Sunday, November 21, 2010

Spiritual Development of Children

Yesterday morning my wife and I attended a workshop at our church. Viv Houk, author of Parenting by Developmental Design: You, Your Child and God and a member of our church, shared about the spiritual development of children. It was a good workshop--no big "aha moments," but plenty to think about.

She hit on the spiritual development progress of children: the need for protective love, order, fairness and justice, forgiveness and heroes to follow. We talked about a child's spiritual experience--how it's innate in all children, even if they don't have exposure to faith within the home. We talked about what children need in order to have their faith nurtured.

One of the main things that stuck out to us was the importance of including children. We're thankful to be in a church that values the presence of children in worship. Not only do children learn from us, but we need them to learn from as well. Too often, children are encouraged to be "seen and not heard" in churches. And too often in homes as well. It's important for children to belong, to be needed.

We discussed the importance of including children in chores around the home. It's not easy--sometimes they cause tasks to take much longer than they need in times when we want to get things done quickly. Children just want time with us, though. It's important for their development.

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