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Some questions for believers
blatant spin off of my own topic


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#1 MintyBiscuit

Posted 10 April 2012 - 05:30 PM

I'm an atheist, but I'm curious about the experiences of those who are religious/have faith. Is it something you grew up with and have just continued, or something you came to on your own at some point? If you follow a certain religion, do you go to church (or the equivalent) regularly? Are you and your partner on the same page, and how do you impart your religion to your children? How much of your life is influenced by your religion/faith?

#2 MrsNorris

Posted 10 April 2012 - 05:41 PM

QUOTE
I'm an atheist, but I'm curious about the experiences of those who are religious/have faith. Is it something you grew up with and have just continued, or something you came to on your own at some point? If you follow a certain religion, do you go to church (or the equivalent) regularly? Are you and your partner on the same page, and how do you impart your religion to your children? How much of your life is influenced by your religion/faith?



Christianity is something I grew up with (in muted form, we went to church once a month or so, but Mum and Dad never discussed their faith with us) but in my teens I decided I didn't believe anymore.  This latest until my mid-20s, when I felt a powerful tug back to God to which I responded.   I am now an active-churchgoer, and have a great passion and desire for God's work.     DH and I are definitely NOT on the same page - he is an atheist.  Not a militant one a la Richard Dawkins, he simply doesn't believe, but doesn't mind other people believing.  He has lots of Christian friends.  We are raising our children as church-going Christians.   DH says he'd rather his kids be Christians, bless him!  It does raise some issues in our relationship, and our parenting, but hasn't caused any tension.  he is very easygoing, and we are both respectful of our differences.  

All of my life is influenced by my faith, in fact I find it hard to separate the two.

#3 la di dah

Posted 10 April 2012 - 05:53 PM

I was raised a Jew and am a Jew in my beliefs but my beliefs don't line up especially well with the denomination I was raised in or my parents' personal religious views.

There is a Chabad synagogue like an hour away. There is a Modern Orthodox synagogue a similar distance. I think they have Masorti services at the Orthodox synagogue but no Masorti congregation as such. And I am at this point not sure where I fit, denomination-wise, and am in a sort of glacial-speed personal religious crisis.

I find my spirituality leans towards Orthodox but increasing my household to Orthodox-level practice would put a huge strain on where we could live logistically and put strain on our marriage for a lot of logistical reasons.

No, we're not on the same page except re: mutual respect. My husband didn't even know any Jews in person until me. He was raised nominally Christian (loosely Catholic, went to Anglican highschool) and is now an atheist. He is still attached, however, to Christmas and Easter as secular festivals and I respect that as his culture. He has always been respectful of my religious beliefs.

We've decided we'll raise our children Jewish.

A lot of my life is influenced by my religion. It's influenced by both culture and belief, and by other peoples' reactions.

#4 KatakaGeoGirl

Posted 10 April 2012 - 06:24 PM

As a child I floated in and out of churches as my family moved. Through various very personal spiritual experiences I will never doubt that there is a God. Throughout my late teens and early adulthood I attended a few penticostal and one large more mainstream baptist church.

After my husband and I married, we moved to an area too far to really attend the church we were at, and it was like the doors were closed and nobody despite my husband's 17 years of giving in time, and myself many years also - no-one bothered to contact us again. It was like we were erased.

Since then, and due to many other things I've seen the way the body called a 'church' has handled things, and since I have observed many previous friends (through Facebook etc), and since becoming an outsider and no longer brainwashed by the 'church' I have very different views and my husband and I have chosen not to send our kids to church regularly. If they choose to of course I will let them, and if the ask questions about God I tell them what I choose to believe. What they come to believe is up to them.

An old friend contacted me via Facebook this week and the conversation concluded that she'll pray for me as I must have some deep-set hurt (due to my comments that I choose not to attend church due to the treatment of certain issues) but you know I left thinking she is as naive still, as I was then. To be honest right at this point in my life, I've never been happier nor more content within myself and my life. I don't hide some deep hurt that needs healing, rather I feel I can look at issues now in a logical way opposed to just stating what the church has brainwashed me to think and feel. I look back and think of how I was so naive as well during that time and I'm embarrassed about the things I might have said in defence of the church and my beliefs.

