Hello TryBalance (great name, BTW) and W E L C O M E!!!!
I'm not going to be preachy or berating. Actually, I admire you. You do seem to be a very well-balanced individual. Personally, if the things that happened to you had happened to me, I would be a nutcase LOL (I may very well be one anyway). But, anyhow, let me get straight to what I gotta say. I would like your advice as a non-witness, but as someone who is sort of "involved". Here is my PRESENT (as in, I am going through this right now) dilemma:
I am married to a man (been married for 6 years) who is an unbaptized publisher (not baptized, but is a practicing JW...if that makes sense). We have two small children (6 and 4). As I am sure you are aware, the JWs teach many, well, to put it bluntly, crazy things. My husband is cramming this stuff into the tiny minds of our little ones. While I have no problem whatsoever with my hub being a witness or believing the things that they teach, I do however have a problem with him confusing my babies. I am a Deist (I believe in God, but not organized religion). I have never tried to push this on him or my children. It has taken me 30 years to arrive at the belief system I have arrived at and I certainly do not expect mere children to be able to grasp the things I believe, and even if I did, I don't think that it is fair to force them to think the way I do and teach them that I am right and the rest of the world is wrong. Unfortunately, my husband doesn't feel this way in respect to his beliefs.
My 6 year old son, now says things like, "I don't like Christmas", but in the same breath will say to me, "I want a lava lamp for Christmas"...or another thing he has said to me is "If I'm not good Jehovah is going to kill me." He is verrryyy confused about God, and he is ONLY 6. A six year old shouldn't have to be worrying about things like this. Life is tooo short. I do not want my children to grow up worrying about stupid things like God is going to kill them if they celebrate Christmas, or if they say, "God bless you" when someone sneezes that this is somehow going to piss Jehovah off. Does that make sense? They are JUST kids. Just last month my son wanted to join the Cub Scouts. My husband would not allow this. Although he (supposedly) "lets" us do some (worldly) things, at the same time he tells the kids that these things (holidays) are not pleasing to Jehovah. Imagine what that does to a child. My 4 year old isn't old enough to understand any of this at all, let alone come to any of the misguided conclusions that my 6 year old has come to...yet.
I am telling you this because you really do seem balanced. Not that the others here aren't. But you haven't been burned by the witnesses, and you don't have any agendas, grudges, etc. My question to you is: What would you do if you were me?
It is just a matter of time before he begins teaching them doctrine (actually he already teaches them soul sleep, Christs invisible reign in 1914, Paradise earth, Satan putting the star in the sky at the birth of Christ) which will only lead to more confusion in my kids lives. I just want my kids to have happy, simple, NORMAL lives. They deserve that. It would be different if he just made the choice to convert and left it at that. He is an adult, free to make his own choices about such matters. But he is attempting to indoctrinate my children with this nonsense and possibly mess them up mentally, socially, and perhaps physically. In addition, I know that there is the possibility that my kids may grow up and actually go along with their father. What then? Where will that leave me? A worldly, deist mom. I cannot bear the thought of my kids (and in affect, eventually any grandchildren) having little or nothing to do with me simply because I am not a witness.
What would you do?
Thanks in advance for any response!
Edited by - Bona Dea on 14 October 2002 10:44:44