“Peace has in it confidence in the Lord: that He directs all things, provides all things, and that He leads to a good end.” - Arcana Caelestia §8455
Kempton New Church

Week 3
Day 3

    Listen:

The Education of Children

Genesis 41:49: And Joseph piled up grain as the sand of the sea, multiplying it exceedingly, until he stopped numbering, for it had no number.

Teamwork of fathers and mothers

Matthew 23:9. And do not call anyone your father on the earth; for One is your Father, who is in the heavens.

CL 176. The primary things which confederate, consociate, and gather the souls and lives of two married partners into one, are the common care of the upbringing of children, in relation to which the duties of the husband and the duties of the wife are distinct, and at the same time conjoin themselves. They are distinct, in that the care of nursing and the raising of little children of both sexes, and also of the instruction of girls up to the age when they may become marriageable and associate with men, is a duty peculiar to the wife. But the care of the instruction of boys, after childhood up to puberty, and from that until they become their own master, is a duty proper to the husband. But these duties conjoin themselves by counsels and support and many other mutual helps.

That these duties—both those that are conjoined and those that are distinct, or the common as well as the peculiar—draw the minds of married partners together into one, and that the love called storge [parental love] effects this, is known. It is also known that regarded as to their distinctness and their conjunction these duties make one home.

AC 2180:5. What has once been implanted from infancy as holy, especially if by fathers and thus inrooted, the Lord never breaks, but bends, unless it is contrary to order itself.

CL 393. That mothers have a very tender love and fathers a less tender love is known. That the love of infants is inscribed upon conjugial love into which women are born, is manifest from the lovely and winning affection of little girls for infants, and for the images of them which they carry about, dress, kiss, and press to their bosoms. Boys have no such affection.

CL 284. The love of infants and children with the mother and [that love with the] father conjoin themselves as the heart and the lungs in the breast. The love of them with the mother is as the heart there, and the love towards them with the father is as the lungs there. The reason for the comparison is that the heart corresponds to love, and the lungs to the understanding, and love from the will is with the mother, and love from the understanding is with the father. With spiritual men [homines] there is a conjugial conjunction through this love, from justice and judgment—from justice, because the mother carried them in the womb, with suffering brought them forth, and afterwards with unwearying care nurses, feeds, bathes, clothes, and brings them up.

CL 406. Most fathers, when they come into the world of spirits, call to mind their children who have gone before them, and they also become present and mutually recognize each other. Spiritual fathers only look at them, ask in what state they are, rejoice if it is well with them and grieve if it is ill. And after some conversation, instruction, and admonition respecting heavenly moral life, they separate from them, but before separation, teach that they are no longer to be remembered as fathers, because the Lord is the one only Father to all in heaven, according to His words (Matt. 23:9); and that they never remember them as children.

AC 6492. My father once appeared to me in a dream, and I spoke to him, saying that after he has become responsible for himself a son ought not to acknowledge his father as his father, as he did previously. For the reason why he should acknowledge him when he is being brought up is that at that time his father stands in place of the Lord. And during that time he does not know how he should act, except as his father leads him. But when he becomes responsible for himself and can think for himself, and it seems to him that he can control his life for himself, the Lord must be his Father, in whose place his natural father had previously served.

Questions and Comments
  1. The primary thing that gathers a husband and wife into one home is the shared concern for raising their children. Sometimes couples have even had a baby in the hope of resolving difficulties between them. What else is needed in addition to simply having children for a husband and wife to be drawn together in caring for them?
  2. AC 2180:5 indicates that religious teachings taught by fathers have a special power with children and grandchildren. Why might this be? How does it happen?
  3. “Boys have no such affection” as girls do for dolls and babies. To understand this teaching, is it helpful to say that there are bell curves or spectrums for boys and for girls, on which a few boys might appear to have more of this affection than a few girls, or not?
  4. In CL 284 we find the very common Latin word homines, which commonly means roughly “human beings,” and especially husbands and wives together, since a male or a female alone is only half of a fully human being. In this passage, it seems especially to refer to husbands, having deep respect and affection for their wives in recognition for all the very tender love they pour into the care of infants, a love which is quite beyond a male’s capacity.
  5. We read of angel mothers who loved all infants with a motherly tenderness and at the same time feared God, who are given the care of infants who die, who love these women as their own mothers (CL 410). Note the striking contrast from the description of angel fathers. Are the fathers unloving?
  6. Is it useful for natural parents to encourage their adult children not to call them father and mother any more, but perhaps to use their first names instead?
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