For example I am quite ashamed of the way many churchgoers shun same sex marriages, and stomp the sexuality out of teens and young adults. I'm ashamed at how issues are dealt within the church. I am ever surprised at how people like my friend view every situation as it must be of God's destiny and God will sort it out and show direction etc. Perhaps God wants us to actually think for ourselves and use our brain to figure out our situations, and work it out for ourselves!!  I have had a good friend whom we still see but I am a little closed to now, say to me outright that my illness is my fault and God's punishment for us not going to church. What a load of pogwash! These and more are reasons for me choosing not to go to church, and not to have my kids brainwashed despite me believing, and my husband 100% belief in God.

To the brainwashed members of the 'church' I'm probably just a broken person who needs healing and I'm sure they'll continue to pray for me. But actually... I'm happy to be free to be myself and to walk a path and a life that I choose to walk.

I should add not to mention the countless family members who have been mistreated by churches, and as an on-looker other things I've witnessed. Of the MANY people in my family who have been to church at one stage or other there is really only my Mum and I who believe in God, and the others any God they believed in was stomped out of them with the way the church dealt with certain issues. When they should have been caring for the broken-hearted (talking about other family members here) they rather made it sure through they way they approached given issues, that they would never ever step foot in a church again!

#5 ShoshieRu

Posted 10 April 2012 - 06:31 PM

I grew up in a very devout Christian home. I rejected it at about age 16, until my early twenties when I felt a strong yearning to be back in relationship with God. I am a historian by training and at first I was really fascinated by the way that the Bible stacks up as a historical text (or ti be specific, texts). Over the past couple of years it has moved beyond that to a deeper, personal faith. I know there will always be mysteries and paradoxes that my little human brain cannot understand, and I am okay with that.

DH was raised in a nominally Christian home but he really only saw God in that grandfatherly dude in the sky kind of way until a bit after we were married. He is right into apologetics, really loves that kind of stuff.

It influences every single aspect of our lives together. Our sole purpose is to glorify God. And we fail, constantly, but we still run the race. All our decisions are shaped by our faith: how we spend our money, how we raise our kids, our long term goals.

#6 Angelot

Posted 10 April 2012 - 06:37 PM

My parents are lapsed Roman Catholics, and had lapsed before I was born.  I was raised to believe, read the Bible and pray, but church was avoided as a harmful and corrupt institution.  As a young adult I felt I had stopped growing, was stagnating, and asked my then boyfriend what he thought I might do to keep growing - to which he said, "Go to church."  So I started to then (in the Anglican church).

DH and I are both Christians but belong to different denominations and don't completely agree on everything.  But we respect and support one another, so this has never been a problem.  I find that other Christians take issue with us worshipping apart, but that's their issue!

Now I'm training to be a priest, so it is kind of my life, really!  But I find it's really important to have friendships which don't have their foundation in me being a minister, to have interests and involvements outside the church.  It helps keep me grounded, honest, and sane!

I should add that I've seen enough people use religion or religious ideas to dominate or abuse others.  I completely agree that this is a grievous wrong, and I would say sin.  This is one weakness I work very hard to try to avoid in my life and work.


#7 aluminium

Posted 10 April 2012 - 06:49 PM

QUOTE (Holly-Meow 84 @ 10/04/2012, 05:30 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'm an atheist, but I'm curious about the experiences of those who are religious/have faith. Is it something you grew up with and have just continued, or something you came to on your own at some point? If you follow a certain religion, do you go to church (or the equivalent) regularly? Are you and your partner on the same page, and how do you impart your religion to your children? How much of your life is influenced by your religion/faith?


I'm a Christian (Anglican).

My parents gave us the basics but are not religious in any way. Dad read us Bible stories but we didn't go to church. I started going to church at 17, when a friend invited me.

My husband and I have agreed ideas even though our theology differs at times. We both want to raise our girls in the church.

We go to church twice per week - once for Mass/Communion/Eucharist; once for a community meal. It greatly influences our lives. I also work for a Christian organisation and attend prayers while at work.  I pray with my children daily, and I also have my own prayer time (most days).

ETA denomination

Edited by aluminium, 10 April 2012 - 06:50 PM.


#8 lizzzard

Posted 10 April 2012 - 06:53 PM

My mother came from a religious family and her grandfather was a pastor. At a young age, I was raised with a lot of Christian traditions - my mother was a Sunday school teacher and we attended church weekly, I attended a youth group during the week, we prayed before meals etc. I'm not sure why, but around the age of 10 we stopped attending church, stopped praying...looking back on it, it's kind of strange and I'm not sure what happened. However, I don't think my parents had a crisis of faith necessarily....I certainly never stopped believing in God.

