Monday, June 1, 2009

Teach Children About Spiritual Stuff?

Removing God?

 “You can be good without God.” CTA buses have begun accepting anti-God advertising from groups wanting the very idea of God eliminated from our thinking. So why should parents bother to teach their children about God? People can be good without God, the source of all goodness, right? It’s absolutely true they can do good, kind and generous deeds without knowledge of God,  but can people be as strong?

Parents who give children an understanding of the reality of their spiritual nature and the existence of a loving, empowering God give them a source of lifelong strength.

The God debate is not just philosophical argument. God is a real and present help often unexperienced until called upon in a state of desperation. The Bible, best-selling book of all time, declares this very thing: Psalm 46:1  “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”

Unfortunately without spiritual knowledge, depression, despair, even suicide beckon when life feels out of control, when the tower of human strength cracks apart, there’s no undergirding to hold a person. As a family therapist I’ve seen lives fall apart when this imperfect world doesn’t make sense and becomes a source of pain. Witness the children and adults who commit suicide when an important relationship ends or because  of financial loss or loss of prestige. Korea is still in shock following the recent suicide of former President Roh Moo-hyun last week. The 62-year-old leapt to his death following charges of corruption. Suicide tempts those who have no inner core spiritual stability. In fact, where do you turn if yourself is all that you have?

A child or an adult need not even be a church attender, but can still have an inner core of belief that adds emotional stability through tough times. Certainly, attending an active church is a plus. The friendships formed can add another circle of emotional support for an individual. God’s people learn that loving and caring for others as ourselves is part of the deal in connection with God.

Parents like to give their sons and daughters gifts. There is no greater gift than teaching children they’re spiritual beings created in the image of God for an important purpose. Parents love and deeply care about their children and they know most likely their life span will not match their offspring. When parents die they can leave their children of any age, a legacy of love and care of a constantly present, doting God that will serve even adult children well all the days they live.

And if parents don’t know this God because no one ever taught them about the reality of a loving, God this may be the time to make a discovery that will change parents’ lives as well. How? Visit a church and ask a pastor how can I come to know this God you serve. Ask a friend who seems to have a strong connection. Who actually is this Jesus? Do some research. I urge reading His own words in the gospels to see what to think for yourself.

Don’t deprive your children of this important spiritual component of their make-up. They are spiritual beings designed with meaning and purpose. Children can have a real and present help for any situation they experience throughout life.

Just a few thoughts.

The exciting mystery for ages 9-14, The Adventures of Tommy Smurlee, teaches children about  the Sunmaker (God), Who is the source of all Wisdom and Goodness.