Growing up in a faith-based home, many people assume I will raise my children with the same background. This is not a right or wrong assumption nor does it upset me when someone asks. However, I must say I think there is an incredible difference between faith and religion, which I will discuss as well as my reasons for being careful with both.
When bringing a child into the world, parents are suddenly bombarded with a whole host of questions surrounding how they will raise that little one. Church or no church? God or no God? Faith or no faith? In all honesty, this has been one of the most daunting questions for me as I do believe that we were created and have souls. However, I strongly disagree with the ritualistic practices of most religions.
I grew up in a very strict, religious society. I now know many of the people I was raised to respect or obey, were simply taking the Bible and twisting it to create their own version of reality. They used the Bible as a weapon instead of a guiding tool for life and manipulated many people to follow practices that I now believe to be absurd. I personally view religion as an organized practice created by a hierarchy that holds people to an unrealistic standard created by men. Faith, on the other hand, is a personal belief system that is pursued everyday.
I personally do not claim any faith, religion or church. After my experience with such a manipulative society, I have taken a step back from all religious affiliations and am hesitant to search that part of my life. That being said, I want my children to have a strong foundation that they can build upon as they grow. It is important to me to instill kindness, love, and respect for others above all else. I want their belief in themselves to be so strong, that even if they question it, they are always able to rely on their own conscious and lead good lives.
If they choose to search for faith, I will gladly support them in that journey and encourage them to talk to people who I believe do live lives of honest faith. I will caution them to be aware of men and women who use their influence in both faith and religious societies to manipulate and control. Above all else, I will caution them to follow what brings them joy, not just a life of ritual and self persecution.
I know people of all different beliefs, faiths, and religions and have found friends across the board. I do not think someone is good or bad based upon their theology alone and know there is good surrounding all of us from all different organizations. I know that it really can create serenity and peace for people and truly feel happy for those who find it.
As always, my love for my precious baby will supersede anything else and I will strive to raise him and any future children, as beautiful, respectful humans who surround those they know with kindness and acceptance.
What are your thoughts on this topic? I know it is a controversial one, so please be respectful of all who engage!