When I was in my mid-20's I felt a strong pull back to the Church and I started attending services again. I was lucky enough to stumble across a church where the Minister was less conservative than many in the the Sydney Anglican community, and his sermons really struck a chord with me and reignited my affinity for the Christian faith.

Since this time my faith plays an important role in my life. My husband was raised in fairly devout Catholic family but we got married in an Anglican church, Christened our children Anglican and attend Anglican services every week. The fact he shares my spiritual beliefs is a very fundamental aspect of our marriage and connection. Interestingly, I'd never dated a man who had any kind of faith before...and it wasn't until I met my husband I realised it was actually quite important to me...

As for our children, we are raising them in the Christian faith. They attend Sunday school and we discuss various religious topics at home occasionally. My personal view is that faith is so illogical that it would hard for some people to "believe" when they are an adult if they haven't been raised to believe in God from childhood (ie some people have a very black and white personality...)... So, it is still up to them if they choose not to believe when they are older, but by raising them to have faith in God, they have the opportunity to continue believing as adults as well.

Wow - that was an essay Tounge1.gif

#9 Kez82

Posted 10 April 2012 - 07:21 PM

My mother used to take us kids along to church, and I was Baptised in the Anglican church. We continued going to church until about aged 12-13, and then we started to drop off.

I never 'lost faith' as such, but more I just didn't feel it belonged in my life. I've always believed in God, but not been an active Christian as such.

Fast forward to 18 months ago. My husband had died a couple of years before, my DD was in the midst of treatment for Leukaemia, and I felt really lost. I was lonely and I felt like there was this big black hole in my life. I found myself one night googling religion and occassionally chatting to people who I knew were Christians. I even posted on FB asking who were Christians and I was overwhelmed by the response! Finally, 12 months ago, I decided to just go for it and I made contact with the Anglican diocese and they put me in touch with a family friendly church. I went along one day, and after that service, I felt like I was "home". It was an unbelievable, very fulfilling feeling. It was exactly what I had been searching for. Sounds corny, but true none the less.

I've been an active member now for 12 months, attending church most Sundays. My DD comes along with me and is enjoying making new friends and learning about Christianity. DD is not Baptised, and I will be leaving it up to her to make that decision for herself when she is old enough and understands what it all means.

In the last month I've been invited along to small group sessions, also known as bible study and that too has been an awesome experience. Not only to finally understand the bible, but the friendships I am making with like minded individuals is incredibly valuable.

I no longer feel so vulnerable and lost. Between the friendships I have formed, a new support network, and my new found love for God, I'm finding life isn't so sh*tty anymore.

#10 Aeron2

Posted 10 April 2012 - 08:01 PM

I grew up in a 'culturally' Jewish household, but not a religious one. I now keep the same sort of household, I don't practice/believe. (I am a humanist and my husband is agnostic. My family have always supported my ideas - we had a secular wedding. My husband's family struggles with it more - they wanted the kids to be baptised and were upset when they were not.)

I don't like pork and I would never dream of eating any prawns as my husband is anaphylactic! So our household tends to be more Jewish than those of many of my Jewish friends.

Because of where I grew up and the places we lived I know enough about Christianity and Islam to blend in. If I go to church/mosque/temple I know what I need to do to look the same as everyone else. It is something I intend to pass onto our kids though I will try to add Buddhism and Hindu to the mix.

For me religion is about belief and not just traditions. My husband's family is Christian so we do Christmas/Easter with his family and Hanukkah/Passover with mine. In our house we have both lots of traditions/decorations/cards/etc. They are not religious holidays they are just time to spend with family.

My DS asked me at 2yrs who Jesus was - we had just been to a baptism, we explained the basic premise and left it at that. He has asked similar questions about the local lady who wears a burka (She answered that one much better than I would of!) and about who Moses is.  

Our kids will probably grow up thinking that religion is something 'other' people do.

Interestingly when my husband found out about Shabbat, not long after we started seeing each other, he made it a rule that I do not cook on Friday nights. We go out for dinner or get take-away every week. It is now morphing into a family or date night as well, many places we go have watched me through two pregnancies now - they are very supportive of us bringing the kids in and I have never had any issues with behaviour. (Our local Italian place recently asked if we were Jewish and my DD who is 3 answered - Only if we need to be. That took a bit of explaining.)

