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Author Topic: I don't quite know how to respond to my daughter  (Read 1722 times) Average Rating: 0
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Quinault
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« on: February 12, 2009, 10:40:17 PM »

My daughter is going thru her room to clean and look for things to give away.

She came across this bag that she made in a "Vacation Bible School" at our last church almost 3 years ago. The theme was "treasure cove" and it is a little tote bag. There were songs and games and such. The bag says; "Come and discover the riches of Christ, come and discover His love."

She says; "But they don't really know all the riches of Christ because they only look in the Bible." I see truth in what she says. They were a real Sola Scriptura church and very anti anything close to church tradition (unless the traditions were ones they made or that came after the Reformation, specifically Puritan thought). She is so excited about Orthodoxy, she loves everything about it. But I don't want her to become anti protestant since all of the rest of our family is protestant. How do I strike a balance? I like that she is thinking about about the implications of statements-they reject everything that isn't "scriptural" and in the process lose a lot of valuable aspects of the faith. She doesn't seem to have animosity towards people that believe that way. I think she just thinks of them as "missing something" that is really important. Maybe I am over thinking this. Typically my husband is the one that takes over on these matters because they are on a similar wavelength when it comes to this stuff. He understands exactly what she means and where she is coming from and I tend to think too globally and sometimes miss an important teaching moment about the faith.

Any ideas on what to say to her? (She is 7 years old and we homeschool, so books that are at a reading level of a 3-4th grader that we could read together if you have them to suggest would be great)
« Last Edit: February 12, 2009, 10:47:03 PM by Quinault » Logged
Quinault
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« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2009, 10:45:59 PM »

I love my daughter so much. But moments like these I just end up amazed at her thought process and without a good response. Hopefully we can get more in sync before she is a teen! I am thankful that her Godmother is on the same wavelength as her. But at the moment she is busy in grad school. So I figured I would ask here.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2009, 10:48:07 PM by Quinault » Logged
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« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2009, 10:48:35 PM »

Your daughter has a remarkable understanding of Orthodoxy at such a young age! I can quite understand your concern at the chance she might turn out to be "anti-protestant", but perhaps this might help: How does she regard people of a different ethnic or racial background to her own? Is she welcoming and tolerant, or is she wary or hostile? My guess is that if she is not critical of such people on the base of race, colour or ethnicity, then it's unlikely she'll be hostile to those not of her faith.
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Quinault
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« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2009, 10:49:40 PM »

I don't think she thinks about race much at all. Seattle is a real melting pot, so she has encountered every type of race possible. As long as they are nice to her she doesn't care  Cheesy But because of our indian blood we are very dark or light skinned depending upon the time of year. So I think she might just think some people have a darker tan or no tan at all laugh
« Last Edit: February 12, 2009, 10:55:37 PM by Quinault » Logged
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« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2009, 10:51:05 PM »

I like that she is thinking about about the implications of statements-they reject everything that isn't "scriptural" and in the process lose a lot of valuable aspects of the faith. She doesn't seem to have animosity towards people that believe that way. I think she just thinks of them as "missing something" that is really important.
From my own experience as a former Protestant (not from any experience teaching children, of which I have none) I would say your daughter is right on target with this perception and that you just need to encourage her to keep thinking like this.  "Out of the mouths of babes and infants, You have fashioned perfect praise." (and sometimes pearls of great wisdom, as well)
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Quinault
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« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2009, 11:05:08 PM »

She already made my brother really mad once. He is still going to the church that we left. She bounced up to him one day after she was baptized and chrismated and said; "Maybe someday you can be a Christian like me!" What she meant was that he could be Orthodox. But he took it as a judgement that because he wasn't Orthodox he wasn't considered a Christian by her. I quickly clarified for them both, but he still reminds me of it on occasion.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2009, 11:05:35 PM by Quinault » Logged
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« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2009, 11:17:28 PM »

She already made my brother really mad once. He is still going to the church that we left. She bounced up to him one day after she was baptized and chrismated and said; "Maybe someday you can be a Christian like me!" What she meant was that he could be Orthodox. But he took it as a judgement that because he wasn't Orthodox he wasn't considered a Christian by her. I quickly clarified for them both, but he still reminds me of it on occasion.

Maybe you can bring up to her that while the Protestants don't have all the riches, but they do a lot with the little they have, like the widows mite.

My guess is that your brother doesn't consider your daughter baptized or Christian, so I wouldn't worry too much on that score.
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« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2009, 11:27:06 PM »

Sounds like your daughter is on a good path, but I think if getting a balance is what you want, you could begin to point out to her that Protestants are not entirely wrong in all they believe. Many uphold dogmas that we hold dear; the Holy Trinity, for instance. They love Christ, are faithful to Him and are our brothers and sisters; even if estranged from us by misunderstanding. Of paramount importance to our humility is remembering that we are all flawed creatures relying on God's Grace, Mercy and Love. To defend our faith is one thing, to cause pain to people who are genuinely following Christ the best way they know, is another. If we hope to bring them home to the Church, we must be on guard that we don't look like we are judging them.

