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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Theology Lived - How do you model ToB?

"Theology Lived" is a new feature that will be on my blog - on my new site which will be launched soon it will be on it's own page. It will be a weekly question regarding a theological or spiritual topic where I ask you the reader to respond and share your thoughts.

UPDATED 2:47pm 5/14/09

My wife often discuss parenting and how we are going to instill the Gospel values in our children. I have often thought about the problems of my own childhood and adolescence and oh, how I wish I had been raised with an understanding of God's plan for me and for my body. If only Theology of the Body was something my family had known about. I am also asked by parents often how they should teach the principles found in Theology of the Body to their children - young and old.

As a youth minister I have seen firsthand the wounds of a culture that is so confused by sexuality and personhood. I have watched beautiful young men and women's lives be destroyed as they fell prey to the false truth that is offered to them.

I have also watched as lives were transformed by the truth of God's divine plan for men and women. I've seen people be completely renewed as God redeemed them from their sin and they became a new creation in Christ.

I believe that our generation of Catholics - that is the generation I would call the JPII Generation is called to set a new course for future generations. (I use the term Generation loosely - as it is probably about three generations that fall into this category.) Through the work of the Church over the last twenty-five to thirty years we have been called to a new level of holiness.

Our generation still has lots of wounds - many of us were raised by parents who did not understand this truth and despite their best efforts they failed to protect us from the dangers of this destructive culture. However, John Paul II was a voice of reason in this chaos and for those of us who have heard the message of God's plan for our lives and who are trying to to answer that call - striving for holiness, being faithful to our vocation, battling sin, allowing ourselves to be transformed by the renewal of our minds - it is now up to us to raise a new generation of Catholics who have been redeemed by the truth of God's divine plan for us.

So how do we teach or model Theology of the Body for our children? A few people have asked me if there are any resources out there that parents can use to teach their children. As of yet I do not know of any. (UPDATE: A friend emailed me to say that has a curriculum that incorporates ToB in age-appropriate lessons for K-8. - check it out) I do believe however that Theology of the Body holds within it many profound truths that need to be taught to our children from a young age. I am not proposing that you teach your five year old about sex. - In fact I'm not proposing that you teach them about sex at any certain age - that is up to you and ultimately up to when your kid begins asking questions. Theology of the Body is about much more than sexuality. It is an understanding of who we are as people and who God calls us to be as redeemed people. If we understand God's plan for us and who we are meant to be and if we are raised in a way in which we live this truth - then all the questions about our sexuality will fall in line and in many ways answer themselves.

So I pose this question to you the readers. I will pose the question in a couple different ways and you can choose to answer as you like - but please do leave your comments. I will publish the comments in a follow up post.

- Should the principles of Theology of the Body be taught in the home?
- How should we instill the values of the Theology of the Body in our children?
- What principles of Theology of the Body should we teach and at what age?
- How do/have you instilled these values in your children?