I believe in teaching religion to children. I believe religion provides many benefits in terms of structure, expectations, service, faith, strength of character, honesty, work, belief, values, love, self-worth, and a foundation for life.
I do not, of course, believe a child ought to be raised in the sort of religious household where beating, belittling, or deprivation are employed.
A love and a learning of God and creation needs to come from a place of love and understanding. God must be taught with a lesson of broadening one’s own understanding and of seeking for a personal testimony.
If a parent feels the need to beat prayer into a child, that child is not going to learn to love prayer.
I currently raise my children as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (formerly nicknamed Mormons). I was raised in this church as well, and so was my husband. We have both gone through variations and broadenings of our faiths and knowledge. Yet, we have no desire to raise our children outside of religion.
My main reason? Besides the benefits I listed above, it is logic.
I know many people who, when they leave or drift away from organized religion, feel lied to. In their affront they resolve that their children will not grow up deluded as they were. They vow an open mind and freedom of choice for their offspring that they never had.
Which seems to be forgetting one thing: They, as adults, are at the position they are today because of the upbringing and religious foundation they received as children.
I fully expect my children to doubt religion as adults. They’re intelligent, curious, and stubborn. They feel they already know more than many authority figures. They will question and maybe even decide to leave their childhood faith.
Maybe, like others I know, they will still attend, but with a broadened perspective.
I can’t control that, but I can help to give them somewhere from which to leap. And so, I say to give a child a religious somewhere to start from. This doesn’t mean that I’m judging anyone for choosing a faithless family life; it does mean I do not choose that for mine.
As with any thing in parenting, I say to keep the conversation open. Encourage questions. Encourage them to work through the answers on their own. Ready or not, some day they will have to fly on their own.
Sunday, April 7: “Moderate Momming,” a moderate post about moderation.
Monday, April 8: Wrote a poem titled, “Bedtime.”
Tuesday, April 9: Shared an inspirational quote by Sir Gilbert Parker.
Wednesday, April 10: Recommended buying ahead in my Dinner Tip.
Thursday, April 11: “Your Mama’s So Fed Up,” a snippet about an unfair joke bias.
Friday, April 12: Advised against birthing one’s children near each other in, “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot like Birthdays.”
Sunday, April 14: That’s today!