Growing up, I went to church pretty much every Sunday. I always looked forward to Sunday’s. My dad and I wouldn’t wake up early, grab bagels, come home and get ready, head to church, connect with God, then spend the rest of the day together as a family.
For Middle School I went to a Lutheran school. For part of High School I went to a Catholic school.
Religion has always been a big part of my life.
When I became a mother, I felt it was important for my children to know God and the connection I shared with Him. My babies were baptized when they were young. We go to church almost every Sunday. We pray over every meal, every night before bed, and whenever we feel we should. God and Jesus are welcomed in our house.
I know some feel baptizing children young is forcing them into believing something before they have a choice to. I feel baptizing children young protects them. Then as they get older they can choose what they want to believe in. Some feel going to church every Sunday is forced upon children into a “brainwashing cult”. I feel going to church is a way to get closer to God and be surrounded by people who share that same love for Him. But. If my child told me they don’t want to go, it is never forced on them.
I know people can be close-minded and one-sided when it comes to religion. But I need to say this and hope those who feel so negatively about church and God can see a different side, and maybe, just maybe, be more open to stop with the attacks and negativity and respect our love and beliefs.
In High School, I went thru a lot of struggles. More than one should. Every time I went downhill, I felt God lift me up. I have personally experienced His greatness and His power. That’s why I believe. Not because I was “forced” to by my parents, or church, or school. He has always been there, thru good and bad. I know His love. And I will pray everyone feels His love, including my children.
Saturday nights, my girls go to bed, “Mommy! Do we have church tomorrow?”, I respond “yep!”, they run off, “Hurry! Let’s get to bed so we can go to church.” You would think it’s Christmas Eve or something by how they’re so excited. Never once have I forced them, they make their own choices. And trust me, there’s plenty of Sundays I don’t want to go, but stay in my PJs, and they beg to go. Never forced…
With that being said, my daughter who’s wiser than her years at 6 1/2, it’s the coolest thing talking to her about God. When she was 2, we had an “evil experience”, if you will. She would tell us about this bad man in her room everyday. We played it off as a child with nightmares, sat with her and prayed until she felt safer, then back to bed. One day, we felt it. I can’t describe the feeling… If you ask my daughter about that experience, she will tell you how God protected her. She will tell you when she felt scared she prayed. She will tell you this bad man haunted her and wanted her to do bad things, but she would tell him that he doesn’t scare her, God is with her, and he will protect her from evil. And he has since left us alone. That day changed her and her belief in God. And she has since begged to go to church to learn more.
Church is about learning about God and Jesus. My children learn about the love they have for us and how we are to love others the same. My children learn about helping others thru good deeds, to never judge others, and that in everything, God is always there. No brainwashing. No cult. No talk about “not following the imaginary man will end you in hell.” Just love, respect others, be kind to all, and to never judge.
Why wouldn’t we want our children to spread love? Why wouldn’t we want them to know they should never judge someone for being different? Why wouldn’t we want them to know they can make the world a bit brighter with a caring heart?
That’s what we as parents are supposed to teach our children, whether it is thru church or at home…
But we can’t the moment we are negative and judging others because they are unaware or close-minded to Christians.
I’m not judging those who don’t believe and choose not to! That’s totally fine and your right to believe how you want. What I want, what I pray for, what I beg… we understand that we may never see eye to eye on every situation, and that’s okay! But let’s respect one another. Let’s stop posting online or messaging one another to make a mockery and making fun of my beliefs. Let’s stop calling me names for living the way we live with God. Let’s stop with the negativity and rudeness.
I will never judge you or make fun of you or call you names for believing differently than me. I will pray that one day you can feel the amazing love God has. I will pray that you can open your heart up to Him. I will always love you, regardless of our differences.
Let’s stop the hate and spread the love.