Spiritual education is a keystone of how I am raising my sons, and I am always inspired to hear how other parents are working to raise their children along a spiritual path. In the series Parenting and Faith I feature posts from bloggers discussing how their religion or philosophy influences their parenting. I am so pleased to share today’s post, which comes to us from Maria of Trilingual Mama, a fellow member of Multicultural Kid Blogs.
As part of her Faith in Parenting series, Leanna has asked me to share 10 ways my faith influences my parenting. This was not a difficult task as I feel that our family culture is intricately woven with our faith. Our family life is shaped and colored by our rich cultural backgrounds: American, Mexican, Peruvian, French, but also by our spiritual convictions. And so here I’ve listed 10 ways in no particular order, just as they came to my mind. I tried not to overthink or even edit this post too much. I wanted it to reflect an authentic picture of my view as a parent.
1. My life is a gift, my life has a plan. I believe that my life is a precious and sacred gift from a loving Heavenly Father who is literally the father of my spirit and that He has a special plan for my life. I also believe this to be true about each and every human being born to this earth, especially my children. This gives my life purpose and meaning as an individual and as a mother.
2. We are spiritual beings having an earthly experience. I believe that this life is preparatory for another life to come and that all that we learn and do in this life is to prepare for a potential eternity of joy. The choices we make will determine who we become and the degree of our eternal happiness. I know that I’m not just to help my children succeed in this life, but to prepare them for the life to come.
3. Intelligence is the glory of God. I believe that all the intelligence we can acquire in this life will be for our good in the life to come. I try to encourage in my children curiosity and a love for reading and learning. My husband and I try to encourage our children to discover and develop their talents.
4. Family is at the center of God’s plan for us. We are all part of a family unit. Whether we are parents, children, siblings or grand-parents, we are all linked together in some way. I believe that family is the divine institution that God gave us where we are to learn and love, even as we make mistakes. I believe that family is the basic unit of society and that strengthening one family, strengthens all of that society.
5. Kindness always. I believe that we have a Savior Jesus Christ who came to this earth as Heavenly Father’s only begotten son. He lived a perfect life filled with love and forgiveness. He suffered and died to pay for our sins and sorrows. And He resurrected so that one day we might too. The unifying thread through all of these acts was the perfect kindness that He has for all of us. This is my golden rule for my family. I believe that a family that lives with kindness will do much to chase out contention, broken marriages and broken families. Kindness always.
6. Repentance. I believe that through the Savior Jesus Christ we truly can repent and be forgiven of all our mistakes, the big ones and the small ones too. When I make mistakes as a parent, which is bound to happen every day, I can repent. I can be sorry and ask for forgiveness and start again fresh and new. Every day is a new start. No matter what kind of a parent I am at this very moment, tomorrow I can try to be a little better.
7. A family that prays together stays together. In our Church families are counseled to do three basic things together: pray and study the scriptures daily and hold weekly family home evenings. We have been made powerful promises if we will be faithful to this counsel. Our children, although they may stray at some point in their lives, will undoubtedly return to the straight and narrow path and we will be united together as a family forever.
8. Families are eternal. As I’ve mentioned before, I believe that the family unit is eternal. We have temples that are sacred buildings where families are sealed together for time and all eternity. If we are faithful to the covenants that we make in these temples, our families will be ours forever.
9. Men are that they might have joy. We believe that the purpose of our existence is to experience great joy and an abundant life. As parents we seek to provide this for our children. We work hard to provide not only the basic necessities, but also to give our children opportunities to develop their talents, to take memory building family vacations together, to take time from the normal routines of life to enjoy nature and have fun together…
10. Work is a blessing. Our children sometimes have a hard time swallowing this one, but we try to teach them that hard work helps us to be stronger individuals and to achieve worthy goals. We also try to teach them that families work together to help their homes run smoothly and so all our children have chores and are expected to help around the house on a daily basis.
This list is just the beginning! There are so many other ways that my faith positively influences me as a parent. How about you? Can you identify with any of these ways? Or do very different things influence you as a parent? I’d love to know!
Maria is an active member of the LDS faith. She is the author of Trilingual Mama and her work has been featured on Spanglish Baby and What to Expect. She loves taco and pizza night and spending time outdoors with her family in the green valley south of Paris where they currently reside. She and her husband Samuel are the proud parents of four trilingual children.