“Fatherhood rejuvenates and purifies”

– One year ago one of my children said to me: “How can I believe in a bearded man sitting on the clouds?” He is right. No one wants a dwarf to understand the rudiments of quantum mechanics by telling him that atoms are bearded gentlemen and that gravitational force is a fairy with very long arms. Instead, something abstract, relevant, and philosophically complex such as God is taught with ridiculous examples that, as children mature, seem too childish for them to continue believing.

So how do you talk to a child about religion?

– Children may be more or less able to think about transcendence, but ultimately they are sensitive to what they are experiencing. That is why I think that, in general, the most important evangelization is how you live. How you are. It’s the way I always talk about God with children: with actions.

And a child, what can he teach us?

– Children naturally possess one of the greatest biblical values: joy. The joy of living and the enthusiasm for life. They made me feel ridiculous, sometimes unintentionally, when I was so angry, even angry at something that had just happened, and they couldn’t help but laugh. I made them stop laughing, stop having a moment of joy, because of my bad mood. There is a Hades of Muhammad who says, “You cannot satisfy people with your wealth, but with your happy face.”

And what can a teenager teach us?

– In Chapter 4 of the Letter to the Ephesians St. Paul says, “With all humility and gentleness, with patience, supporting one another with love.” Here you have. I recommend that parents of teenage children print this verse and put it with a magnet in the fridge. They teach us humility to avoid thinking that our reason, our idea, or our advice is better for a reason of age or experience. It makes us sweeter because we have to respond tenderly to his snarls and harsh attitudes. It’s easy to love a small child who hugs us, but what’s more wonderful when we have to love someone who rejects us.

What would you say to someone who has doubts about being a parent?

– I would tell him that he will discover with effort, tears, suffering and bad decisions an improved version of himself. Fatherhood takes us, rebukes us and purifies us of a series of nonsense that we have assumed as very important things before having children.

What do you say when you can’t take it anymore?

– What leads me to the limit, to emotional and physical fatigue, is the free exercise of childhood that children do. They exhaust me as a child and not cheating me on a business, lowering my salary or putting a fine on me. I am exhausted as children full and awake. Being gossipy, curious, restless, funny, happy and uncomfortable. Asking me hard questions or yelling at home. Their lives as children are exhausting for adults because, unfortunately, we do not have their energy, curiosity or happiness. So when I’m devastated by parenting, I try to think that they really deserve to be a little more like a parent.

Source: Ara.cat – Portada by criatures.ara.cat.

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