Kicking Worry Out of Your Home
By Cindi McMenamin
Is worry the unwelcome guest in your home?
Worry can stress you out, damage your family relationships, and ultimately give you an ulcer.
And the dangerous thing about worry is that it creeps into our lives gradually and makes its home with us before we notice it’s there. It usually enters our front door in the form of two words: What if?
What if my children get hurt?
What if they don’t make friends?
What if they follow the wrong crowd?
What if they’re lying to me?
What if they never get married?
And even…. What if I’m not a good enough mom?
I realized one day, after spending time in God’s Word, that at the root of all my “What if” questions is…
what I really believe about God’s character. When my mind plays through the various what ifs, the question I’m really asking is “What if God isn’t able?” “What if God isn’t good?” “What if God can’t handle this?”
And that is not an attitude, question, or mindset I want dwelling in my home. So it was time to kick it out the door.
There’s a reason God’s Word tells me “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus,” (Philippians 4:6-7, NLT).
As I give God all of my what ifs and worries He can calm my heart and remind me that He is in absolute control. Then I can encourage my child, rather than stress her out with my worry and make her think she’s better off not letting me know what’s going on in her life.
That was one of the lessons I had to learn before I wrote my book, 10 Secrets to Becoming a Worry-Free Mom. Based on my own experience mothering – as well as wisdom and advice from many other moms – I found that there are treasures (secrets, if you will) to discover as we surrender to God what is closest to our hearts – our children.
One of those treasures is the incredible peace He offers as the Perfect Parent who allows us to partner with Him in raising, loving, and caring (not worrying) for our kids. Another treasure is that our relationship with God, our kids, and our husband gets better when we become encouragers, rather than worriers.
When you and I trust God with what is closest to our hearts, we are saying “You, God, are capable. You are trustworthy. And all my worries and what ifs are in vain.”
We are also saying to our family members “I trust God will work this out in your life and mine” and we are modeling trust and faith before them.
So how do you give God your concerns about your kids instead of worrying about them? It’s as easy as A-B-C:
A – Admit you do not have control over your child’s life. As good of a monitor as you may be – about your child’s entertainment, friends, and whereabouts – your child will eventually be exposed to something or make a decision on his or her own that you have no control over. And as careful of a mom as you are, your child might still get hurt. Go ahead, give up that quest for control right now by saying aloud: “I am not in control of my child’s life. God is.”
B – Believe God wants only the best for you AND your child. Sometimes we fear that God will ask something of us or our children that we’re not willing to give. When you understand that God loves your child even more than you do, and He loves you more than you can imagine, there is peace in placing yourself and your child in God’s hands – no matter what.
C- Commit yourself to a deeper knowledge of God. I believe our worry (and security) factor is directly related to how well we know God. When we truly know Him and understand all that He is capable of, we can’t help but trust Him. As you grow in a more intimate relationship with God, your worries will fall by the wayside. And you’ll have a new, healthier habit: Trust.
Go ahead. Kick worry out the door of your home. And let trust come to live with you instead.
Cindi McMenamin is a national speaker and author of more than a dozen books, including When Women Walk Alone (more than 125,000 copies sold), When a Woman Inspires Her Husband, When a Mom Inspires Her Daughter, and her newest, 10 Secrets to Becoming a Worry-Free Mom . Cindi and her husband, Hugh, live in Southern California with their grown daughter, Dana. For more on her ministry, see her website: StrengthForTheSoul.com or find her on Facebook.