I hope my children learn to separate religion from morals and traditions and to accept that each person is entitled to their own thoughts.



#11 Ehubrydd

Posted 10 April 2012 - 08:43 PM

I am a Catholic. My mother is a Catholic and my father is an atheist. While both parents explained their beliefs honestly to me, my parents decided to raise me as a Catholic. Because of my parents' backgrounds I always felt faith was an issue I would need to make a decision about for myself. So while I was raised Catholic I would also say it's  something I investigated and came to believe myself.

My husband was raised in a very Catholic home. We met at church as teens. As such, all the years we spent forming an adult faith and adult understanding were years we spent together, influenced by the same things and investigating the same things. Let's just say DH and I are very much on the same page.

Our Catholic faith is central to our lives. It frames the way we see the world and the decisions we make for our family. Prayer is important to us, we worship at Mass at least weekly, we read spiritual texts regularly, and we take what the Pope says seriously. I consider my relationship with Jesus to be the most important relationship in my life.

#12 Expelliarmus

Posted 10 April 2012 - 11:58 PM

Is it something you grew up with and have just continued, or something you came to on your own at some point?
I grew up with it, but that does not exclude me coming to it on my own at some point. In fact I think if have to come to it on your own even if you grew up in it.

If you follow a certain religion, do you go to church (or the equivalent) regularly?
Weekly unless ill.

Are you and your partner on the same page, and how do you impart your religion to your children?
We were. We kinda still are. He's not different to me but he is not attending atm. I continue to take our children to church, DH supports this and will take them mid-week when I cannot.

How much of your life is influenced by your religion/faith?
Lots of it. I wouldn't go so far as to say all, as I do things that are independent of my faith but it's something that is part of my every day thinking.


#13 Angelot

Posted 11 April 2012 - 11:06 AM

I might add, one thing which I find beyond annoying from non-believers, is the idea that people of faith aren't aware of the problems with faith.

There seems to be a trend which paints religious people as stupid, unaware of the problems in their own texts, the histories of their institutions/communities, and the failings of their brothers and sisters.  IME, nothing could be further from the truth; we know about these things (after all, we have to live with them!), we wrestle with them and we strive to learn from them.  Most of us don't find faith to be a neatly packaged set of answers which removes every problem or solves every heartache.

I think it gets to me because it implies that we lack integrity, but beyond that, it ends up engaging with a caricature rather than the reality of who we are.  I'd like dialogue to be genuine, and this gets in the way.

#14 Ianthe

Posted 11 April 2012 - 11:42 AM

I grew up going to Sunday School occassionally as a kid but it wasn't really a central thing in our lives. Mum was interested in Christianity for a bit but then looked into New Age type beliefs and my Dad was and is an atheist.

Through my 20's I had a sense of something greater than me but traditional Christianity infuriated me. I thought it was senseless. I did read a lot of New age books but while they sounded good, I didn't see any lasting change within myself. Around 10 years ago we moved and I met someone who invited me to their church's playgroup. It had a Christian message for the kids and mum's which made me very uncomfortable at first but the women were so lovely to me and to each other. Over the next few months I knew that I was starting to accept the idea of the God of the Bible but I resisted it. I did not want to become a Christian. But one day I went along to church and decided that I would commit to God and explore that faith. I still go to the same church.

My faith challenges me, comforts me, stretches me and encourages me.

I have raised my children with Christian beliefs. We go to church every week and my kids are part of the kid's ministries at church. My husband isn't a Christian but did support me (most of the time) in raising the kids with Christian beliefs.

My faith absolutely frames the way I go about my day to day life. I try to be compassionate, show love to people and honour God through my behaviour. Not always terribly well but I do try.

#15 MrsNorris

Posted 11 April 2012 - 11:58 AM

QUOTE
I might add, one thing which I find beyond annoying from non-believers, is the idea that people of faith aren't aware of the problems with faith.



Yes.  OP, can I just add that I do not believe in God because he offers comfort,  security and an easy life either here on Earth, or in the afterlife.  Sometimes the demands God makes of believers makes atheism seem attractive!