Many years ago, my granddaughter (before we were Orthodox) was terribly upset that someone she liked wasn't a Christian. In her concern, she blurted out that if the person didn't accept Christ they would go to hell. This outburst, the result of attending a fundamentalist Christian school, hurt that person dreadfully. Reining in such over-zealous concern become high on our agenda.  Wink
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« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2009, 11:36:55 PM »

Thanks for the advice.

We already had to discuss the concept of hell/heaven and the love of God in general-how the Orthodox view differs, after she read some of our older Protestant Christian books, that was an interesting conversation!
« Last Edit: February 12, 2009, 11:37:42 PM by Quinault » Logged
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« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2009, 11:45:17 PM »

Thanks for the advice.

We already had to discuss the concept of hell/heaven and the love of God in general-how the Orthodox view differs, after she read some of our older Protestant Christian books, that was an interesting conversation!

I can believe that!  Grin
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« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2009, 12:05:12 AM »

Well, I personally don't care what my non-orthodox relatives think since they'll never join the Faith no matter how nice, kind or "non-threatening" I try to be. I also think your daughter is right on target and needs to keep with it. I don't think being anti-protestant is bad at all.
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« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2009, 12:09:04 AM »

Well, the goal isn't to convert anyone. I just want to teach her that other religions and cultures deserve a certain level of respect.


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Prayer of St. Ephrem the Syrian to the Most Holy Spirit


O Lord, Heavenly King, Comforter, Spirit of Truth, have compassion and mercy on Thy sinful servant and pardon my unworthiness, and forgive me all the sins that I humanly committed today, and not only humanly but even worse than a beast - my voluntary sins, known and unknown, from my youth and from evil suggestions, and from my brazenness, and from boredom. If I have sworn by Thy Name or blasphemed it in thought, blamed or reproached anyone, or in my anger have detracted or slandered anyone, or grieved anyone, or if I have got angry about anything, or have told a lie, if I have slept unnecessarily, or if a beggar has come to me and I despised or neglected him, or if I have troubled my brother or quarrelled with him, or if I have condemned anyone, or have boasted, or have been proud, or lost my temper with anyone, or if when standing in prayer my mind has been distracted by the glamour of this world, or if I have had depraved thoughts or have overeaten, or have drunk excessively, or have laughed frivolously, or have thought evil, or have seen the attraction of someone and been wounded by it in my heart, or said indecent things, or made fun of my brother's sin when my own faults are countless, or been neglectful of prayer, or have done some other wrong that I cannot remember - for I have done all this and much more - have mercy, my Lord and Creator, on me Thy wretched and unworthy servant, and absolve and forgive and deliver me in Thy goodness and love for men, so that, lustful, sinful and wretched as I am, I may lie down and sleep and rest in peace. And I shall worship, praise and glorify Thy most honourable Name, with the Father and His only-begotten Son, now and ever, and for all ages. Amen. 
« Last Edit: February 13, 2009, 12:15:28 AM by Quinault » Logged
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« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2009, 12:46:21 AM »

Well, the goal isn't to convert anyone. I just want to teach her that other religions and cultures deserve a certain level of respect.


Quote
Prayer of St. Ephrem the Syrian to the Most Holy Spirit


O Lord, Heavenly King, Comforter, Spirit of Truth, have compassion and mercy on Thy sinful servant and pardon my unworthiness, and forgive me all the sins that I humanly committed today, and not only humanly but even worse than a beast - my voluntary sins, known and unknown, from my youth and from evil suggestions, and from my brazenness, and from boredom. If I have sworn by Thy Name or blasphemed it in thought, blamed or reproached anyone, or in my anger have detracted or slandered anyone, or grieved anyone, or if I have got angry about anything, or have told a lie, if I have slept unnecessarily, or if a beggar has come to me and I despised or neglected him, or if I have troubled my brother or quarrelled with him, or if I have condemned anyone, or have boasted, or have been proud, or lost my temper with anyone, or if when standing in prayer my mind has been distracted by the glamour of this world, or if I have had depraved thoughts or have overeaten, or have drunk excessively, or have laughed frivolously, or have thought evil, or have seen the attraction of someone and been wounded by it in my heart, or said indecent things, or made fun of my brother's sin when my own faults are countless, or been neglectful of prayer, or have done some other wrong that I cannot remember - for I have done all this and much more - have mercy, my Lord and Creator, on me Thy wretched and unworthy servant, and absolve and forgive and deliver me in Thy goodness and love for men, so that, lustful, sinful and wretched as I am, I may lie down and sleep and rest in peace. And I shall worship, praise and glorify Thy most honourable Name, with the Father and His only-begotten Son, now and ever, and for all ages. Amen. 

Truly words we should all reflect on quite often.
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« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2009, 02:06:40 AM »

Well, the goal isn't to convert anyone. I just want to teach her that other religions and cultures deserve a certain level of respect.


