I mentioned in an earlier blog post that any moment with children can be used as a moment to invite God into the conversation.
I also notice that children take the same opportunity. You may notice in your homes that your children do “Church celebrations” or “do Church” as in they want to imitate, in their pretend play, the joyous prayer and celebration that they are witness to through the life of the church.
I know we are busy as parents. But we also know that what we pay attention to is what we help to nurture in our children. Last night as part of our bedtime wind down my daughter took her patron saint’s icon off the wall and wanted to do a “celebration”. It was late. We were already way behind schedule and really needed to get into bed. But she wasn’t simply trying to get out of getting into bed, she was feeling inspired towards prayer, prayer and adoration as only a three-year-old could understand it. So we each gathered an icon, marched around the room singing “Christ is Risen” and said one of the evening prayers we say in the nighttime. It didn’t take long and was beautiful and spontaneous and loving. No one was “too tired” to say their prayer and everyone was alert and engaged!
When we bring it up the faith it is powerful, but when our children bring it up it is even more powerful. It shows the seed of Faith within them. Isn’t this what it’s all about? So a plea for myself and for others is that we look out for and recognize those moments when our children spontaneously speak of God or prayer or invite God and prayer into their play. And that we drop everything for a few moments, just as we might for something else we know is important for our spiritual lives, and nurture that interest and connection that our child is trying to share.
I’d love to hear other ways you notice your child’s faith entering into the daily fabric of their lives and how else you nurture it?
With love in Christ,
PS. If you read this and you think “my children never do that” don’t despair. For grown ups prayer and spiritual life can often be very internal, but for children we need to externalize a lot of it to bring them in. It may be that in your home this isn’t happening as much yet. No problem. Now you can be intentional. Bring God into the conversation more. Make sure icons and crosses are prominently displayed in your home. Read children’s books that talk about God. The more our Faith just becomes part of our daily lives the more our children will internalize and the more likely you will be to see that come out in their play.