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I Might Be a Little Bit Scared

I Might Be a Little Bit Scared

“Um…can we just eat ice cream by ourselves?”

Concern etched soft lines in my son’s forehead as he processed our conversation. Our family was gathered around the dinner table, and somewhere between flying sweet potatoes and a rousing retelling of the most recent Paw Patrol episode, we’d landed on the topic of inviting our neighbors over for ice cream.

The introvert in me totally agreed with my 4-year-old.

“But treats like ice cream are more fun when you can share them with others,” I said. “And this might be a good chance to invite some of our friends to church, or to talk to them about Jesus. Did you know some of our neighbors don’t know about Jesus?”

“Oh.” Benjamin poked at his sweet potatoes with his fork. “I didn’t know that.”

“Maybe when we hang out with your friends, you could ask them about coming to church with you sometime.”

Benjamin’s face lit up. “Yeah! But—” the concerned expression returned. “Can you ask them for me? I might be a little bit scared.”

I might be a little bit scared.

How many times had that very thought marched through my mind when faced with an opportunity to step outside of my comfort zone for Christ? My initial reaction to gospel-sharing moments is usually the same as my son’s—a rousing, “Yeah!” The prospect of reaching out to someone with the life-saving message of Jesus is thrilling.

And then, in the very next second—paralyzing fear takes over.

What if I’m rejected? What if I sound stupid? What if I say the wrong thing?

As my husband and I continued talking with Benjamin, we found that he was experiencing those same anxieties.

And that’s when we realized that having our neighbors over for ice cream would be more than just reaching out to our neighbors.

It would be reaching out to our children, too.

I can (and should) share the gospel message with my children every day. But if they never see me share it with others—if they never see their introverted parents step outside of comfort zones, build relationships, and initiate tough conversations—then how will they know how to do it themselves?

That night I let Benjamin in on a secret—that I might be a little bit scared, too. But the good news is, Christ is courageous when we are not, and he strengthens us when we are weak.

And because of this truth, he can use even the simplest of acts as opportunities to both share the love of Christ with our neighbor and disciple our children on how to do the same.

What are some ways that you practice bridge-building and gospel-sharing with your children?

By: Mary Holloman is the wife of one husband and mom of two stinkin’ cute kiddos. When she’s not preoccupied trying to keep her kids alive, she works and writes for Greensboro Pregnancy Care Center, destroys her husband in ping-pong, and then writes some more. Visit her at www.maryholloman.com and follow her on Instagram at @marytholloman.

Join us at www.just18summers.com for our parenting blog each Monday-Friday and for info about the Just 18 Summers novel.

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