Parents and the care of children

PARENTS around the world have a natural, built-in feeling of care and affection for their children. This includes a deep-rooted desire to shelter their children's well-being.

When it comes to caring for a child's health, most people in society seek medical help. But sometimes, after even the most earnest and heroic medical efforts, the father and mother have been confronted with a verdict of incurability. Often this has been the moment when a real search began. Parental love has been at the core of a refusal to give up hope.

It is at this point that many parents have found healing for their children in Christian Science. They are profoundly grateful for the healing - their children are now living normal lives. But these parents have found even more. They have discovered a way to care for their children that not only restores and preserves health, but also fosters and strengthens a child's moral and spiritual development. In fact, these parents are learning that physical health and spirituality are dealt with more effectively when they are dealt with together.

The Christian Scientist traces the love he feels for his child to God. He sees God as divine Love itself, the source of genuine spiritual affection that cares for all creation. Divine Love is manifested through parental thought and action. The parent's love for the child is a natural way of expressing God. The healing of children is based on this love, on the power of God shining through the parent's life, inspiring his prayer. This prayer includes the discernment of a child's God-given health and wholeness; it humbly accepts the presence and power of the universal, healing Christ to destroy disease.

For many generations now thousands of parents have cared for their children through the spiritual means taught by Christian Science. They have not claimed a perfect record - any more than an honest doctor claims a flawless record for the treatment his profession offers. And yet anyone who looks through a few years of the testimonies of healing published weekly in the Christian Science Sentinel and monthly in The Christian Science Journal sees very quickly why parents have come to rely on prayer for healing every kind of illness. A survey of these testimonies shows that people are proving the practicality of Christ Jesus' promise that his followers would do the works that he did. n1

n1 See John 14:12

Sometimes those familiar only with medical care may assume that its absence means no care - that proper care has been withheld. But this assumption completely avoids a century of what Christian Science has provided for children. Parents very naturally turn to what firsthand experience has caused them to feel most certain about. And many of these parents are those who, while respecting honest medical efforts, have, as a practical matter, found more certainty in healing when relying on Christian Science.

Such reliance is never a matter of blind faith, of holding rigidly to some Scriptural verse, of following some sort of church dictate or prohibition. There is only one reason a parent turns exclusively to God for healing. He has reached a heartfelt and reasoned conclusion that this is the safest and surest care for his child.

The Christian Science parent is not naive about the fact that society is largely unaware of his denomination's healing record - and that most people feel medicine is essential for health. But no one cares more for that child and yearns more for the healing than the parent. And no one is listening more for the inner leading of divine Love than the parent - listening to know what is most likely to succeed in meeting the child's needs. ''A mother's love touches the heart of God . . . ,'' n2 writes Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science.

n2 Miscellaneous Writings, p. 253

In an age that assumes every problem must have a material solution, the kind of spiritual healing the master Christian taught and practiced may seem at least unusual. Yet the overall effectiveness of its practice shows it to be a vital part of a living Christianity. This suggests that we may well be at a point in history when an important issue is being determined: Will society insist that there is only one way to care properly for children - the standard offered by medicine? Or will reliance on spiritual means be permitted to develop its full potential with the standard Jesus established? The answer has important implications not only for children's physical health but also for their spiritual well-being. DAILY BIBLE VERSE With God all things are possible. Matthew 19:26

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