Kids & Religion

This weeks topic: If your child wants to study, learn and participate in a religion that is quite a bit different than what you have brought them up in, how do/would you react?  What would you say to them and would you allow them to do as they wish in their searching?

 If you respond on your own blog – be sure to link back to this.

10 Comments

  • May 10, 2007 - 12:46 am | Permalink

    I was raised by very open parents, and tend to be the same way. I believe what I believe today because of the religions I was introduced to in the past. You learn from experiencing different things. My children now believe what I believe, because they feel that this is “right”. One day, they may want to experience a different religion, go to church, etc. I will respect that.
    Though my children are still young, they have already experienced religious bigotry in school (mostly my oldest, 9). As sad as this is, it was a good lesson, and discussing it showed me how strong, intelligent, and knowing my child is. Her best friend is of a very religious faith, and we are very earthly, and these two could teach many adults a thing or two about tolerance.

  • May 10, 2007 - 2:12 am | Permalink

    I hope that my children will see my faith more than hear about it. I also hope I’m quick to encourage them to question and learn, and to develop beliefs that are more than a series of habits or “to do’s.” I anticipate they will grow spiritually as they age, and hope this will reflect the values of our home.
    I would especially mourn if my child rejected his place and purpose in the world, and allowed himself to become completely self-absorbed, materialistic, or craved the things that fade away and disappoint. I imagine that seeing a child die spiritually would be an intensely painful loss.
    Honestly, my hope is that they’ll come to know the God who loves them, and this knowledge would fill them with grace and love, so they treat themselves and others in a way that truly transforms hearts & minds & places. As for particulars of where they go or how they schedule themselves, well… these are the surprises I look forward to!

  • May 10, 2007 - 7:14 am | Permalink

    I agree with what Mamatoo said. I want my kids to see my faith lived out and grow in their own faith as well. I think that studying about other religions and finding the truth on their own is an important part of growing in their faith. God has many children but no grandkids – they can’t get by on my faith, it has to be real to them.

  • May 10, 2007 - 7:15 am | Permalink

    Before they came to us (we adopted two kids out of the foster system), my son especially experienced some horrifying abuse and neglect. From the beginning we talked to them about God, and how their angels led us to them to keep them safe. “Family Day,” their baptism day, is celebrated as the moment they officially became a part of two families, God’s and ours.

    The kids express their faith now with a breathtaking candor that sometimes puts me to shame. The other day they saw a man standing by the side of the road, panhandling, and made me turn around to offer him a bag of pretzels because he looked hungry and “God loves him, too.”

    When religion is used as the basis to exclude and condemn people, it fails to produce the fruit of justice (one of the cardinal virtues). When religion (or faith) provides the impetus to live a life pleasing to God, and generous toward others, it can be a source of true and lasting happiness. That is what I want for my children — and I believe that is what is already growing in their hearts.

  • May 14, 2007 - 1:19 pm | Permalink

    This is a great topic and one I hope many moms think about. I do agree Rebecca and mamatoo…I do want my little one to see my actions more than my words of telling him about God – I want him to see me living my words out and being truthful to who I am. I don’t mind if he wants to study other religions…it helps you grow and learn about the world, however, when what he wants to think and believe is not truth, such as there is more than one God, or not one at all, that’s where I draw the line. The Lord says “You shall have no other gods besides me” and if we worship or believe in anything other than Him as the One True God, then we are being deceived. I want him to experience all of God’s best for his life and live out his shining light to a dark world – there will be struggle and Satan is a powerful enemy, but with God, nothing is impossible.

  • May 18, 2007 - 5:11 am | Permalink

    Here is my comment, http://1smartmom.com/index.php/2007/05/18/what-if-your-child-wanted-a-different-religion/
    Karen, I really appreciated yours too!

  • June 13, 2007 - 10:28 am | Permalink

    I posted and sent a trackback but it may have been caught in the spam filter.

  • July 19, 2007 - 4:56 pm | Permalink

    I would be saddened. My husband and I fully intend on raising our childre to believe that there is only one true God, that He sent his son Jesus to die on the cross for our sins, that He is the only way to heaven, that you must accept His Son as your Savior and TURN from your sin to make heaven your home, and that the bible is the living word of God. I would be upset if they turned from this belief because if I believe what I believe then that would mean that my children would be in a dangerous place, that if they were (God forbid) to die away from that faith, they would spend eternity apart from God. I don’t think any parent could sit well with that reality.

  • November 7, 2007 - 2:27 pm | Permalink
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