Tuesday, October 11, 2016

October 11: Helping Children Heal through Honesty

You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor” - Exodus 20: 16

Children are more aware of the world around them than we think. They are observers and learn through observations and patterns. Values and character traits are something that can only be learned by example, and honesty is no exception. Children learn about the importance of honesty by experiencing honesty in their everyday lives. As parents we sometimes think we need to shield and protect our little ones from the atrocities of the world by not being honest with them. We leave details out or choose to withhold information that might be painful from them. Children are, from a very early age, impressionable. They perceive and are aware of more than we think. If we talk to them from an early age with honesty in all matters, they will not only learn the importance of honesty as a character trait in a person, but they will connect with us and open up to us. We know that so much of the violence and hurt in the world is caused by people not being honest. By not only bearing false witness against their neighbors, but by not being honest about feelings, fears and prejudices that people might have that lead them to cause harm. We must speak honestly with our children about how the harm and pain caused by others is rooted in pain itself. When we allow ourselves to be honest and open with our children we can teach them that although there is much pain and hurt caused by people, we can always choose to heal and to be an agent of healing.

God of truth and love, help us to be more open and honest with ourselves and each other. For the truth sets us free and helps us to heal.

Tanya Lopez
serves is the Disciples Women Ministry Staff in the Pacific Southwest Region. She is also currently serving her second term as the President of the Hispanic Women’s Ministries for the Convencion Hispana del Pacifico. She earned her B.A. in Psychology with an emphasis in Early Childhood Education from California State University, Fullerton in 2009 and is open to the call of pursuing her seminary education in the near future. Tanya has a passion for working with women and their families. She is married to Rev. Al Lopez and has two young daughters whom she loves fiercely.

A Little More...Melted crayon prayer station: https://theresaecho.com/2012/09/17/interactive-way-to-pray-in-worship/
This prayer station can be adapted. When discussing love and healing with young children and families, you can use this activity to visually show how love and healing covers all pains and hurts. The melted crayons flow and cover all, much like God’s love and healing covers us all.

Our 2016 prayer vigil theme is Helping Our Children Heal from Violence. For more resources visit  disciplesjustice4children.org and docfamiliesandchildren.org. 

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