Raising children without a religion - thoughts, advice?

by atpeace 26 Replies latest jw experiences

  • belbab

    My wife and I raised two fine boys. First born in 1976, second 1980.

    With what source of guidance did we base their upbringing on?

    On Children
    Kahlil Gibran

    Your children are not your children.
    They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
    They come through you but not from you,
    And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

    You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
    For they have their own thoughts.
    You may house their bodies but not their souls,
    For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
    which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
    You may strive to be like them,
    but seek not to make them like you.
    For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

    You are the bows from which your children
    as living arrows are sent forth.
    The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
    and He bends you with His might
    that His arrows may go swift and far.
    Let our bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
    For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
    so He loves also the bow that is stable.

    Where did Kahlil Gibran source some of this poem?

    Psa 127.3 Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him.
    Psa 127:4 Children born to a young man are like sharp arrows in a warrior's hands. Psa 127:5 How happy is the man whose quiver is full of them! He will not be put to shame when he confronts his accusers at the city gates.


  • serotonin_wraith

    Psalm 137:9 "Happy shall he be that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones."

    Leviticus 20:9 "For every one that curseth his father or his mother shall be surely put to death."

    Deuteronomy 21:18-21 "If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son. . . bring him out unto the elders of his city. . . And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you."

    I guess the Bible is good as a moral guide if you cherry pick it, yes.

  • darkuncle29


    Darkuncle--we can make up experiences. They don't need religions or religious books to read of any.

    I only give and will give my kids real life experiences of myself and others who have told me of their experiences.

    I'm not trying to make an arguement, just trying to be clear. When you say "make up experiences" I'm assuming you mean to go do things with them, as opposed to makin it up like a story?

    I don't think they need religious books, but I think controlled exposure and discusion of said books may be a good idea.

    As for experience-lived or told-I think lived is preferable. My grandfather can tell me his WWII stories, and we can discuss them with other people who were in Vietnam or Iraq. But for me- a non vet- I can never truly know what it was like. I could visit the battlefiels later when the blood is gone but some debris remains, and I will still miss the real feel of it, but it would be closer to me than just a story of it.

    I am not saying that you shouldn't tell you kids stories or experiences, as that is better than nothing. But the detailed things the thoughts feelings sensations and what's ans why's are more dificult to transmit. Not impossible, just takes somone who knows what their doing.

    I believe in honest open comunication with kids, about all things and all ages, just keeping it at a level they can process and not go into TMI.

  • kwintestal

    I brought up the topic of "Parenting beyond belief" here

    I thought it was a good book, all in all. I bought it the day it came out and read it immediately. It goes into almost every aspect of raising a child without religion and many times give two or three perspectives on a subject.

    I hope you enjoy it, and if you have any questions about it before you buy it, let me know (via PM).


  • restrangled

    Following my post is a post from my 20 year old son, requested by me for you.... I was a JW from birth, 3rd generation, when I had my 2 boys I firmly believed that my boys would choose what they wanted to believe. I gave them my background, my mother tried to get them hooked in to the JW's which worked a small while when they were little but eventually gave way to intelligence and independent thinking. They have never been forced to believe anything, or felt guilty that they didn't believe in a certain way, never had to go out in service or attend meetings or church of any kind.

    Following is my sons's post for you:

    I believe faith is a matter of the individual and cannot be taught or force fed and must be sought out through your own means. I am turned away from church, and mosques, and what many of you may be familiar with, the kingdom hall, simply because you are told what to believe or how to interpret. I believe you should read the bible or koran or the literature behind whatever faith you find intriguing and research it's ideologies, and if you become stuck or dont understand any information, it is at the point that you should seek help from another individual. in my opinion it doesnt matter what name you apply, I believe without a shadow of a doubt there is a higher power, and I don't believe we are here on this earth to be fearful of what may happen, or what could have been, or that we are born damned and must "earn" our way into heaven. I believe we have been created to enjoy life to the fullest and give appreciation for the opportunity to experience life, i just havent found a religion that expresses that idea yet.

    From my son for you...Hope it helps. (he is 20)


  • moshe

    Religion and secular laws manifest the inner moral fiber of Humans- it has eveloved as we evolved from goat herders, who belived that- "an eye for an eye, as their ain't no cops, jail, judges , jury and accident lawyers to make it right later" - to what we have today. You don't need a religion raise kids with morals and good character- good luck. Set the example and the rest will happen, I believe.

  • atpeace

    i love the poem belbab! I've copied - it sums up exactly how feel! and thank you so much for estranged and sons thoughts.

    I'm about half-way through "parenting beyond belief" and it has already helped me get my thoughts together and become more concrete on what i believe even before i undertake the challenge of a child. I've always believed that children have a mind of their own, a personality with likes and dislikes that at times have nothing to do with the parents - and it should be encouraged and not stifled. i highly recommend this book.

Share this