While doing some reading a few days ago, I stumbled upon an interesting post the other day that I cannot seem to locate but wanted to say something about it because the subject matter stuck in my mind for a few days and I couldn’t shake it.
The post was in reference to a young lady who expressed her dislike with her mother when telling her to pray about something when faced with a life-changing decision or obstacles that she would encounter in daily life.
It was understood that her mom’s reason for doing this was because it was considered socially acceptable and a natural response. She expressed her frustration and feelings of being ignored when it comes to the fact that her mother is aware she clearly does not share the same beliefs but chooses to do this on a regular basis.
As I am reading this I couldn’t help but wonder had I been in this person’s shoes what would I have done? And while there are way too many variables to deduce why her mother may have done this with the exception of what she noted, I find given the fact had I been aware of my child’s non-belief, I simply would have said “I will be praying for you.”
On the other hand, had this been one of my children, my response would not have been questionable because I would have said the same thing as did her mother, “Pray about it” as well as “I will be praying for you.”
Not because I feel it is socially acceptable as this person believed the reason her mother does this. Nor would I have done this to impose my own personal beliefs upon them or disrespect theirs, but it would have been because I am comfortable and confident where my children are in their spirituality and beliefs. I know my audience. We share the same religious beliefs.
I grew up in a household with my sisters and brother where we were raised with the same faith and religious tradition of my mother and great-grandmother. We attended church and they instilled Christian values and the teachings of God and Jesus Christ. As I grew up, I chose to hold on to those beliefs and felt it was important to my development and future growth which helped mold and shape me into the person I am today.
When I become a mother, I made the decision in my household to instill and practice the same tradition, religion, and values within my children my mom and great-grandmother taught me. Throughout my children’s lives I would encourage them. I believed it was essential to set the foundation for their future development.
With the understanding that as my children grew up, it would ultimately be up to them to choose their own path but would hope that they continue on the path they were raised and continue with the tradition. Because it was clear I could not choose their faith for them, they would have to experience that on their own. And it would have to be based on their belief and not mine. And regardless, I would love them the same and support their decision.
As life would have it, when they became adults thankfully they held the same beliefs and followed the same practice. And as it stands today, we as a family attend the same church and share the same beliefs with the exception of one of my children who have a different preference.
As a parent I feel it is my obligation to guide and nurture my children in their spiritual development. No matter what situation they may find themselves in, I believe it is essential to instill spiritual guidance and wisdom and provide godly advice and encouragement that is in alignment with my beliefs. Of which I do when presented the opportunity. The greatest thing is they don’t become offended by it but they welcome it and oftentimes are in agreement with it. And will thank me for it. It warms my heart.
As Christians, we are given a charge to pray for others. When I express my intent to pray for my children, I don’t look for a response but work to encourage and assure them God is in control. I strongly believe prayer is the answer and changes things. It is through my faith, dedication, and commitment to God to pray for others no matter the controversy or conflict it may bring. And is something I will continue to do for my children until I no longer have breath.
As I stated before, I am not one to impose my religious beliefs or preference on others because not everyone you encounter will believe in God or share the same faith. Yet it is not for us to judge. However, we are to remain loyal and true to our beliefs. And not compromise our faith to please, fit in, or be accepted by others.
When your offspring come to you and make you aware that their beliefs are different from yours, don’t become upset by it or disregard it. Have respect for it. Continue in your role as a parent to support, guide, lead, teach, encourage, and pray for them. Nurture them. Live by example. Practice what you preach. Pave the way that will lead them to a lasting, loving relationship with God.
“Train up a child. And although they may stray, they will not depart from it.They shall remember the way they were raised. With the hope they desire to live by what they were taught. To walk in righteousness, glorify and give honor to God.”
Be blessed! –JD
Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”