It’s a normal, healthy part of development to ‘differentiate’ from your parents/carers.
Even if you grew up in a safe, secure and loving environment there comes a point at which you begin to take ownership for your life, your values and your beliefs.
As I reflect on the household I grew up in, I feel like my parents gave me two great gifts (among many others):
1. They passed on their beliefs and practices for understanding the world.
2. They cultivated a sense of permission to explore beyond the boundaries of these.
I wonder if a whole faith community could be structured around these two mutual attitudes? I have the deepest admiration for those who are able to hold their views with conviction while remaining non-judgmental and curious towards others (rather than adopting a defensive posture towards difference).
Undoubtedly, what I received from my parents is partly reflective of being the 5th (out of 6) kids. By the time my folks got to me they’d had a decent amount of practice/levelling out!
Either way, I have this strong sense that my own ability to explore the doubts, questions and frustrations of faith, while maintaining a core belief that the centre of this Jesus tradition is goodness and love and liberation – I owe much of this to the generosity and flexibility of my folks’ faith.
So, on a recent visit to their home I convinced them to have a cup of tea and a chinwag with me about how their view of God has changed, expanded and been challenged over their lifetimes.
If my generation (millennials) are going to make it to our 60s with some form of robust, healthy Christian spirituality, we need role models like these. I hope you have them. If not, I hope this episode gives you a window into the ‘gentle renovations’ that can take place in healthy, life-long faith (befriended by doubt).
Click here to listen to our conversation.
Or use the player below. Episode title: At my parents’ table: (faith renovations over decades):
Sara M. Saleh on Palestine, liberation and poetry – Spiritual Misfits Podcast
- Sara M. Saleh on Palestine, liberation and poetry
- Noah Small on the nature of God, love and kindness (a little episode with big heart)
- Radhika Sukumar-White on lament, suffering and inclusive community
- Michael Frost & Shane Meyer-Holt on the other side of 'mega'
- Mikali Anagnostis and Gabi Cadenhead on Gen-Z spirituality and Marion St