It’s a weighty job, this parenting gig. We teach them to share and get along with each other. To read and tie their shoes. To manage money and be responsible with time. But as Christians, we know that the end is just the beginning. Our real job? The most important thing? We want our children to live with Jesus in heaven, eternally!
I’m honored to be participating in this new monthly series, The Faith of Our Children, with the following inspiring bloggers. Be sure to visit them to see what they have to say this week about employing faith traditions in their own families.
- Balancing Beauty and Bedlam
- Kitchen Stewardship
- Mom’s Toolbox
- Owl Haven
- Parenting Miracles
- Smockity Frocks
- The Happy Housewife
As for our family, as much as I’d like to proclaim hard and fast traditions that have surely paved the path to streets of gold, well… we’re still learning. Our Christian faith is important though, and we do work hard to share it with our children.
Just yesterday, in the middle of a wheat field with two other families, our 8 year old took a few bites of her supper and looked at me with round eyes. “Mom, we forgot to pray!” I’m glad she knows that giving thanks is important, even in the middle of a field at the peak of harvest.
Praying before meals is one tradition we work hard to maintain. My husband also has a sweet time of prayer with each child individually as he tucks them in at night. This is a special daddy thing, and I’ve often thought “I couldn’t love that man more!” as he bends over our little ones before they sleep. On nights he’s out late due to a coaching commitment, I get the privilege of subbing. I’ve caught him more than once, though, with a hand on their sleeping figures and a prayer on his lips late at night.
Well, now. It’s come to this. Some of you will likely be quite surprised with my next statements, because it’s not something that has really come up here before. I trust that you’ll gush the grace and reign in the rash judgement. Here goes…
I’m Catholic. My husband is protestant. We’re a dual denomination family, if you will, with different church traditions. There is much that could be said about that. Another post (or twelve), maybe. For now, just know that through all the trials that come with our unique situation (and yes, of course there are many) there is this: What unites us in our Christian faith is oh, so much more than what divides us in the details.
Also, know that our children may very well be the most well-churched kids in the county. Yes, we respect each other and encourage each other, and strive to teach the children both traditions. Is it easy? No. Is it perfect? No. Are we following God’s will for our family? We’re sure giving it our all, seeking his guidance every step of the way!
In addition to attending two different churches with as much regularity as we can muster, our older children participate in Sunday school each week, and PSR (the Catholic “Sunday school” if you will) on Wednesdays during the school year. It’s a lot, but it’s what works for our family.
The kids and I also have a blast each summer at our week-long Vacation Bible School, where all three churches in Tiny Town come together for a fun time of praise and learning. I’m thrilled with our community’s effort in this ecumenical endeavor.
Admittedly, Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny are pretty popular characters ’round these parts, but Jesus trumps all.
The way things have worked out, the highlight of our Christmas celebration is most often attending Christmas Eve Mass at my childhood church, and participating in the Easter Sunrise service, complete with a raging bonfire overlooking a picturesque pond, hosted by the Methodist church in town. It works for us, and our children look forward to these special events each year.
Our situation is unique, to be sure. Our traditions, though, are rooted in faith, hope, and love. It is our sincerest prayer that our children walk with the King!
What special faith traditions do your family enjoy?