I’ve always known I would want to raise my children to be faithful and love Jesus. I was raised Catholic and attended Catholic school for a few years growing up, received the sacraments of baptism, communion, reconciliation and confirmation, while my children’s father also received the sacraments and attended Catholic school. As an adult, there were times I strayed from attending mass regularly on Sundays, but I would always come back to it.
So, it just felt right to bring my kids up the same way. I had both of my sons baptized as infants, in the Catholic church, and while I’ve attempted for us all to attend church or even taking one every other week with me, while the other stayed home with Daddy…it’s quite a challenge. For me, it’s not even about them being Catholic, I just want them to have faith and learn about religion…so I do feel it’s my duty to introduce them to it, so they are exposed and can decide the spiritual/religious path they want to follow in the years to come.
I have a cross hanging up in their room as a reminder of faith and I have a few “religious” children’s books with prayers and bible stories to read to them. I am by far not an extremely religious person and I don’t openly refer to God or Jesus that much in my everyday life, but I pray daily and maintain my private relationship with Him, and I strive to keep myself focused and centered in my faith.
Now that my boys are getting older and starting to comprehend a little more, I am trying to teach them how to pray. About a year ago, I started showing my older toddler, Raef, how to do the “sign of the cross.” I’d say he picked it up pretty easily, but I can’t say he’s retained it or truly understands what it signifies…but I’m sure that will come later. What I am so proud of though (hence why I decided to do this post), is that part of our routine before going to sleep, is saying our prayers.
I let the boys know it’s time to say our prayers and I sort of take the lead. We speak to Jesus and tell Him all we are thankful for and we ask that He continue to watch over us, protect us and guide us on a path to success. Well, the past couple nights after I took the lead and did the prayers for me and the boys, Raef followed it up by saying his own. I think he was attempting to recite some of the things I said, but other than being so darn cute, I was moved and really felt good about my efforts to teach them to pray.
His prayer went something like this…
“Thank you for my Mama, Daddy, Sayah (Isaiah). Thank you for eat. Thank you for friends. Thank you ‘E-SUS’ (he pronounced Jesus without a J). AMEN!”
And — it was a BIG AMEN! All I can say to that is my own AMEN, such a proud moment for me as a Mommy, and no matter how big he gets, I will always remember that little voice and how he said “Thank you E-SUS.” You know, the one thing we can all do is pray, and I am so overjoyed that I can be the one to instill it in my children.
Please share your experience with prayer and your children, I’d love to hear about it.