“Then in the morning, when Nabal was sober, his wife told him all these things, and his heart failed him and he became like a stone. About ten days later, the Lord struck Nabal and he died.” 1 Samuel 25:37-38
Many people live tied to great fears, which paralyze their growth and prevent them from being happy or living out their purpose. Many times, they even prevent them from realizing their dreams and aspirations.
But how do fears come into our lives? The great majority are learned within the family in five different ways:
- Through experiences. When someone experiences a situation that produces shock, anguish and fear.
- Through learned messages. Through the messages you receive from parents and other family members, especially those which produce fear. For example, when parents or family members express they way they suffer from fear of illness and religion, among others. Also, when parents say things like, “If you don’t obey me, God will punish you,” or other similar messages. These messages, contaminated by fear, remain recorded in one’s memory.
- Through guilt. Through feeling guilty about something that happened. For example, when a child sees their parents fight, they assume it is their fault. They believe themselves to be the cause of the fight and for that reason feel both guilt and fear.
- Through a lack of love. When a child does not receive enough love from their parents, or when they receive conditional love. For example, when a child grows up hearing phrases like, “I love you only if you obey me,” or “If you loved me, you would listen to me.”
- Through overprotection. When children are extremely overprotected, understanding that overprotection is not healthy love.
We must know that fear is a type of protection, but it becomes a problem when it escapes our control and begins to control our lives, preventing us from completing our daily tasks. It also fills life with distress when we face certain situations.
The effects of fear go from feeling a series of physical and mental symptoms up to paralysis during times of fear or fright, reaching, as in the case of Nabal, to paralysis and death. Fear led him to consider the consequences of his action. He could not control it, and it was great than his defenses against it.
In the second part of this article, we will talk about other problems caused by fear and how we can face and overcome it in our lives.
We need to be free from fear. In the Bible we have a clear, simple, true answer to be free from fear and all it produces in us.
It is time for freedom! Remember, the perfect love of God ends fear.
May God help you in all you do today.
Dr. Miguel and Irene Garita
Family Care Ministry
Church of the Nazarene, Mesoamerica Region
Download the pdf version of this document here:Practical Advice to Help You Not Pass Your Fears to Your Children (Part 1)