I love a word puzzle or quiz that comes with the answers at the bottom of the column, sometimes upside down — A. What is the name of the highest mountain in Africa? B. What is the largest brass instrument in an orchestra? *
A question I puzzle over as I engage with a child’s spiritual development is — What habits, if instilled with love, will most likely lead kids into a richly satisfying life of doing right by each other and walking humbly with God?
How would you answer this question for the children you love? For me, here would be the upside down answers at the bottom of my column: compassion for other living things, rituals providing structure and safety, and the following —
Forgiveness and humility
One father spoke to me about this commitment: “Because our family acknowledges God’s involvement in our everyday life, we understand that God desires to be with us and this desire doesn’t arise because we are perfect people. We do wrong and make mistakes yet God still loves us. The result is that we as parents are better able to admit our mistakes (which our children recognize anyway), and we model how to tell on ourselves, apologize and show our family how to forgive and move on.”
Gratitude and generosity
Ms. Kerry provides this example in her book Self-Sufficient Kids: “….. “Mackenzie was 13 years old when she began collecting children’s books for shelters in and around Alpharetta, Georgia. It soon became a family project with her 2 brothers, Alex and Benjamin, working alongside her. In total, they have collected and donated over 360,000 books for shelters across the world through their charity, Sheltering Books.”
Seeking God and truth
Erin James, a mother of three, recently told a story of what happened to her last Sunday at church, The congregation sang a hymn and she let go of her anxieties and concerns as she sang the words with her whole heart. She closed her eyes and felt tears well up at the goodness and love of God. Then, “[m]y oldest daughter tapped me on the shoulder while I was praising God and asked me why I was crying and closing my eyes. I whispered to her that I was thanking Him for everything. As I began singing again, I saw my daughter emulating me out of the corner of my eye. It was beautiful to see her, so young and eager to praise the Lord.”
Kids find better answers to life’s puzzles when we are there to light their way.
* A. Mount Kilimanjaro – B. The tuba
Tweetable: What habits, if instilled with love, will most likely lead kids into a richly satisfying life of doing right by each other and walking humbly with God? Read more here. Click to Tweet