Tell children your own spiritual stories

Many times, a personal story sheds a brighter light on the subject than moralizing. Rather than telling a child facing a question or decision what to do, telling them a story from your own life can be much more helpful. It helps them think creatively and gives them the confidence that they can come to their own solutions.

When children raise questions, our ideal response is to hear them out and invite more dialog. Lisa Miller uses something like: “You bring such important questions to the family;”  or “When I was a child I wondered that, too. I am so happy you are sharing these thoughts with me.”

Blessings that make a difference

Regardless of our differences in religion, language or ideas, there is no heart that is without an inner divine reference. And each family seems to have a unique impression about when, how and if God makes known his thoughts and feelings toward them, often referred to as blessings. What impressions about God’s blessing are you imparting to the children in your family?

From one of my interviews about spirituality emerged this family’s image of a God who does not bless, but forgets, entire groups of people.

As a young child, if I questioned my family about God or spiritual things, it was often tossed aside as unimportant and not for people like us, that is, those who God forgets.

Spirituality in adolescence: not what but how

teens rugbyYoung people raised with moral or religious principles and practices typically arrive at adolescence ready to find answers to a questions like “How do I know and experience and be ‘right’ with God? How should that look different for me than it does for my parents?”
After all, the faith they have now cannot be the faith they had when they were 4 or 8 or 10.

Nor will it be their faith when they’re 21 or 48 or 83. Faith is a force that will continue to develop and mature over the course of a lifetime, and sometimes it needs to change in order to continue to invigorate and sustain people as they enter different stages of their own development.