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Parents And Religion: Returning to Religion as a Parent

My Religion As A Parent

I was raised in a culturally religious family. We didn’t regularly attend services, but we were a part of a congregation and we knew we would always be welcome there. As I got older, the teachings of my religion no longer seemed relevant, and I actually found them insulting. By the time I left for college, I believed I was done with organized religion forever.

Fifteen years passed, and I was in a different phase of my life, having married and had children. My husband and I had no other family around as a support system. We had a set of values and morals we use to guide our lives, and we wanted our daughters to follow them also.

But somehow it felt like we were doing this in a vacuum. My husband was not raised in any organized religion, so this was not an important issue for him. I felt strongly that our daughters needed to see others living with our set of values. So I went in search of a place to call our religious home.

Returning To Religion

I made visits to several places of worship looking for the right vibe. I was astonished that I was even looking into this, since I had sworn off organized religion in my teens. Eventually, I found a church and we made a pact to go as a family—even my husband agreed to go. There we found the extended family that we wanted for our daughters. We were warmly welcomed; the whole congregation embraced our daughters. One joined the youth group and found friends who share her beliefs.

Many of our values are reiterated through Sunday school and the youth group. It’s no longer just Mom and Dad who are saying this. Also, if our daughter is in need of help, and doesn’t feel comfortable coming to us for some reason, she has a group of adults she can confide in that we know will lead her in the right direction.

I still don’t know how important religion is to me, but it was something that I needed to give my children. Maybe I would have done things differently if we had family around, but we needed a village (how cliché!) to help with raising our children. I don’t know what role religion will play in their lives, but now they have a starting point of their own.

Eca Taylor is the former circulation specialist for Your Teen Magazine.

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