The night before our baby girl arrived, Katie was full-term, uncomfortable, and ready for the baby to be out. Multiple friends had told her that a specific Chinese dish had induced labor for them, so she took their recommendation and we went out for Chinese. We ordered the spicy dish, knowing full well how dubitable these labor-inducing claims were.
New life is everywhere. Katie and I are about to welcome it into our own home. Our second child, a girl, is due any day now. Our son is genuinely excited about his baby sister. He says he wants to rock her and feed her bottles with milk. He’s only two, so for a while we were suspicious that he knew what was going on, but he really does seem to know. I mean, when Katie drops him off at daycare, he says, “Bye-bye, Mommy. Bye-bye, baby sister,” and then he kisses her pregnant belly.
I did want Gabe to learn about Jesus, yes. I also wanted him to learn about God’s love. But I don’t know how you nuance sin to a pre-elementary child. I didn’t grow up going to church, I had no idea what happened at a garden-variety VBS, and I felt like discussing religion with my children was way beyond my abilities. I was scared. I didn’t want anyone telling my precious son that he was bad.
In an interfaith or multifaith family, family members may not agree on a single set of religious beliefs—on a theology, creed, or dogma. But that is no reason to avoid giving children the opportunity for spiritual experience. It is a gift to introduce children to beloved religious or cultural traditions from all branches of your family.