Amie (6) Talks about Divine Punishment

The other night Amie didn’t want me to turn off the light in her room. She usually has no problem falling asleep without it, so I asked why.

– Because I don’t feel secure.

She used that word, “secure.” I asked what makes her feel insecure.

– The evil spirits.

– Evil spirits?

– Yes, the evil spirits that God sends when he is angry with someone.

Okay, it took me a few seconds to get my bearings.

– Why would God be angry with you?

– No one knows, Mama! No one knows the reasons God has!

I asked where she got this idea and she said an equally six-year-old friend of hers had assured her of this.  I said that I think that if there is a God, then that God has good reasons for everything he does, and that part of a reason being a good reason is that it is clear why it’s the reason. And even if she feels that she has done something very horrible that a God would feel needs punishing, then, anyway, I doubt that God sends evil spirits at all.

She assured me she hadn’t done anything really horrible. Still, she wanted the light on.

We are Universalist Unitarians. Or at least I am, and Amie goes to our Sunday School, but she is six so she’s not anything yet, and DH is an agnost. I understand she has some concept of God because we’ve talked about him/her/it before, she hears about God in Sunday School and from friends. That’s just fine. But this business of seemingly arbitrary or unfathomable punishment upset me a lot, or was it that she thought it was plausible? When DH and I make or enforce a rule, we always discuss with her the reasons for the rule. We’re big on rationality and reasonableness. I understand that we’re not the only influences in her life but this one, let me tell you, threw me for a loop alright!

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1 Comment

  1. Was this from someone at our church? If Amie knows Kevin a little, he might be someone she could ask some questions. I have found him to be so gentle and reassuring. I’m sure he’d be willing to talk with you both together.

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