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God’s parenting

From the August 2017 issue of The Christian Science Journal

Of all that is near and dear to our hearts, our children are nearest and dearest. With them we often glimpse the spiritual nature of identity and good. We see how quick a small child is to forgive a wrong, to expect compassion, fairness, love. How blessed we are by our children and those lessons of divine justice and affection that they bring us.

How does one pray for a child? It involves even more than the most earnest petition, more than good intentions and aspirations. Arriving at the first step of such an undertaking involves a heartfelt surrender to God as the Father-Mother of us all, an awareness that we are not the creators or preservers of our children, but that God is and always has been the only source and provider of good in all our lives. This understanding guides our footsteps in caring for children.

As they grow, and face the challenges that confront them, we want what’s best for them, but we often hold opinions about what that may be. We want them to know they are God’s children, but we may find it hard to stop seeing them as our own reflections. We want them to respond to Spirit, and yet we try to work out how to get our ideas into their minds. Real prayer cannot begin until we plant ourselves on the side of divine causation and put aside personal notions about what it means to be a successful parent.

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