can I best incorporate God into my parenting?
can be looked at in three ways. The first is rather biological,
seeing parenthood as the begetting of offspring. The second is
more nurturing, seeing a parent as one who brings up and cares
for another being. The third is more encompassing, seeing the
parent as the source from which something is derived.
Christian tradition, our view of God is influenced by our personal
of the divine, what the Bible tells us about how God acts in the world, and by
what our religious traditions tells us about the nature of God. Scripture and
tradition inform us that God is not only the source and the sustainer
of all things, but
that God is primarily the encompassing source in which we live, and move, and
have our being.
good way of incorporating God into parenting is to remember three
important lessons. The first is that we
are stewards of our children—indeed we
are stewards of all of God's creation. We have our children "on
loan;"they are not really ours, but God's.
They are precious in God's sight, and we are responsible to God
to do the best we can to nurture and care for them.
is to remember that despite the misunderstandings or frank rebellion
of God's people, God was always faithful to them. God never abandoned
God's chosen people; God did not abandon Jesus to the worldly
powers. As parents, we are sometimes tempted to become vindictive
and to seek retribution for the misdoings of our children. That
is a temptation we need to avoid so that we can emulate
to our children the loving and caring attributes of God. Correction of misdoings
clearly proper and necessary as a parent, but such correctives need to be applied
with love and care.
we need to emulate the
important God-like quality and listen to our offspring. We
need to truly hear them— perhaps changing
our all ready made up parental mind. Scripture informs us that
the person of God is not static, immovable, and adamant. When
God was convinced that the Israelite sojourners under Moses needed
to be severely punished, Moses spoke to God, and convinced God to change God's
mind (Exodus 32).
one way to sum up how we might best incorporate God into our
work as parents is to remember that it is our responsibility
to honor and respect the dignity of all persons. This is part
of our Baptismal covenant. When we honor and respect our children,
we will be teaching them the greatest lessons of all. By emulation
and example, we will show them how to love God with all their
hearts, and with all their souls, and with all their minds, and to love their
neighbors as themselves.
Rev. Canon William Stroop, Ph.D.