OT Spirituality

11 Replies
flower.momma - March 4

I consider myself a spiritual person, although I am not a religious person. I am not raising my children in a church, but would still like them to have spiritual beliefs. As my daughter gets older, I get increasingly nervous abou those hard questions, such as "who is God." "what happens to us when we die." the kinds of things that I really don't know the answer to myself. I consider myself agnostic, and would like my children to explore their spirituality and decide for themselves. I don't care how they turn out, Atheist, Christian, Buddhist, as long as they are happy with their decision and live a moral, fulfilling life. Is anyone in the same boat? I feel like if I tell them that I am not sure what happens to us, who is in charge, where this all leads, then I will lose respect in their eyes. I was raised in a very Christian home where there was an answer to everything, and I'm not sure how to encourage them to think for themselves spiritually and keep the subject open without confusing them. I am not looking for a debate, so if anyone wants to start one, please move along. I am just looking for some good input.


mcatherine - March 4

While I have never personally felt comfortable discussing religion on this board, I don't mind answering this time. Yes, someone else is in the same boat. Me. My husband and I have spent years studying different religions from every part of the world and it has been a very a daunting and difficult road at times. He was raised Christian Scientist and I was raised at first Catholic - then Lutheran. When we met, we had different views about life, a higher power, the after-life, etc... so we began to investigate the difference of everyone we knew. What we have found after so long together is that we will never be closer to having the answer than anyone else. Everyone believes they are right when it comes to religion. No matter what they are taught - they are taught to believe it unconditionally. It's called faith - and you can't have absolute faith in anything if you have doubt. When it comes to your children - the best advice I can offer you as a parent that is there herself - is the words "I don't know" are commonly acceptable to a child and often provoke a young mind to go in search of the answers themselves. Our son is 11 and he has friends that are hindew, christian, jewish, two atheists, one buddhist - and the only thing I can tell you with absolute certainty is that they all seem to be more tolerant of each others beliefs than most adults. When my son was younger and he would ask who is God, what made the flowers smell pretty, what happens when I die - we always answered the same thing. "I don't know, but some people believe...." and continue to tell him about the differences around the world. And when he asks who is right - we tell him we aren't sure, but we can all believe that there is something greater than us - which is what we call a higher power. He knows the Lord's Prayer, the Ten Commandments - he knows a great deal of things about many religions (including ancient religions that he seems to take a special interest in???) and only time will tell us what he believes.


LollyM - March 4

I am in a similar boat with this one I consider myself to be gnostic which is very spiritual and not so much religious. I will not be practicing any kind of baptism for dd and she is welcome to follow her own beliefs. We Gnostics believe that all religions and spiritual beliefs are valad. We believe that God is both male and female, and that there is no hell, or sin, or anything of the like.We do believe in heaven and reincarnation and that the reason for life is to learn and grow as a soul so that we can attain our individual levels of perfection. I find these beliefs very fulfilling because I know the answer to every question. I know that Agnostic beliefs are quite different than the Gnostic beliefs, but we share the same kind of spirituality. I don't think that your children will loose respect if you tell them that you don't know everything. I would say, tell them your opinion and tell them what other people believe, and then ask them what they think at some point. I have only taken dd to church once and I see nothing wrong with not going at all. I was not raised in church, and my family never went. my father believes in science, and my mother has very liberal Christian beliefs. I am glad that I was not raised in church because I have felt very free to form my own opinions about life and death. I think your kids will respect you more if you let them form their own beliefs and support them no matter what,that is my experience. My mom told me what she thought, and then told me that all beliefs are good as long as i'm happy. I am very close to my mother and respect her for being so open. Dh was raised in a strict Catholic manner, and is not close to his mom at all. He now says he doesn't believe in religion or spirituality and refuses to talk about anything related. I hope my input helps =) good luck!


bradylove - March 4

Have you ever watched The Secret? It might be helpful in explaining some of those things to your children. Although I consider myself Christian, I am open to different interpretations of what God is and what the words in the bible REALLY mean. They are all things I live by day-to-day and I believe in Jesus and that he died for our sins, etc...but maybe differently than other Christians....I highly recommend The Secret if you haven't already seen it!!


flower.momma - March 4

Thank you ladies! I guess I sould just be honest. They'll probably respect my honesty more than anything.


