Doubt Is Not The Enemy
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Doubt Is Not The Enemy

Questioning what you've been taught helps you create deeper values.

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Doubt Is Not The Enemy
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It seems to be a common belief among the very religious that doubt is the enemy. Blind faith without question is seen as a gift and naive trust in doctrine is an asset. Many parents feel that it is their duty to shield their children from any influence that could cause them to question their religious values, and they end up raising their young ones in a spiritual bubble that condemns skepticism as dangerous. As a result, kids grow up never having thought through their belief system for themselves, instead regurgitating the same lines they’ve heard their whole lives whenever they’re confronted with doubt.

My spiritual life is much richer now than it was when I was small, because I didn’t force myself to believe every word of what I was taught. My religious views grew and changed through many phases. What drove me away from Christianity wasn’t my exposure to other faiths, but rather the intolerance and hatred I was confronted with from people who claimed to know the love of Christ. Now I consider myself a spiritual explorer, finding meaning in life with the help of many different ideologies. I see my doubt as a way to ask newer and deeper questions, which stimulates my intellectual life as well as the spiritual. It is a friend, not an enemy.

I would urge parents to recognize that skepticism is a very normal and healthy part of growing up. Children beginning to think critically about what they believe is a sign of mental and spiritual maturity, and in my opinion, should be a milestone to be celebrated. Just because someone is questioning or exploring their faith doesn’t mean they’re going to leave it. They’re simply claiming it for their own and examining how it can be better applicable to their own lives. Sheltering a kid (or yourself) and forbidding them from learning about the beliefs of other religions simply encourages ignorance and stunts spiritual growth.

It isn’t necessarily a bad thing to raise your kids in a particular faith as long as you recognize that you’re only imparting knowledge on them, not forcing them what to believe. It is a parents' job to guide and not to choose what their kids will put their trust in (because they can't). Once they begin to ask questions, allow them to investigate various religious creeds and try on beliefs. It’s a part of growing up that should be encouraged, not stifled, at every developmental stage.

Believe what you believe because you have owned your values, not because they're what you've always been fed.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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