helicopter Parent (part 3)- Takeaways from Helicopter Mom by Bethany L. Douglas
Okay, so here we are. Blog three is comin’ at ya in this series based on Helicopter Mom about fighting fear for our kids and being fearless in our lives and parenting. If you happen to miss the first two blogs, check the first out here and number 2 here.
Thus far we’ve acknowledged that there is, indeed, an actual problem of fear in our lives, and we’ve started dissecting out some of the reasons that this fear is so pervasive. Last week’s blog focused on what we focus on… the kinds of fear-mongering shows, books, movies, music, etc. that we put into our minds. These kinds of images and ideas take our focus off of the One who deserves it most. The fear drives us to worry instead of the cross, it focuses our attention and minds on things of this world, not on things of the Almighty.
So we have a renewed focus. Check.
Now it’s time for some redecorating. And I do mean we’re changing the very scenery of our souls…. we need to clean out the idols we’ve erected all around us.
We live in a society that flourishes with knowledge and with intellect. We have at our
fingertips the vast data of all scientific studies and medical breakthroughs; article upon article
about history, religion, science, politics, and economics. We have access to more knowledge than
has ever been accessible in the history of man about subjects that are only still newly discovered.
There is so. much. knowledge.
As parents, we obsess about the best food, the smartest doctor, the safest car seats,
immunizations, the most eco-friendly wood to use on the playhouse, whether or not the udders of
the cow were shaved when they produced that organic, raw, partially soy almond milk you just bought
<actually I conversation overhead at a mom’s group the other day- I kid you not!>. We
read books, skim articles, become members of mom chat rooms, watch YouTube videos, pour
over parenting books, take out subscriptions to magazines, join Facebook pages, and attend
seminars. We get a special plaque from WebMD quarterly as a most-valued costumer.
<Kidding, those don’t exist! At least I don’t think they do>, All to attain more knowledge; to
gird ourselves with the safest, the healthiest, the best. And then we can back up our craziness
with 1400 articles from Google and our Mommy-and-Me blog that will all prove us right…
because we can! You get my drift? We are both blessed with such knowledge and absolutely
cursed by it. Because the cold, hard fact is we think we know best.
Knowledge is fine. In fact knowledge is great! Don’t get me wrong. I’m just putting forth
the idea that man’s wisdom will always be imperfect. Thus we need to look at it for what it is.
MAN’S WISDOM. I have no issue with researching stuff. I have no issue with making sure
we’re giving our children the most appropriate upbringing. But consider the source! Unless the
source of your decision making is Christ you are in dangerous territory my friend- and very
foolish territory to boot. If you spend more than 5 minutes researching “sore toe” in WebMD,
guaranteed you’ll eventually find out it’s probably Ebola. I promise it’s not!
We live constantly bombarded by tales of woe and tribulation because of this or that. Faulty
knowledge, man’s knowledge, knowledge we too often stake our claim on. Antibiotics or
probiotics, to vaccinate or not to vaccinate, dairy is good/dairy is bad,
paleo/vegan/Adkins/SouthBeach, to oil or not to oil, there’s glass in the juice boxes, there’s fecal
matter in the water, there’s a fly in the ointment, etc. etc. etc. The news no longer delivers news,
now we’re hard-pressed to hear any story about something happy. It’s all bad, all the time. Some
of it is real, some of it is faulty. How often do we take it all at face value though? Can I get an
amen? No wonder we lose sleep at night! The world around us is a scary place!
We have failed to protect our brains and now they are contaminated with filth from our
eyes (see blog 2 of this series) and false-gods from our knowledge. Again we’ve internalized an attack
from the Enemy that has been allowed grow and fester into unrealistic fear and at the same time
prideful knowledge. In most cases, as is cancer to the body, it has grown insidiously in our
minds. I would even argue it’s metastisized to our hearts. We too often place trust and faith in the
man’s knowledge. We’ve conditioned ourselves to run to that knowledge first- to take comfort in
that website first, to check our magazine articles first. It has a place of honor in our lives, and
thereby the lives of our children. And like the Israelites waiting on Moses in the desert, when
God tarried in showing up to them, they turned to something more “concrete”- man’s inventions,
man’s reasoning. My sisters… we are guilty of the very same thing. Hear me out, man’s
knowledge is fine but fallible. Our calling as Believers is to a higher knowledge- a more pure,
infallible way of thinking. (excerpt from Helicopter Mom ch. 5)
Dear friends- we have put idols on our thrones. Idols of knowledge, of learning, of (man’s) wisdom. We run too quickly too often to that which is not of God to fix our woes. And then wonder why the answers don’t stick…
So what to do? I would suggest a re-prioritizing of fear-mitigation. Instead of going to that webpage, that chat group, that book… seek FIRST God’s wisdom, pray FIRST about your worries, read FIRST about it in your Bible. This is not rocket-science people! Don’t oil first, pray first. Don’t google first, open your Word first.
I’m not saying that knowledge from the world isn’t helpful, I am saying let God bring it to you as you seek Him through your fears. Put Him in His proper place…. FIRST in our lives! Take the idols that we seek for and acknowledge too much… down. Don’t use God as a back-up in case everything and everyone else doesn’t work.
He’s not a “when all else fails” kinda guy. He’s a “I will never fail” kinda God.
Give man’s knowledge it’s due (which let’s be honest, is very little…) and start giving some real weight to what God would say, what He would instruct, how He would lead. Forget what the internet says, what your best friend says, what the family member says… find out FIRST what God would say.
Here are some questions to consider-
What or who reigns heavy in your decision-making?
When you worry about something for your children, what most effectively calms your fears- advice, books, WebMD, other moms, God?
What CAUSES you more anxiety?
We need another day of confession about this. Ask for forgiveness for placing idols ahead of God. Ask for help in keeping Him at the center of your life, asking Him for wisdom and guidance, looking to Him for calming of your fears. Look to nothing else sister!
You’ve stopped the distractions so you can look at the right area. Now put the right Person in the right place.
But regarding anything beyond this, dear friend, go easy. There’s no end to the publishing of books, and constant study wears you out so you’re no good for anything else. The last and final word is this:
Fear God. Do what He tells you. And that’s it. Eventually God will bring everything that we do out into the open and judge it according to its hidden intent, whether it’s good or bad.
Ecclesiastes 12:12-14 MSG
You’ve got this! See ya back here next week!
anything beyond this, dear friend, go easy. There’s no end to the publishing of books, and
constant study wears you out so you’re no good for anything else. The last and final word is this:
Fear God. Do what He tells you. And that’s it. Eventually God will bring everything that we do
out into the open and judge it according to its hidden intent, whether it’s good or bad.
Ecclesiastes 12:12-14 MSG