Whoís Afraid of the Boogey Man?
By Jamie Dale
"Mommy! Mommy! MOMMY!"
I heard my three-year-old daughter screaming at the top of her lungs as though she were in fear for her life. Iím not the most athletic of individuals, but I sprinted up the steps two at a time as though my life depended on it. I hadnít heard my daughter scream like that since the time she had almost severed her finger and I was sure something awful was happening.
When I got to the top of the stairs, I didnít see what I had expected to see. Instead of seeing an injured child, I saw my daughter, whose face was bright red, screaming and pointing at her bedroom with tears running down her face.
"Whatís wrong?" I asked, my heart still pounding as I wondered what in the world could make a child scream like that.
"The boogey man is in my room!" she yelled at me. I remember thinking I must have misunderstood her. After all, my child could not possibly believe in the Ďboogey man.í
"Whatís in your room sweetie?" I asked again.
"The BOOGEY MAN!" she yelled, getting even more agitated.
I flung open her bedroom door, which she had slammed shut, half expecting to see her brothers pulling some kind of prank on her. The room was empty and she was demanding that I not go in there, lest the boogey man get me. I had to laugh.
"Sweetie," I said, "the boogey man is not in your room." After inspecting her room from top to bottom, she finally believed me.
Later that day, my five-year-old son asked me why I wasnít afraid of the boogey man. His sister had filled him in on the entire ordeal.
"Because," I said, "God is in this house and He protects us."
"What if Godís not watching when the boogey man comes in?" he asked.
"Godís always watching." I replied.
"Even when I go to the bathroom?" he countered. I had to laugh. Leave it to my five-year-old to take a conversation about God protecting him and then turn it into a discussion about whether or not God watches him while heís in the bathroom.
"Godís always with us." I told him.
"Why donít you just tell them the boogey manís not real?" my nine-year-old piped up.
The thing is, I have told my children the boogey man isnít real; that thereís no evil monster hiding in their closets. For some reason, my two youngest donít believe me. Whether the boogey man is real or not, the fear of him is real. The thing that amazes me is what faith in God can do for young children. How easy it is for children to believe that God will protect them from everything. They seem to know something many of us tend to forget.
I sometimes wonder if we can learn a few things from the faith our children display. After all, if faith in God can tame our childrenís fear of the boogie man, shouldnít our faith be able to tame our worries about bills, work and hectic schedules? And letís face it; we all face our own Ďboogie mení at one time or another. Perhaps teaching children to rely on God at an early age will prepare them to rely on God when they face trials as an adult.
Jamie Dale has been the author of literally hundreds of articles, including titles such as "The Difference Between Like and Love" and "To Know The Father's Love". As a mother of three little ones, she understands the struggles of Christ-centered parenting in today's world and tries to help others by incorporating humorous insights and thought-provoking questions into her writing. She has often stated that God is the only perfect parent, but we can all try to follow His lead. It's Jamieís goal to help parents remember this.
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