It’s easy to accept that someone across the world is part of a different religion than you. It’s much harder to accept that a family member does not agree with your religious opinions — or so I thought.
My four siblings and I grew up going to church every Sunday. We participated in all church activities and had long conversations at the dinner table about church-related topics.
As we all grew older and started to develop our own opinions, I watched my siblings walk away from the church. After graduating high school and studying some of the other religions people across the world hold dear to their hearts, I decided to walk away as well.
My siblings and I thought my parents would disown us if they ever figured out we didn’t want to be apart of their church any longer, but when they found out, they were more devastated we didn’t tell them in the first place. They blamed themselves for making us feel like we couldn’t tell them and thought they were driving their children away.
I learned then my parents had a love for their children that was above their love for their faith. This is not the case in every family, and I feel fortunate I have parents who try to understand the differences they have with their children about such an important topic as religion.
I can imagine as a parent, you want the best for your children. If you think the religion you are a part of is the best, then you would want your children to be a part of it as well. What I learned is my parents do want the best for their children, but they also want us to be happy and want to see us live our own lives.
Although they may be sad we aren’t affiliated with their church any longer, they leave their sermons at the door whenever we are all together.
They put their family over their faith, and that is a lesson I will always remember. If religious matters separate you from your parents, I urge you to talk to them. It isn’t an easy conversation, but it’s worth it to keep your relationship with your parents. Put your family over your faith.