My almost adult son came to me and told me he didn’t believe in what I believed in anymore. Immediately felt punched in the gut. Tried to hide and and be understanding and caring. He has questions and doubts. He proceeded to tell me parents brainwash their children into believing the same things they believe.
I am convicted and want to connect with my son and understand. We as parents place our values and beliefs onto our children. We want what is best for them and therefore, we model (brainwash?) and live the life we want our children to have. Did I brainwash my child? I don’t think this is a black and white answer and I need help in understanding. No, I don’t think I brainwashed my child. I am using the term he used when explaining his feelings to me. It is how he views this so I want to explore his understanding.
This got me to thinking about when I became a believer in my God. I don’t remember a time where I didn’t believe but I do remember a time when I didn’t “know” God. I certainly didn’t walk with God for the first 20 some years of life. Not that it really matters, but I wanted to look back when I started believing so I could understand where my son is coming from.
There is a lot of advice on parenting and instilling beliefs in our children. It can be overwhelming. I’m not saying I stink at raising my kids, but I do wonder if I missed the mark on how to help my children “Know” God, rather than just know about who he is.
Through prayer, devotions, activities, service, guidance, doing life with our kids, and the list goes on, we still did not help them find/have a relationship with God. We had all of these wonderful things in place, still I found myself with a child who is doubting. My kids know about God, but I’m not sure about the relationship part. Maybe that comes later like it did for me? I guess I assumed that since I was raising my kids as Christians that they would eventually develop a relationship with Christ. I’m weeding out confusion and searching for answers about this.
I’m not knocking the way my parents raised me AT ALL when I say this. Growing up the only thing I knew for sure was that there was a God I had to confess to, I had say the Lords Prayer and when I went to bed I would say the “Now I lay me down to sleep” prayer every night. That was my knowledge of God until my 20’s. I’m wondering from those of you who were raised with Bible teachings, attended church as children, prayed with your parents, had other role models around you, etc., how did you develop your faith? I don’t want to keep hounding my friends and my mom did pass away and my dad and I don’t talk about things like this. So I’m needing some answers. I have surrendered it to God and I know he is the great teacher. I know he can also use YOU to teach as well.
I do have an understanding that I came to a relationship with God in my own time, and that is what may happen with my kids. Is there something I could be doing to instill that relationship? I wasn’t taught this and I came about my relationship with God on my own. Well, maybe not on my own completely, I do believe people were possibly planting seeds or praying for me. I’d like to think so anyway.
Any advice or can you tell me how you came to your relationship with God?