pinkbo0tlace - March 5

I'm too afraid to NOT believe in Jesus...because what if that stuff is all right? I guess i'd burn and be toast when I die. haha. Different than you, but somewhat the same. I'd really love for my children to stay in the Christian religion, BUT...with that said, I would love it, if they were like me and LOVED to learn about different religions. Most important to me, is that my children have a respect for ALL religions, not just their own :)


foxhoundsrgr8 - March 5

I was raised Lutheran, but now consider myself a 'non-practicing' Buddhist (if there is such a thing. I am not 'hooked' on any religion, I do try to keep an open mind and I think it is absolutely 100% necessary to have questions, to be inquisitive and open minded and that's how I will raise my son. He will be christened Lutheran in July, but he will ALWAYS have a choice and I will not force him or raise him to believe anything without questions. All I want him to be is happy and not worry about the consequences of having chosen a 'wrong' religion (which I don't believe can happen anyway, as not one has any superiority over the other). I could go on and on about this, but I hope I got the basic point I'm trying to make across.


aurorabunny - March 5

Very well said, Foxhounds, I agree. Other than the Lutheran part, but you know what part I meant, lol. I am kind of a lazy non practicing Hindu, and my kids will not be baptized or anything but I will teach them about any religion they'd like to know about that and pretty much just hope that they grow up to be good, kind people.


eclipse - March 5

I am in the exact same situation, flower. My husband is a Pantheist (he believe in God but a more universal interpretation), and I am a non-practicing (see lazy) Wiccan/Shamanist/Christian/Buddhist (LOL). My family cannot stand the fact that I have chosen to move away and not be the bible-thumpers they have recently become and keep trying to convert me subtly, even though I have explained my views to them. My son will be baptized but by our lesbian friend at the ocean and possibly also by my wiccan friend as well. I want my son to be raised in an open way where he can learn about all religions and make an informed decision. I have friends of every religion and have studied almost all of them. If I am still searching for an answer, who am I to tell him what is right for him? I was raised very Christian as well until I had a falling out at a Young Life Camp that made me realize that one view was not necessarily correct-they are all the same if you boil them down in my opinion. My advice is to let them explore and if they seem interested in one, get some books or take them to festivals or church or whatever. I'm proud of you for bringing this subject up-I'm not brave enough-it took a lot for me to post here. I've dealt with such c___p for my beliefs for so long because they aren't understood-especially the Wiccan ones. Just be honest with them, and learn together.


flower.momma - March 5

Thank you all. I believe in a higher power or a universal spirit. I believe that our energy continues after we die. Hubby and I are into zen buddhism. Although true buddhism isn't a religion at all, just a philosophy. I was raised with a lot of guilt, and that all seems very dark to me. I want my children to embrace their human-ness, so to speak. I once read something that I loved. I don't remember who said it but it was "Our father who art in heaven.. stay there... and we shall stay here on earth, which is sometimes so pretty."


Erynn21 - March 5

You are not the only one, for me I feel closest to a higher power when I am out in nature, next to a beautiful mountain lake staring in amazement at all of the beauty that can be in our lives. That said I don't know exactly what to teach our daughter. On one side you have my in laws who are sweet as pie, but over the top devout, to the point that on Christmas they sing Happy Birthday to Jesus, you have my Mom who goes to church on Sunday with my grandma because my grandma needs someone to help her and my mom enjoys the socialization, then my dad and stepmom have done both gone to church not gone to church., so we have all of that. We didn't baptize our dd, I want to do a blessing for her this spring with a few friends and no family to judge us. That is one of my biggest problems it seems to me that many times spirituality doesn't come to what you believe it's what someone else puts upon you, and that is just sad. I also really don't like to go to church because I always feel like I am being judged, not by God, but by those in the church, and not all of the people just some. I guess for me my spirituality is more nature based, like I said before I feel the most spiritual looking at a clear mountain lake, or a craggy mountain peak covered in snow, or watching my daughter sleep, those things show me there is something greater than myself and it is okay to have questions of what makes it so, I mean if we knew all the answers life would be boring. I definitely do not believe in any hell or anything bad like that, I'm more of a karma person, you do bad something bad will happen to you down the road. I just don't think that god is going to send my dd to hell because she wasn't baptized or I am going because I missed church last Sunday(or every Sunday). I believe that the higher powers that be want us to be happy, helpful, healthful, kind to others and have some moral beliefs, but to say we are all doomed because I didn't say grace, well that's just too strict to be loving. That said I think that's about it.


AnytimeLittleone - March 5

Flower.momma... I am also in the same position as you are. I was raised Anglican, but now in my adulthood, it really doesnt suit me. Similar to Lollym, I naturally seem to practice a Gnostic approach.. sometimes even leaning towards Pagan. I believe in "karma", I believe in the "spirit" of a person, and I believe that no religion is superior over another, and that all religions are the same religion with different names. I plan on sending my daughter to church with my parents... she can get a Gnostic approach from me at home.. and shes even welcome to with any of her friends to their religious celebrations. Overall, I hope to raise a well rounded child, that is non biased, and accepting of her world, herself, and whatever afterlife might exist.



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