I am a Christian. My husband is a Christian. We both came from non-religious households. My husband’s family did have a slight Jewish side to it though. His mother’s side is Jewish but he never went to Synagogue nor did he have a bar mitzvah. So for him becoming Christian wasn’t about “switching faiths” it was about finding faith for the first time. His mother, however did not have the same view. She was devastated. She yelled, she wept, she completely flipped out.
How could she have such strong feeling about his choice of religion when she never guided him as a child? She never taught him about the Jewish religion. She never took him to Synagogue. How can she possibly care?
It was a messy, emotional day when my husband announced his new found faith to his family. Only now that I have been apart of this family for years do I have some insight to her freak out. Though she isn’t a practicing Jew, I do believe she see’s herself as a Jew in a cultrual identity, as her people. And though it is certainly her heritage and her history, it is in no way her religion. I believe many people make this mistake. Just because your parents were Christians that doesn’t mean you are…or Jewish…or Muslim.
85% of Americans classify themselves as Christians – but are they really? Do they really believe in Jesus and what it means to follow Jesus everyday? Or is it just something they say because their parents say they are Christians or their parents go to church and bring them along sometimes.
Religion and faith are personal decisions. It’s not what country your parents or your grandparents came from or the food you eat. Religion is about God, whatever God you believe in or how you view this crazy thing called life.
So, if you are a parent and you want your child to identify with one specific religion then I suggest you teach him/her that religion throughout his/her life and you follow it yourself. Because as we all know, actions speak louder than words.