Over the years I've noticed that children often do drive their parents - to prayer. And I've seen many parents happily learn the enormous power of prayer. Power to resolve and heal the problems that come up at home. Prayer has the virtue of reminding us that we are not alone. That we can count on God's help.
What if you are going through a period where a child seems willful, stubborn, rebellious? Can you dissolve that spirit of discord?
The temptation is to wonder what on earth is wrong. But a better starting point is to acknowledge the child's innocence. Whether he or she is a young child or a teenager, he or she is still the idea, the child, of God, who created no bad boys or girls. The child of God is not only cared for by God, but is governed by God.
It might seem that a child is being ruled by a spirit of disobedience or anger. But if we can hold back a reaction to that behavior, and remind ourselves that he or she is the child of God, we have a basis for restoring peace and good behavior.
The Bible teaches that divine Spirit is the motivating and animating power of our life. It teaches further that Spirit is all-powerful and ever present. And most important of all, the Scriptures emphatically declare that God is the only Spirit and that there is none else.
Why is this important?
Jesus cast out evil spirits. He freed people from the belief that there was any power or influence to disturb or harm their lives. And he did this through the understanding that God, total good, is the only Spirit. People who had been taken over by anger, hatred, and insanity were freed. This understanding that God is the only Spirit isn't intellectual, or something to simply repeat as a prayer. It's actually a revelation of the connection to God and to His power that each of us has. That's why it results in healing.
We're surrounded by theories that say all kinds of things influence a child's behavior. What they cite ranges from genetics to environment, from prenatal influences to peer pressure. These theories leave parents with a wide spectrum of emotions ranging from guilt to frustration. They claim to give us insights into the family problems we're facing; but so often they do not free us from them. They usually don't establish the child's innocence. They seldom set the child free.
Christian Science urges us to listen to Christ's message of love. Are there many gods, many influences, determining the behavior of our children? Or is there one Spirit, God, infinite good, that rules in hearts and minds? When we accept the latter as true, we have a basis for freeing our children from misbehavior.
So, what can we do when it seems that a child is out of control? We can rebuke that thought. No one can be out of the control of God. "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," written in 1875 by Mary Baker Eddy, explains: "God creates and governs the universe, including man. The universe is filled with spiritual ideas, which He evolves, and they are obedient to the Mind that makes them" (Pg. 295). God controls and governs all. Not even a molecule of creation exists outside this divine influence - never mind a whole child!
This knowledge is a spiritual and healing force of good. How? Well, on a cold day if you hold a cup of hot cider, your hands will warm up. Similarly, if you hold on to a spiritual truth, the force of that idea will appear in your life. That may be surprising to some, but it is true.
When you know that God governs all, you know that the appearance that your child is governed by anger or hormones must be untrue. You can declare his or her innocence and bring forth every fact you know of God's constant and total control over every idea in creation. This will bring greater blessings to your child than you would imagine.
In the book of Revelation, we are told the air was filled with rejoicing as it was declared, "Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth" (19:6). We have the God-given ability to prove this at home and to bring this blessing into the lives of our children.
The Herald of Christian Science publishes articles like this one in 13 different language editions.