My Takes

It's Just My Take

Kids and Church

In our efforts to rehabilitate (For lack of a better word) our Foster Son, we encourage him to take part in all family activities. Strongly encourage him.  One such activity is attending church.

We try to make it to church as often as we could and until yesterday  have been able to bring The Teenager with us, though sometimes with reluctance.  Yesterday I went to rouse him from his deep slumber so he could get ready for his ‘Sunday chore’.  His reaction was to murmur incoherently but got up he didn’t.  I gave him a few minutes to chase the sleepy cobwebs from his head then repeated the wakeup process.  “I really don’t want to go to Church. Can you just take something away from me instead as punishment?”  Wow! Where did that come from? Failure to comply with a willingness to accept punishment and also a recommendation of said punishment?  I was taken aback!  He is sometimes stubborn but usually compliant.  I was not at all used to this blunt defiance.

At first I was less than impressed and mentally searched for my own punishments to exact on his disobedience.  No internet? No Ipod? No allowance for a week? I couldn’t settle on anything fitting so I decided to put it on the back burner.

In Church, I was distracted by this new development. I had always dreaded the day that my kids did not want to accompany us to church.  I knew of Pastors, Elders and deeply religious Christians who all had that son or daughter who refused to attend church and participate in anything remotely linked to Christianity.  I also had friends whose family took them to church against their will and the grew up vowing never to return. I too was dragged to Church when I was a kid.  I was  even punished with a spanking for my insolence and look at me now?   Ceelo Green’s father is the famous Reverend Al Green.  Katie Perry is the Daughter of two Pastors, and we all know Whitney Houston’s church roots…

I was stymied. What should I do? What could I do? By the end of Church, I had an answer.  I  had made up my mind to approach this latest setback with understanding.  More understanding.  My first response earlier was one borne of past experiences.  A vicious cycle that I was not willing to continue.  Beating religion into anyone is never a good thing.  Whether it’s your child a friend or a stranger. My beliefs should not be forced unto anyone.

When I got home, I opened up his bedroom door and humbly gave him back his Ipod that I had confiscated.  (Yeah, I know…).  The subject of his not coming to Church was not brought up again.  I do plan to discuss my thoughts with him in the near future though.  Just to see where he stands and how he feels.


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