Growing up in a Non-Christian home: Why I’m grateful
I didn’t grow up in a Christian home. I really didn’t have a relationship with God, nor did I realize that there was a clear laid out purpose for my life. I knew of God but I didn’t know Him personally. But I have to tell you, I’ve learned to be grateful for growing up in a non-christian home.
Let me explain just a little. I’m not saying that my parents didn’t believe in God. It’s just that God wasn’t a huge part of their parenting or a topic of discussion. I’ve always thought it hindered me, like it kept me out of some kind of exclusive club. But now I realize it provides me with a wonderful opportunity to share my “worldly” knowledge with my children. This is my experience, this is where I came from and where I’m going. I share to give my perspective & to help others understand that our past can be used, no matter what it looks like.
As a mother I try to use all of who I am and what I’ve gone through to teach my kids. I fully believe that God has always had His hand over my life, no matter who my parents are, and what choices I made. So, why would I resent the life He gave me? Rather than feeling like I missed out, I use it. I use it as lessons to draw from when teaching my kids.
I’m grateful: I can use my non-christian past to help relate to their futures
I get to tell my children about the many ways I rebelled & the how, even still, I’ve experienced God’s grace. Through the mistakes I’ve made & the lessons I’ve learned, He’s always been with me. I’ll be able to relate to what they’re feeling, and let them know I do remember the struggles. I know what it’s like to give in to bad choices, and carry around the regret of them. I know both the heavy weight of disappointment, & the freedom found in repentance. I want to teach them, that no matter where they may go, God will always be with them.I know both the heavy weight of disappointment, & the freedom found in repentance. Click To Tweet
I’m grateful: I understand giving in to peer pressure
I know what it’s like to walk around trying to find your identity in other people, changing yourself just to fit in. I know what it’s like to give in to temptation, then immediately regretting it. I know about making choices that go against what you feel inside, simply for relief from the nagging voices around you. I know how scary it can be wanting to go right when everyone else is turning left. I know the guilt of deciding to go left anyway. Simply put, I remember conviction, and honestly I still live in it today. But I want them to know they can make the choice to stand firm.
I understand choosing God
I know what it’s like to give in to compromise so often that it becomes normal, it becomes everyday and average. It settles within your heart, and tries to extinguish the fire God put in your spirit. However, now I also know what it’s like to be renewed, on fire, and fresh with purpose. I chose this life over the one the world offered me. I chose to stop going round & round in empty experiences that left much to be desired, rather than moving in forward motion toward a goal, a gift, a life that God has for me. I choose valley low experiences with the anticipation of mountain high victories. I choose keeping the faith rather than doubting if there’s even a god at all. I choose full life rather then hollow shells. I choose God.I choose valley low experiences with the anticipation of mountain high victories. Click To Tweet
I know they’re going to think I’m “mom” & I couldn’t possibly understand. I want them to know I chose this life, that loving God wasn’t a life of default for me. But that I had actual encounters with a God who rocked my world, shook it up, and landed me on solid ground. I’ve experienced a life of default and one of choice & I know which is better!I've experienced a life of default and one of choice & I know which is better! Click To Tweet
What I didn’t learn
Here’s what I don’t know. I can’t relate to the thrill of knowing I’ve just stood up & been the strongest I’ve ever been for the sake of the Most High ruler of all the earth! I don’t know what it feels like to stand up to (let’s be honest) catty, cruel teenagers. I can only recount a few times of truly having my real self shine through in the decisions I made. I hope that my past is something I can use to encourage my children to experience these feelings, and share them with me.
Final Lessons from growing up in a non-christian home:
For my kids
- I have life experiences I can share with my kids. I understand what it’s like to want to do something then actually give in to those desires.
- I can talk to my kids about my regrets and how I wish I would have done differently. They will choose their own path, but I can at least help then understand long term regrets and how to avoid them.
- I hope to convey what it feels like to give in to the things we desire, but how it never truly satisfies.
- I use my own experiences as a contrast to help my kids understand how fortunate they are to know God from such a young age.
- I can teach them what that forbidden fruit really taste like & how it gets stale and moldy so quickly after we bite into it.
- The world can not truly fill the desires of our hearts.
- I got to experience the person I didn’t want to be, and now take an active role in my own life. I’ve truly found myself, and made a choice to love God. I have a clear view of who I want, and don’t want to be.
- I know God’s unfailing, persistent love for me. Each forward step, every healed wound is all because of God’s determined pursuit of me. He never asked anything from me all those years, He just wanted to comfort, love and heal me.
- I have a clean slate to draw on for my parenting.
- I’ve experienced other things that said they would satisfy, but nothing gives the peace & satisfaction that God does.
- I can look at my parents and see how far they’ve come, and be proud that one day my kids will go further than me.
I know has been a lot, and thank you so much for sticking with me and reading what I have to share.
I’d love to know what things have impacted you from growing up in a Christian or Non-Christian home. We all have stories to share & learn from. Let’s cultivate conversation & community!