My husband is agnostic, and I’m like a non-denominational Christian mutt who floats around from church to church waiting for a sign. This makes for great dinner conversations. And by great, I mean we generally avoid this topic so we don’t fight. But in general, I respect his opinion and choices and he respects mine and it’s all good.
But now we have kids. Talk about muddying the waters.
I have chosen to take my kids to church, with my husband’s well-deliberated consent. Right now it’s pretty harmless stuff. Sunday school for toddlers is pretty much playtime with a “Jesus loves you” song tossed out here and there. But this will change. I know it and my husband knows it.
The truth is, religion is just hard. For anyone. For everyone. We’re all in a search for understanding, aren’t we? That will never change. Faith may deepen, but it might harden, too. Beliefs can change and often do over time and experience.
My husband asked me why it’s important for the kids to go to church. I told him, “I need them to know they can pray.”
At the end of the day, I want my kids to know there are spiritual options available to them. Whether that is Jesus, or the universe, or just hope. I need them to know they have choices.
I went through a really tough time in high school. Depression, eating disorders, and struggling with family troubles left me hopeless, desperate, and wanting to die. I considered suicide, but I was scared.
I remember praying during those dark days. I remember thinking God was the only one who I could talk to about how I felt, how much I hurt, and what I needed.
Prayer saved me. Well, first prayer saved me. Then my mom swooped in and got me therapy and antidepressants and that REALLY saved me. But in the deep darkness, prayer is what started my steps to recovery.
I want my kids to know they can pray. I want them to know that prayer is powerful and it provides hope and support when days are hard. I hope they develop a relationship with God. I hope they discover that Jesus does indeed love them. But more than anything, I want them to know the power of prayer.
Because prayer is powerful.