FEAR OR FREEDOM
When I became a parent I learned the power that fear can have in relationships.
I didn’t want anything bad to happen to my kids. I didn’t want them to make mistakes. I didn’t want them to get into trouble. I didn’t want them to experience pain. I didn’t want them to struggle. I didn’t want them to get in danger. I didn’t want them to take risks. I didn’t want them to have a bad reputation. I didn’t want to lose them.
How parents ensure this is by…
Telling them exactly what to do and what not to do, and
Showing them the painful consequences they’ll suffer if they don’t obey… i.e. scare them.
I had a choice:
Try to completely control their lives to prevent all this from happening, or
Let them live and learn how to grow up into independent, self-determining adults.
As I was also a pastor, I transferred this insight to the church. I had the same choice:
Try to control them, or
Let them be independent, self-determining adults.
Religious leaders and communities apply the same strategy as fearful parents.
They will regulate your life to keep you in line, and
They will remind you of the dangers if you don’t.
Even though we sometimes slipped up and let fear creep in, Lisa and I did a good job of letting our kids become mature and independent adults. They’re doing great!
When I left home when I was 18, I became a mature and independent adult. I’m doing great!
When I left the ministry and the church, even though I received countless warnings that attempted to strike fear into my heart, I’m still doing great!
I’m free. Without fear.
You can be too!