This chapter talks about how parenting confronts cowardice and builds courage. I love this quote:
"Character without courage is empty. Courage is what enables us to act on our convictions."---Susan Yates.
Parental cowardice ultimately wounds our children. Overprotective parents deprive their children and even harm them. Cowardice grows from selfishness, i.e., "I don't want to lose my children", "I don't want to go through the pain of seeing something bad happen to them." Part of God's plan for parenting is designed to confront this self-centered tendency.
Cowardice is a constant temptation for anyone called into God's service. The Bible is filled with examples where God, Jesus or an Angel told someone "do not be afraid." God repeatedly urges biblical characters not to fear. One clear lesson emerges from these examples: Do what you know is right regardless of how scared you feel. As parents, we cannot control the fears that surround us but we can choose whether to listen to them.
The catch? Courage is not always rewarded with success. Sometimes fears come true. However, when we step out in faith, God shapes and develops our souls. Parenting helps us learn to overcome our fears. We have many things to fear as parents, but none of the possibilities can compete with the providence of God. "Children will never perish apart from God's watchful eye or without God's covering grace."
How do we overcome our fears? Talk to yourself instead of listening to your self. Don't "tune in" to doubts and fears. Instead, build your spirit in scripture. Despise apathy more than you fear failure. Boldly step out and take risks on behalf of God's kingdom. In the process we will be blessed, transformed.
A final Word: "Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked, for the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being snared. Proverbs 3:25-26.