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June 18, 2017: From a Father
There was an incident at the pool last weekend. While I was occupied, my daughters entered the pool without me. Soon thereafter Dilara spied a friend and swam away, leaving her little sister struggling in water above her head. When I arrived Zeren had made her way to the side and was fine; I was not. I discussed with Dilara the responsibility we have not just as family but as Christians to look out for our friends and even those we may not like...

by Ike Brannon

There was an incident at the pool last weekend. While I was occupied, my daughters entered the pool without me. Soon thereafter Dilara spied a friend and swam away, leaving her little sister struggling in water above her head. When I arrived Zeren had made her way to the side and was fine; I was not. I discussed with Dilara the responsibility we have not just as family but as Christians to look out for our friends and even those we may not like—which I suspect is how she felt about her sister that day. I’m not sure the lesson took. Perhaps I don’t seize on enough moments to discuss our Christianity, but I also have little help. 

My daughters have no friends who are religious save for Carys, our Sunday tagalong who was Baptized here last Sunday. They hear nothing about Christianity outside of church and me; their school actually blocks the Episcopal church’s website. Faith is complicated for kids: I tell them that Jesus cannot appear in the flesh to us but that he did indeed live amongst us and said most of what the Bible attributes to him. Many of us believe he spoke The Truth and we endeavor to live our life accordingly. We attend church to commune with people who believe likewise. I want my daughters to be a part of this community as well, but it’s not that simple.

 Economists speak of confirmation bias: when a person first makes up her mind about something she tends to discount contradictory data and seek out information that supports it. I don’t want my daughters to casually conclude religion is nonsense, but our culture gives few nudges towards Christianity. 

Since the girls have no Christian peers, it falls upon all of us to let them see adults they like and respect doing their best to live Christian lives, and help them be a part of our community. You can help by interacting with them and making sure they know you. Little encounters mean a lot: Nancy asking them to fetch a fruit plate makes them feel useful; Melissa having them ring the bell makes them feel involved.  When Steve complimented their oblation bearing they beamed. Multiply this by twenty and they will start to feel they belong here. We have great plans for a revamped Sunday School, but making Christians is too important to be left to teachers alone. Or parents.

Last Published: July 19, 2017 8:40 AM
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