This is a guest post written by Mom Blogger, Brooke Halstead, of From Nurse To Mom, on the topic of “Family & Religion.” I grew up very differently, so I really enjoyed reading this post about her upbringing within the Church, and I hope you do too!
To this day, I can recite to you the books of the bible in order from Genesis to Revelation. I have my dad to thank for that.
Since I was born, my family has been extremely devoted to the Methodist Church. My dad was a lay leader at our small church in the country. This meant that he would often lead the service before the pastor would preach, and fill-in when the pastor was away. So, while I was never a “preacher’s daughter” I was a “back-up preacher’s daughter” in a way. (If that’s a thing!) When I learned how to talk and understand things, I was joined with my siblings into a nightly bible study with my dad. He would read from the bible, ask us questions, and discuss with us many many stories each night. The one thing I remember most is playing bible trivia from a board game every night to test our knowledge. Some nights I can remember just wishing I could skip out and go to bed. But, it wasn’t allowed. My siblings were significantly older than me, and really hated it. As the youngest, I wanted to impress my dad so I would stay up memorizing bible verses and books of the bible in hopes of beating my brother and sister. This went on for many years in our house. Along with nightly trivia, we were not allowed to watch TV, listen to certain radio stations, or read certain books.
Unfortunately, when my parents divorced, we took a break from church. I found my way back shortly after, by myself. This is when I joined a church camp and would later volunteer 3 weeks of my time each year to our United Methodist Church Camp. This is just one way that my upbringing could have turned out. Our strict household has kept me on the straight and narrow. I feel a real connection with God and my church family. However, my brother is the opposite. After so many years of feeling like the church and religion was in a sense “shoved down our throats”, he no longer wanted to be in church. I have heard this story many times. Making your children do something so strictly can lead to them resenting it, and you, for that matter.
My husband and I have one daughter, and we do have plans to raise her in the church. I think a mix of leading her in the right direction and letting her make her own path as well is the route we will take with her upbringing. I want her to be involved in the church, but I want her to have her own identity as well. I don’t want her to resent us, or our church later in life. While I don’t exactly agree with the way our house was when I was growing up, I appreciate all that I have learned along the way! 🙂
BIO: My name is Brooke and I am a new mom learning all about parenting whilst writing a mommy blog! I have been given the opportunity to be a stay at home mom to my little girl. I have a wonderful husband and an 8 year old beagle. I love chocolate and the beach! I am a nurse, and have left the workforce to stay home. My blog is: www.fromnursetomom.com