#16 BadCat

Posted 11 April 2012 - 12:22 PM

Atheist gatecrasher here.  Hey, it's onlly fair, you guys crashed our thread.  laughing2.gif

QUOTE (Ange Vert @ 11/04/2012, 11:06 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I might add, one thing which I find beyond annoying from non-believers, is the idea that people of faith aren't aware of the problems with faith.

There seems to be a trend which paints religious people as stupid, unaware of the problems in their own texts, the histories of their institutions/communities, and the failings of their brothers and sisters.


I agree with Ange here.  I think it's unreasonable to assume that all religious peope are blind to any problems in their particular religion.  That is to assume that they are all stupid and that is clearly not the case.  I know a number of extremely intelligent believers.  I know believers who are quite vocal about issues within their religion.  I also know some religious folk who would argue the sky is orange if they saw it in a religious text.  Those sort of folk, and there are some on EB, give the rest of you a bad name.  Just as the atheists who carry on about how stupid you all are for believing in fairy tales and are extraordinarily rude give atheists a bad name.

The upshot is that there are unquestioing believers and non-believers, rude and obnoxious believers and non-believers, and plenty of idiots on both sides.

#17 paddyboo

Posted 11 April 2012 - 12:38 PM

I was raised Roman Catholic. We went to Catholic schools and attended church every Sunday night as a family as well as masses during school. Once I moved out, i still went every easter & Christmas and sporadically in between because I was always so busy. Since I had Patrick it has got even less. He is baptised and we intend to raise him catholic but he won't be attending church for a bit longer as he is not able to sit still for an hour and there is no crying room at our local church.

DH is baptised Anglican but has never attended church. He is happy for Patrick to be raised Catholic but at this stage is not ready to attend mass. I hope down the track he will be interested because it is hard for me to reconcile. I don't believe any religion is right or wrong, so long as you believe in a God, but what happens if you don't? Afterlife I mean. I can't imagine DH not being there with me forever...

#18 Guest_C-is-for-MUMMY_*

Posted 11 April 2012 - 12:53 PM

Firstly - I hate the word "religious"
I am a Christian - I go to an Anglican church, but really I identify with being a follower of Christ.
I was NOT raised this way.
My biological parents were "Jewish" - I believe they converted at some point... we were raised with a lot of the practices but no faith. I can recall my biological mother even saying that she was't even sure she believed in God.
My foster parents were agnostic/athiest. I dropped any sort of religious practices when I moved in with them at 14.
At 16 I "Found God" - by this I mean I realised I was pretty stupid to think that I was the centre of the world and that anything good that happened in my life was because of me. I suppose I always believed in God, but didn't know how I could have a relationship with Him. When I actually understood the sacrifice that Jesus made - giving up His life so that I could have a relationship with my creator - it seemed silly not to follow.

Lots of people thought that being Christian meant that I had to be good all the time to get into heaven. WRONG - that is actually what Jews believe (to an extent from the little I know about Jewish practices)
Lots of people thought that if I went to church that meant I was going to heaven. WRONG
Some people thought that if I didn't have sex before I got married I would get into heaven. WRONG
Others thought that if I was baptised that I would go to heaven. WRONG

I believe that Jesus is my Lord and Saviour. I put Him first in my life. This is why I will spent eternity with my creator.

My husband and I are both followers of Jesus. He was brought up going to church. Perhaps we do things a little differently to some people - such as we waited to spend the night together until we were married. We got married young because we felt God calling us to and we go to church most weeks. We don't cheat on each other, steal, murder or pray to satan not just because it says not to in the bible, but because we don't want to!

So many people think that we have to live by lots of laws and rules that if we break we will get punished by God. Sure there are rules, but if you love someone enough, you won't want to do things that will hurt them.

There are things that I don't understand about God, about the world and even about my own life that I hope God will answer for me one day. I don't know why he chose me to be born into a family where the parents beat the children, but through that I have learnt a lesson about forgiveness... I don't know why there is poverty in the world, drug abuse, natural disasters and a bunch of other horrible things... but I do know that God loves everyone - even when you hate Him or don't believe or don't care.

Hopefully this helps a little - I know everyone is entitled to believe in what they like, this is what I believe in, it is what I KNOW is true. I'm sure people will disagree with me, challenge what I think... go ahead, I am not trying to start a debate, just shedding light on what I live for.

#19 Z-girls rock

Posted 11 April 2012 - 12:57 PM

I am a Buddhist.

I was not raised Buddhist. My parents are agnostic and allowed my brother and I do decide for ourselves about religion. My brother is an athiest.

