The Lord stores goodness and truth with each person, and we can help Him do this for our children.
Time capsules are a popular concept. These containers, filled with things that represent our culture, are locked away somewhere or buried, to be pulled out years later. The desire to store things away for future use is one that we share with the Lord. We’re taught that deep inside every person, the Lord is storing goodness and truth, from the moment of birth right up to the end of life. This stored goodness and truth is known in the New Church as “remnants” or “remains.”
What’s important is the fact that even if we’re doing no spiritual work or making no spiritual progress of our own, the Lord still gives us the chance to experience His goodness and truth by storing it carefully within us.
This idea is of special interest to parents because children benefit greatly from this spiritual storage program. When they grow up and start to make free and rational decisions of their own, these stored feelings and ideas can serve as a springboard for them to make the best possible decisions in their lives. If they choose a good life path and make wise choices, the stored goodness and truth that has been safely tucked away can be brought out and become a real and living part of their lives.
What role do parents play in this storage program? In one sense, we can say “no role” and be correct. It’s the Lord’s job and nothing we do can stop Him from providing this spiritual foundation for our children. On the other hand, we are taught that these remnants of goodness and truth are stored in our memories.
Now, remnants aren’t memories per se. The memory of a fun and happy trip to an amusement park as a child is not a “remnant.” But if we were lovingly cared for, if there was something just and honest going on while we were there, then we will have remnants of goodness and truth attached to those memories. In that way, children may benefit in the future from having remnants of goodness which are attached to good memories.
So that’s what our role is. As we lovingly care for our children and deal with them in just and honest ways, we are giving the Lord the best possible “time capsule” within which to store up remains.
In the preschool years, especially, when there is so much physical growth and development, the most powerful memories (and so the surest container for remains) are physical ones, involving movement and all of the five senses.
Within all of our little ones, beautiful goodness and true ideas are being stored by the Lord. We can work with Him in providing good, safe storage places for them.
Read Experiencing Good and Truth for ideas on how to help the Lord store these remnants for your child.