Religious Upbringing

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I’ve had people disagree with me on why it is important to upbring your children in the faith, whatever faith that might be.

They’ve said that they plan to stress the “importance of thinking for yourself” and not accepting what authority figures say.

Is this arguement totally unfound, or does it have reasoning behing it?
Completely unfounded.
First of all - it teaches them to carry a suspicion and disrespect for authority.
That is all fine and dandy when you are young and not in charge of things. What happens when you grow up and find yourself in the POSITION of authority? How do you handle authority well, when you were always taught to distrust it?

As far as raising kids in the faith.
As parents we signed up for the deal. God has requested it from us no matter what others may say.
How else will the children come to know of the faith if their own parents do not have enough backbone to teach it to them?

As for my own kids - the natural questions come:
“Mom - how do we know what we believe is true?”
“What about all the other faiths?”
“What happens if I leave the Church when I grow up?”

I consider these great teachable moments - because as catholics we DO have the answers to these questions!!

Someday our children WILL have to decide on their own!
Will they do it out of ignorance of their own faith? (because we failed to teach them the TRUTH)
Will they embrace it? (because we did teach them the truth?)
Or will they reject it despite knowing the truth? (a painful but possible scenario)
So the authority figures (parents) are going to teach the subordinates (children) that the subordinates MUST learn to think for themselves OR ELSE… Personally I don’t see any false logic there… :eek: does anyone else :rolleyes: ? Umm, let’s be a little more clear on this. Yes, each of us has free will and must be taught responsibility and morals and be assisted in forming a good conscience so that we can determine whether those in authority are in fact of good moral character or need to be deposed. But so long as we live in society we are bound by society’s laws (render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s) unless we choose to dissociate ourselves from society and it’s benefits. In addition, since I suspect they are actually rendering this judgment against the Church, we do not follow blindly but with informed faith, and if they choose not to believe in God that is their choice, but when I look at the world my senses tell me otherwise and my faith tells me the Church holds the store of Truth, and therefore I think for myself and choose to follow the Church’s teachings rather than the fallacy of to each their own and let the mighty prey on the weak til all are left in ruin.
So ummm, yeah, there IS reasoning behind that argument. Faulty, illogical, relativistic reasoning. But reasoning nonetheless.
Dear Presence:
I believe it is a MUST that you teach your children about the Faith.
I’m a cradle Catholic, I left the Church and God, when I was 16. My life up until my return to the Church 20 yrs later was a mess.
However when I came back to the Church, I knew I was HOME.
I thank God for my mom who taught me about my faith when I was young, because even though I was away 20 yrs. every thing she taught me came back…It was just like a light bulb went off in my head. I must say, if I didn’t have those memories, I’m not sure I would have come back to the Catholic Church.
Now that I have a 12 and 13 yr old. I’m teaching them everything and anything I possibly can about their faith, so that when they are old enough, they can make their own choice. And if they decide to leave the Church, and then come back they will have something to come back with.
Good Luck. I don’t think you should ever let your children decide on their own, and personally I wouldn’t let anyone tell me otherwise. Children need guidance.
Praise God with your children.
Snuffy 👍
Many kids leave the church in their late teens or early 20s for several reasons. Some, out of laziness (late party Saturday night, so why get up for church?). Some, because they follow examples of their peers and leave the examples of parents behind. Others, because their lifestyles have veered away from the Church.

College often brings this on. A theory that I came across that makes sense to me is that, while kids growing up (escpecially in Catholic school), were in the regular habit of partaking of the Sacraments, it all stops when they get into their teen years, into high school or college, which may not be as church-oriented. They get caught up in pop culture. Their years of rebellion kick in. Then, all of a sudden, they find that, as they’ve grown, their relationship with God has not. All of their friends are their age, but the only relationship they have with the Lord is the one they had when they were 10 or 12.

I’ve told my kids that their loving relationship with God – like any friendships they have – have to mature or it will atrophy and even die. When you’re 19, it’s kind of difficult to have a dynamic, healthy friendship with somebody you knew when you were prepubescent, unless that friendship has matured with you. You have to make an active effort to nuture that relationship over the years. It works the same way with God.

I made that discovery when I was in college – that the reason I was finding excuses not to go to Mass on Sundays and that I was veering into serious sin was that I had not come to the realization that I had made little effort to develop my friendship with the Lord. I was 19, but I knew Him only as I did when I was 10.

It took me years to work on bringing my relationship with Our Lord “up to date.” And, I’m still working on it.

I hope and pray my kids don’t waste as much time as I did coming to the realization that God is the best friend you could ever have, and He is always there for you.
I have two observations:
  • Parents are responsible for their children’s education. This means ALL education, including religion. We wouldn’t give our kids the choice on whether or not to study math (I know what choice MY kids would make). Religion is no different; in fact, it is even more important since it could effect our eternal destinies–ours and our kids.
  • I was raised in a generation where almost everyone who was given a choice on whether to practice their religion, chose not to (of course), and still are not. Those who were raised in the Faith, though they may have left for a while, usually came back.
:ROFLMAO: I have to laugh about parents saying they want children to think for themselves, when many parents themselves are led around on a nose ring by the mainstream media & pop culture.

