Disclaimer: I’m talking about religion. These are my beliefs, and though I hold them dear, I also respect your beliefs, non-beliefs and personal decisions.
I grew up in church. We attended every Sunday, there was youth group midweek, and more often than not, I was volunteering as well. Mr O and I met at church, we were married in the same church, and (since Mr O is a pastor), our faith is a very important part of our lives. It was vital to my state of mind during our infertility journey, and I believe wholeheartedly that Little Oats is a gift from God.
When we had Little Oats, we knew that we wanted her to grow up knowing the God that we know. We wanted her to have a church home that she would feel safe in. We knew the importance of having other adults in her life who would guide her (especially when she won’t listen to Mom and Dad). And since we both believe that God comes first in our lives, we knew He would be a big part of Little Oats’ story. To incorporate our faith into our lives, there are a few steps we take:
1. We go to church: As a toddler, Little Oats learns three crucial things at church: that God made her, that he loves her, and that he wants to be her friend forever. Though the ins and outs of Christianity are much more nuanced than that, doesn’t it all boil down to those truths? Little Oats has the same three group leaders each week; they constantly are excited to see her, they go out of their way to make her feel welcome, and they love what they do.
2. We pray together: Whether for small things like a good night’s sleep, or the bigger issues in our lives, Mr O and I pray with and for Little Oats before bed each night. We also say grace at dinner ( and if Little Oats is particularly hungry, she cuts it short by yelling ‘Amen!’)
3. We lead by example: I could tell Little Oats all day long the importance of reading her Bible or praying…but if she doesn’t see me making time for those things in my day, I’m just a hypocrite. By making sure that our own faith is in check, we provide an example for Little Oats to learn from.
Is faith part of your lives? How do you teach your little ones what you believe?