"Mom Says/Dad Says," an exclusive Christian parental advice column by Gregory Slayton, former U.S. Ambassador to Bermuda and author of the best-selling book Be a Better Dad Today: Ten Tools Every Father Needs, and his wife, Marina Slayton, author of the new book Be The Best Mom You Can Be. The Slaytons have been featured on Fox and Friends, Focus on the Family Radio and numerous other media outlets. They donate 100% of their royalties from parenting books to fatherhood and family nonprofits.
Senators John McCain and Joe Lieberman, Governors Jeb Bush and Sam Brownback and Pastors Tim Keller and Luis Palau, among others, have endorsed the Slaytons. In their exclusive series for The Christian Post, both Marina and Gregory will answer thoughtful Christian parents seeking to raise their children up in the goodness of the Gospel and the Glory of God. If you would like to have Marina and Gregory answer your questions, please contact them via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Parent Question: My family is in a very challenging time. I know I need to pray more, but often I allow myself to get distracted by worry or fear or the little things of life. How can I really harness the power of prayer to help my family?
Mom Says: Worry and fear are real problems for all of us. Thanks for being honest about it. But the truth is that both worry and fear are totally negative emotions. Neither of them help us at all. But so many people today are bound up by worry and fear. They don't know how to get free of these powerful negative influences. And that is where the power of prayer can be super helpful.
The key to dealing with worry and fear is not to pretend they aren't there. Pretending doesn't make things true. Admitting they are there, but then channeling them into something positive, that is the key. And that is exactly what the Bible tells us to do.
St. Paul encourages us in Philippians chapter 4 verses 6 and 7 in very strong terms:
"Never worry about anything. Instead, in every situation let your petitions be made known to God through prayers and requests, with thanksgiving. Then God's peace, which goes far beyond anything we can imagine, will guard your hearts and minds in union with the Messiah Jesus."
When I am worried about one of my kids or about my relationship with my husband, it is easy to get all wound up in worry and fear. But that is the wrong way. That only takes me down — and it certainly doesn't help my child or my husband. Much better to admit that I am worried, and then take those concerns in prayer to my Heavenly Father. It is amazing how much peace I feel after I really connect with God in this way.
I give to Him the worries and fears that I was never meant to handle … because His shoulders are so much bigger than mine. In return, He gives me His peace and love and joy. And those are things that really do help with my kids and my husband. So let's replace worry and anxiety with prayer and praise.
Dad Says: Indeed, worry and fear are the negative twins. Like self-pity and bitterness, they are often found together. And they do great damage to those who allow them to take over their lives.
We all know people like that. Folks who are so worried about the future that they can't fully live in the present. But the truth is, of the many thousands of days that each of us will be alive, we only have today to live. That is a spiritual reality that can best be grasped through spiritual truth. And that's where prayer and meditation come in.
When we pray to our Heavenly Father we connect with something much, much bigger than ourselves. And that is good for our souls. When we meditate on His Truth, we find His peace. Jesus taught us that we should focus on today and "let tomorrow worry about itself." That is super advice … but will we meditate on it and make it real in our lives?
Let's make time to do pray and connect with our Heavenly Father … you will feel His peace in your soul when you do. And let's make time to meditate on His Truth … in this case the Truth that we must focus on today, because today is the only day we have. And let's allow the future to worry about itself!
Onward and Upward …