and no, I do not believe they’re going to hell because of this. I’m shocked, disheartened and actually sickened that anyone calling themselves “Christian” would actually even suggest to me that they would.
I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while now. The subject is something I’ve put a lot of thought into and do not take lightly. Also! Before you read any further. What works for our family, may not work for your family and vice versa. I make no judgements!
I was raised Catholic, my husband was born into a non-practicing Jewish family. I’ve been asked on several occasions how we plan to raise our children when it comes to religion. I find it interesting that as a society we care about such a thing. I’ve even asked that question of others. It doesn’t matter to me, so why did I need to ask? My answer is normally I’ll eventually introduce them to both and let they decide for themselves.
Yes, we do celebrate Christmas, Chanukah, Passover, Easter, Rosh Hashanah and all the other holidays. Admittedly we do these in a superficial kind of way. For us it’s just another reason to come together and celebrate as a family.
Anyway, let me get back to my original thought. My husband and I have talked about it a couple of times, but we always just put off the whole subject. I had never even mention the words Jesus, God or heaven to her until my grandfather passed away. I actually liked that she was growing up learning to be kind to others not because a book tells her to be, but that it was just the right thing to do.
I’ve never had to tell my daughter that God says it’s bad to lie, steal, cheat or be unkind. Those are just a given in our house. I’ve never understood the whole “God is watching” threat. Why should one scare their kids with a super natural being? I don’t need to pass the blame to someone else. If she’s going to behave it’s because Mommy and Daddy say so, not because God says so.
I had no idea when I was going to talk to her about the whole subject. That was until my grandfather passed away 3 years ago. This was when I was forced to introduce the subject. We talked about heaven, but not about Jesus or God, but I wanted her to know that her great grandpa was in a good place. I actually like that she believes in heaven. It give her and me comfort to know that those we have lost are in a good place.
Her school says a daily pray and they have mentioned God. Ellie has come to her own conclusion about who God is to her. To Ellie God is the Earth and we need to be kind to him. Basically, no littering and take it easy on the pollution. Both her father and I are ok with this conclusion.
This December we will be making another trip to the East Coast for a Bar Mitsza. My husband and I are extremely excited to share such an important rite of passage with our family and introduce Ellie to this part of the Jewish religion. It’s something we’ve been talking about for a couple of years now.
I also may take her to a Christmas Mass so she can see how pretty the mass is. For now, I think that’s about it.
I’d like Ellie to continue to grow into the beautiful, kind, and caring person she’s becoming without the threat of Hell or Purgatory. Oh and yes, I have had people tell me my children will not get into heaven without “finding” Jesus. If this is true, then that’s not a heaven I’d want to go to anyway.