Quote
Prayer of St. Ephrem the Syrian to the Most Holy Spirit


O Lord, Heavenly King, Comforter, Spirit of Truth, have compassion and mercy on Thy sinful servant and pardon my unworthiness, and forgive me all the sins that I humanly committed today, and not only humanly but even worse than a beast - my voluntary sins, known and unknown, from my youth and from evil suggestions, and from my brazenness, and from boredom. If I have sworn by Thy Name or blasphemed it in thought, blamed or reproached anyone, or in my anger have detracted or slandered anyone, or grieved anyone, or if I have got angry about anything, or have told a lie, if I have slept unnecessarily, or if a beggar has come to me and I despised or neglected him, or if I have troubled my brother or quarrelled with him, or if I have condemned anyone, or have boasted, or have been proud, or lost my temper with anyone, or if when standing in prayer my mind has been distracted by the glamour of this world, or if I have had depraved thoughts or have overeaten, or have drunk excessively, or have laughed frivolously, or have thought evil, or have seen the attraction of someone and been wounded by it in my heart, or said indecent things, or made fun of my brother's sin when my own faults are countless, or been neglectful of prayer, or have done some other wrong that I cannot remember - for I have done all this and much more - have mercy, my Lord and Creator, on me Thy wretched and unworthy servant, and absolve and forgive and deliver me in Thy goodness and love for men, so that, lustful, sinful and wretched as I am, I may lie down and sleep and rest in peace. And I shall worship, praise and glorify Thy most honourable Name, with the Father and His only-begotten Son, now and ever, and for all ages. Amen. 

Lovely prayer, Quinault. I guess no matter what we might think about being right, it isn't as important as being righteous. Smiley
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« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2009, 03:58:48 AM »

The "world" is never going to understand Christian children, Orthodox or otherwise.  The strength they get from their faith though is what's going to keep them grounded and secure.  About  1 year ago, my then older son got sent to the principal's office because he said the word "hell" during lunch.  What the cafeteria staff thought was cursing was actually my son explaining to his friends that you could go to hell if you didn't believe in Christ.  I was really mad at the misunderstanding but proud of him.  Who's gonna believe 2nd graders were having a theological discussion?
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« Reply #15 on: February 13, 2009, 08:57:47 AM »

Quinault, I don't have any advice... I just envy you. Sad

My daughter (24 y.o. right now) was never interested in anything religious. She calls all people who believe in God or gods "equally stupid," and all churches she calls "a synagogue." Her credo is totally secular humanism, rationalism, naturalism. Her favorite authors are Jaques Derrida and Michel Foucault (the so-called "deconstructionalist" philosophers who, essentially, make fun of every single "spiritual" concept). Interestingly, she is not egotistical at all, in fact very loving. She cares about her husband (also a secular humanist and an atheist like herself), and about us, her parents, very deeply. But religion, oh no...

I don't know, maybe it's actually a blessing in disguise. About two and a half years ago, my daughter's sarcasm about the so-called Presbyterian Church of the USA was very essential for my final and complete break with Protestantism and Protestants.
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« Reply #16 on: February 13, 2009, 10:14:44 AM »

Quinalt, I can empathize, my Dad is a pastor, my brother is a pastor, our family is the only one on both sides who is anything other than Protestant.  We have 5 children under 9 (the sixth is on the way) and the oldest 3 are 9,8, and 7 so the Protestant question has come up.  We always answer by saying why we are Orthodox not why we aren't Protestant.  It's worked so far, I've never heard our kids say anything remotely anti-protestant. Hope that helps, silouan
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« Reply #17 on: February 13, 2009, 03:44:20 PM »

Being dumbfounded by a 7 year old is extremely humbling and a little scary. Parenting works best as a team. And half my team is gone right now. That half is better with this stuff than I am. So while I am proud of her ability to think, I feel like a complete idiot because I end up unable to respond like I would like to these types of statements. The responses I give seem so pithy in retrospect. She asks and says some really complex things. I don't shrug off any of these questions, but I never feel like I have given the "right" answer. The one that you would read in a book as the perfect answer, the answer that would make everything clear. I just feel inadequate to answer the questions and statements she has sometimes.

Before my husband left they had a heart wrenching conversation that I never could have dealt well with;

Quote

"Dad, I'm angry."

"I'm sorry babe. What are you angry about?"

"I'm angry about Sassy (our dog that died of a spinal disorder) and Grandpa (My husbands grandfather that died last year) being gone. It seems like people you love die and are gone and I'll never see them again."

"That's not true, you'll see Grandpa again. Because he'd given his life to Jesus, he's in heaven now; and because both you and I have given our lives to Jesus we will see him again when we get to heaven."

"How do you know?"

"Remember babe, we're Orthodox and we know that believer's haven't ceased to be at death but are in heaven, praying. Your grandfather is with God now, watching over you and praying for you."

"Baba, if you die fighting the bad guys will you pray for me?"

"Of course I will babe."

"Why?"

"Because you are my number one daughter and I love you very much. You are the future of our family. Not only that, but in heaven I can talk face to face with God about you; when we pray now we can't see God, but in heaven I can pray for you just like you and I are talking, face to face."

She immediately brightens up, and continues with what she was doing like nothing happened.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2009, 03:49:24 PM by Quinault » Logged
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