Can you raise moral and ethical children without God and without religion?
Personally, I don’t think so. However, there is no right or wrong answer here. It all depends on your personal beliefs. I will not sit here and preach to you about what I think is right for YOU. It’s presumptuous, arrogant and quite frankly, none of my business. Only YOU know what is right for YOUR family. Only YOU know what’s in YOUR heart (well, God knows, if you believe in him).
This profoundly personal and private issue was brought up on Dr. Laura’s YouTube channel. And considering I hope my children/grandchildren read my blog in years to come in order to learn a little more about me and my choices, I’d like to share my personal experience with you.
If you don’t like Dr. Laura, then don’t watch. I know she can be arrogant, self-righteous and even flippant at times, but don’t pay attention to the theatrics, pay attention to the message behind the theatrics. In fact, I even wrote my own personal disclaimer about Dr. Laura, if you care to read it.
Either way, this post is not about Dr. Laura, it’s about the issue she talks about. I’m simply using her opinion as a springboard for this topic because I do think what she talks about are issues that should be addressed, in general. So, if you have a problem with Dr. Laura, the person, then please, take it elsewhere. If you just feel compelled to go off on a tangent about Dr. Laura and don’t stick to the topic, then your comment will be deleted. Thanks.
If you’re new to this blog – HI! I’m a Christian, welcome to my blog. Given this knowledge, it shouldn’t come as any surprise to you that we have raised our boys to love and respect God and His wonderful, perfect son, Jesus Christ.
But it didn’t start out that way.
I’ve talked about how I got involved with the Truth or Tradition ministry in the past – I certainly won’t go into it again. In a nutshell, we don’t go to church. We haven’t stepped foot in a church in oh gosh, decades. And we have no desire to go to church. Church, the institution and on the surface, is a good thing. It’s an opportunity to bring together fellow believers, to minister and bless the body of the church, Jesus Christ. That’s a good thing.
However, what we don’t like about church is the politics, the corruption, the tendency to get off topic and even use the word of God as a personal platform to promote personal agendas. It’s also astounding, to me, how often the word of God gets stretched all out of proportion therefore misguiding people and God’s nature and His intentions for us.
I’m not saying all preachers/pastors are like that. I’m only telling you my personal experience. My husband and I personally prefer to study scripture, to break it down and study the content, traditions and God’s original meaning. We really enjoy tracing the origins of the Bible back to it’s original language so that we may correctly divide and understand the Word of God.
Because of our feelings about church, we’ve never taken our children to church. And in fact, we didn’t really start getting serious about teaching our children about God and Jesus until about ten years ago.
I remember the exact moment we decided to start actively getting our boys involved in religion. We were at one of my husband’s family gatherings. As is our custom, we were all standing around the table preparing to pray. All of the nieces and nephews were pretty young, most of them older than Dude and Jazz, but a few younger, and all of the kids bowed their heads, except for ours. They looked around at everyone curiously, they didn’t really know what was going on because we hadn’t prayed in our own house.
I was ashamed and embarrassed that our children didn’t know how to pray.
As if often the case, my husband and I left the gathering thinking the same thing – it was time to introduce our boys to our wonderful Lord and Savior.
My husband contacted the good folks at Truth or Tradition and they sent us videos and various other teaching materials so that we could get started with our Bible study classes at home.
And that’s what we do, every Sunday, I wake the boys up at 7:30 to make sure they are good and awake for our session, and at 9:00 a.m. SHARP (my husband is rather particular about this), we start our study session while sitting around our dining room table. We watch a teaching presented by John Schoenheit, and then we take turns reading a chapter out of the new Testament, followed by a discussion about what it means and how it affects our lives.
I can honestly say, with conviction and utter confidence, that our boys are better people because of our initiative to raise them knowing God. They are confident, kind, considerate and God-fearing (which is actually translated respecting – you shouldn’t fear God) Christians who know how they should live their lives. They are motivated to please God because it ultimately blesses them and the people around them.
They understand that God has commanded them to respect and honor us, their parents, and as a result, we have a better relationship with them.
We are very aware that our children watch and mimic us, so my husband and I work very hard to set good examples for the boys by living our lives according to God’s will.
We exercised our free will, WE CONSCIOUSLY CHOSE, to learn more about God and to accept His son as our personal Lord and Savior. As a result of our willingness to live more Godly lives, we are truly happy and truly blessed.
It’s my firm belief that our children will grow up and lead successful lives because we made the effort to introduce them to God and His wonderful, exalted Word. They know right from wrong. They have developed a moral compass (and I’ve seen proof of that this past year). They are better people because of our God.
So my personal answer to the above question? Sure, you can raise children without knowing God or any sort of religion, but do you think the children are better off NOT knowing? I would much rather give my children the advantage of some sort of starting point – if, later in life, they choose to reject what we’ve taught them, that is their choice. But for now, they have something to base future opinions, and decisions, on.
Thanks for reading.
1 thought on “Religion and Children”
WOW. What a great question. As a mom of little ones, it really resounds with me. While I am not a fan of Dr. Laura, I wholeheartedly agree with everything she said. I teach my kids rules all the time, but I also teach them why the rules are there. Morals and ethics encompass the why: Why don’t we hurt others? Why don’t we steal? Why can’t we just do whatever we want? All of those whys are answered in the Bible.
Because God said so, that’s why. There’s no better answer than that, and you can’t have that answer without some sort of religious influence!
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