Posts Tagged With: children and family

Safe

The angel of the lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.” Psalm 34v7

A friend asked me the other day if I thought that a guardian angel watched over my children. He pointed out the many times I wasn’t there to physically keep them from harm and the countless risks and threats that had been prevented in my absence. I did not have a ready answer for him but it got me thinking because as a parent the foremost thing on my mind is to keep my children secure.

But don’t we all need protecting? Don’t we seek out someone or something to keep us safe? We are fragile, we need to be protected. We take shelter from our raging environment. We hide or fight when an enemy invades. We cry out for support when hurt. I find the verb ‘encamp’ in the cited Bible verse to be so powerful and such a great image. It brings great comfort. And, importantly, it is not meant to be metaphorical.

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To reveal or to conceal belief

Forcing a religion on your children is as bad as child abuse” Richard Dawkins

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” King Solomon, Proverbs 22 verse 6.

If you believe in God, should you share that belief with your child? The famous quote above from Dawkins has made its way in to public sentiment and I think there is a general societal perception that when it comes to religion, parents and educators have a vague duty to inform the child about the existence of the distinctive world religions, and then leave it up to her/him to decide what s/he does with that information. One should keep her/his personal convictions to her/himself. To go explicitly further and begin to share those beliefs with the child could be akin to a form of indoctrination.

If I believe, however, that God has actually made a profound difference in my life, then it becomes problematic to attempt to step back and allow my child to choose from the differing religions or non-religions on option. Indeed, if something deep and meaningful happens to anyone, then isn’t it within our human nature to want to communicate that experience or incident to other people?

A further difficulty with keeping one’s personal conviction to her/himself, is that an underlying principle of faith is that it is something that has to be lived out on a daily basis, it has an inextricable influence on one’s words and actions. If, therefore, I want to sincerely share my own faith with my child, then he will first need to see what affect that profession of faith has on my life, how it influences my behaviour. If he does not see this, then any words that affirm belief are simply empty, unsubstantiated and meaningless.

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