Day 163

11 Jun

Tonight, when I went to check on Zoe because she was avoiding going to sleep, I had this thought that I’ve had several times before about her growing up so differently from how I (or, in many ways, Joe, too) grew up. She’s got two married parents; she’s got a home with a backyard; she lives in the same city as all of her grandparents; she’s got a brother; she goes to church and MOPS and all sort of other things like that. But one of the big differences lies in that last point: she’s growing up in a Christian home.

And I often wonder what that will be like for her. Will she turn away from the faith that we teach her? Will she embrace it fully? Will she feel less than others who have a compelling story of salvation if she accepts Christ as Savior at a young age? Will she still think critically or believe blindly?

I don’t know why I have this battle within myself, but I do very often wonder if we’ll somehow harm her by raising her in the church. Maybe because I still regularly feel hurt by other Christians and wonder what good it is to go by that title sometimes. Maybe because it simply wasn’t how I was raised. Maybe because I don’t truly trust that God is good and actually does good things. Maybe because I can’t imagine the pain of seeing your child turn away from what you truly believe to be the one way to full and abundant life. Maybe I’m just too skeptical still.

I think it’s simply the same things that bother me about what I think people must think of me when I say I’m a Christian: I want her to be smart, able to think independently and critically; to be who she is without fear of stepping outside of our religious paradigm. But I also think I’m too hard on myself, on Christians in general. I might have similar fears no matter how we were raising her; maybe just because she’s a girl, even, I’d be worrying about her feeling smart and able whether inside or outside the Church.

I just don’t know what to think sometimes. The Church, in America at least, can really fuck a person up. What do you think? Were you raised in a Christian home and better off for it? Worse? Neutral?

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3 Responses to “Day 163”

  1. Jenny Baenziger June 11, 2012 at 10:09 pm #

    Adella, I like your post and its honesty. Maybe your question at the end was rhetorical or for your dad, but for some reason I wanted to respond. I was raised in a Christian home and I was definitely better for it. My parents really, truly believed in the Gospel but my dad, especially, taught me to think critically about it. I think this is what you want for Zoe. People really mess up, but Christ doesn’t. You won’t teach Zoe everything right, but you can rest easy when you teach her God’s way because you know at least that much is right and True. This is something that I had to learn–Being raised in a Christian home isn’t boring. The story of God’s grace in Zoe’s life, even if she trust him from her 1st birthday on, is not boring or uncompelling. It’s different and won’t get much TV press, but it’s still pretty radical.

  2. Jennie Rader June 11, 2012 at 11:26 pm #

    My parents called themselves Christians, but did not live lives that showed me Christ. However, my grandparents prayed for me every day until they died and in God’s great mercy, Jesus called me despite all my parents failings.

    Sin is what F***’s people up. And every person does it. And the Church is made up of people. So just love Jesus, point to Him, pray she sees Him, and if she does, then she will be able to see past people and run to the one who wont fail her.

    • adellamae June 12, 2012 at 11:03 am #

      You know, processing this here and having you and Jenny B. share your thoughts with me really helped me to realize how little I trust in the Gospel to be powerful in my daughter’s life. Like if she doesn’t have a chance to really screw up her life, how will she know grace? But that’s not true, is it? Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me; you are so right!

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