On Religion And My Child

Today, my child asked about God and how He is perceived across all religions. In my mind, all I could think about is "This is it. This is the point where I decide on how to bring my child up regarding religion."

I knew beforehand the moment will inevitably come. It was a matter of time before I had to teach her religion. Unlike some parents however, I am having trouble with this. I don't know how to approach the subject at all.

On one hand, teaching her about the religion we are currently following means indoctrination. I don't know what others think but I believe that a child who looks up to his parent will probably follow what his parents believes. If she thinks her parent as the 'best-est' parent ever, then he will follow what the parent believes in.

On the other hand, teaching the child about every religion there is and making comparisons screams of secularism. A bird's eye view of religion does place logic in the driver's seat and the 'pure faith' at the back seat. At some point, the child will become curious enough or maybe jaded enough to venture into the ultimate question: Does God exist?

As a parent, I feel like I don't want to make the decision for her. I want her to decide on her own on what she wants to believe. It is however difficult to accomplish this considering how young she is. Let's face it. She's going to just look at me and see I am a believer of this religion. She will possibly grow following my own. I don't want her to follow the religion just because I do. I want her to follow it because she also believes in it without any influence on my part.

At the same time, I do not want to raise her jaded on the concept of God. Some part of me still wants to teach her 'God is everywhere'. I want to say God takes care of you.

Bottom line, I do not want to orchestrate everything in her life. I just want to give her the tools she'll need to go through a life of her choosing. I do not want to make it for her.
mareliberum mareliberum
2 Responses Nov 13, 2012

I like what you wrote because I see it as very sincere and as someone who really wants to teach her child what is good and right. Also it touched something in me because I was raised in a very sincere Christian family, who were also missionaries, followed it as a child and began to reject it as a teenager, fully rejected it as an adult and because quite rebellious, then found God myself through Raja yoga meditation at age 47, and practiced everything fully until now at age 58. We all have our own journys and everything is happening according to our own karma, (past actions). We're with the souls that we are meant to be with so that we can learn the lessons we need to learn. We do react to things that push our buttons, but we really need to be detached and realize that this is all a drama and lessons are being shown to me. Am I ready to learn the lesson? From my background I learned, (just recently learned) to become detached and to stop basing my self worth on my parent's opinion of me. I had to find myself and realize where I belong. I also have had to learn to set them free and to truly love them unconditionally even though they don't see eye to eye with what I am doing at all. I am learning to have courage, to stand up and speak but, but also when to just remain silent and have good wishes and let go and love. Loving can be both because sometimes if we never speak up we also falsehood and expectations to persist and they become a real bondage which separates us. We can't be afraid of what people think of us. But to balance that out we have to make sure that when we speak, we speak with love and understanding and caring.

As for your child, I still remember many good verses from the bible which come to me from time to time, like God loves the one with an honest heart, or all things work together for good for those who love God, He's with you through the valley of the shadow of death, remember Me, etc. These little snippets of memory have served me well and I have no idea where they come from in the bible. I can't, nor do I care, to recite whereabouts they come from, but they are truths. And I appreciate them. And I appreciate my parents from instilling them in me.

Actually all religion has some common truths in it and you know when it is in all religion that it's truth. Love thy neighbour is another one, and doesn't that come into all religions. People don't live up to their religion, that is the problem. There is fighting because of judgement and comparrison so any time you find yourself judging or comparing stop yourself and tell yourself, I'm not being true. God would never do this. Raise your child to be truthful and to have a lot of love for God and, as well as that, to have a lot of love for humanity, without feeling that anybody owns them. Actually it's ownership that is the problem. Banish all feelings of I, me and mine towards others, things, and feelings that others can own you. All of this is a bondage. The only one who can own you, and it's a good thing, is God, and God is One and above religion.............. beyond religion. God cannot be owned by any religion. God is for everyone. God is a real being that you can connect with any time you choose, but God isn't omnipresent, that is, God isn't everywhere. God isn't on the battlefield, God isn't in the murderer. God speaks in a still small voice which comes inside you at the right time when you get very very quiet inside and accept all that is happening to you as good and right, even if it seems very bad. You have to embrace every sitation as a lesson to be learned for yourself, (forget about any thoughts of what the other person needs to learn). You have to let go of ego to find God.

Enough said, I wish you a wonderful day and all the best in your bringing up your child. Whatever you do I'm sure will be exactly what she needs, just do it with love and sincerity as you are doing. Have faith in yourself as being the best parent this child could have and faith in the child as being the best teacher you could have, have faith the God is watching over both of you and protecting you, have faith that this drama is very benevolent, and let go of all fear and worry and guilt, and love with a love that in unconditional. Make your own connection with God strong and your child is fine. No worries. Love and peace,
Baba's child

Thank you for the insightful comment. I do believe that we are with the souls that we are meant to be with. As a matter of fact, I think we chose those very souls to be with before we came to be born. A lot of times, some kids would say they never asked to be born and have a certain set of parents. On the contrary, Irish mystic Lorna Bryne asserts that souls choose their parents. In any case, I hope to be the best teacher to the children.

Your child's worldview is empty and you will not be able to fill it because you don't really believe anything yourself. Just tell her the truth: you don't know. Maybe you could teach her science: the scientific method and scientific skepticism − then let her explore the world of the various beliefs and let her choose whatever is most attractive to her. All faith/s, after all, are gambles just as all hope/s have risks... and possible rewards.