Be Like A Child

I stopped going to church when I went to college.  I was finally own my own (sort of) and could make the decision without any consequences.  Except for a brief period where I visited and joined the church I would eventually get married at, I chugged a long without the assistance of ministers or Sunday school teachers.  I was happy with that decision, relieved even.  The battle I’d fought (inwardly if not outwardly) every Sunday was now non-existent.

For the most part the people in my life left me alone on matters of religion until I had a baby.  When Bella was born I started to hear “You need to find a church.  It is important for children to be raised in church.”  I didn’t know if they were right or wrong, I just knew I didn’t want to set foot in a church.  When I finally discovered and began attending Unity Eastside, some people were happy for my girls.  Others were not because Unity was not the right kind of church.

This week I started reading “The History of God” by Karen Armstrong.  While reading, this idea (from Jesus) came to mind:   “Unless you become like little children, you cannot know the meaning of Life, for your minds must be cleared of the falsehoods of this realm if you are to be taught Eternal Truth.” Another thought that came to mind was something my friend @darkwulfe stated in a comment a couple of weeks ago.  He said this:  “So just out of curiosity…would this support my theory that God did not create man in HIS image, but rather MAN creates god in HIS image? Would it not indicate that the concept of God is influenced by the ebb and flow of society? Just a thought :-)

I think that young children are about as close to God as you can get.  They are empty vessels, open channels.  They acknowledge the mystery and wonder in things.  They live and love like the only moment is now.  As time goes by they start to learn the ways of the world.  They begin to emulate the people that surround them.  We decide then that we must show them what is right.  We start to teach them about God, assuming they require our knowledge, without even considering they only recently emerged from God.   The problem that comes with this is that everyone has their own personal definition of God.  We create God in our image and then introduce him to our children.

These days, I take my daughters to church because they love church.  The people there are family to them.  The focus in our Unity church is a God of love.  That is what I want my girls to learn, whether they name it God or not.  I want to teach them love, compassion, and forgiveness.  I want my every action to represent those qualities.  I don’t want them living by the rules of an organization, but by the golden rule.  There are certain things I have to remind myself of.  I know that my girls are always watching me, even when I think they are not.  I don’t always get it right, which is of course why I can write about it here…because it is my lesson too.

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7 thoughts on “Be Like A Child

  1. ray January 29, 2010 / 9:56 am

    This post brought tears to my eyes. In my opinion, you’ve got it right.

    • lesleehorner January 29, 2010 / 5:00 pm

      Thank you Ray! Nice to hear I made a grown man cry…oh wait you’re not really a grown man though. 😉

  2. Darkwulfe January 29, 2010 / 3:22 pm

    I would agree as well…as you well know. I think the most important lesson that we can teach our children is love, compassion and anon-judgemental open mind. I think by extension our children should also learn that church is NOT the only place to learn morality and compassion. Too often, in my opinion, these qualities are allowed to be linked to church and god and faith resulting in a society that sees church going people as good people and by contrast non church going people as bad people. This is a lesson that I have not quite figured out how to teach my children. The oldest two live with their mom and she is a HUGE church person despite her lewd lifestyle. My youngest goes to church with my parents and they very very clearly and unapologetically subscribe to the “good people go to church” idea which leaves me somewhere between a hooker and a drunk drug addict in their book! Any way… that is just my two cents…and a very well written and well presented post my Friend.

    • lesleehorner January 29, 2010 / 5:08 pm

      “let your no’s be no and your yes’s be yes.” I just want to be sure my walking and talking match up… Thank you for your contribution to this post! This is what I was talking about on Twitter the other day…why that book reminded me of you.

  3. eastkentuckygal January 29, 2010 / 10:49 pm

    This post is a special one. You are a thinking mother. A mindful mother. Your children will find their way because you care. This post has really struck me at the right time. Thank you.

  4. Mehmet January 30, 2010 / 10:47 am

    Although I think that it can’t hurt and is most likely beneficial for children to go to a place where people gather to practice, teach, and express a consistent message of love and caring for our fellow man the greatest church is that of your home. You undoubtably foster an environment in your home that would rival any church I’m sure. The plus being that they get to attend 24/7 365 and not for just a few hours once a week.

    • lesleehorner January 30, 2010 / 6:04 pm

      What a great comment Mehmet! I suppose church really is a state of mind…

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