Kids & God

It is fascinating to see how our kids react to the idea of God. 3 told us the other day that “All the people and houses and cars are God’s toys.” I love that picture — that, like him and his brother, God has this gigantic playroom filled with all of us and He takes us out to play with and enjoy at His whim. Through the eyes of a child, that is a perfect description.

Unless, of course, God is fighting with us like 3 and his brother do with their toys. Although that might explain why I tripped and fell the other day. I guess even God’s fingers can be slippery.

My wife and I are deeply involved in our church. We love the camaraderie, the fellowship and the sense of community that our church family provides. Our church offers a stable and values-driven home base for us and many other families in our area.

That’s not to say that we are “churchy,” which is that somewhat off-putting and negative label people get when they walk around espousing their religion and view every issue and topic through the lens of their religious beliefs, oftentimes trying to impose those beliefs on others. My wife and I are much more pragmatic and realistic than that. In fact, I still struggle in many ways with the entire concept of organized religion and wonder if I truly have the faith necessary to walk the walk on many tenets of Christianity.

However, we believe that creating a religious foundation for our children is vital. It gives them a sense of security, enables them to be around other like-minded kids and young people and may someday provide them an environment that will nurture them and be a safe haven for them if they encounter difficulties at school or in other aspects of their lives.

We know that at some point in the future, our sons will have the opportunity — as we all do — to question their beliefs, explore other religions or walk away from their faith altogether, if they so desire. That’s all part of being a teenager or young adult and I will encourage them to question everything.

Religion is a polarizing topic and although 63% of Americans say they believe in God, according to a Pew Research Center poll, it remains a no-no at the dinner table and in polite conversation. Yet, in the U.S. it’s nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed about.

However, I’ve always struggled with whether we should indoctrinate our children into organized religion because ultimately each of our faith’s and belief systems in God is a personal choice and in these formative years our children are not capable of making that choice. What it boils down to for my wife and I is that we want to raise our children as we were raised — in a churchgoing family where the morals and guidelines presented by Christianity guided and shaped our lives. Even if our children decide to someday eschew that religion, at the very worst they will have learned certain valuable lessons — like treating others as yourself and the examples of grace and mercy. We can’t see any harm that would come from that.

For now, I want my kids to ask us questions — and sometimes they are challenging questions — about God, why He exists, where He is and how He impacts our lives. I also want them to imagine Him high above watching us, playing with us and guiding us, hopefully to a gentler, more peaceful humanity.

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The Beginning
About Happiest Daddy

Two boys, one wife and a ton of material. I live for family and I'm one of the most blessed people you will ever meet.

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