Parenting and the Bible — without religion
by a former believer
I will be getting married in July. Afterwards, our next goal is to try to get pregnant. Probably too much information, but anticipating the possibility of children has brought up some questions that I haven’t found satisfactory answers or thoughts to, and I would like some input from others.
I know (academically, though not yet empirically) that parenthood is a process of facing a series of unknowns and that growth comes from the family and individuals navigating that uncertainty. One thing that is important to me, however, is to go into it having a clear idea of how to present ideas of God and Bible teachings to children. I think it would be important for my children to have knowledge of the Bible stories and teachings, if for nothing else than to have context (history and philosophy) for western civilization. I value having this background, which in my case was provided solely by Sunday church and seminary before I left home, and by church attendance and BYU religion classes afterward. My fiance is agnostic leaning toward athiesm. He was raised by his single mother who is a Jewish nonbeliever. He had exposure to some Jewish traditions, but never went to Hebrew school or synagogue, and he didn’t have a Bar Mitzvah. Now he feels that it would have been good to have this Judeo-Christian context and knowledge of the Bible, but he is adamant about not participating in any religion.
So I ask the following: How important is it to teach children the Bible and Judeo-Christian teachings as context for their lives in western culture? How important is it to frame these teachings as a belief system? Can either of these be done without participation in organized religion? If so, how??
It seems that participating in church, mormon or otherwise, would be an obvious answer and fix. I’m curious about your thoughts for how this has been or may be done outside of church participation.