Saturday, January 12, 2013

Leaping Faith

Courage and faith are inextricably linked. They are tangled together.

What are we trusting for our courage?
Courage is faith in action. 
Faith fuels courage.

Courage needs a leap of faith.
Leaping faith becomes courage.

When was the last time you needed courage? I bet it was a time when you didn't know how things would turn out. Or, you knew your next step could hurt you or make life harder in some way.

There was risk. There always is, or there would be no need for courage. If all of the details are planned so that the results turn out just the way you want, there is no reason for courage. No reason for faith.

Sometimes we fool ourselves into thinking we have control of our lives and our children's lives, that we can put all of the details together like an algebraic equation and get the right answer every time. We might pull this off occasionally, or think we did. But, in a messy world with people the way they are (including us!) and powers we cannot see, a contained system that works the way we plan isn't real. We need courage. We need faith.

To help our children face the world, to enter into relationships and experiences that are rich and real and growing, they will need faith. They will need to trust. Trying out for a team, starting a new school year, asking a friend over, standing against evil...the list goes on and on. Each of these can be frightening and each is risky. Each requires faith to step or leap to the next spot.

Faith, belief, trust...they need an object, something in which they believe. A key role in parenting is to show and teach children how to trust and in what to trust. Courage to try, courage to risk, flow from a strong faith.

We can teach our children to have faith in a lot of things:

We could teach our children to put their faith in money or plans or bad advice, intentionally or without thinking. Fleeting objects of faith at best.

They can learn to trust us--catch them when they jump in your arms! Then when we tell them what they should do that is hard, they know they can count on us, at least as far as humanly possible.

The can have faith in an idea that touches lives, like democracy, and sacrifice time and life with courage.

They can believe that a risky action is worth the consequences for something they value, like an adventure trip or protecting their family.

They can have faith in the living God, who loves them, is powerful, and who rescues them and fits all things together for good for those who love Him. The ultimate object of faith.

What little steps of faith are you teaching them, so they can have bigger ones? Which objects of faith are they learning from us so they can have the faith to be courageous for important things?

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