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A child gets a gift from her parents, “YOUR PARENTS’ BELIEFS”. The father says, “Now you never have to think for yourself!” Her mother says, “Or change!”
Here are 4 ways our relationship with religion is like our relationship with our parents.
As children we depend on our parents. We need them. They shape our worldview. Same with religion. We’re dependent on it. It nurtures us and shapes our worldview.
My parents and I are different, but we love each other. They’re free to be who they are and so am I. We all just want a basically healthy, functional relationship so that we can live without the presence of conflict and sadness.
Adolescence. We test boundaries and authority. We need our parents and wish we didn’t. They assume they have control but our rebellion creates tension.
Same with religion. We test its authority. It tries to control us but we realize it may not. There’s confusion as we find our way beyond its authority.
Early adulthood. We leave. Sometimes we need help. But we’re basically on our own and we like it.
We explore our independence from religion. We might conclude we don’t need religion the same way. Religion assumes we should still obey. But we choose to shape our own spiritual lives.
Same with religion. I don’t hate it. I see its value. I appreciate it for what it is. But I will never let it control me again or negatively affect my life.
I determine how religion relates to me and how I relate to it. Like independent, autonomous, self-determining adults… we care for ourselves and decide what role religion does or does not play in our lives. And we’re not going to feel guilty about it.