/ Tuesday, August 2, 2016
A Lesson on Peacefully Coexisting for My Children: Hold Your Peace (Sometimes)
|During my baby boy's first practice.|
To those who know me personally or those who follow me on Facebook, it's no big secret that I no longer practice the Christian faith. I have considered myself agnostic for about 7 months now. You can read about my personal journey on The Unfit Christian if you're interested.
I don't plan to debate or encourage my lifestyle on this blog, however, I will occasionally share my family's experiences as a non-religious, secular family who 97% of our loved ones devoutly practice the Christian faith.
Recently, I registered my children to play in a soccer league at a local Christian church. Not only does the church have a nice field, but I visited the church last summer and enjoyed it. My kids were so excited with the idea of playing soccer!
Before completing my children's registration and payment I made a phone call to the individual over the entire league and asked if the league was open to families who weren't members of their church. He assured me that it was very common for families who weren't members of their church to register for their sports leagues. Relieved, I proceeded with the registration process only to find out that the division for my younger son was full.
At first, I thought, "maybe it's for the best. Everything happens for a reason." It just wasn't for us, especially since we aren't, you know, Christians. But my kids were really looking forward to playing so I made another phone call to ask about any possible future openings. Long story short, my baby is on the team! :-)
On meeting my son's coaches at "Meet the Coach" night I was asked by one of the coaches if my son owns a Bible. My kids still have their Bibles that were gifted to them by their grandparents, so I after I answered yes to his question he proceeded to inform me that he plans to teach Bible stories to encourage team building. I smiled and slowly nodded my head feigning approval.
Considering the fact that the league exists through a church, I expected some form of Biblical activity so I wasn't surprised.
I knew I needed to have a discussion with my sons because my oldest son (7) is very aware of the fact that we do not subscribe to Christian beliefs.
While driving home post meeting I let my son know that he may hear Bible stories and prayers. I reminded him that mommy and daddy do not believe in those stories, however, if he chooses to believe the stories, that's okay. I instructed him that if he chooses not to believe those stories are true, he should sit silently and imagine the stories as fairy tales that teach important lessons, like shows and movies with superheroes that teach him to be a brave and courageous protector. I explained that we have to be respectful of what other people believe. He nodded in agreement. For prayer, I told him that he can choose to bow his head or not and he doesn't have to say, "in Jesus name, amen," but he should always be silent during prayer out of respect.
|The team closing out practice with a prayer.|
As my children grow up, if they choose to be agnostic free-thinkers (honestly, I hope they do) I don't ever want them to feel afraid or ashamed of their lack of belief as I was during my journey. I don't want them to feel as if they have to hide the fact that they don't subscribe to the ideologies and beliefs of a religion. I also want them to know there's a time and place for particular discussions involving religion and politics and it's not okay to bait people into debates regarding those topics. I may go more in depth about this in the near future.
In our case, although we aren't openly proclaiming the fact that we aren't Christians it doesn't mean we're ashamed or hiding. I consciously made the choice to join their (the church) league and I knew there was a high probability of biblical teaching being involved. My confession that we are not Christians would be futile and fail to benefit my family or my sons teams. The purpose of me signing my kids up to play is for them to learn and develop new athletic and sportsmanship skills, meet new friends, and overall, have fun. That's it.
I decided to share this change in my family's lifestyle because I'm transparent. It's just who I am. It took me so long to own up to my truth, so long to be confident without fear of being torn down by believers over it. There are numerous blogs with mothers that share their experiences in their religious faith openly and proudly (I still enjoy following and reading many of them!) so I should feel comfortable enough sharing my experiences from my perspective; a different view from when I originally began this blog as a devout Christian. This is my space to be me.
I will most definitely continue sharing posts about family fun and whatever else brings me joy. :-)