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Ken and Denise Hawk
Ken and Denise Hawk and their five children are known throughout their community as "Team Hawk." They specialize in cultivating relationships with each other and the world to unleash the wonder found in daily family living. Send them a question at teamhawk@sbnr.org

Family Religious Pressure?

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Q: Both my parents and my husband’s parents are pressuring us to attend church now that we have children. My kids are asking why we don’t go to church. What are the right words to explain why we don’t do what other families do?

Family Religious Pressure?

From the earliest of ages, we advise to cultivate independent thinking. From the smallest of things to the largest of issues, we think for ourselves. Even when we ask our children to to something or not to do something, if they ask why – we tell them the reason. We NEVER say “because I said so”. It teaches them that there is thought behind every choice we make. By the time the extended family asserts their pressure, you and your family will be armed with the armor of independent thought. The explanation for the children centers around the ideas that our family has chosen that makes us the best family we can be. We carefully describe that for some families, church is part of that idea. For others, church is not. For our family, church is not part of what is necessary to be the best people and the best family that we can be…

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2 Responses to “Family Religious Pressure?”

  1. Sylvan Crofte
    January 30, 2011 at 1:14 am #

    Your encounter with family regarding the non-attedance of your children to ‘church’, can be a very difficult situation. In looking back at my life and the fact that nearly all of my decisions were based in many ways upon the religion taught to me as a child and well into my teens. The rest of my adult life became a constant (weekly) re-affirmation of those things taught during that time. The real question or problem is not what I learned, but rather what I did not experience (SPIRITUALITY). Your family is exhibiting the very attribute which they each have spent years attempting to overcome, JUDGEMENT or criticisim. Spirituality cannot co-exist with Judgement of others. God in nearly every book written about Him, tells all of us not to judge one another. That is precisely what they are doing to you. they are not living their own teachings. All religions by practice simply allow their members to judge and subsqently exclude anyone from their lives if they do not follow their ‘rules’. I have just recently experienced what you have described (I was rejected by church and family, the moment I discovered my connection to God and His Universe), in all fairness however, I must point out that I discarded my ‘intellectual’ testimony of my religion, in favor of the much more valuable connection to God and the Universe. As a result of that connection I am now happy and do in fact experience joy. It is not about what we think or the amount of knowledge we can push into our brain. It is all about our spirituality, Love for God, ourselves and our fellow human beings. If Your family truly ‘loves’ you, then they will encourage you in whatever path you have chosen. It is all about our personal choices, and our spirituality. Ask them to simply accept and love you and your children as you are, without a list of rules to be followed. But then you probably have already done that, most likely more than once. Children when they are born, already have that spiritial connection to their Creator. Generally keeping them from all those lists of ‘do this, dont do that etc’ allows them to continue to be in their personal spirituality. That personal connection to God will guide them, as Loving parents (you) teach them to build a solid foundation of spiritual and eternal truths.

  2. Name
    February 10, 2011 at 6:22 pm #

    If you guys ever decide to adopt, I’d love to apply for the position. You guys rock and I love you all.

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