No one need remind parents these days just how much is involved in rearing a child. They know! Perhaps that's why parenting has grown so popular as a discussion topic.
What's parenting? It's the whole scope of ideas and theories on child rearing. You find it in books, special seminars, city recreation courses, to name but a few sources. Young moms and dads gather to share ideas and experiences. And there is much to be shared and learned!
But perhaps the question we should ask more often concerning our children is not "How do I know what to do?" but "Whom knows what to do?"
God knows! God is the Father-Mother of all. He is our divine Parent. And we can reach out to Him at any time for just the answer we need in any situation regarding children.
Mary Baker Eddy n1 often refers to God as "Father," "Father-Mother," or "Parent" in her writings on christian Science. She says at one point, "Father-Mother is the name for Deity, which indicates His tender relationship to His spiritual creation." n2 And elsewhere she writes, "That which was first was God, immortal Mind, the Parent of all."m n3
n1 Mrs. Eddy is the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science;
n2 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,m p. 332;
n3 Unity of Good,m p. 35
Child rearing is doubtless one of the most important undertakings we could assume in a lifetime. No one wants to approach it casually. When it comes to the "to-do's" or "not-to-do's" with a child, we can always ask the divine One, whose law, when followed, maintains harmony.
Two incidents illustrate the point. The first, from the Old Testament, involves Moses -- as a newborn -- and his mother. n4 Pharaoh had decreed that all male Hebrew babies be exterminated. Moses' mother, to save the child, placed him in a makeshift boat and set it among the reeds on the bank of the Nile. Of course she didn't just trust him to chance. There was a deep faith in God in what she did.As we know, Pharaoh's daughter discovered the babe. And not only was he not killed but he was reared as a prince, finally going forth as the great Hebrew leader -- all in fulfillment of God's plan of salvation.
n4 See Exodus 1:15-2:10
Consider the other incident this one from the New Testament. n5 After Jesus' birth, Joseph was warned by an angel ". . . saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him." Later, of course, they returned to Israel, and Jesus grew safely to manhood, going on to fulfill the divine mission now so sweetly familiar to us.
n5 See Matthew 2:13-23.
With each child there was real cause for concern. And in each case the parents acted not in response to their own inclinations but in response to God's word.
Moses' mother did nothing humanly after he went into the basket. In the truest sense of the word, she had let go of him, totally releasing him to God's love. Joseph and Mary, on the other hand, took strong human action. In fact they totally uprooted themselves to another country. What might be viewed as passive behavior in the one instance versus vigorous parental intercession in the other was actually the same response. In each instance, the parents knew the right thing to do because they had listened to God. Though humanly the responses contrasted, in a spiritual vein they were identical.
No doubt these parents wasted little time fretting about what to do. So deep was their trust in God that they had no question He would make His way known.
How can we exercise such a trust?We can seek an understanding of God. We can pray and strive to bring out His wisdom and purity in our conversation and actions. We can begin to really know that God is here -- that great Love, holding every child of His creating in the "tender relationship" referred to earlier.
There is no earthly comparison to the intensity and completeness of the Father- Mother's love for each of His spiritual children. This complete love is what every parent yearns to provide for his or her child. It secures the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of the child. And it is unfailing. DAILY BIBLE VERSE He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children. Psalms 113:9