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For those of you that said that it does matter...

I posted a question last night and asked if it really matters what religion someone is raised in as long as they are happy and healthy...

Now I ask, to those of you that said yes, it does matter... If a child is unhappy or in a religious situation that is unhealthy, should that parent contine to make those disitions? At what point is it okay for a child to say, This isn't my path? And if your child decided that they didn't want to follow it, how would you react. would you allow them to find their own path or decide that they need to stay on the path you have chosen regardless of their feelings?

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Asked by SabrinaMBowen at 9:48 AM on May. 10, 2009 in Religion & Beliefs

Level 40 (122,988 Credits)
Answers (18)
  • I want to say this... My mother felt that it was her business to raise us in her faith and that allowing us to stray from her chosen path would mean that she was a failure in the eyes of God. She refused to allow us to even look in to other religions. And would even force the school to change their activities so that her religious teachings weren't being compermised by other teachings. Even as a small child I knew her path wasn't mine. But regardless of my beliefs I was forced to attend meetings 3 times a week, bible study 3 times a week, do daily reading and study and even take part in the ministry. She even monitored out tv because she didn't want us watching anything that could possibly be "demonic" (Like a Charlie Brown Halloween)

    I was miserable, and at times unhealthy. Twice I tried to kill myself to escape. Did she have that right? At 26 I am happy and healthy in my path. It's the same path I wanted to be on at 6...

    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 9:53 AM on May. 10, 2009

  • If a parent is bringing their child up in the love of Christ, and not forcing it, but showing by example God's love, then,from what I've seen, the child will want what the parent has. I honestly have never been in a situation where it was forced, either in my childhood,or with my own children. I guess if a child is old enough to make their own decision, this is still America,and that child should be allowed to make a decision for themselves. Were it one of my children, I would pray even harder for them,and just put them in God's hands,and let Him lead them back in His time. To me, it's the same as telling your teenage daughter she can't date the biker she wants to. She's gonna do it even more, just to show she can. Forcing is never good. As I said, if one of mine did, I'd be upset,but I'd pray,and when and if they were ready to talk, I'd ask God to give me the right words,and scripture to help them back to Him.

    Answer by stvmen88 at 9:55 AM on May. 10, 2009

  • I just want to add... ( mostly because of stvmen88 talking about being forced) I was not forced to be in my parents religion. They led by example and our lives were surrounded by Christianity. And  I never felt forced. My parents raised us immersed in Christianity. We read the Bible, went 'soul winning' , watched only select TV, even went to Christian school and home schooled so to be entirely living in Christ. I have to say, as far as raising a Christian family, my mom was the best I have ever met and probably ever will meet. I never resented how I was raised and never will but I also never felt it was right. I always was happy to do what I was told was right and never 'rebelled' and the fact that I am not Christian now is not 'rebellious in of itself. No matter how you raise your kids, their true spiritual path will emerge.


    Answer by hannahwill at 10:11 AM on May. 10, 2009

  • There is nothing unhealthy about my religion. My child asked if he could go to another church with his friends and I pointedly told him no!
    I DO NOT feel guilty that I showed my children the path of God. It is ridiculous that a few people pull an exaggerated story out and expect this to be the norm. Today is mother's day. I will thank God your mother cared enough about her child to keep her on a good moral path. If you were suicidal there was more to it than A Charlie Brown Halloween.

    Here real soon all of the advent anti Christians will be here to exclaim the bad news of Christianity and how horrible I am for caring about my child to show them the religious path. One thing I have learned on cafemom is non-believer guilt is just as strong as the supposed Christian guilt we all have. I will not feel guilt for putting my child on the path of salvation. If he wants to change religions, he can change residents as well.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:16 AM on May. 10, 2009

  • Also to add, I hid all of my doubts and suppressed them as a teen because I knew my parents would never understand. And I also truly had internal pain because I had no body nonChristian to talk to and realize that I wasn't filled with the 'devil' and wrong for doubting things. I think it is dangerous not to allow spiritual openness because it really can hurt lives.

         Sorry Sabrina, that you had to go through that. I accept my path because I know I would never raise my daughter the way I was and I would rather her have a better life because I learned from mine IYKWIM :)


    Answer by hannahwill at 10:20 AM on May. 10, 2009

  • I feel you live and lead by example and always leave the door open to be questioned. Then the child may make up their own mind. It isn't like they will become a devil worshiper just because they question and decide that your religion isn't for them.

    Answer by IzzeAddy at 10:29 AM on May. 10, 2009

  • I would never force my kids to follow a specific religion, my husband is Christian but he is very laid back. If my kids want to read the bible then they can but it will be their choice. I don't believe in organized religion but my kids have gone to church with their friends and their grandma (who is Catholic) children will be more open to something if they have choices.

    Answer by sammiesmom2000 at 10:51 AM on May. 10, 2009

  • My husband forces my oldest daughter who is 16 to attend church with him every Sunday. She does not believe in God and spends the entire service either in the restroom, or drawing on the bulletins. It has done nothing but make her bitter and angry towards his beliefs and him, but he simply is blind to that fact or is ignoring it. I think, if she doesn't want to go, then she shouldn't be made to go. She has gone to church her whole life and the seeds are planted. If, later in life, she feels the need to go back to religion, she will be able to make that decision on her own.

    Answer by IhartU at 11:04 AM on May. 10, 2009

  • It is up to my husband and I to teach our son and any other children we become blessed with the way of God. Our congregation is biblical and if they were not we would find another home of worship. Once our children are old enough then it will be their decision to continue on that path or not. I cannot drag anyone kicking and screaming into heaven nor do I wish to, even my children. It would break my heart if they chose not to follow God (and it has. I have dealt with this with a young lady I consider a daughter) but I will continue to pray for my children. Once they are of age, it must be their decision.

    Answer by duckigrrl at 12:31 PM on May. 10, 2009

  • If a child is raised to know nothing but one religion, one viewpoint and nothing else - How true is their belief? They did not honestly and sincerely find that path in their hearts and minds. They were not given a choice because they were told nothing else. I would rather raise my children with a variety of viewpoints, let them know there are different beliefs out there and have them find their true path from an informed perspective. Otherwise, it means nothing.

    Answer by dottieanna29 at 2:57 PM on May. 10, 2009

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