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The last blog post has had some really interesting results I wasn’t expecting.  I think a number of people may be afraid that they have said something to make me uncomfortable or stir this up.  Some have the misconception that perhaps this is something my hubby and I have been heatedly discussing as a difference of opinion in raising our kids.  Wrong, wrong, wrong!  

It has stemmed from the fact that this week my kids are coming home from VBS as 5 year olds telling me their version of what they have learned.  I haven’t felt equipped to correct misunderstandings of the 5 year old mind or encourage and elaborate on these ideas.  And attempting to do so has had me feeling mixed up inside- a bit hypocritical or 2-faced almost.  Not to mention the laundry list of excuses I keep rolling out as to why I’m not going with to church this week.

Above all, what I had hoped to say is that is my goal to help my husband raise Christian children in a Christian house but remain true to myself as a non-Christian.  It’s not about teaching my kids my beliefs.  My husband isn’t some crazy God freak insisting his kids learn his way and beating me with switches while he’s pissing on homosexuals and shooting up abortion clinics. It’s not about what/how/why this is being taught to my kids, but more about how do I co-exist in this and not compromise my beliefs or lack of while supporting the education of our kids.

One of the things I love most about my husband is his spirituality. His belief in God, in the good and love of his Creator and his unwillingness to let others shame him or belittle him for his beliefs is one of the biggest things I admire about him.  He is a good man who is teaching our children to be good children, raising them with hope and a strong foundation of love.  I find it honorable.  I have watched him as he has given his scarf to a cold, nearly frozen homeless man because that is what his God has asked of him- to love his neighbor.  I have watched him as he has had the utmost patience with our children as I am slowly losing it some days because that is what his God has taught him.  I have been the recipient of so much patience, honor and love because that is what his God has told him is important in loving a spouse.

Some might find it odd for a non-Christian to want her children raised differently than herself.  I don’t know how to explain it I guess.  I feel like Christianity provides a strong basis of morals, but it’s more than that.  I think it provides a sense of hope.  A comfort in times of trial.  It’s something that I have always envied a bit, but cannot wrap my heart & head around. But why take that away from my kids? They will find out soon enough that the world can be a truly terrifying place where evil and awful things happen to people everyday.  And though I might not believe that there is a place of reprieve from all of it when we die why not let them have that? I mean really, what do I know? And if by some chance Christians are wrong and there isn’t a heaven what have I really lost by letting my kids have faith in that? I will always be here in the future if they have questions or choose to explore other options.  It’s not something we plan to force on our children.  My husband isn’t going to be throwing bibles at them and raining down words of fire and brimstone- that’s not him and frankly, that’s not being a Christian.  He will be raining down words of love, however.  He will be supporting them no matter what f-ck ups they make in life just as he is loving me through all of my questions and struggle.

That was long winded, but I hope it helped.  I still have so many questions and love the feedback I’ve gotten so far and hope to hear more from you.

2 Responses

  1. Anonymous

    Interesting posts, and the update is great! My husband was raised in a very strict lutheran religion and i was raised in a very liberal catholic way. We are both now liberal, non-practicing, and lean towards non-christian insights (hubby came to that on his own, not with any pressures from me). I can say this with no hesitation: what matters MOST is what is taught at HOME. If your girls are taught goodness, kindness, tolerance, and respect–it doesn’t matter if the source is the bible or a tea leaf. Having a Christian education is certainly not a bad thing, it can give kids a sense of right and wrong and of consistency! Have you entertained the idea of attending church with your family, not to subscribe to what is taught, but to go for other reasons? Since you are on-board with your girls being formally raised Christian and your husband is a great role model for them and attends church, have you considered attending their church in the name of sharing time, enjoying the music, and supporting Brian and the girls in that way? If that doesn’t sit well with you at all, I understand ( I had tears stream down my face in agony as I sat and listened to some ultra conservative lutheran sermons prior to our marriage). Have you and Brian discussed the girls learning both his beliefs and yours? And teach them tolerance of other beliefs? They are bound to have classmates/friends who are not taught what they are taught and I have seen kindergarteners get in screaming matches about who’s religion was “right”!!!! For our son, when he asks questions about churches and what is God, we give him explanations that qualify for many religions, not excluding any on purpose, and what other people believe. If the situation at my house was more similar to yours, I would definitely make sure my husband was 100% in charge of the particulars of formal christian education, answering all of the kid questions, etc. pertaining to that formal christian education; and as to what to tell our son when he asked why I wasn’t going to church, I would tell him where I WAS going instead of why I wasn’t going….that discussion can come later when his question is based more on theology than on pure curiosity about what I was doing while they were away. Good luck and keep us posted!


  2. Kelly

    Thanks, Abby! You’re so stinking insightful as usual. I mean how easy to simply state what I AM doing- that’s what I’ve been doing as it really hasn’t been an issue so far. I think sometimes I like to complicate things by looking too far down the road.

    Still not sure as to how I feel about attending church. You make perfect sense in the idea of attending as part of supporting. I think it would also give me the ability to have a better understanding as to what they are hearing, etc, so I can flag questions or confusions when I have to. It’s just so damn boring & I could be getting so many other things done- NO OFFENSE!! There is just something about grocery shopping alone that is so appealing. It’s definitely something to think about though.

    I have looked so much at my beliefs confusing my kids that I hadn’t truly considered the benefit of them knowing that people believe other things and building a sense of tolerance. We’ve talked about cultural differences, particularly since our town has such a high population of Somali immigrants and refugees, but haven’t ventured much into the idea of different religions.

    As always, Abby, thanks for the words of wisdom. You’ve given me a lot to think about.