Because this website is for Christians of all sects, it is best if we define all religious terms, since vocabulary differs from religion to religion. So we begin with a definition of “spirituality” and why it is desirable, both for parents and children.
Spirituality has many dimensions, but its center in Christianity is, of course, Jesus Christ. A person who is “spiritual” has “spiritual intelligence.” In considering what is real, the spiritual person considers unobservable matters of the spirit as real as the observable, material world, and this, because he has had direct experience with them. Spirituality is the interaction between the spirit within the person and the spiritual contacts existing outside the body. Spiritual experiences can be so profound and undeniable, that they provide a more certain reality than what we can see, touch, taste, or feel. A person with spiritual intelligence has had life-changing personal experience with God. Religion is personal to him. He knows that Christ is his personal Savior. This is not an elitest definition, because the Lord tells us that all we have to do is knock, and the door will be opened to us, and that He is no respecter of persons, for all are His children.
Many of us don’t knock until we are in real extremity. Thus the saying that there are no atheists in foxholes — the soldier who has never prayed seeks God when bullets are flying overhead. The Lord has told us in the scriptures that He allows adversity and weakness, so that we will seek after Him. Sometimes, extreme situations that afflict a family are the best teaching moments for children to develop spirituality.
True to the Faith
Parents who have a witness, a testimony, of the efficacy of their own religion hope and pray that their children will keep the faith. Training of the body and mind, however, are not enough to keep children going to church when they reach young adulthood, and certainly not enough to instill true, spiritual conviction. Parents must look for moments to invite God to present Himself in the life of the child.
The truth is, that it is not enough to teach our children about Christianity; they must experience the love of the Savior personally. They must connect with the scriptures as if they were written for them. They must know that their prayers are heard, that God will speak to them, that God knows them intimately and cares about their every decision.
A confident connection with the spiritual realm imbues life with meaning. People are strengthened when life has meaning. They are willing to face adversity and make sacrifices when life has meaning. They are willing to serve God and man; willing to give of time and talents; and they are less likely to fall apart when the material world fails them.
Teaching your children that they are born with a spirit and also have access to the light of Christ (our conscience) will give them the most important foundation they can have for a successful and joyful life.
The orientation of this website is toward the idea that God is Love. There will be no discussion of hellfire or damnation, only being close to God or far away from Him, which really is the crux of eternal reward or punishment.
*The principles and most of the quotes used on this website are from a text called Parenting for Spirituality, by Dr. Larry Jensen and Summer Welch.