“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
When I was a kid, much of my free time was devoted to church and church activities. If there was an event that included my age group, I had to attend or be very ill. My parents really took Proverbs 22:6 to heart. And had I died by age 35, they would have been extremely successful. But alas, things change. Interpretations change. Who is to say that I am not going, “the way < I > should go.”
I don’t mean to knock my upbringing. My parents did what they thought was right and I admire them for that. But looking back, I was force fed a steady stream of religious dogma from about age 3. I was Assemblies of God Veal until I was 21.
Now as a parent, I am on the other side of the equation. My son attends church with me. He participates in the occasional church activity. He played Christian sports. He has had exposure to most things Christian, but by no means would his upbringing compare to either my wife’s or my own. He has had very little exposure to other faith traditions, but he attends a very multicultural school, so I am sure it has come up. He is more of a religious free range chicken.
Which is right, veal or chicken? I am somewhat tormented by this question. I by no means want to replicate my upbringing. But how much is too much or too little? It is one thing to risk my “eternal” soul exploring the religious landscape. It is another thing entirely to risk someone else’s.