Before I had the courage to let go of my whole way of living, two inner images rose up in my mind as symbols of my controlling behaviour.
I removed all religious comments from this article, to post it on a secular site and I have decided to leave it this way. The churched reader will know all the biblical references and the unchurched and seeker will not be overwhelmed with Catholic lingo.
When my family was still young and I had only seven children from twelve-years-old down to a newborn, I earnestly strove to raise the best children I could. Yet all my effort was actually hindering their development because my anxiety and control acted like a barrier, a prison around my them. I was, in fact, preventing my children’s inner, natural development into well-balanced, creative people.
Well, people are writing with fear and panic underlying their comments and articles in the face of the States sanctioning same-sex marriages.
We are people of hope, not doomsayers or fearmongers.
Christ has already triumphed over sin and death. We are not called to focus on disasters, on evil, on sin. Christ commanded us to refrain from condemnation and judgment so we will not be judged and condemned by our Master. Our mandate is simple; allow the Light of Christ to grow ever more brightly within us, especially as the darkness deepens. Then we will be a light unto the world. He will conquer darkness through us. We are simply channels of truth, light and mercy. This is the central message of the New Testament.
Fear has no place in the heart, because it doesn’t come from God. Fear is used by the devil to keep us from doing God’s will. The devil will attempt to make us doubt our abilities, especially the ability to be courageous. How do we effectively shut the devil out and listen only to God? How do we become courageous?
We start with these five steps:
Ask the Lord to make His presence known to you in your heart; so that you know He is always with you, and will never leave you. “Fear not, I am with you; be not dismayed; I am your God. I will strengthen… Read more…
Be Not Afraid! Have Courage! Not so easy? You ask, “Why should I be the one who acts so courageous? Look around! You don’t see anyone else stepping up to the plate!”
Hmm…need I say more? If no one acted courageously, and set the example for others to follow, we would all be swallowed up in fear – and fear comes from the devil. When you lack courage and you are aware of what makes you afraid, it is incumbent upon you to face those fears.
For me, I am afraid to take risks for fear of failure. If I… Read more…
Courage cannot be denied! Think about that for a moment. Other people can deny you love, joy and peace, but no one can take courage away from you. That is because courage is found only from within. Solely by the grace of God, you have courage when you need it.
When I think of courageous people, I first think of martyrs; from the earliest Christians, like the Apostles, to the persecuted Christians of today. They all have one thing in common, the persecutors robbed them of their physical freedom and took their lives because they were… Read more…
For about 1800 years most Christians would have understood the idea of fearing the Lord to mean just what it said on the tin. Over the past couple of centuries or so the tendency has been for many theologians, pastors and teachers to explain away the notion of fear and replace it with something altogether more cuddly. Two main strategies have been employed, to emphasise that perfect love casts out fear and to re-cast the word ‘fear’ to mean ‘awe.’ Both approaches are perfectly sound so far as they go but effectively unbalance doctrine by being deployed as primary explanations rather than as auxiliaries to add to our understanding of the plain meaning of Scripture.
The first argument rests on the words of the Beloved Disciple There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love.(1 John 4:18) It is worth noting the contrast between beginning andreached perfection. If every mention of fear is immediately counterbalanced with the effects of perfect love it will have the same effect as telling a child on the first day of primary school not to worry because whatever they do they will get a university degree in due course since perfect education means prizes for all. Perfect love is not our starting point fear of the Lord is, click here to read more
How is your spiritual life going? Are you feeling frustrated with yourself? Are you distraught over your lack of progress? Do you keep falling into the same sins repeatedly?
Welcome to the human race!
No, I’m not trying to dismiss your concerns flippantly. Sometimes we just need a reminder that we are, after all, fallen. Adam’s sin affects us all. But here’s something you may not have realized:
Your sins do not shock God!
God is used to sinners. He has centuries of experience with them. He even came down from Heaven to live among them. Then people criticized Him for eating with sinners instead of the “righteous.” Yes, He loved to hang out with people like you and me.
God delights in showing mercy. He delights in lifting our burdens. He delights in carrying our yoke with us, comforting our sorrows, calming our fears.
Continue reading at Contemplative Homeschool.
Last week’s post on the Final Judgment (and Mr. Darcy and St. Therese) reminded me of two opposing views I’ve read in books about homeschooling. Some authors say that loving your students is the best way to motivate them to learn. Others say a healthy fear of the teacher is more effective. Here’s my take on the love versus fear debate.
The Machiavellian argument Niccolo Machiavelli famously wrote in The Prince:
“Here a question arises: whether it is better to be loved than feared, or the reverse. The answer is, of course, that it would be best to be both loved and feared. But since the two rarely come together, anyone compelled to choose will find greater security in being feared than in being loved.”
Focus on a child’s fear of his parent(s)–whether it is called fear, respect, or discipline–seems to me to be particularly Protestant. I mean no disrespect to my non-Catholic fellow homeschoolers, but many conservative Protestants have a somber view of humanity. Calvin taught that man was totally depraved. Fundamentalist Christians generally believe that man’s nature is bad since the Fall. Thus a child has a naturally rebellious spirit that must be tamed.
Ruth Beechick was one of the early homeschooling experts among “Bible Christians.” I gleaned much from her book Heart & Mind:What the Bible Says About Learning. However, her works have the typical Fundamentalist shortcomings, most based on an overly literal interpretation of Scripture. Since “[t]he fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Proverbs 3:12), she believes that education must start with discipline. Without a healthy fear (she says), children won’t be motivated to learn anything.
Read more at Contemplative Homeschool.