The last thing I want is for my kids to someday join the throng who are walking away from the church. That’s why I don’t want my kids to grow up with a nominal religious practice that’s simply handed down by Mom and Dad and easily shed as they reach adulthood. Instead, I want them to become adults who own their faith—who end up with a faith that’s theirs rather than mine. This means I’m doing my best to raise them to think for themselves when it comes to matters of faith—to grapple with tough questions, test out ideas, and even to learn about belief systems like atheism or other religions.
But unlike what some in our culture propose, this does not mean spreading out a buffet of belief-system options and simply inviting my kids to sample various ideas and settle on what tastes best. Yes, I want them to think for themselves—but I want that thinking to be grounded in truth.
Real Answers to Tough Questions
A few years back, a mom who went by “TXBlue08” penned an essay that set the Internet buzzing: “Why I Raise My Children Without God.” An atheist, she outlined several reasons why she had decided to stop perpetuating what she sees as the “illogical legend of God” with her kids. While some found her article offensive, I think her critiques of religion are important to listen to. Several of her questions are good ones, and many of her criticisms are valid.
Yet ultimately, I believe the claims of atheism ring hollow. Unlike TXBlue08, I’ve chosen to raise my kids within the church and Christian tradition. And, unlike what some may suggest about Christian faith, it’s not because I’ve been fooled by a myth or because I simply need a “crutch” ...1
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