If you have been following this blog for any length of time, you know the spiritual development of a child begins and ends with the choices of the child. We cannot (and should not try to) force a child into a particular belief or spiritual practice.
Yet we can walk beside them to provide support their their journey of discovery. They want trusted adults to act as sounding boards and coaches as they work out their spiritual questions and ideas.
Specifically, what is the adult’s role?
In this next series of blog entries, you can browse 8 different components or categories within human spirituality and select ways to engage with the important children in your life.We will look at one each week for the next eight weeks.
8 Components of Spirituality
- Personal transformation
- Authentic relationships
- Generous living
- Spiritual responsiveness
- Sacrificial service
- Guiding others
- Community transformation
- Experiencing God
For each of these general areas we’ll provide lists, specific examples, and ideas you can take and use to strengthen the child’s human spirit. You decide which are best for you.
Cull our lists.
Recognize you may need to adapt certain items to fit well with your spiritual tradition or beliefs. For example, if sacred writings are mentioned, which ones do you mean? Or if showing hospitality or caring for the earth aren’t values or important parts of your tradition, are there other values you substitute for them?
Above all, remember never to force.
The adult’s role is to model, initiate conversations, and provide resources and opportunities. The adult’s role is not force or indoctrination.
Take your time.
Spiritual development takes a lifetime and cannot be crammed. Be careful not to push kids where they’re not ready. A checklist of ideas is not something you can go through in a month or a year.
Chart your path forward.
Focus more mindfully on spiritual development now and your decisions can improve the child’s future.
Tweetable: New series directs adults to the priority moral values a child needs for spiritual proficiency. Click to Tweet