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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Susanna Wesley's Household Rule #5

Here are my thoughts on Susanna Wesley's Household Rules:
Rule #5: To teach a child to pray as soon as he can speak.
I should think that this rule still applies to families who do not subscribe to any particular religion. Every family will have certain key beliefs or traditions that they hold sacred and would like to pass onto the next generation.  Christianity is the foundation on which we have chosen to build our family.

If Christianity is of singular importance in our family, it only makes sense that our number one priority is to teach Stardust about it and allow him to be involved in important family rituals as early as possible.  Since infancy, Stardust has been allowed to observe and participate in prayer time, and he has been encouraged in his early efforts to pray as well.  We make no effort to exclude him.  Now, he is able to pray independently.

For example, we brought Stardust to church with us when he was a month old (it would have been earlier, had I not decided to adhere to the traditional confinement period) and as far as possible, we tried to allow him to sit with us throughout the service instead of bringing him out to the creche.  Of course, this took planning on our part because we did not want him to be a distraction or a nuisance to the rest of the congregation, but it was possible for Stardust, as an infant, to sit quietly through a 90 minute service, especially after observing all the adults in the church sanctuary.

All this rule is saying is that if there is something that you hold dear, let your children be a part of it and they will also learn to treasure the experience.  Never underestimate what a child is capable of doing and understanding.  Children learn by observing adults and copying them...and their little eyes and ears do not miss much.

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