Confront a three year old with, “Did you eat the candy out of your brother’s Christmas stocking?” And you will likely get a, “No.”  But their bodies will tell the truth. Their eyes will look away, their shoulders will curve inwardly and some will fidget.

The candle light Christmas Eve service is one I would never miss. Rows and rows of children wiggling with fire is a delight to the eyes. Their excitement for Christmas morning cannot be hidden in their bodies. They simply can’t pull it off.

It’s why children dance in the worship service while adults try to contain them. We, adults, have learned to hide the joy of the Lord in our bodies, they, children, have not… yet.

One of the ways we help children in their life with God, is by helping them to keep their spirit and their bodies connected. There are many ways to foster this connection. Here are a few…

  • Acknowledge that bodies are good. We get lots of feedback from our culture saying that certain kinds of bodies are good and others are not. We, as followers of an Incarnate God, say, “No way.” All bodies are good. We even get feedback from some in the Christian community saying that bodies are bad. Granted often what we do with our bodies is destructive, but that usually comes from separating the bodies from the spirit. Turning a person into a thing.
  • Confession time: One of my greatest struggles comes in the form of, “I know you are upset, but we are in Target and you need to shape up,” said through clinched teeth while half the store has stopped and is staring. The spirit indeed is upset and the body is simply living in synch.  As children grow older they do need to learn the appropriateness of, “there is a time and place for everything;” but forcing them to shut off emotion to satisfy my own embarrassment is not healthy for either of us.
  • Get their experiences of God to flow into their bodies as well as their minds. Assign parts and act out the miracles of Jesus. Learn to pray with the body. Roy DeLeon’s book, Praying with the Body is a great place to start.
  • Take frequent nature walks and name all the bodies you see, including the human ones. Thank God for his good creation.

How do you keep bodies and spirits in synch? (Both yours and the people who leave their gum on your kitchen table.)

Starting Soon: The 2018-19 Renovaré Book Club

How do we read for transformation, not just information? Choose books that stir the soul and have an enduring quality. Then read with God and others at an unhurried pace, attentive to what the Holy Spirit wants to teach. The Renovaré Book Club is designed for transformative reading. It runs October 2018—May 2019.

Learn more >