Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Children of God Bringing a Spiritual Perspective to Daily Life

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Children of God Bringing a Spiritual Perspective to Daily Life

Article excerpt

In my teacher education PROGRAM, I was taught that both nature and nurture determine a child's intellect and individuality. Nature includes genetic influences; nurture signifies environmental factors. Intelligence - though responsive to early environmental stimulation, parental responses, early nutrition, security, and the family's cultural and socioeconomic status - is still seen largely as a genetic given.

Through my study of Christian Science, I've learned to know children in a totally different way. And this has made a tremendous difference in my teaching. The first chapter of the Bible says God made each of us in the image and likeness of Himself/Herself. God is Spirit. So God, our Father and Mother, has given us a totally spiritual nature.

God also gave us dominion. That must include dominion over all the things that challenge us, even the alphabet or algebra. When St. Paul was teaching about God, he said, "In him we live, and move, and have our being;... For we are also his offspring" (Acts 17:28). We all have a divine Parent and a divine, spiritual inheritance. This idea is furthered in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," by Mary Baker Eddy, where the generic term man is defined in part as "that which has no separate mind from God; that which has not a single quality underived from Deity; that which possesses no life, intelligence, nor creative power of his own, but reflects spiritually all that belongs to his Maker" (pg. 475). Each of God's children has a perfect, complete, spiritual nature. All capacity and competency have their origin in God. Each child has been created to witness to God in all that he/she does. Of course, it certainly doesn't always seem that way. Some children do have great trouble learning, and many do fail in school. But I've learned as a teacher how important it is to be clear about what I accept as spiritually true about any child. It's often tough, but I pray and ask God to show me what He knows His child to be. I keep returning to that spiritual vision of the child, and then expect the child to be what God made: good and productive. …

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