Helping children

Are we a bit self-righteous when we hear a tale about someone else's offspring—glad it's not about our own? On the other hand, when faced with a whining two-year-old or a sulking teen-ager, have we felt that everyone else's child is terrific, only ours is incorrigible? Have the sometimes insistent and generally inconvenient problems of children made us feel we'd like to get away from family altogether? Probably most of us have felt this way at one time or another. Loving children from afar is one thing; dealing with them every day, often quite another.

In the Glossary of Science and Health, our Leader, Mrs. Eddy, refers to children as "the spiritual thoughts and representatives of Life, Truth, and Love"; also as "sensual and mortal beliefs; counterfeits of creation, whose better originals are God's thoughts, not in embryo, but in maturity; material suppositions of life, substance, and intelligence, opposed to the Science of being." Science and Health, pp.582-583; Christian Science maintains a distinction between immortal man, the child of God, and the mortal, material view of man. The mortal view of man is untrue, and its claims of physicality and distress fade as we hold to the true facts of man as the likeness of God.

Our concept of man, then, is a fundamental issue in solving any problem. If we begin with a mortal in need of much correction and improvement, we'll be contending with a mortal persistently "opposed to the Science of being." This can be an exercise in frustration or in tragedy, depending on how threatening the situation claims to be. But if we hold to the facts of man's true being, countering the belief that man is a vulnerable, corruptible mortal with his God-given perfection, innocence, and goodness, we'll demonstrate the spiritual concept. The result may be seen in restored communication, deeper affection and respect, improved attitudes and activities, strength and health.

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August 18, 1980

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