“But take care and watch yourselves closely, so as neither to forget the things that your eyes have seen nor to let them slip from your mind all the days of your life; make them known to your children and your children’s children.”Deuteronomy 4:9
On the radio station I listen to while driving, I’ve heard a commercial several times this week that points parents to resources to help them have discussions with their kids about … well… s-e-x. It conveys the anxiety and nervousness that some parents feel about having this kind of conversation. It ends with a voice over of a youngster counseling adults essentially to “tell us what you want us to know and how you want us to behave.”
It was never our blessing to be parents, so I can’t speak from firsthand experience, but I’ve been around as my sisters and friends raised their kids and have seen them deal with all the issues that come with raising a family. With all the pressures from the secular world that bombard our children almost from their birth, it seems to me that being a parent today has to be one of the most challenging roles one can have.
As if talking with kids about sex, drugs, and alcohol isn’t enough, many parents underestimate the impact they have on the spiritual formation of their children, according to research done by the Barna Group, a well-known marketing research group that specializes in looking at spiritual and religious topics. Research they conducted for a book on parenting is reported to show that:
·A person's moral foundations are generally in place by the time they reach age nine.
·A majority of Americans make a lasting determination about the personal significance of Christ's death and resurrection by age 12.
·In most cases people's spiritual beliefs are formed by their pre-teens.
·In essence, what you believe by the time you are 13 is what you will die believing. Of course, there are many individuals who go through life-changing experiences in which their beliefs are altered, or instances in which a concentrated body of religious teaching changes one or more core beliefs. However, most people's minds are made up and they believe they know what they need to know spiritually by age 13.
Moses cautioned the Israelites to remember God’s commandments and to pass along that knowledge to their children and their children’s children. Sunday School can help! Registration for fall is open now. But the most important “Sunday School” children learn from is the one that takes place every day at home, in the discussions, prayers, and examples shared by older family members.
Peace to you!
Mary Beth Commisso
Bible Readings for the Week
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Friday, August 28, 2009
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Sunday, August 30, 2009 - Lectionary 22 - Pentecost 13