Children are our future; children are probably the most valuable resource that our world has, even though we often take them and their upbringing for granted. They arrive naturally, whether planned or unplanned, wanted or unwanted, loved or not loved. Then it is the parent's responsibility to shelter, protect, and nurture them into adulthood. This blog is all about children - and parents - and how to raise spirit-minded children, as in this article called: Beth Moore: Parenting goal focused on Jesus by Tom Strode. Ms Moore's approach is to help her children know Jesus. Here are a few snips from that article about her:
"Beth Moore's primary parenting goal was for her daughters to know Jesus is everything...
"The main thing I was after with them was that I wanted them to know that Jesus was everything," Moore said of her two daughters, "that He wasn't just authority and the Big Boss that was just looking for them to mess up. But He was every single, wonderful thing in all of life.
"He was the biggest joy of my life, and I wanted my kids to understand that."
Click to read the entire article
I recommend this article; it contains valuable insight not only into raising children, but also into marriage and its challenges.
Are you ready for parenthood? The Urantia Book can help
The Urantia Book is a treasure-trove of information about, and advice on, children - their nature, their nurture, and how best to help them grow in grace and knowledge of God. I wish so much that I had had The Urantia Book before I decided to become a parent - and most certainly after I became a parent. Unfortunately, I did not have it, and so I made a great many mistakes that I may not have made, had I had the sane and sensible teachings of the revelation to guide me.
One of the biggest mistakes that I made was to decide for parenthood before I myself was completely grown up - mentally, and certainly spiritually. And I think this is a condition that many parents will be familiar with; sometimes we need more good parenting ourselves before we can hope to be good parents to a child. Growing in the knowledge of the parental, fatherly love of God accomplishes that, and is the reason that I recommend The Urantia Book so emphatically for anyone thinking about being a parent.
Experiencing the love of the heavenly Father that is revealed in the pages of The Urantia Book, and then actually SEEING that loving Father's nature revealed to us in the life and teachings of Jesus is so remarkable. The first five papers of the book (beginning HERE) are devoted to this revelation of God and will introduce God to you as you may never have even imagined him before
Not only that, but in The Urantia Book, we learn the nature of the presence of God within us - the book devotes five entire papers ( beginning HERE) to this amazing evidence of God's desire to fellowship and guide us in the most intimate way imaginable. This presence is called the Thought Adjuster, and these papers are some of most inspiring you will ever read. The most valuable result of these teachings is having the actual EXPERIENCE of that loving Father and making the gospel teaching of the Kingdom come alive. The parent/child relationship between God and the seeker, when successfully experienced by someone wanting to BE a parent, can go far in grounding that person in true reality. It heals the hurts, and steadies the soul for truly progressive service to the world.
And finally, The Urantia Book introduces us to a new way of looking at religion - its meaning and its utility in navigating a successful earthly life. Again, it is such an important subject that four full papers are devoted to it (beginning HERE)
This result of these teachings in my own life was to help me to become a more integrated, whole person...after I read and incorporated these teachings into my life, I felt that at last I had really begun to grow up into a fully adult person. More importantly, I felt I finally had something of real value to share with my child as he grew.
By the time that happened, many of the most important, formative years of my child's life were behind him; the mistakes that I made in my parenting had already left their scars, and could not be fully undone. Nevertheless, even so, I was - and am still - able to use the knowledge and experience I have gained through my study of The Urantia Book to enrich as much as I can the rest of my child's life. Our kids never stop struggling with the battles of life, and a loving, integrated parent can always be of help to them in winning those battles!
I even introduced him to the book when he was a teenager, and it remains a spiritual staple in his life. I asked for, and received his forgiveness for my ignorant foibles in his early life, and he has now had the experience of seeing that anyone can change for the better, especially when spiritual growth is the source of that change. He is now inspired to believe that for himself. Additionally, the addition of The Urantia Book in HIS life has now positively informed the parenting of his own children. Progress!
Teachings about children
Here on TruthBook, we have a nice study on children; a condensation of some of the most inspiring of Urantia Book teachings about them. I want to share a few of these teachings with you. They may prove valuable to you whether you are now a parent, a grandparent, or just thinking about being a parent. Even if you are not so far from being a child yourself, I hope that you'll enjoy what you read.
100:1.4 Children are permanently impressed only by the loyalties of their adult associates; precept or even example is not lastingly influential. Loyal persons are growing persons, and growth is an impressive and inspiring reality. Live loyally today—grow—and tomorrow will attend to itself. The quickest way for a tadpole to become a frog is to live loyally each moment as a tadpole.
This statement is so important; your child sees what is important to you - what it is that you are loyal to. If it's modern culture, material things, money, they notice and want to do likewise. If it's Jesus (as the mother in the article above), praying, going to church, being kind and generous, they also notice and will grow in that path, as long as they see that it is meaningful to you, and you can share why it is so. As the book states: "...growth is indicated by enhancement of ideals, increased appreciation of values, new meanings of values, and augmented loyalty to supreme values."
Read more about children and religious growth HERE
The alter-ego - imaginary playmates
All of us who are familiar with children know that they have imaginary playmates - they talk to themselves. And as we grow older, some of us lose that practice. But it turns out that the practice of communicating with an "alter-ego" as children do, is a valuable means of learning to communicate with God as one grows up.
91:3.1 Children, when first learning to make use of language, are prone to think out loud, to express their thoughts in words, even if no one is present to hear them. With the dawn of creative imagination they evince a tendency to converse with imaginary companions. In this way a budding ego seeks to hold communion with a fictitious alter ego. By this technique the child early learns to convert his monologue conversations into pseudo dialogues in which this alter ego makes replies to his verbal thinking and wish expression. Very much of an adult's thinking is mentally carried on in conversational form.
See Prayer and the Alter Ego for more info on this sweet practice, and its spiritual implications - for children and for grownups!
And this: the child's nature
The evolutionary soil in the mind of man in which the seed of revealed religion germinates is the moral nature that so early gives origin to a social consciousness. The first promptings of a child's moral nature have not to do with sex, guilt, or personal pride, but rather with impulses of justice, fairness, and urges to kindness —helpful ministry to one's fellows. And when such early moral awakenings are nurtured, there occurs a gradual development of the religious life which is comparatively free from conflicts, upheavals, and crises.
Every human being very early experiences something of a conflict between his self-seeking and his altruistic impulses, and many times the first experience of God-consciousness may be attained as the result of seeking for superhuman help in the task of resolving such moral conflicts.
The psychology of a child is naturally positive, not negative. So many mortals are negative because they were so trained. When it is said that the child is positive, reference is made to his moral impulses, those powers of mind whose emergence signals the arrival of the Thought Adjuster.
In the absence of wrong teaching, the mind of the normal child moves positively, in the emergence of religious consciousness, toward moral righteousness and social ministry, rather than negatively, away from sin and guilt. There may or may not be conflict in the development of religious experience, but there are always present the inevitable decisions, effort, and function of the human will.
Hard to improve on that - and there's more. Please see Religion and the Individual for more teachings about how religion evidences itself in children.
You can access the entire study on Children HERE. It is full of Urantia Book teachings to inform and inspire you ... and the children in your life will benefit!
Spiritual parenting techniques
And if you might be interested in being of even greater service to the children in your life insofar as their spiritual growth is concerned, please see this series of amazing essays and practical activities that can be used for that purpose.
See Parenting and Family Life.