Monday, June 25, 2007

Teaching the things of God to our Children

From Miss Mason:

The next considerations that will press upon the mother are of the times, and the manner,of this teaching in the things of God. It is better that these teachings be rare and precious, than too frequent and slighty valued; better not at all, than that the child should be surfeited with the mere sight of spiritual food, rudely served. At the same time, he must be built up in the faith, and his lessons must be regular and progressive; and here everything depends upon the tact of the mother.

Spiritual teaching, like the wafted odour of flowers, should depend on which way the wind blows. Every now and then there occurs a holy moment, felt to be holy by mother and child, when the two are together––that is the moment for some deeply felt and softly spoken word about God, such as the occasion gives rise to. Few words need be said, no exhortation at all; just the flash of conviction from the soul of the mother to the soul of the child. Is 'Our Father' the thought thus laid upon the child's soul? there will be, perhaps, no more than a sympathetic meeting of eyes hereafter, between mother and child, over thousand showings forth of 'Our Father's' love; but the idea is growing, becoming part of the child's spiritual life.

This is all: no routine of spiritual teaching; a dread of many words, which are apt to smother the fire of the sacred life; much self-restraint shown in the allowing of seeming opportunities to pass; and all the time, earnest purpose of heart, and a definite scheme for the building up of the child in the faith. It need not be added that, to make another use of our Lord's words, "this kind cometh forth only by prayer." It is as the mother gets wisdom liberally from above, that she will be enabled for this divine task. (Vol 1 Charlotte Mason)

one step at a time...


  1. Betty26.6.07

    Beautiful Linda,

    How I pray that the Lord help me share the instances of noticing Him throughout the day. No lectures, just "Aha!'.

    My 3yod just came up to me this morning and shared with me that the cut on her toe which she was very scared about has healed. She said "God made it disappear. He made it all better!" My 3yo shared an "our Father" moment with me! I am truly blessed!

    Grace & Peace,

  2. Amber26.6.07

    Thanks so much for this. Now I have language for these special moments. "Our Father" moments.

  3. Our Father Moments, Oohh, very good Amber!

    Linda, thanks for stopping by my blog. : )

  4. My four- and almost-3-year-old recently made confessions of faith, and I've been both elated and tired, trying to think how to feed them, and decide how much is "enough."

    Recently my husband asked me what Im doing to grow them, as I was talking about it for a day or so after each of the girls.

    I confessed that I wasn't doing bible stories every day any more, and wanted to protest that I've been sick, and tired, but don't feel that justifies...

    Do you have thoughts on how bible-instruction would be more tiring than simply reading folktales or children's stories?

    All I can guess is that my desire to convey what is true correctly makes them more mentally involved (at least for me) than other stories I don't mind how they absorb.

    Any more talk you have on this topic would interest me greatly.

  5. Anonymous26.6.07


    I have always enjoyed insight on your ideas on training and correcting children. You have really given me many things to think about and start to change in myself before I can change them in my son. I'm having a problem I hope you might be able to give me suggestions on. My DS who is nine is a very energetic, sweet and outgoing kids. People are constantly telling me how thoughtful he is and how respectful he is. Well, it is not that way at home with us. He is for the most part good natured. But he is very argumentative, and mouthy. Not overly like some children I have seen just he will argue about anything. Time to brush his teeth he argues and complains, have to go to the store argues and complains tell him the sky is blue he says it's green. It seems to me that my day is spent moving from one arguement to another. Of course his mouth infuriates me and I tend to spend to much time getting on to him about his arguing. It is interfering with my enjoyment of him and his sister who is 4. Now she is starting to pick up on it. They argue with each other. Nit picking until I want to pull my hair out! I immediately step in and correct them both but it seems to not be making a difference.I am just finding it harder and harder to stay kind and not yell and be a mean Mom. Please if you have any advise I would greatly appreciate it! I know I'm to blame for this behavior but I am at a loss at how to fix it now that I've created the monster. I tend to be a little argumenative and outspoken too ( I see so much of my emotional makeup in him it's scary) but I see the fault and am working very hard to stop it. DS is very contradictory, one minute he is independent, the next he is falling apart because he can't empty the dishwasher on his own. He is can be extremely emotional,and sensitive. He frustrates very easy,so school is a little trying right now.(But he is not over active nor does he have trouble concentrating.) He will have emotional breakdowns over what seems to me as trivial.I try to be understanding to a point but I also don't want him to feel it's ok to melt down about every dissappointment in life.This has been this way since he was very little so I'm trying to undo 9 years of bad parenting. PLEASE ANY ADVISE would be so helpful!!!

    Many, Many, Many, Thanks


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  7. Jeanne S.27.6.07


    Sorry for leaving this question on your comment box as it doesn't necessarily pertain to this post -- and feel free to answer this if/when you have the time, inspiration, whatever.

    I would love to hear your thoughts on our children as idols - especially as homeschooling moms. Children, parenting, homeschooling are all *good* things, but when they become *first* things, that's not good. How can we guard against this? I can see how this could be a problem with homeschooling moms. We can get so consumed with our children - ie: their schedule, their curriculum, their habit training, etc... that we lose sight of our first love which should be our Father. I don't want this to happen! It would be better for them to be in a brick and mortar school than for their mommy to be making an idol of them. Any words of wisdom??

  8. Ladies,
    I wish I had the time to address each comment and question, but I honestly don't. Also, I try to answer and make posts prayerfully and thus, do not always feel at liberty to address every question that is asked of me. So, briefly...

    Amy, I recommend these links:

    I highly recommend Raising Godly Tomatoes website on my sidebar.

    Absolutely. Anything can be an idol if it comes before our relationship with God, including family. We must all be careful of not committing this grave error. I do think, however, that the accusation of 'family being an idol' is sometimes used by those opposed to strong families, and therefore sometimes invalid. I believe that God's will for a married woman with children is to devote her time in raising them to love and follow him. This is her priority. She still will feel the need to help others and be salt and light outside of her home, but it should not come above this God- given mandate. And that is a woefully short explanation of my stance, but it will have to do for now.