In my last post I wrote about my son's declaration that he did not believe in God.
I was touched by the responses that post received, both public and private. I wrote the post because the point of my blog is to write about my experience as a Latter-day Saint. And part of that experience (for me, anyway) is teenagers who question their faith. Most of my kids have done it in one way or another. Some have been gentler about it. Some have been more strident (and less will to talk about it). But it's all part of the mix for me as an LDS parent.
When I started my journey on the road of parenting, I was filled with great expectations. My kids would know that I loved them and they would love me. We'd be a happy family, and we'd live worthy of the blessings of our family's sealing.
Have you noticed that in parenting discussions, it's often the youngest parents who do most of the talking? I was certainly that way. As I've aged (matured? become more battle-worn?) I've learned that there are lots of moving parts in the rearing of a child. There are few easy answers and there are no guaranteed results. In fact, our Father in Heaven's plan is pretty clear about not guaranteeing the outcome. The opportunity is guaranteed, but the outcome is up to each one of us.
It took me a long time to learn that lesson as a dad. My younger children owe my older children a great debt for what the older kids taught me (sometimes patiently, sometimes not so much).
But here's something my kids do know about me. They know I love them. They know that they are welcome at my table. And they know I want them to be happy.
And there are some things I know about them. They love me back. I'm welcome at their table, too. And they respect my faith, even if they do not all embrace it.
If we are all together for the eternities (and I have faith in the covenants I've made that make that possible), I hope we will be comfortable together. We're taught there are no wards or stakes in the Celestial Kingdom, only families. If that's true, then I would like my children to want to be at my table then.