Worrying the Kids Away

We mothers are tempted in many ways, but one of those ways is to be worriers. What do we worry about? Oh, we are very imaginative! If we don’t have any real situations on our hands, we can come up with all kinds of potential stuff to worry about.

Now, worry is bad for us. And it’s bad for our kids. It’s an uglifying sin (like all the rest of them). Worry is antithetical to biblical femininity. It is never pretty. It sucks the joy out of our lives, disturbs our peace, and  disrupts a gentle and quiet spirit.

How do you know if you are worrying? A worry always begins with “What if…?” And you cannot answer that kind of question. So don’t ask it, don’t listen to it, and don’t get in a discussion over it. Ignore it and let it go find somewhere else to roost.

Worry is “loving concern” gone amok. It is unproductive, unhelpful, self-centered, and is one of the ways women can tear down their houses (see Proverbs 14:1). Worry may look like it is thinking of others, but that is a deception. Worry is really all about me. I want to be in charge of this situation, and I don’t want to trust God to oversee it.  I want to talk about it all the time to everyone: Let me get out all my pet worries to play with.

Mothers can chase their kids away with worry. Who wants to be worried and fretted over? Kids don’t. Adult kids don’t. Worry makes them feel crowded. They will look for more space somewhere far away.

The way to help your kids is to quit worrying. Pray for them. Help them. Show them how. But don’t worry over them.

If they are sick, take care of them. If they are hungry, feed them. If they are late, wait up for them. But don’t worry. Jesus says that we may not. It doesn’t help a bit. It only makes the waiting uncomfortable.

Some women worry over real issues: health issues or spiritual issues or money issues or marriage issues or wisdom issues. But other women worry over what might be an issue in ten years. This is called borrowing trouble. It’s not pretty and it’s not cute.

Trust is lovely. Peace is beautiful. Cast your cares on Him for He cares for you, and He cares for your kids. Don’t worry over them. Pray over them. This will cause them to draw near. Worry sets them up to pull away.

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14 thoughts on “Worrying the Kids Away

  1. Thank you Mrs Wilson. I had definately been telling myself that my ugly worry was actually just concern for those I love. Going to print this and read it everyday!

  2. Now how did you know that this is just what I needed to hear this morning!!! Thanks again for hitting the nail on the head. God bless you and keep you.

  3. Dear Nancy,
    Thank you for this post – “Trust is lovely. Peace is beautiful.” What an encouragement to hear this truth spoken so directly. It is much appreciated – this speaks of the question I so often ask of myself, “Do I trust God in this? Can I trust Him?” Of course, in that moment the answer to the first question is almost always ‘no’ and the answer to the second is unequivically “YES!” – It realigns my thinking and changes my perspective from ‘It’s all about me’ to “It’s really all about HIM.”
    Thank you again for this post. Thank you for teaching truth so clearly – it is a means of grace and greatly appreciated.
    Jo

  4. This is something I’ve tried so hard to cultivate since becoming a mother. I’m not great at it, but I’m very grateful for the influence of women like you in this area.

  5. Psalm 91 is a big help to me in this area. Sons of Korah have a beautiful song with the words from the psalm. When I start to worry, this is a good place for me to rest. It has also really helped my daughter with worrying. We sing part of it to them at night!

  6. I don’t know where or when he said it, but the poet Robert Frost once made a worthwhile observation on the subject of worry: “The reason why worry kills more people than work is that more people worry than work.”

    What I appreciate here is the way Frost contrasts worry with work. Worry is the world’s most exhausting form of inaction. Worry is not merely unproductive; it is counterproductive. It saps our energy. It deprives us of much-needed sleep. It literally makes us sick. It distorts our perception. It gets in the way of actually doing anything about the problem at hand. It (to put it in Frost’s words) kills.

    It seems noteworthy that it’s the sluggard who says (not once but twice in Proverbs), “There’s a lion outside! I shall be killed in the streets!” (Proverbs 22:13 and 26:13) Worrying about the lion—whether it is a real or an imaginary one—can do absolutely nothing except provide an excuse to avoid getting some actual work done.

    Not only that, but sitting around doing nothing, at least in my experience, has a terrible way of feeding worry, whereas finding some hard work to do and then doing it has an amazing way of changing the subject for the better.

    Worry—whether we rename it “stress” or “concern” or “uneasiness”—is sometimes nothing more than a (somewhat) socially acceptable excuse for laziness. It’s easier to hang out on the curb holding picket signs to express our “uncertainty about our economic future” than to do the hard work of rising while it is yet night and providing food for our households. Worry never put a loaf of bread onto anybody’s table. Worry is not only a failure to trust God; it is also a completely joyless and unproductive waste of the hours God has given to us.

  7. Oh how I can relate to this…how this is a battle…a struggle for me. Thank you for this post…

    Just posted last month at The Better Mom– “Worry–I Wish I Wasn’t So Good At It”
    http://www.thebettermom.com/2011/10/worry-i-wish-i-wasnt-so-good-at-it/

    Love this quote:
    It is not only wrong to worry, it is infidelity,
    because worrying means that we do not think
    that God can look after the details of our lives,
    and it is never anything else that worries us.
    ~Oswald Chambers

  8. Indeed. I am a worrier by nature and have to work at not doing it. My own personal thorn in the flesh! Our pastor has talked about this in small groups (Sunday School).

  9. It’s one thing to acknowledge that we worry but another thing to stop worrying. Being told to stop doesn’t help us change. We need to dwell on the character of our good, holy and powerful God who is lovingly and purposefully in charge of our lives and of His whole creation. When we prayerfully bring our cares before Him and ask him for help we can find peace and exchange our worries with trust. Looking to Jesus as He trusted his father through unimaginable trials and even in the face of death gives us an incredible model for exchanging our worries with trusting our God. When we worry because things are out of our control we are really putting ourselves in God’s place. We are not in control, He is. Lord help me to entrust you with this life you have chosen for me to live. Thank you for for graciously enabling me to depend on you. May your Holy Spirit continue to help me see my sin and strengthen me to turn from it and toward faith in our loving heavenly Father. Amen

  10. SO much wisdom in this post! Thank you. “Worry is loving concern gone amok….” Great reminder for me to take my loving concerns to the Throne of Grace instead of letting them spiral out of control.

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