Here is the next installment in our Global Insights series. In this series we hear from other parents, learning about how the context in which they live impacts their Christian parenting. So far we’ve learnt about parenting in the Middle East and South Sudan. In this post, we hear from Christian blogger Rachel Ridler who tells us about her experience of parenting in the North of England.
Where do you live and what’s it like?
I live in a town called Mexborough which is just on the edge of Doncaster in South Yorkshire. It is an ex-mining area so its not really the most aspirational of places, but I love the honesty of people around here when you get to know them. People really are quite caring in Yorkshire.
What are some of the challenges and opportunities that you face in Christian parenting because of your context?
The biggest challenge I face is that being a “proper Christian” really is being the odd one out round here. When I tell people that my husband works for a church, they are shocked. I even got asked to come in to nursery to teach the kids about Easter, as they had never had a practicing Christian parent before! I have to make sure I am proactive in teaching my sons about God in our home so that they can take that out into the world. I was very proud to hear that my eldest had been telling the nursery the nativity story, even that their nativity story book wasn’t good enough and he was going to bring a proper one in from home!
There are many opportunities though, as most people don’t know what it truly means to love God. I find it easy to make relationships with other mums round here, and they all know that I am “religious”. Again, I am the odd one out but in a good way and I have plenty of opportunities to love people.
What do you do to encourage your children to love Jesus?
We try to have some God-time everyday, whether that be listening to praise music, praying before bed or reading bible stories. We love using the Godventure materials and tried doing 40acts together last lent using the sticker chart. I think most importantly though is that we model how to love Jesus in our own lives, through generosity to others, through being part of a church family and through worship in our own home. Our sons see that and it is amazing to see them start to pick up on that. My eldest is already very generous with his friends because that is what we are like and I hope that spirit grows and grows. We are currently tackling the subject of prayer so any tips on how to do that appreciated!!
Rachel blogs at Rachel Ridler: Mum on a Mission, where she writes about her faith and parenting. It’s encouraging for us to read blog posts from other British Christian parents. Follow her on facebook here.
We’d also love to hear from you! Where do you live and how does your cultural context impact your Christian parenting? If you’d like to participate in this series then please fill in the form below.