Not being Christian or religious people has been a thing that has often gotten my husband and I looked at in a negative way. We have had a range of different judgments from comments to silent but obvious disapproval. We are not religious but we respect those who are. We always appreciate when we get that respect in return. It's very unfair and even a bit hurtful when people assume that we can't possibly be raising our children to be genuinely good, moral, well rounded people with great values, if we aren't instilling Christian or religious values into them. That is a very judgmental and close-minded thought as well as being flat out wrong.
My husband and I have very strong morals and values. We do not have them because we fear God's judgment or because we believe that this is what the bible says, so we will follow it. We are the people that we are, because we expect it of ourselves. We take our marriage seriously, not because we were married under god, but because our marriage is a contract and promise we made to each other to remain faithful and to be there for each other through good and bad, thick and thin. We treat other well, we try to be kind and we try to do good deeds. All of this we do because it is what we feel is right. We don't have to be religious to be good people.
When it comes to raising our children, we do not have to teach them all of the things that are right and wrong from a religious standpoint. We do not have to teach them how to behave, how to treat people or how to act from a religious angle. They don't have to believe that we are supposed to be good people because that is what God expects from us. They can believe that it's just the right thing to do. As they get older, we can teach them how to have good judgement, to try wait for marriage to have sex, not to do drugs, not to drink etc. without having to do so with religion.
We do not think it's wrong to be religious and this is not by any means an attack on religion! We do not think it's wrong to raise your children that way. It is just not what we personally believe in for our family and we do not believe our children will be any less moral, any less respectful or any more likely to do wrong than those who are raised with a strong Christian/religious background. Religion does not equal Morals and Values. There are seemingly religious people who do terrible things and Atheists who are amazing people. Making rash judgments based on religion or lack of religion alone is unfair to everyone. We may not be cookie cutter homeschooling parents or the cookie cutter parents of "lots" of children that many people envision, but we have children who are smart, obedient, respectful, kind and genuinely caring toward everyone. It's not about the Christian or religious base to the upbringing of a child, it's about what the parents instill in them as a whole, Christian and Secular alike.
With all of that being said, I do not discourage my children from learning about Christianity if they choose. My oldest son has asked questions and we've given him a Children's Bible as well as more in depth background on the Christian religion and beliefs. We will do this with any religion they want to know about. They are free to choose their own path and discover their own belief's or non-belief, if that's the case. We even purchase our homeschool curriculum from a Christian company (Timberdoodle) that incorporates some Christian material in their curriculum. We just adapt it to a more secular teaching and choose alternatives for the very strong creation based materials, like Science. We are not against Christianity, we just don't set out to teach it as fact, when it's something that we don't necessarily believe to be.
I'm sure much of this blog entry mildly pains my religious father lol. Sorry Dad!