I was thinking about something a bit random while driving to work today.
A coworker and friend of mine, who is an Atheist, told me that his problem with Christianity primarily stems from the way he was raised. He was raised to attend Church every Sunday, regardless of whether he wanted to go or not.
He never wanted to go.
He mentioned to me that his brother, and all of the other kids loved going, but he hated it. He would rather stay at home, watch television or play video games as kids are wont to do.
Now, I can understand the reasoning behind a parents desire to have their children go to Church. It's not wrong to desire that your kids learn about Jesus. However, if that is the reason behind you forcing your unwilling child to attend Church, then perhaps your good intentions are misguided. If your sole purpose is for them to learn about the Lord, then mayhaps you should learn about Christ yourself and teach your son or daughter in a more comfortable fashion for them. That is, if they are not comfortable in a Church-type setting.
Many, including myself, are not comfortable in that type of setting. I would have loathed obligatory Church attendance as a child and it would have only served in embittering me toward God.
But, learning at home, from your own mother and father, could be a much better way for a kid to experience the love of God. What better way to learn about the love of The Father than from your own father?
Not that I'm a parent.
I feel a tugging at my heart for this friend because I feel if he only knew what I saw 6 years ago this month, those bitter memories would be brushed aside like an unwanted cobweb.
It's imperative for people to understand that God is so different from the way he has been portrayed by so many well-intentioned believers.