Buddhism influences all parts of my life. How I approch things, speak, think about things. The root philosophy has influenced me very powerfully and changed my world view profoundly.

My husband is not Buddhist but he is not opposed to Buddhist philosophy. He also was raised as 'nothing' but with much more contact with the church (Anglican??) his mother is a 'go to church at Easter and christmas' type person. Also his high school was a church high school of some sort. But he is not baptised and does not identify as Christian.

I practice my religion often (if not daily) mostly at the shrine in my house. Sometimes just by saying mantras etc when I am on the road (I travel a lot) I go to teachings. These are the usual ways to practice.

Our children will be free to decide their own approach to religion as I was. But obviously they will have a lot of contact with Buddhism. We have a lot of things from travels in our house that are Buddhist objects. They will be aware of Buddhism and know the culturally apropriate way to behave in Buddhist temples or when around monks, nuns and Lama's.

(But also if they want to find out about other religions too we will assist and encourage them to do so.)

#20 Satay Chicken

Posted 11 April 2012 - 01:02 PM


My mum was and still is an active church-goer, my Dad not overly interested but still a believer.  DH and I are on the same page and often talk about our faith, we have even had similar experiences.

I've never felt the need to go to church as I feel I would prefer to keep my faith private and something that belongs to me.  I'm currently going through a really hard time with infertility and am now turning more to God to deal with the pain of if all and have found considerable comfort by doing so.  



#21 Charlotte84

Posted 11 April 2012 - 01:16 PM

Is it something you grew up with and have just continued, or something you came to on your own at some point?
I was brought up a Catholic, however did not attend Catholic School (school was Angelican - so some beliefs are very similar) our school had a large Catholic population (the Catholic school was not the best option for schooling) and our RE teacher (the minister/father of the school) taught all religions for RE.

If you follow a certain religion, do you go to church (or the equivalent) regularly?
We go occassionally not regular but say we have a friend getting baptised we will normally attend the mass which would be before.

Are you and your partner on the same page, and how do you impart your religion to your children?
DH was brought up with in a Protesant (sp?) religon.  He had certain beliefs about wanting to give our kids a certain education at school and send them to a school where like minded people sent their children.  Whilst his family does the grace before meals he doesn't.  HE was happy to have our kids baptised Catholic, we (mostly the kids and I) partake in Lent, and eating fish on Friday's, DS asked last year about going to mid night mass on Christmas Eve, if he is still interested we will take him this year (he goes to a parish school and most of his friends attend church every week, the church is actually in the same premises as the school) The kids are also exposed to DH's family religon (at family gatherings) we also talk about other religons (my grandfather was Jewish - he converted to Catholic to marry my grandmother, and some of his family are still Jewish so again at some family events they are exposed to this)  

How much of your life is influenced by your religion/faith?
Not very, durning Lent I will make a point about not eating red meat on any friday, however mostly if we get invited to another families/couple etc house and red meat is on the menu on a Friday we don't worry. DH and I were also together for more then 10 years (and 4 children) before getting married - so clearly living in sin.

#22 littleloves

Posted 11 April 2012 - 02:01 PM

I was brought up by Athiest parents, although earlier in his life, my father was studying to be a minister - so obviously he had been quite religious before my mother/myself came along in his life.  My parents were quite open to me checking things out, like going to church based youth groups with my friends. I started identifying as Christian probably about 6 years ago.

My family and I do go to church, the local Salvation Army church.  We go regularly enough to know everyone there, but it isn't a thing that we feel we "must" do each weekend.  I would also class myself as, for want of a better way of putting it, a "recovering pentecostal".  I am really uncomfortable with much of the pentecostal religion, and would go so far as to say I almost turned away from God as I found the religion so extreme.  I also question religion, not God, as I am not capable of believing anything at all without questioning and rolling it around in my mind.  I do not agree with much of what the Christian religion dictates, but I am a big believer in the Salvos.  Their help isn't given with the condition of you becoming a Christian from what I have seen.

My partner and I aren't really on the same page.  We are both Christians, but he is actually more "religious" than me.  He questions less and feels more strongly in the power of prayer and the church.  He was brought up by a strongly religious family and is the black sheep as he isn't religious enough.  You can imagine what they think of me  rolleyes.gif

My life is influenced by religion to the extent of I hold Jesus as a role model, and try to be like him when I am confused by a decision.  I would not say that I hold myself back too much based on Christianity.  I still drink plenty, swear and teach my children to make up their own minds in regards to Christianity.




