Allow me to set the scene. My wife is a non practicing Catholic while I am a practicing atheist/agnostic/heathen. We work hard to keep our home unbiased towards religion as not to influence our young children one way or another. We both believe that religion is a very personal thing and it is up to the individual person to make up their own mind. Last week, my 7 year old son, as we drove home, announced that he was a Christian. I asked why he said that and he replied that he believed in God.
They certainly didn’t cover this in the mythical parenting handbook. They also didn’t cover explosive diarrhea or having a 6 yr old who prefers salmon and steamed vegetables so this comes as no surprise!
We haven’t asked our son to explain exactly why he has decided that he believes in God, we don’t want to have him defend his position. He has nothing to be defensive about. While my personal opinions aren’t exactly a secret, I have never pushed my thoughts and opinions on my children, I trusted they would decide on their own what to believe and as a result, one of them has!
In many ways I should not be surprised. My 7 yr old is way too bright, incredibly sensitive and an all round nice guy. I am still looking for the money for a paternity test. Regardless of my stance, I am very proud of him to have chosen something he believes in and to tell us. It doesn’t make me re-examine my beliefs but it still moves me.
I generally don’t enjoy attending church. Weddings and funerals are the only reasons I normally attend and even then I try to find a Faraday cage just to be sure I don’t get struck by lightning. On occasion I have attended church of other reasons, such as Christmas Mass in a church older than Canada. I go because the people I am with are going and I wish to make them happy, or not be left out, or I am hedging my bets.
My youngest son is yet undeclared on his views of religion but if he also leans towards God, heaven, and all that’s holy, I will find myself in a three-to-one situation that, if all three believers choose to attend church, I will have to weigh up my beliefs against my family. Do I attend church so we go as a family, regardless what I actually think or should I stay strong to my beliefs and have an hour of peace and quiet each time my family goes to worship?
Looks like I am in the market for a pair of Faraday underwear!