Nurturing Our Children
How can we cooperate with the Lord in raising our children? It helps to remember that we are nurturing potential angels. The Lord loves children and hopes that each one will choose to live in heaven and be blessed with happiness. For this purpose, the Lord inspires angels, parents, and others to love and protect His little ones. Providing our children spiritual nourishment is an important part of caring for them.
How can these teachings in the Word help us reflect on good ways to nurture our children?
- “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your might. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart; you shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up” (Deuteronomy 6:5-7).
- In the gospel of Matthew we are also told to “love your neighbor as yourself” (22:39) and that whatever we want people to do to us, we should also do to them (7:12).
Do we know how to give good gifts to our children? Do we trust the Lord to help us be good parents?
- “What man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” (Matthew 7:9-11)
- There are blessings and challenges in nurturing children. Ideally, parents will grow closer together as they go along.
- What Do We Owe Our Children by Peter M. Buss, Sr.
The greatest gift we can give to our children is not just a knowledge of the Lord, but a sense of His presence in our homes, in our lives, in their minds and hearts.
- Good Gifts for Our Children by Peter M. Buss, Jr.
One of the most wonderful things about being parents is that the Lord inspires us to turn away from evil through our love for our children. The best and the worst of parents are invited to wonder at the miracle of parental love, and at the mercy of our Lord who puts such tender souls into our unworthy hands, and then inspires us to care for them.
- Spiritual Parenting Goals
Ten spiritual goals, adapted from the religion curriculum for New Church Education.
- Giving Good Gifts to Our Children by A. Wynne Acton
What does it mean to give our children bread, fish and eggs rather than stones, serpents and scorpions in Luke 11.
- The Father of All by B. David Holm (a family talk)
The Lord loves everything He has made, and most of all He loves the people He has created.
Projects and Activities for all ages
- Gift from the Lord Coloring Page by Marguerite L. Acton
Shows a mother and father holding their little baby.
- Make a Picture of Your Family (ages 4-8)
Draw a picture of your family above a quote from the Word about marriage.
- Circle of Love (ages 7-10)
Draw pictures inside the circle to show some of the people that the Lord loves.
- Dramatize Giving Good Things to Those Who Ask (ages 7-12)
Dramatize and discuss the examples given by the Lord of a parent giving good gifts to a child. The Lord gives these examples to reassure us that He also will give us what will help us most.
- Parenting Like Angels by David Roth
How does good parenting compare to what guardian angels do for us?
- Appreciating Your Partner as a Parent
How does your partner’s role as a parent increase your appreciation for what he or she contributes to your marriage and family life?
- Prayers on Parenthood
Prayers to help us focus on ways that we can cooperate with the Lord in preparing children for the life of heaven.
Nurturing children can help bring parents closer, because parenting is one of the primary uses which “confederate, affiliate, and bring the souls and lives of two married partners together into one” (Conjugial Love 176). Each partner brings to different strengths to parenting, and they give each other counsel and support. Good parenting is a joint effort!
Photograph by Rachel Gardam
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