What do I tell my children?

by Nellie 31 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Nellie

    I have four kids - ages 18, 13, 10 and 6.

    First some clarification: I have been in the "truth" for 35 years, and although I have never been particularly active in the ministry I have followed the JW "lifestyle" whether we were attending meetings or not. Now it's gotten to this: I no longer believe that the org is God's representation on earth and no longer find it necessary to refrain from engaging in certain activities.

    For example: My 18 year old son really wants his ear pierced. For that matter, so has my husband, and the only thing stopping us was the congregational attitude regarding it. Well, now I'd like to take them both to the mall and have it done - but I'm honestly scared! Of what, I can't say - but I am. It seems like such a line to cross.

    All of my children have been heavily involved in afterschool activities (another no-no I know), but I never saw anything wrong with it. So they have more than the usual amount of worldly friends. In the past we would always turn down birthday invitations (naturally) - and I always regretted having to do it. Last week, my 10 year old was invited to a pretty cool birthday celebration - and i want to tell him yes he can go, but it's sticking in my throat. I know he'll be thrilled about going - but he's going to ask me why after all this time is it now okay to go to a birthday party.

    I have never had a problem talking to my kids about anything. But for the last two years my answers have felt hollow even to me. I just want to handle this conversation right and would appreciate it if any of you have had to deal with these issues and shed some light on what might happen. Thanks.

  • Dustin

    Take your kids and husband and go get some piercings done. It sounds like you are starting to go down the road that leads to the end of being a Jehovah's Witness. I served them for 25 years. I now have my ears pierced a tattoo, and am having the time of my life. It sounds like it may be time for you guys to move on with your lives and leave behind the false teachings and hypocrisy of the Witnesses.

  • SixofNine

    Consider it one of the greatest opportunities of you and your children's lives. How many parents get to (or have to, or have the guts to) tell their children "I was wrong. I was majorly wrong. I was an idiot to end all idiots. I've changed what I believe, and I've learned to be much more carefull about "believing" anything now, because bad beliefs screw up lives. I'm sorry, and I hope you and I both really learn from this blunder."?

  • TheListener

    Welcome. It sounds like you're the last one in the family to make the decision to leave. If you have extended family still in you may want to tread carefully. If not then go for it. Enjoy yourself and your family. Sounds like you have a nice healthy family. Good for you.

  • Satanus

    It might mean a lot to your kids if you can admit that you were wrong and apologise for it. They will probably forgive you instantly. My father's denial of certain things froze him out for yrs.


  • Jez

    Sit down with them and tell them the truth. It is what I had to do. I told them that I believe that having strong morals is important, that strong family ties are key, that choosing friends wisely is always right, that love is the most important thing in the world, that God loves all people, that God is love, etc. In other words, tell them what you DO believe still. Tell them strongly that these are fundemental beliefs in your life. Tell them that recently some of the less important things, like celebrating holidays, after school sports, going to meetings 5x a week, shunning, (whatever you want), no longer jive with your belief system.

    Let them know that YOU have not changed. The JW religion has. Tell them it has gotten too burdensome and manmade for you and you dn't want to live your life chained to manmade rules and regulations and neither does God.

    Keep is simple and to the point. Let them ask questions. If they say "Are we celebrating Christmas now?" Tell them you will cross that bridge when you get to it, for now, one thing at a time.

    Welcome! And WOW for giving your children a chance, most ppl will stay just to not be wrong. You are amazing. Jez

  • AlmostAtheist

    Tell them you were wrong. No biggee, it surely isn't the first time and won't be the last. Explain why you believed JW's in the first place, what opened your eyes to their being wrong, and ask them how they feel about just dropping it altogether. Zach (our six year old) was in a panic when we first left the organization, he was sure we were all going to be destroyed. (We had done a "good" job of inculcating the "truth" into him, apparently...) but when he realized it meant no more boring meetings, birthdays and holidays, he perked up. And now that Grandma and Grampa are shunning Mommy and Daddy, he can see clearly that JW's are not following the 'love commandment' of Jesus.

    Welcome to real life! Living guilt-free is the ONLY way to live!


  • cruzanheart

    Welcome, nellie! Tell your kids the truth. Ours were 9 and 7 when I finally left (Chris had beat feet 15 years previously and was just waiting for me to get out in my own good time), and when I told them we were no longer going to the meetings, they cheered! The 7-year-old was a little regretful because he always napped at the meetings and he missed his sleep, but we made it up in other ways. They are now 11 and 9, marvelously normal, part of the community, with opinions about voting and careers and friends and it's just WONDERFUL!!!


  • mnb77

    It is great for you to get away from the JW's.

    Start the discussion with the children about how you are getting out of the JW's. Get the book Jehovah's Witnesses Answered Verse by Verse by David A. Reed. This book goes over the teaching of the JW and why they don't do this or they do that. In the book it addresses Birthdays using Genesis 40:20-22 (in the prohibitive manner) as well as Matt. 14:6 and Mark 6:21.

    In refuting the Wts so called scripural basis for banning birthday celebrations, you can point out that Pharaoh and King Herod were arbitary rulers and violent men; such monarchs were acustomed to executing people of all sorts of occasions, not just on their birthdays. Moreover, a person sending a birthday card, or a parent providing a cake with candles at children's party, can hardly be accused of following the pattern of those murderous men.

    Although the acutal word birthday appears only in connection with Pharaoh and Herod in most translations, the Bible doesn't contain reference to such celebrations in goldy families: Job 1:4, it says of the patriarch Job's family, "and his sons went and held a banquet at the house of earch one on his own day; and they sent an invited therir three sisters to eat and drink with them" (New World Translations). That "his own day" refers to each one's birthday becomes clear when we read further: "It was after this that Job opened his mouth and began to call down evil upon his day. Job now answered and said, "Let the day perishon which I came to be born...'" (Job 3:1-3, NWT) The Living Bible's paraphrase of Job 1:4-5 expresses this thought: "Every year when each of Job's sons had birthday, he invited his brothers and sisters to his home for a celebration. On these occasions they would eat and drink with great merriment. When these birhtday parties ended..."

    Even the WTS's own translations reveals that the birht of John the Baptist was celebrated, when it record this angelic announcement "And you will have joy and great gladness, and many will rejoice over his birth" (Luke 1:14, NWT)

    If the brith of John the Baptist was an occasion for rejoicing and if faithful Job's children celebrated their birthdays, the fact that pharaoh and Herod also clebrated theirs cannot logically be used as a basis for banning birthday parties amoung the Bible believers today

    Hope that helps,


  • JeffT

    Our older two were 12 and 11 when we decided to leave. We told them what we were doing and why. They were actually very happy we'd made the change. The youngest was only about 3 and didn't notice.

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