Raising a Christian Child in a Pagan Home
This topic hits home for my husband, Mark, and myself; raising a christian child in a pagan home......
Now I know some of you are wondering how this even came to be. For the sake of space, I'll try to make this long story short. Our eldest child, he's almost 11 years old, is from my first marriage. When I left my first husband, Brent was 2 1/2 years old. We went to live with my parents while I filed for divorce and was pulling my life together with a career and counsleing and dear wonderful friends that I choose to call family. My Dad was an elder and my Mom a deacon in the local Presbyterian church that they attended, so they dragged Brent and I to church with them.
About 6 months down the road I decided that I wasn't getting any fulfillment at the church and it was time to look elsewhere for a path that was comfortable and yet familiar to me, that's when I started studing Shamanism. I am still on that path and a witch too. My parents moved to the LA area because of job situations. I stayed here with Brent and moved in with some friends. Brent spent a lot of time with my parents during the weekends and summer when he wasn't having to visit my exhusband. Naturally, they continued to take him to church every chance they had.
Fear, I would have to say, was a main player in how things progressed from there. Brent is a wonderfully honest child; he couldn't tell a lie to save his life (no, I'm serious). As a result, I knew that everything I told him about what I was doing he would tell his grandparents. Having the mind-set they do, I was afraid that they would try to take him from me if they knew the path I had chosen to follow. Not that my path was bad, just that they would see it that way. So I hid my practices from Brent, and as a result the only exposure to religion he had at an early age was Christianity.
Now, eight years later, the cat is finally out of the bag. Brent knows what Mark and I believe, and therefore so do my parents. And no, they haven't sued for custody. Not that things have been easy; trying to explain to my parents that we are not Satanists has been an uphill battle. Brent, bless him, has done his best to understand and bridge the gap between us. He still holds to his Christian faith as that is easier for him right now. We support him in that decision, and he is politely non-evangelical toward us. Of course our little girl is being raised in circle so we will have the challenge of explaining to her what her grandparents believe. Oh, yes the fun never ends.
How does one raise a Christian child in a Pagan household? One day at a time. Patience and tolerance are the rule here. Of course, having been raised in the Christian faith ourselves, my husband and I are able to talk to Brent on his level and answer questions he has from both sides of the faith issue. When he has Christian questions we can't answer, his grandparents are just a phone call away.
Faith is very personal. Chosing how to worship the Divine is a long, life-experience, process. Our belief is that no path of worship is wrong, as long as you truly believe in it. Brent may choose Christianity his whole life, or he may chose a Pagan path when he gets older, like we did. We feel that it is important not to push him into a choice; he'll find his path in time.
Positive messages and support. After all, our beliefs really aren't that far apart and teaching a child what is moral and right is far more important than what happens to us in the afterlife.
I am a 33 year old happily married mother of two. We have a boy, Brent, who will be 11 years old on June 24th and our daughter, Brianna, who is 18 1/2 months old now. Her birthday is Oct. 11. My husband works for Kaiser Permanete in the Client Services Center as the legal aid to all of Southern Cal. Kaiser. I am an at home mom with a back injury, and trying to keep things running as best I can. We have a 3 year old German Shephard, Rhue, who owns the house and thinks he owns mom too. I am a medical assistant by trade and have been since 1989, but I haven't been active in the field for the past 3 years, because of various reasons. I do keep up with all the new information and things out there the best I can, so that I can stay on top of things. www.geocities.com/athens/forum/1928 firstname.lastname@example.org