Why Our Church Matters To Us

NorthChurchThis Sunday is Easter, arguably the most important religious holiday of the year for Christians. Many of us will put our on Easter clothes — I prefer a seersucker suit, largely because it’s the only time of the year that I feel appropriate wearing it — and attend a church service with our kids in tow, hoping that they realize Easter is about a little bit more than chocolate bunnies, egg hunts and large family dinners.

This past year has been an important one in the life of our family and our church has played a starring role in it.

My wife began a part-time job at our church and we enrolled our oldest child in the church’s preschool program. Every weekend we have made a commitment to attend services and oftentimes during the week we volunteer or attend a program offered by the church. It has been about more than making a religious connection for me, because I struggle from time to time with the whole “organized religion” thing. Truth be told, I’m a recovering Catholic, continuing to seek out answers.

To illustrate where I am in my religious journey my wife recently bought me a book called, “The Case for Christ: A Journalist’s Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus.” She knows my journalist’s mind and skepticism work overtime.

More than a place to worship, the church has also been a place of socializing and friendships as well as a place of positive reinforcement for our children. We have established some important friendships and have found a place where we feel comfortable, welcome and home. Our church community is extremely laid-back with none of the proselytizing or Bible-thumping found at some other churches.

We’ve watched our oldest child participate in the Christmas celebrations, eagerly await each Sunday when he gets to sit on the altar to listen to a Children’s Moment and make new friends in Sunday School. I suppose it’s about surrounding him with a — hopefully — ethical and value-based group of adults and children who will enable him to stay out of trouble or, at the very least, reinforce lessons of right from wrong.

I have struggled in my brief parenting life with whether we, as churchgoing parents, brainwash or indoctrinate our kids into religion. They are too young, after all, to understand the depth of the lessons they are being taught. They are also too young to decide whether they want to attend church or adopt its’ teachings. My parents put me in Catholic school in first grade and I grew up being involved in the mass in many different ways. School and church also gave me a community of friends to belong to. As I grew up I questioned many aspects of the church and decided it wasn’t right for me.

But I never lost my faith.

It is my hope that my children will ask the hard questions and debate the merits of religion with even more fervor and zeal than their father did. I hope they question whether organized religion is right for them. I hope they ask me why their mother and I made them go to church. I may not always have the best answers for them but I will tell them a church is about more than a place to worship. It is a place to lay the foundation for a life of service, community and making friendships that could last for years.

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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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Comments

  1. good post. I can relate to the “recovering catholic.” You admit to being a seeker. What I’ve experienced is that God uses our children to bring us into saving faith in Christ. Our children ask the tough questions, and we realise we’re clueless, so we seek God, and then He finds us!

    • Happiest Daddy says:

      They do ask the best and most incisive questions. Whether religion or otherwise, their inquiring minds do make us better people!

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