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Playgroups are great for kids and parents alike - but the downside is that they often meet during the week, leaving working mums out of the loop.

Letting your toddler be the boss at bedtime

Sick of spending hours trying to get your toddler to sleep? These experts say giving your child more of a say at bedtime might be the answer.

7 mistakes old hands make with new babies

As I sat across the table from my friend ? me, a seasoned mother of three; her, a brand new mum ? I thought of all the mistakes an old-hand parent can make when visiting a newborn baby.

Ezra's tragic death not in vain, mum says

Little Ezra was a "Harry Houdini" who loved trying to escape the family home. Now, after his tragic death, his parents are doing what they can to help others.

Consulting 'Dr Google' when you're pregnant

We're all guilty of turning to the internet for a quick answer when we need medical advice, but Dr Google should be approached with caution - especially when you're pregnant.

16 ways to tie a scarf

Scarfs are the perfect winter accessory. Whether you're freezing at soccer training or wanting to add a splash of colour to a monochrome top, the right scarf will sort you out in no time. Just ask Nina Proudman.

Video: When adults act like children

Ever wondered what would happen if adults were allowed to act like children? This dad's hilarious video clip will give you an idea of what life would be like.

The simple way to support other parents

We may be raising children of different ages and sexes, with different personalities, but we, as parents, aren't that different - we all have similar struggles, fears, doubts, responsibilities.

Seeing the big picture when it comes to parenting

Sometimes it feels like hundreds of tiny cracks are spreading across the surface of our lives, creeping slowly into the foundations and threatening to make them crumble. How do we hold it all together?

How to spot a lactaboobiephobia sufferer

Lactation consultant Meg Nagle refused to stay silent when Facebook removed two photos of her breastfeeding. Instead, she coined a term to describe those who don't recognise breastfeeding for the natural and non-sexual act that it is.

Win back some precious time and get FREE coupons

Membership to eBay's Bubs? Corner is free and includes a $10 coupon to spend on nappies each month - a win for multitasking mums!

Download now: Essential Kids Activity Finder app

Got bored kids? Quickly find the best activities for kids wherever you are in Australia with the Essential Kids app.

 
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What's hot on EB

Win back some precious time and get FREE coupons

Membership to eBay's Bubs? Corner is free and includes a $10 coupon to spend on nappies each month - a win for multitasking mums!

Do you suffer from Precious Firstborn Syndrome?

Testing ?no more tears? shampoo in your own eyes, warming cucumber sticks so they're not cold straight from the fridge, waking a sleeping baby to check they?re still breathing: these are all symptoms of Precious Firstborn Syndrome.

Ezra's tragic death not in vain, mum says

Little Ezra was a "Harry Houdini" who loved trying to escape the family home. Now, after his tragic death, his parents are doing what they can to help others.

7 mistakes old hands make with new babies

As I sat across the table from my friend ? me, a seasoned mother of three; her, a brand new mum ? I thought of all the mistakes an old-hand parent can make when visiting a newborn baby.

Video: When adults act like children

Ever wondered what would happen if adults were allowed to act like children? This dad's hilarious video clip will give you an idea of what life would be like.

Mums hit hardest as flu cases skyrocket

The number of confirmed cases of influenza in Australia has doubled the number for the same time last year - and women are 25 per cent more likely to get it.

The mum who had four babies in nine months

Feeling exhausted due to the demands of caring for a baby? Imagine the life of this mum, who gave birth to three boys and one girl in just nine months.

Everything baby at Big W

Lowest prices on everything baby, only at Big W. Sale starts August 4 and ends August 20 2014.

Smiggle is painting the town red!

We have 3 Red Smiggle prize packs to give away! Enter by posting a photo of something red to your Instagram.

Mum gives birth at school

Most kids have their own personal brand of oddity. Others, like these 10 weird habits, crop up again and again.

Personalised baby gifts

We've scoured the internet to find gorgeous personalised keepsakes and nursery decor to record baby name and dates. They make great gifts for christenings, name days and birthdays! (All prices in AU.)

 

Mind, body, beauty, life

Making time for me

We look at your wellbeing, covering health, relationships, beauty and fashion, mind and body.

 
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Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.