Sunday, January 15, 2012

An Image of Perfection: A Simple Step Towards Faith Formation in Young Children

The other night, my little girl and I were cuddled in bed for some Mommy-and-me time before she drifted off to sleep.  After a moment of quiet, she tilted her head toward me, smiled and asked, “Mommy, when I get my own room, can I put up pictures of Mary, Jesus and Joseph in it?” 

“Of course,” I replied.  And, then she proceeded to describe the vision she was formulating of her one-day room.  She talked about a picture of “Mary with Baby Jesus”, one of “grown up Jesus”, and one of… 

As my daughter told me about each of the images she wanted to place in her room, I said a silent prayer of thanks.  I had not brought up the idea of her room nor of how she might decorate it.  She simply had been thinking about it and had opted to share what was on her mind with me.  In doing so, she offered me an affirmation I sorely needed that day: I am parenting her the way I feel called to do so – with love, openness, communication and faith.  As my daughter continued on, she filled our minds with the most perfect images of all – those of our Lord and Our Mother.  With these pictures in mind, we both fell into a peaceful slumber.

As I look back on this heartwarming bedtime, I think about how powerful images can be and how the ones we choose to surround ourselves with not only speak about us but also to us.  Every day, as we glance at a painting, a photograph, a sculpture or a poster, part of it seems to be written in both our minds and in our hearts.  

Bearing this in mind, I would like to suggest an easy step any of us can take in guiding young children in their faith formation:   

Be vigilant about the images we choose to allow into our homes

We can ask ourselves if all of the images that adorn our abodes are pure, lovely, excellent and worthy of praise.  If the answer is no, we can edit those images right out the front door.  Likewise, we can make a conscious effort seek out child-friendly images of Jesus, Mary, the Saints and honorable Bible figures to put up in our children’s rooms.  Since my children’s births, I have been doing this on a somewhat consistent basis.  Now, after my daughter’s bedtime conversation with me, I am inspired to do so with even more dedication. 

How about you?  Have you and your children selected some inspiring images to beautify their bedroom with?  Is there balance between these and whatever other images hang in your home?  What do the images around your home say about your family?  More importantly, how do they speak to your children’s hearts?


Cris said...

What a positive post and what a beautiful IMAGE of you and your daughter you depict! I think our daily life should mirror the most beautiful pictures we may have in our house.
Thanks for your comment, Martianne. You have been an inspiration for months, your courage, your positiveness and your generosity.

parker said...

I liked the way of your blog writing .You have well described the way your daughter told about her belief in mother mary.
Faith formation


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