Critical thinking skills are almost nonexistent in the average high school student. The incredible impact of the DaVinci Code is a perfect example. It’s even labeled as FICTION & still people think its true.
I want my children to know the truth and I will teach them the truth. I would be doing them a disservice to not teach them the truth.

I wouldn’t teach them a lie. The main lie out there is the lie that there isn’t any truth to find.
I was reared completely without any type of faith, an atheist.

It took me 41 years to figure out that God really DOES exist.
Now, I am faced daily with the problem of not knowing just how to completely trust God and depending/leaning on Him in times of good AND bad. Many of my friends just tell me to trust in God and let Him handle the problems, just trust in His will. Growing up, I was expected to learn how to handle my own problems without depending on others for help. I learned well.

I sooooo wish I had had a religious/faith based household growing up. As I have stated in other threads. I have total faith/knowledge in God and the Catholic Church, I completely believe in my HEAD, i’m just very very weak on belief in my HEART.

I KNOW God, I just don’t FEEL God… Oh how I pray that God will enter more into my heart, creating a better balance with my head. I don’t mean a “Warm and Fuzzy” type of feeling, I don’t even like warm and fuzzy, I just want to have as much Feeling as I do knowledge of God.

They’ve said that they plan to stress the “importance of thinking for yourself” and not accepting what authority figures say.​

Okay, let’s use that kind of logic with ALL areas of the child’s life; a parent should NEVER tell a child when to brush his or her teeth. After all it is teaching the child to accept an authority figure’s,the parent’s, reasoning about rotten teeth and bad breath. Let the child DECIDE for themself if they want cavities or not.
Also, a parent should NEVER teach a child to say please or thank-you, after all it’s accepting an authority figure’s,the parent’s, idea that manners are important. Let the child DECIDE for themself IF manners are important.
If a child does not want to go to school for months or weeks on end, that’s even better, after all they need to decide if an education is important. Also, that teacher is an authority figure!
I can not understand, for the life of me, why parents back out of protecting their child’s faith the same way they protect that same child’s body or education.
As a Catholic parent you have a duty to educate your child in the catholic faith. If a Catholic marries a non-catholic, both have to sign a paper saying any children will be instructed and brought up in the catholic faith. This is because , if you have the benefit of the truth and then deny teaching that truth to your children, how great a sin against these children’s souls is it to withold the truth of God their Father from them.

The child having been raised a catholic can and will in later life reassess their faith, it always happens, but you have then given them the truth from the beginning, they have been baptised, God indwells them from the very beginning of their life and will always tug them back to Him if they should look elsewhere.Thing is, no-one can make anyone believe in God and stay in the Catholic church, but we are bound as parents to tell our children the truth and then it is up to them when they are older to come to God.

God Bless you and much love and peace to you xx
I’ve had people disagree with me on why it is important to upbring your children in the faith, whatever faith that might be.

They’ve said that they plan to stress the “importance of thinking for yourself” and not accepting what authority figures say.

Is this arguement totally unfound, or does it have reasoning behing it?
I think that those people are lazy. What kind of jobs do they have? Do they respect their boss or are they the boss?

Do they accept their doctor’s thinking? Of course, they could go to another doctor but, hey, he/she’s just another authority, right?

Personally, I think that these people don’t want to bother finding out the truth. Too many repercussions. They can’t be their own pope. They might have to change their lives. They might have to face a lot of truths that they don’t want to face. Worst of all, they might have to learn (shudder) obedience.
Someone far wiser than I once said that raising a child outside the Faith would be like dropping a little one off in a deep, dark forest and expecting him to find his way home all on his own.

I fully intend to raise my two little boys (ages 18 mos and 8 weeks) in the Faith, with all of its old traditions (I’m considering moving to a Latin mass), despite my agnostic husband’s hands-off approach.
Yes, teach your children to think for themselves, but teach them what that means:
It means, first of all, thinking. The truth is the truth, not what you feel it is, not what you wish it were, not what matches the curtains or fails to interfere with your favorite show or keeps your friends from wrinkling their noses. Thinking is pursuit of the truth.

It means having something substantial to think about. Letting your mind flit along idly will get you nowhere. Thinking for yourself requires taking the time and effort to know those things that are worth knowing.

It does not mean removing legitimate authority and replacing it with your own opinion. It means discerning what authority is and what it is not. You are the authority on what goes on inside you, and that is no small thing. Remembering that should not fool you into thinking you are the authority on the whole wide world.

It means being willing to act on the truth when you discern it. That is the meaning of integrity. In other words, to think with the mind God gave you is a virtue, but by no means the only one or even the foremost one.

The three greatest virtues are faith, hope, and love, and the greatest of these is love. If your "thinking" leads elsewhere, you are fooling yourself with a false wisdom that exists only in your imagination.

Some people are poor thinkers, but that does not necessarily make one a poor disciple. What is important is to use the intellectual ability that you do have to discern the truth and to help others do the same. If thinking for yourself is not an extension of following the will of God, then it is as bad as not thinking at all.
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