My dad was a big fan of positive thinking. Having a positive attitude was the necessary element to getting things done. Negative thinking people, so he held, were afraid to commit themselves to trying for something better.
Dad would look forward to his company’s “Sales Conventions” held at the home office. There would be a motivational speaker there telling everyone “success begins in your attitude”. (Former Notre Dame coach Lou Holtz is a current motivational speaker).
It’s taken me awhile but I’ve finally come to agree with this positivity message. I’ve seen over the years that starting with “It’s no use.” “That’ll never work.” “That’s impossible.” “No one will ever get it.” “I’m no good at this.” Leads nowhere. Negativity is contagious but so too is being positive.
So parents, let me be your motivational speaker. The topic? Teaching Your Children Our Catholic Faith. What can I say that will move you to be more engaged in sharing your Faith with your child?
- Your children love you. What you say to them is their truth, their world. Doesn’t it touch you how innocently they entrust themselves to you and what you say? God wants you to feel this because, early on, you speak for God.
- The message of Faith is just what your child is looking for. Children hate chaos. It’s a parents responsibility to keep them from falling into a world where nothing rules, where everyone goes their own way.
What does our faith say? God is Love. Love created the world. People wouldn’t let God rule. So God became one of us to show us what His Love truly is – – Jesus Christ. And oh yes . . . there’s going to be a test – Did You Love?
- You’ll be amazed how God works through your conversations with your children to TEACH YOU! There will be moments when “suddenly you see!” what God has been all along in your life.
- Sharing your Faith with the children will give you the chance to open areas of feeling or thought your child has been having “about life”. These moments will let you encourage, praise, support, and sometimes correct your child’s thinking.
- It’s fun!! It can be time to play. Take one of the parables for children’s bedtime reading. Remember the story of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11)?
Read it with your child. Ask them how the young man must have felt – being away from home, how it felt when his dad put his cloak over his shoulders and had a party for him. Let the children fill this in in their own wonderful way. There’s a ton of stories just waiting to be told.
Add your own words to the bible stories. Things like “Wow!” or God said, “Don’t worry, I’ll catch you!'” Be free. You’re God’s Ambassador.
- Your own life will grow in purpose. You’ll discover the holy vocation you’ve been given in your marriage and your parenting. To quote the Blues Brothers, “You are on a mission from God!!”
Mary Haas and the religious ed. teachers are committed to helping you become expert teachers in the faith in your home. Watch closely your email box and the materials your child brings home from Holy Trinity for the both of you to work on. They will give you fun and creative ideas to help you share your faith with your child.
Be positive. You can do it. You were handpicked for this job! God didn’t say, “Gee, look at all the darkness.” He said, “Let there be light!”
Spread your light.
Hope you’re coming to the picnic.