Writer is educator and artist Nancy Thayer. In this 5-part series, Nancy
examines aspects of her life that fit the model of “faith leader.”
Being a parent is not an easy slot to fill. First of all, it’s a lifetime commitment, and second the job description is forever changing. It can also be the most important and rewarding occupation anyone could aspire to.
I have been blessed with two remarkable sons. Although my husband and I are both artists—and maybe because we are—our sons have chosen very different careers. One is in finance, the other law. Politically we are also very different, but that’s another story!
When we moved to the Detroit area, we decided that we wanted to find a church that would give our sons a good spiritual education. Prayer has always been very important to me, and I wanted our sons to have the same sort of confidence in the power of prayer to meet any challenge that I had grown up with. For the next 15 years we took our sons to the Christian Science Church where they attended an excellent Sunday school.
They are grown and married now, one with a wonderful two-year-old son of his own. They have both chosen not to attend any church or to regularly practice any particular religion. So what lasting benefits did they get from all those years of religious training? What have our parenting practices led them to include in their own lives?
As I said earlier, the first-hand experience of the efficacy of prayer was what I wanted to offer my sons. I had experienced several impressive healings of severe physical challenges with the only treatment being prayer. There were other times when reliance on prayer brought extraordinary solutions to professional, economic and personal dilemmas. Confidence that there is an all-powerful spiritual source of help to meet every need has given my life a sense of peace and happiness that I also want for them.
Our sons are each kind, compassionate, intelligent young men with an excellent sense of integrity. While all of these qualities can be expressed without a religious experience, each quality was encouraged and practiced in our home as part of our religious beliefs. On occasion we have been asked to pray about their health and other personal challenges.
As a parent, being a faith leader is not being a faith dictator. I believe we provided an atmosphere that nurtured spiritual qualities and presented the choice of reliance on prayer. I see evidence that this has been a strong influence on our sons in the way they have chosen to live their lives with the intelligence, love, tenderness and strength of character they embody. It is my belief that our Creator is looking after them whether they know it or not!
What do you think?
Are you a parent? Do you see yourself as a parenting faith leader? Do your kids pray? Have you had any experiences where you have depended on prayer for help and have seen results? Do you pray regularly, occasionally, never???
Let us hear from you.
Please, Add a Comment. Where have you seen this kind of problem arising? What solutions have you found?