promises, promises. Yes, I did. I promised my cousin that I would blog more. So here I am blogging more. Happy? Good. I've decided to try that every other day thing. Get myself on a schedule of sorts. Maybe then I'll be better. Don't get me wrong, I have plenty of things to blog about. When I'm cooking or changing a diaper or doing one of the myriad things that I do throughout the day, I think I could blog about this or this...I should do that. And then I don't! Why you ask? Basically, I am lazy. I just don't want it bad enough. Maybe if someone took away my blog for a month or told me I really shouldn't be blogging, then maybe I would... Sorry you don't count.
But that's not what this blog is about. This post is about a very interesting question my sister posed. She asked me how to teach her children morality (which I believe includes a belief in God/ Supreme Being in this case) without organized religion? In her words, "Is there a middle ground?" So what do you think internets?
Here are a few of my ideas:
Teach: If you want your children to believe in something you have to teach it. If you believe in God/Supreme Being/Buddha, teach about Him. Teach about who He is, what He is there for and why you should believe in Him and what He does for each of us. If you believe in Jesus, teach about His life and teachings. Teach about how He gave His life so that we might all live again. Whether you believe in Jesus or not the the things He taught in the New Testament have value, in my option.
Pray: Teach (there's that word again) your children to pray. Pray with them in good times and bad. Pray for answers with them. Pray for them, for yourself to know how to raise them. Teach them to pray for answers for themselves when they are old enough. Anyone can pray, anytime and God will always be listening. And then practice listening and looking for the answers to our prayers. Sometimes it is a still small voice or and idea that "pops" in our heads, sometimes it is the actions of another. An answered pray can come in anyway. Look for it and point it out to them.
Be Thankful: So many times we go through life not acknowledging who it is who blesses us. We need to point out to our children that the source of all that is good comes from above. and then we need to thank Him, through prayer, or service, or just looking up, acknowledging His work, and saying thank you.
Read Scripture: If you believe in the Bible or any other from of scriptures, read them to your children. There are complete generations who don't know the stories of Noah or Jonah. Now maybe you believe this in history (as I do) and/or that they are really good stories that actually have a moral lesson. Either way, way read and teach from them. Talk about the morals and relate them to personal situations. Like the ever popular WWJD (What Would Jesus Do.) Find a book of scriptures (illustrated or otherwise) that you agree with and read them.
Gain Faith: What is Faith? Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1). We believe without proof. How do we gain faith? We put things in God's mighty hands and let Him take our burdens. We ask Him for help knowing that He will be there and guide us in the path that we should go. We step into the darkness having faith that He will not leave us. Knowing that He is right beside us, hand in hand, taking us to the place we need to be. The only way to teach that is to be an example of it, to talk about it. Phrases like, "I know that God will help us" or "That must not be what we should do right now."
Be an Example: All of this is about teaching. We cannot expect our children to "figure it out" for themselves at a young age. If you want them to learn morality and values you need to teach them. Because if you don't, believe me, someone else will. The values you teach at a young age will become a part of your children's lives. And even if they make decisions against what they were taught, it is still in there some place helping them. If you have questions ask someone you trust, like my sister did. You may not agree with all or any of the answer given, but it will you to thinking about what you do believe on the topic.
I know that I would be no where without my Heavenly Father and His son. I know that They live and are watching out for me. I know that They know me better than I know myself. They have given me the experiences and have put me in this place, at this time, with these experiences to teach me and to help and to bless me. And by having these experiences, I am able to help Them bless the lives of others. I know that God lives. And that Jesus Christ suffered and was crucified for our sins so that we can return to live with them.
I hope that didn't get too preachy. But it's my blog and I can get preachy if I want. Not that I want. These are my thoughts and ideas. Glean from them what you will and toss the rest aside. All I ask for in return is respect for what I believe. Building Moral Intelligence by Michele Borba is also a great tool for teaching values. I love this book!!
So what do you think internets...did I forget anything? I'll be interested in your responses....