Spiritual Attraction versus Compulsion

Love for God is entirely natural to a child's true individuality. As a flower turns to the light, so the normal thought of the child is attracted to that which appeals to his higher nature. Given the opportunity, every child is capable of spiritual education. However, parents sometimes find that a child appears to be uninterested in Sunday School and resists all efforts to enforce attendance. So they query: "What is the solution? To what extent is it right to use disciplinary measures to keep the child in Sunday School?" Sometimes parents of a teen-age child are tempted to believe that he should no longer be urged to go to Sunday School, that he has reached the age where he should be permitted to make his own decision.

Now, no one questions whether children should be required to go to day school. Neither should there be any question regarding Sunday School attendance. But as Christian Scientists we need to be sure that we are viewing the situation in the right perspective. In "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" and in her other writings, our Leader, Mary Baker Eddy, emphasizes the child's natural receptivity to Truth. And in his book "Twelve Years with Mary Baker Eddy" Irving C. Tomlinson writes of her (p. 81), "She said she had never known a child who did not understand Christian Science if given to him in the right way."

Obviously the training of the child is the responsibility of those to whom he is entrusted. Mrs. Eddy is definite in her estimate of the great possibilities of a mother's influence through the study of Christian Science. (See Miscellaneous Writings by Mrs. Eddy, page 5: 7-10.) So in solving the problem of a child's resistance to Sunday School, parents and teachers need to be ever watchful of their own thinking.

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Testimony of Healing
My first copy of "Science and Health...
May 19, 1956

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