Spiritual Parenting Requires Small Changes

July 2, 2012

Faith At Home, Interact, Time

It’s been a dream of Earth’s residents since The Jetsons made us believe it was a possibility:  true auto-pilot.  It’s alive and well in some cases, but not all.  Existing commercial airplanes have an auto-pilot button that guides the planes controls based on the route it needs to take, but that’s relatively easy. There’s no highway to follow, no drunk drivers to watch out for, and no posted speed limits to obey.

Doing the same thing in an automobile is definitely more difficult, as you can probably tell given that no auto-pilot car yet exists for the consumer market.  Even if the road is wide and flat and your car is in great shape, the car won’t steer itself.  Because you are a better than average driver, you know that to stay on the road and stay out of serious trouble, you have to keep your hands on the wheel and constantly make small, minor course corrections.

Did you know that nurturing your child’s faith development also requires a small, minor course correction?

Small: “of limited size; not big; little.” 

For Jesus, it was faith the size of a small mustard seed that could move a mountain.  It’s the tiny bit of leaven in the loaf that could raise the whole lump of dough.  It’s reminding Martha that it wasn’t all about doing big extra credit things for Him; it’s the one small thing that Mary was doing in the moment.

  • It’s the small gesture of reaching out and putting your arms around your child.
  • Or giving him just 15-minutes of your time to build a Lego castle (when all that you want to do is find a few minutes to log-on Facebook).
  • Or giving her 15-minutes of your time to enjoy the pretend meal that she just fixed with her Disney Kitchen Playset.
  • Or reading one Bible story at night when you tuck him into bed.
  • Or clasping your hands over hers and praying a one-sentence prayer before she goes to sleep.

When it comes to passing on a vibrant faith to your child with special needs, if your hands have been “off the wheel” for any length of time then you’re drifting off the road.  Whether you realize it or not, you will only move in a positive direction by making a decision to put your hands back on the wheel and make a small, minor course correction.

One of my “Aha!” moments from the book Spiritual Parenting is that there are many different things that I can do to nurture my child’s faith.  But it all starts with the decision to do just one.  It’s the small change that can make a big difference in your child’s spiritual life. 

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Michael Woods, M.A. BCaBA CPI

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About Michael Woods

Christ-follower, husband, chocoholic, and peanut-butter lover! I'm a father to triplet boys...each on the autism spectrum.

View all posts by Michael Woods


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