AS A YOUNG MOTHER, I determined to raise my children so that they would understand there are consequences—both good and bad—for every action. While there's nothing wrong with expecting kids to learn from their experiences, my approach early on was more willful than prayerful, and conflicts arose as I held to this agenda too tightly.

Not until I became a single mother did I begin to realize more deeply that true parenting meant expressing God's nature to my children. The Bible reveals that God is both Father and Mother. This helped me recognize that structure and love, guidance and compassion, were naturally present in my relationships with my kids because these qualities were naturally present in God's relationship with us all.

Striving for a greater spiritual understanding of our heavenly Parent, I found, was the first step in freeing me from a heavy burden of responsibility for the well-being of my children. I began to examine passages in the Bible. I also searched Science and Health for insights into the divine nature. I knew that the author of this book, Mary Baker Eddy, had herself struggled with parenting issues. Writing about God's character, she concluded, "In divine Science, we have not as much authority for considering God masculine, as we have for considering Him feminine, for Love imparts the clearest idea of Deity" (Science and Health, p. 517).

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December 4, 2006

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