The title of this blog - Bread Not Stones - comes from the end of Jesus' Sermon on the Mount in the Gospel of Matthew. After encouraging his audience to seek and they shall find, knock and the door shall be opened, he reminds them that God knows what they need even before they ask for it. He uses the metaphor of a parent's instinctual understanding of her child's needs to explain how God cares for us.
The question is, when our children are asking us for things more complicated than bread - like spiritual guidance - how do we meet that need in the most nourishing way? How do we give bread and not stones?
This is a blog that is intended to help parents or others who find themselves with the responsibility of raising children in faith.
- Here you will find resources and reflections that help you articulate and contemplate your own faith and the theology of your own tradition.
- Here you will learn how to ask hard questions of the Bible without worrying that you are hurting God’s (or your pastor’s) feelings.
- Here you will develop confidence in sharing your faith with your child and helping them to grow into their own expression of faith.
- Here you will find examples of how parents can engage their children in meaningful conversations about God, the Bible and the Community of Faith.
One of the most important things parents can do to raise their children in a particular faith is to be active practitioners of that faith. That may sound like a strange proposition, but what is the sense in being sure that your child attends Sunday school if you yourself do not engage in study of scripture? What is the point of insisting that your child say their prayers before bed if you yourself never engage in a personal spiritual practice of your own?
It is all too true that we are busy in these days, and the idea of being able to sit down with a critical mass of parents from my congregation to contemplate the significance of a particular passage of scripture or the insights posed in a compelling novel seems like a pipe dream on most days. Yet it is just this kind of engagement in communal conversation about faith and teaching faith to children that so many of us need to have to be encouraged in this important task that we comitted ourselves to in our children's Baptisms promising to teach our faith and the faith of the church to them.
May this space be a place for that conversation to take place.