Thursday, May 08, 2008

food for thought

Lately I've been thinking a lot about the spiritual nurturing of our children, especially after Conference. While I feel like we do pretty well on having family scriptures/prayer and individual prayers with both children, I'm curious as to what you/your parents do/did to really teach your children about the gospel. What do you feel is most effective? What is hardest for you to implement? Where do you feel like you're really making a difference? Please comment, because I'd love to know what's working for you.

One of our goals is to be more regular with Family Home Evenings. Our evenings are generally really busy, and for the last semester Neil's had to work late on Monday evenings anyway, so sad to say, the formal FHE hasn't been happening as regularly as we'd like it to. So we're stepping up to the plate this summer. We've also found it most effective to have family scriptures at 7 am together before Neil leaves for work (last semester we did it in the evenings since I left so early and it was much harder to be regular).

One area where I feel we're really doing well is in talking to our children about what/why we're doing church-related things and including them as much as possible as we fulfill our responsibilities. For instance, I always take the children with me when I go visiting teaching, and Neil often will take them home teaching as well. When I heard Abigail explaining to Juliet that we were going to be leaving in a few moments to "go take my friend's mommy a dinner, 'cause she is sick and that is a nice thing to do to help her out," I really felt like I'd accomplished something that day in teaching my children about compassion and service.

On a semi-related note (related to me because it was a rough morning that required a lot of patience!), here's one of my new favorite quotes (from Elder Russell M. Nelson) on child-rearing with the Spirit: "Do not try to control your children. Instead, listen to them, help them to learn the gospel, inspire them, and lead them toward eternal life. You are God's agents in the care of children He has entrusted to you. Let His divine influence remain in your hearts as you teach and persuade."

And on a completely unrelated note, last night the wind really hit our crabapple tree. While I'm sad to see the blossoms go, I fell in love with the aftermath--doesn't it look like a (pink) fairy garden? Beautiful!


Rosalind said...

lol wow i thought those were all little pink flowers, and i was really impressed that you got them to cover the rocks, too. it looks pretty, anyway. :)

Andrew Clarke said...

Liz(my wife) and I prayed before our children were even born that we would only have children if they were going to be saved. And when they were born, we prayed with each of them, daily, bought them what seemed like good Christian books for children and simply lived out the idea that Christianity is a complete world view. It is not a Sunday only thing. Happily for us we were led to a church that nurtures and prays for children. But seeking God's help is the underlying thing. There is not, as far as we know, some specific method. If you feel like checking my blog,
On an unrelated topic, if you enjoy reading Christian novels, may I suggest one to try? "Outcasts Of Skagaray". There are excerpts and details on
God be with you and all yours.

danielle said...

Since we are jsut getting started I don't have any good advice yet...but thanks for yours! I love that quote though. I wholeheartedly agree. It's amazing how much our little children are their own little people and we are blessed to have them and to do our best to raise them to be their best...not make them be how we want them to be.

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