I’m raising my child with faith.
I’m doing it, even though, just like keeping my own relationship with God strong, this isn’t always easy.
I’m doing it, even though getting my antsy almost-two-year-old to sit through hour-and-a-half religious services (say nothing of our twice-a-year one-day assemblies and annual three-day conventions) isn’t always easy.
I’m doing it, even though training her to dress and listen respectfully at our houses of worship twice a week isn’t always easy.
I’m doing it, even though finding the time to read and meditate on scriptures daily isn’t always easy.
I’m doing it, even though including her and instilling a love for sharing the good news found in the Bible isn’t always easy.
I’m doing it, even though sometimes people question my faith or suggest it’s unimportant, which isn’t always easy.
But whenever those moments of difficulty start to overwhelm me, whenever I feel my resolve start to crumble, I remind myself of the solid truth I never doubt—this is what my husband and I believe to be the very best thing we could possibly be doing for our daughter and our family.
And I understand this isn’t for everyone—and that’s okay with me.
This is what works for us. What I believe to be true is that every family must do what works best for them and own that. Everyone has their own beliefs and their own philosophies on whether they want to include or not include religion in their children’s lives. I respect that wholeheartedly.
Because we’re all just trying to do our best.
As mothers, we’re constantly looking to improve our children’s lives. We read the books and blogs, buy the developmentally friendly toys, limit the screen time, shop in the organic aisle, register for the classes—there is no limit we wouldn’t go to if it meant ensuring our child’s happiness and health.
By raising my daughter with faith, I feel that I am raising her with a broader sense of the world around her and a gratitude for the one who created it. I teach her morals and manners that reflect well on our family and the God we serve. I teach her humility and love for her neighbor. I teach her to forgive freely and conduct herself honestly in all things. I teach her to bring joy and peace to our family by honoring and obeying her father and me. And I teach her a love that is patient, kind—bears, believes, hopes, endures all things. A love that never fails.
I teach her to know God because we believe that he already knows and loves her perfectly.
Most importantly, by raising my daughter with a faith I cherish—I fulfill my responsibility to God and strive to imitate him by inculcating his words in her heart, something that I have no doubt will be to her benefit. I offer her a future of hope in a world I feel is sometimes lacking in that department.
And on those moments when that weighty responsibility feels too heavy to bear, I remember it is not a burden I carry alone, the words of Philippians 4:13 echoing back in my tired mama mind whenever I feel tempted to give up.
Of course, I know each one will carry his or her own load and one day my daughter will decide for herself what belief she will make her own, but I take comfort in feeling that I am doing all I can to guide her in love and faith now.