Parenting: A Child’s Faith

As soon as a child is capable of learning that his voice can be heard by his loving mother or his loving father in another room, he is capable of learning that his voice can be heard by a loving Father whom he has never seen; who is always within hearing, but never within sight; who is the loving Father to his father and mother, as well as of himself and of everybody else; who is able to do all things, and who is sure to do all things well.
-H Clay Trumbull

parenting a childs faith

Mr. Trumbull suggests that the first lesson is that a child is to have faith in God. An important distinction is made that this is different from having faith something else, say in prayer. He believes that faith should rest wholly and absolutely on God and God alone. For example, let us say that a child is told to have faith in prayer and that God can do all things. Then let us say a child prays for a certain so-and-so and receives it, his faith in prayer is then increased. But let us say a child prays for a certain so-and-so and does not receive it, what is of his faith then? Is the child left to question God? Mr. Trumbull believes the child’s faith was misplaced. Instead he urges parents to consider that faith be placed in God alone.

If, however, on the other hand, you plainly tell a child that God knows what is best for us better than we know for ourselves, and that, while God is glad to have us come to Him with all our wishes and all our troubles, we must leave it to God to decide just what He will give to us and do for us, the child is ready to accept this statement as the truth; and then his faith in God is not disturbed in the slightest degree by finding that God has decided to do differently from his request to God in prayer.

Since taking Jamie as my wife and now with the arrival of Eleanor Jean, God has continued to show me more and more about Himself. Praise God that He seeks to let us know Him! Throughout the Bible God shows us Himself. We learn what He is like, to the best of our ability. In Ephesians chapter five we learn that the marriage relationship is like Christ’s relationship with the church. All throughout the Bible we are shown that God is our Father in heaven and so we learn that the relationship between God and us is like that of a parent to a child. What is so interesting about all this to me is that when we consider advice from Mr. Trumbull on faith and on prayer we are considering advice on how to relate to God. How to trust and how to communicate. So in my estimation, inherent in this advice is how our children should relate to us and our responsibilities to them.

And so we receive a lesson in how we are to trust our heavenly father and place our faith in him and not in ourselves actually, as would be if we thought something of the sort “why, that this-or-that I prayed for didn’t come to, and after all I do know what is best for me. Who else would?”  When thought about and considered a bit, I think, placing faith in prayer is like placing faith in our own estimation of what is right for us. And so in this same lesson Mr. Trumbull gives to us an understanding of how a child ought to follow his parents in spirit, knowing that, as the old saying goes, “father knows best”.

My son, keep thy father’s commandment, And forsake not the law of thy mother: Bind them continually upon thine heart, And tie them about thy neck. When thou goest, it shall lead thee; When thou sleepest, it shall keep thee; And when thou awakest, it shall talk with thee. For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; And reproofs of instruction are the way of life: -Proverbs 6:20-23

-A takeaway from Hints on Child Training by H Clay Trumbull

As always good books, takeaways, stories, and/or lessons learned on the subject are most appreciated.

Empty to Filled: Simplicity

“What you see and what you hear depends a great deal on where you are standing. It also depends on what sort of person you are.”

-C.S. Lewis

barbed wire fence, Kansas pasture

There was a point in my life where after a long day, I regret to say, I sometimes felt emptied to a point of toxicity. I felt I had nothing left to give. This is not true of course. I was being deceived. Mistaken indeed. Other times I have equally demanding days, yet I am filled.  Ready to serve. The difference seems to be one of attitude and perspective. Resentment seems to breed toxicity and emptiness. Thinking something was not fair. Someone did not do their part. Focusing on self.

The better way, I have come to believe, is to focus on gaining perspective.  True wisdom, I believe, is seeing things as God sees things.  We tend to get glimpses from time to time.  Understanding, I believe, is obeying God’s commands. Thinking of the long-term effects instead of the short-term.  The eternal perspective providing all understanding.

Reflection seems to be a tool for gaining perspective. Anyone can look back on yesterday and say ‘I was foolish’ but who can look in to the next minute and say ‘that would be foolish.’?  To say. To do. To think. Who can be so aware to notice feelings setting in?  Subtle attitudes taking hold?  Who can notice and change their course?  Reflection and pause and sensitivity are habits that make us wise.  Discipline and humility, I believe, aid in understanding.

 

-A takeaway from Simplify by Bill Hybels

As always good books, takeaways, stories, and/or lessons learned on the subject are most appreciated.

 

Law of Compensation

The Simple Path: Silence is Prayer. Prayer is Faith. Faith is Love. Love is Service. The Fruit of Service is Peace

-Mother Teresa

umbrella and rain drops closeup

This post runs the risk: what does this have to do with that?  And. How does that lead to this?  Still in some way they fit to me. The thought of heavy rain spattering against an umbrella. A peaceful sound. Let us suppose each drop of rain an opportunity to provide value. The protected wishes to be. Drops deflected value provided. Imagine still deflecting each drop on its own. A difficult task. Impossible perhaps. If that were the way, how valuable the the modern umbrella would be.

The Law of Compensation:

Your income is determined by how many people you serve and how well you serve them.

I have come to believe that once we have a good value to provide, our income is determined by the rate at which we  allow others to participate in the exchange. Innovation accelerates these occurrences in my experience. Innovation in this sense. Applying new systems or technology to scale service. A matter a leverage. Leverage without dilution of value all the better.  What systems can we adhere to allow others the value we provide exponentially?  Pick one point of value that you provide others and develop a simple system or apply a simple technology to accelerate the rate at which others can gain from it. Think one to many. I do this once and many gain and so on. Peace be with you.

 

-A takeaway from The Go Giver by Mann and Burg

As always good books, takeaways, stories, and/or lessons learned on the subject are most appreciated.

Anxiety into Peace

For the Present is the point at which time touches eternity.

-C.S. Lewis

Peace

A habit that I have come to cherish is a habit of peace and tranquility. It came from a mix of things I took away from How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie and The Servant Leader by Blanchard and Hodges and Mere Christianity by C.S. Lweis.  I like to do it as soon as my eyes open in the morning.  It goes like this.

  • get down on your knees and place your hands face down on the ground
  • list off all the things you are working towards in your life and commit them to the LORD
  • once you have exhausted your list turn your palms up and ask the LORD “What will You have of Your servant today LORD?”
  • listen and weigh what you hear against your foundation in the Bible
  • take your marching orders for the day and go in peace

I have been taught that often when I am anxious or worried about projects I am working on it is likely because I have not committed them to the LORD.  That I am being prideful and working for my own selfish interests.

I absolutely love the image above – a takeaway from C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity.   The idea that eternity transcends all time.  And.  The point at which eternity touches time is right now.  C.S. Lewis suggests that God wants us to focus on eternity and right now.  The Deceiver on the other hand would have us focus on the distant past and the distant future as a way to make sure we are not doing what we should be doing right now.  To paralyze us with fear and worry.

God help us focus on eternity and now.  Help us focus on You and on others.  Lead our spirits on level ground and establish the work of our hands LORD.

 

-A takeaway from How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie

-A takeaway from The Servant Leader by Blanchard and Hodges

-A takeaway from Mere Christianity by C.S. Lweis

 As always good books, takeaways, stories, and/or lessons learned on the subject would be the coolest.