TheBODYMatters Children's Program Pre-K–8th

Theology of the Body Evangelization Team

Between 1978 and 1984, Pope St. John Paul II delivered a series of Wednesday audiences that eventually became known as the Theology of the Body. This profound teaching offered what St. John Paul called an “adequate anthropology”—an examination of what it means to be human, made in God’s image and likeness, and how that reality is made visible in our human bodies. TOBET seeks to share this life-affirming message with others through educational resources: books, programs, talks, and seminars will offer hope and healing to a culture in need.

TOBET’s Episcopal Advisory Board confirmed the decision to create an original, age-appropriate program for Pre-School to 8th grade children not only to protect them from these negative influences, but also to help them to see the wonder of being made in God’s image and likeness.

Recent Blogs

The Penetrating Wisdom of Cardinal Sarah on the Body

The Penetrating Wisdom of Cardinal Sarah on the Body

Cardinal SarahMost of us are tired of all of the discussion about COVID19 and general upheaval, so we are relieved to speak of something else. To that end, let’s talk about Cardinal Sarah’s latest book, The Day Is Now Far Spent. At a time when we are uncertain whom to...

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The One Best Thing

The One Best Thing

The cover of our book, The Body and Holy MassWhat is THE one, best thing any one of us can do for our children? It’s a gift that will never wear out or depreciate in value, never be donated to Goodwill, eaten by moths, or stolen from a vault. THE ONE BEST THING. It is...

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Learn about the truth of the body with world-renowned #theologyofthebodyevangelization speaker and #TOBET President Monica Ashour.

Register for this Free LIVE Event! Learn about the truth of the body with world-renowned #theologyofthebody speaker and #TOBET President Monica Ashour!

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We at #TOBET want you to know how much we appreciate your generosity and support of our mission this #NtxGivingDay
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TOBET Presents Theology of the Body for Families: This month, we will cover how the body is a part of life and why our bodies are good. We provide examples for parents to use Theology of the Body language when talking with their children, to build an understanding of St. John Paul II’s Christian anthropology.

TOBET now has a series of posts to help you enhance your dialogue and reframe complex subjects through the lens of TOB and how God intends us to live our lives. We hope this series will be inspirational to you and your family as we explore how to live our lives in God’s image and likeness.

We are our bodies, male or female. The human body is unique, special, and very good. Humans are a visible body and an invisible spirit, made in the image of God. Our bodies show us that we come from God and our parents, linking us to past generations. We speak a language of love to our families with our bodies.

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The Body Is Good

You’re at a family get together, and your daughter Nina is running around with her brother and other cousins. She’s the only girl playing with the boys, and she’s still in her dress from church that morning. She and your nephews are chasing one another around the backyard, playing football. You see your middle school-aged daughter tackle one of her cousins, completely forgetting she’s in her dress. At the time, you don’t say anything directly, not wanting to embarrass Nina in front of everyone. You make a mental note to speak with her about it later.

The kids are called to grab food, and you take that moment to pull your daughter aside and address her accidental immodesty. You ask, “Nina, let’s talk about playing football in your church clothes.”

She answers, “Oh. I guess I should have changed to keep them from getting dirty.”

You reply, “That’s part of it, but there’s a deeper issue. Let’s think through roughhousing in a dress.”

She says, “Oh….but I was just playing with my cousins. Does that matter?”

You say, “Well, let’s see. First, let me be clear. You look beautiful no matter what you wear, but a dress shows a special part of femininity and beauty. And for various types of events, we wear different types of clothing. You wouldn’t wear shorts and a T-shirt to a graduation or a play, would you? That’s why changing to play clothes when you are playing is important.”

Nina says, “I get it. I’ll remember next time.”

You say, “But there is something more important for you as a pre-teen to consider. God made our bodies male or female, and you being a girl comes with certain gifts and responsibilities. One of those responsibilities is modesty and politeness. Do you remember what modesty is?”

Nina says, “Looking frumpy!”

You say, “Not at all. The opposite, in fact. Since the body matters, it is important to take care when picking out your clothes. Part of that decision is based on knowing your great dignity and keeping private that which is sacred. As you and I have said before, our private parts are veiled, not because something is wrong or bad. We veil that which is sacred. That’s called modesty. Your gift of femininity comes with the responsibility to the truth of who you are, someone to be honored.”

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The Body and Life

Nina says, “But I still don’t get why it matters if my cousins saw my underwear. It was just a second, and we were all too distracted trying to tackle each other anyway.”

You say, “I understand it’s confusing, but part of living with the gift of a female body means being modest. It’s confusing, especially since you’re growing up. But, even with family, you have to think about how you present yourself. You can still run around with the boys, but you need to wear shorts or pants next time. Okay?”

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Lessons About Life and Goodness

Nina says, “Okay. I guess that makes sense. It’s not something I’d ever think about with family. But I’d definitely think about it at school since they make us wear pants or shorts in PE and recess. I just never thought about the modesty part.”

You say, “This is what makes our bodies special. Girl bodies like yours have certain gifts, like one-day holding human life. Boy bodies are made with their own gifts and responsibilities, too. As we grow up, God shows us how each unique body is a gift of love, one we can share in special ways.”

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Thank you for receiving the gift #TOBET has to share by reading our post. If you’d like to learn more about how The Body Is Good or The Body and Life, please visit tobet.org/shop/.

Be sure to check out next week’s post as we share Theology of the Body in other unique scenarios. Please consider prayerfully and thoughtfully our mission beyond purchasing The Body Matters books: stay tuned for updates on #NTXGivingDay!
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