As reported in a recent Monitor feature, the finances of child rearing can appear daunting. Having raised three children, my wife and I are now delighted to have two grandchildren living nearby. We have lots of good times together.
But over the years we’ve discovered that while parenting is deeply fulfilling, it’s at the same time one of the greatest challenges of life. At some point, all parents feel unprepared for the unexpected. My wife and I have felt that way many times.
But as lifelong students of Christian Science, we have always put prayer first and foremost in our parenting.
How can one really use prayer to provide adequate funds to care for children? From a Christian Science perspective, prayer is so much more than just asking God for help and hoping it will come into our lives. Prayer involves gaining a deep understanding of what God already is, and that each of us is spiritual, fully provided for by Him. When I’ve gained a clearer understanding of this spiritual reality, my thought and my life are changed for the better.
Here are some points our family has considered in praying effectively, including in financial situations.
•We begin with an understanding that God is All-in-all, that He is the infinite source of an unending flow of ideas to meet all our needs.
•We remember that God expresses Himself through each of us as His image and likeness.
•We recognize that God being All and only good, evil has no power to interfere with the process.
If these facts are true – and we’ve proved many times that they are – then sincerely understanding them transforms and spiritualizes our thinking about any situation.
As our thought is clarified, fear, limitation, and other falsely based ideas are eliminated, bringing a renewed closeness to God. That closeness and spiritual clarity bring helpful and productive ideas into our lives. These provide ways to meet our needs.
The Discoverer of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, wrote in “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” referring to Soul as a synonym for God, “Soul has infinite resources with which to bless mankind, and happiness would be more readily attained and would be more secure in our keeping, if sought in Soul” (p. 60).
Yes, each child does come with his or her own supply of good – it’s their divine heritage by reflection, as the image and likeness of God, Soul. To the degree that we truly understand this great spiritual fact, we remove ourselves from the false responsibility that we are their source of supply.
Understanding that the only true Parent of humanity is the Father-Mother God, and that we as parents can respond by reflection to God’s ability, provides a peace and trustfulness that allows us to see every need of our children met abundantly.