I love Musical Theatre.
This is not a new statement for me.
There are so many songs that stick in my head and heart that have really important messages. One such song is from Into the Woods by Stephen Sondheim..... It's called Children will Listen.
Careful the things you say
Children will listen
Careful the things you do
Children will see and learn
Children may not obey, but children will listen
Children will look to you for which way to turn
To learn what to be
Careful before you say "Listen to me"
Children will listen.
I have found this so true in many areas of family life, but none more than CHURCH.
So many of our attitudes become our children's attitudes.
I have a friend who always called famiy night...famiy fight...and that's exactly what it was.
A self fulfilling prophesy.
I have another friend who has never loved attending Sunday School. She talks about this a lot...so her children also have a hard time wanting to go to Sunday School.
Our feelings are passed on.
Our attitudes are passed on....good and bad.
I asked my Addison and Landon what evidences did they see, daily, that God lives and loves them. Both replied, "He put us in families and he gave us beautiful sunsets." I was pleased by this answer because I have said this many times. I have taught or brainwashed my children well. I love sunsets because my mother loves sunsets and always made a big point of going outside to see the truly glorious ones. It was so fun to listen to Laila at 5 years old, explaining to a friend that "sunsets are God's gift to us to remind us of heaven."
Children will listen.
I'm starting to sound like my parents....my kids are starting to sound like me. Ask my kids what we do on Sunday and the answer is, "we go to church and visit Grandparents."
I remember as a youth coming home from church and complaining about this speaker or that teacher and my dad abruptly ending these conversations. He made sure we knew how difficult it is to speak and teach and how no one is getting paid. He told us to pray for this person instead and pray for ourselves that we would be less critical. He made sure we knew we could talk about these things at home with him, but not around an Uncle of mine who loved to find fault with the church and with the people in it. Around Uncle Dave we were to keep our negative mouths shut. I wondered about this as a teenager, but now I really see the wisdom in it. Positive yields positive...negative breeds negative. Dad taught me early by the power of his example to love the gospel and the people in the church........ and I watched, listened and learned.
If we want our children to love being involved in the gospel, we need to pass on our own feelings of love.
"I love going to church."
I try to say this out loud and often.
Laila loves going to church. She loves Jesus and Joseph Smith and spiritual things. Years ago, we were talking to Laila about Joseph Smith and how he had two adopted children, and how Joseph- the husband of Mary, adopted Jesus....Laila's eyes got wide and she tearily said, "I'm just like Jesus...only whinier." I think this could be said for all of us. We are trying to be like Jesus too only sometimes we whine and complain about how it's going in our lives. We need to be more positive.
My children need to hear me say.......it's uplifting to go to church, prayer works, the Bishop serves and loves us.........the more positives I throw out there, the more positives come back, and the more positive my feelings and my children's feelings become toward the Lord and his gospel.