Post # 1
As anyone who’s followed my posts before might have discerned, I am very interested in people’s relationship with religion. For example, I asked about whether you would convert to a new religion for marriage, and the most popular answer (31%) so far is that the question is irrelevant because neither spouse is very religious! I expected a "no" answer, but the "it’s irrelevant" answer really surprised me with how popular it was.
So this makes me wonder, how do you think your relationship with religion will change once you have children (for those of you who plan to have children or who already do)?
My husband and I intend to be more vigilant in going to church once we have children so that they have the spiritual and community benefits of it in their lives. FWIW, we are Catholic converts with good intentions but varying success in making it to mass. We were both raised nominally Episcopalian and had long periods of non-religiosity.
I think this attitude is not too uncommon, and that some people who are totally out of the habit of going to church may start again for the children’s sake. But it makes me wonder, why do we intend to raise our children with something that we (once) rejected ourselves? Do you think your relationship with religion and religious attendance will change once you have children?
Post # 3
Well, I’m a very devout Catholic now, but in my 20s and early 30s I was pretty much Catholic in name only. Things that happened in my life (losing my father, etc.) made me re-consider my priorities in life and one thing that came out of that was a re-evaluation of my childhood faith. My FH is an adult convert, and it is such a blessing to share this with him.
I think getting married and having children might just cause people to re-evaluate earlier choices they might have made regarding religion.
Post # 4
We go to church regularly and were both raised that way. We will definitely be taking them to church!
Post # 5
FI and I equally non-religious in two different religions, (he’s Catholic, I’m Jewish). My family never practiced so we never went to temple. My FI used to go to church regularly but in college really re-evaluated his life and decided that organized religion is not for him, (at least the church part). Ironically, he went to a college well known for it’s commitment to religious education. We have decided that once we have kids we will maintain the cultural aspects of both religions, (as we do now), but wont be going to church/temple.
Post # 6
We don’t go to church now and aren’t religious. We won’t start once we have kids.
Post # 7
My husband went to mass regularly as a child (Catholic school), and we both went every Sunday at our Catholic college. We dropped off a little after moving to where we are now, but I imagine kids will jump-start us to at least once a week, again. That’s years away, though…
Post # 8
- Wedding: March 2010 - Calamigos Ranch
I was raised Jewish (synagogue most Saturday mornings until my Bat Mitzvah, Hebrew school, celebrated High Holidays, etc.), but sort of moved away from Judaism since then… but even though I no longer practice (and would more accurately refer to myself as atheist), I still feel a strong cultural identification with my heritage and would love to make sure my children get something like the Jewish education I got.
But FI is agnostic and from a Catholic background, so he is not crazy about raising Jewish children whose religion he wouldn’t be able to relate to. So we’ve decided that, instead of raising our kids Jewish or Catholic (which he’s not interested in, anyway), we’re going to join a Unitarian church soon (before we have children) so that we have a "religious" community to bring our children into, one which reflects our values even if our "faith" is sort of non-existent. 🙂
Post # 9
My FI and I have discussed this quiet recently, neither one of us are church goers, we were both born and raised in the Lutheran church, but while we both believe in God, we just feel that each person celebrates that connection and worships in a different way. As unique as each human is, so is their devotion. I think we basically feel that religion is too cookie cutter for either of us. We have decided to expose our children to many faiths and allow them the opportunity to figure it out for themselves. Whatever they choose, we want them to choose it because they feel a connection, not because they feel like they have to inherit our beliefs.
Post # 10
I chose "other." Even though there are two options in the poll that begin with "We don’t go to church," I didn’t feel either one fit us. Maybe the first one, but what do you mean by "teach them in other ways"? Teach them what? About god?
My FI and I are atheists and will not take our children to church. We’re not very vocal about it or anything, and we’re not disapproving of people who are involved in religion; it’s just not something that either of us believes in or wants in our own life. I also don’t want to force it on my children because it was forced on me growing up and I hated it. I will certainly teach my children what other people believe if they’re interested, but they will understand that Mom and Dad don’t believe the same things as many other people. I will explain to them what Christmas means to Christians, but it will not mean the same to us; we will celebrate it purely for the purpose of Santa and of getting together with extended family (Christmas has always been my favorite day of the year because of having my whole extended family — about 35-40 people — in my house. SO MUCH FUN!)
If, when my children are old enough to form their own beliefs, they find a religion in which they feel comfortable and get involved in it, they will be free to do that as long as they don’t expect me to do it with them. I was forced to continue going to church through the end of high school, but I had more or less stopped believing in god around 8th grade. My children will be free to choose their own religious path (or lack thereof) when they are ready.
Post # 11
We are Christians and also of the same denomination. We already take our kids to church and find it a very centering place for us. A place of peace and hope.
My son right now is finishing up vacation Bible school this week and is having a blast!
Post # 12
I agree with ChaiAnkh99 almost entirely, although I guess I interpreted "teach them in other ways" a bit differently. We will teach our kids that religions exist, what the basic tenets of each major religion are, and why we choose not be be involved in any of them. If they decide at some point, after learning about different perspectives, that they want to be involved in a religion, that’s up to them.
Post # 13
same views as bamboo, I do not go to church and wont be taking my children
Post # 14
Neither of us are religious and do not attend any kind of church; I don’t intend to change that just because I have kids. I’d rather they decide for themselves if they want to go or not; I don’t want to lie and pretend that I’m religious for them.
Post # 15
I’m Christian & I attend church bi-weekly. My FI is Catholic & attends only when I’m in town lol. Both of us grew up very active in our churches & we both believe its important that our kids go.