Thursday, July 12, 2018

Why I...Encourage my Kids to Believe in God

Further to my post yesterday about how to encourage your children, I wanted to write about how I encourage my children to be believers in God and Jesus.  If my kids grown up to be atheists or agnostics, or even covert to another religion, that's fine, but I want to give them a foundation in something (and my something is Christianity) so that they can be informed about one way of thinking, and give them a starting place.

Now, to be clear, we do not talk about God and Jesus all of the time, we do not pray as family, we do not say grace. It's not who we are and I don't want to project an exaggerated belief on my kids, but rather we will bring up God when it is appropriate, and we think about Him as someone who is always around loving us.  We are members of the United Church after all, we aren't [fill in the blank]!!

To give them some exposure to religion:

We go to church.  That's an obvious one.  I grew up going to church on a regular basis and I wrote about why I like to go here.  Going to church isn't a priority for Dave and that's fine but he supports us going and will come along for the high holidays or if E is singing.  So far Q has just been in the nursery, but in September I'll start having him sit with me for the first part of the service and then take him downstairs to the nursery when the kids leave.  Slowly but surely he will start hearing the same things E has been learning.

We read bible stories.  We have this children's bible that tells the famous stories in a way for kids to understand.  E actually requests some of the stories now; last night we read about Jonah, Moses, and David and Goliath.  When E is a little older, I'd like to get him this bible or something like it.

I answer questions as honestly as possible.  E once asked me what happens when people die, and I gave him a variety of possibilities based on what different people believe.  I said I don't know for sure, but I would really like to believe we go to heaven where we can see our loved ones and live with Jesus forever.

We sing hymns.  E joined the junior choir last year and says he wants to do it again next year (his reason is that sometimes at the end they get to play hide and seek in the church, but I'll take it).  I have a hymn book that I will occasionally play on the piano, and I sing Away in a Manager to Q whenever he is upset and it always calms him down.

We acknowledge other religions.  It is easy to do that in Toronto where we are surrounded by people from all over the world.  The school also celebrates all of the holidays.  Being exposed to all of this also encourages me to learn more so I can answer the questions when they come.

If you are interested in taking your kids to church, I'd be happy to talk about it with you, and you're always welcome to come with us!!

1 comment:

  1. I totally agree with introducing children into the church and believing. And to be exposed to the music and ceremonies is a bonus. Your church has such good music.