I grew up Catholic. Every Sunday was church, and I went though First Communion and Confirmation too. We weren’t over-the-top religious, but God was something/someone who was known in my house growing up. Once I went off to college I pretty much stopped going to church. With the exception of a few times when I was home for the summer, or for Christmas mass. The Hubby grew up Jehovah’s Witness. His family however did celebrate Christmas and Birthdays unlike other JW’s I’d known as a kid. He chose to stop going to church when he was 13.
When we started seriously dating, we had a general talk about what our religion was and if we were to practice where we would go etc. At the time neither of us was particularly interested in practicing by going to church. We are both believers in a God, but neither of us feel that we need to go to a certain place at a certain time to show our belief.
Now that we have J, we probably should have the conversation again. I want to be able to teach J about God. In whatever form we choose to do though, is a little up in the air. Do we teach him ourselves but leave out some of the pieces and parts that neither of us choose to focus our beliefs on? Or do we introduce him to a church of some kind once he’s old enough to understand what he’s being told and let him learn a specific story?
I do want to teach him how to pray. No matter what religion you are, or even if you aren’t religious at all I think that Praying is something that is essential to a happy and healthy life. That’s my own personal opinion. I feel that through prayer you can be thankful and go through the process of asking for forgiveness from God (or whatever or whomever you believe is out there) or it can just be a way to speak your mind and come to some inner peace.
Then there’s the question of baptism. I was baptized, but I came from a family that practiced a specific religion. Same with the Hubby. I have nothing against baptism, nor do I feel strongly that J must be baptized. I like the idea and the principle of baptism. But I also don’t want to baptize J because I feel like I should, nor do I want to pick some random church to have him baptized when I feel like that is something that should be practiced in a much more comfortable and known environment.
My feeling at this point is at some point the Hubs and I may decide that we are wanting more of an organized or practiced religion as part of our lives. Or once J is school aged, we could introduce him to a Sunday School type program where he can learn the story behind a generic Christian religion. Or maybe we’ll teach him that there is something greater out there, something bigger than us, someone who we can talk to no matter what. Then when he’s old enough to make his own decisions he’ll be free to choose to practice or not practice whatever he wants.
For now, we will teach him acceptance, love, humility, how to be thankful, family values and to be proud of all his accomplishments – big or small.