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I've agreed to accompany my MIL for a mother-daughter mother's day luncheon at her church. I'll be bringing my DD along as well. She knows my beliefs and I know that I will be respectful of everyone in attendance as well however I haven't stepped foot in a church in over 14 years. I don't know what religion she is exactly other than christian of some sort. From my understanding her congregation is small, about 45 people but I assume this event will be quite large. I realize I'm putting myself in an awkward position and I don't have to necessarily to go but I'm trying to be a good DIL. I'm a tad bit nervous that I may have to be not-so-nice and put someone in their place; I mean while I can be tolerant and respectful of most things I will not be able to continually bite my tongue regarding my DD. My DD does "believe" in god in that she goes along with what DH does in terms of praying and MIL keeps giving her religious children's books and sadly she **** near worships what my MIL says/does. Thankfully she is smart enough to know that the bible is a work of fiction but she is only 7 so impressionable she is. Thoughts?
I wouldn't worry too much about it. I remember occasionally going to church with my grandparents as a kid, and it never converted me. I never even paid attention to or really understood what was being said. All I could think about was when would the service finally be over so I can go play in the awesome playroom they had.
From what I know there shouldn't be any preaching or true service and if it turns to that I will respectfully decline and will leave. I don't mind a prayer before the meal if they feel it's needed but I am hoping my DD doesn't become enamoured with the whole practice of church because I will NOT be taking her, that's DH's job seeing as he's the religious one.
If it's just a social lunch thing, then I'm sure it'll be fine. My SIL got us all tickets to the big Bishop's Barbeque last year and I didn't want to go, but it turned out to be a lot of fun and there was NO preaching from anyone. We ate their food, drank their beer, laughed at their hysterical cardboard boat race, played in their jump castle, and participated in their silent auction. I was actually surprised at how little godishy stuff can go on at a church function! I find it helpful to remind myself that while I don't believe in gods and don't go out of my way to step into the house of worship for others' religions, being invited to a function is not done with any malice and they're just trying to be nice people. Even if they do believe in an invisible sky wizard.
I doubt that lunch is going to enamour your daughter to the point of begging to go back for sermons.
I had similar concerns about my oldest last weekend. We went to visit DH's sister (who is a priest) and let her baptize our youngest. Yeah yeah, I know... hypocrite, right? I put up with it for the sake of keeping peace with my in-laws and not coming out of the atheist closet to them at DH's request. (I'm pretty sure they've figured out that I don't believe though.) Anyway... I didn't know if they were going to try to indoctrinate my kids or if they'd enjoy it and want to go back or what. I was rather relieved when my oldest was terribly bored during the whole thing and spent the entire service with little doodle cards that are provided for kids in the backs of the pews (I guess this particular church has figured out that all kids get bored as hell in there, lol). The next morning, Easter Sunday, we bumped into my in-laws at the hotel breakfast and they already knew that we weren't going to church but they asked if they could take the kids. We agreed, but ONLY because I knew they were going to have an egg hunt on the playground afterward and we thought that would be fun for them, (and it'd get them out of our hair for a couple hours so DH and I could play in the swimming pool, hehe) and again, I thought my oldest would come out with questions about the whole thing, but he didn't at all. He commented on how he didn't like having to sit still and keep quiet for so long and my FIL mentioned that he got pretty antsy.
I think it's a pretty universal thing that church is boring as hell for children who aren't raised in the church from birth. My niece accepts that she has to sit quietly through services since both of her parents are priests and she's been doing it since birth, but I don't know how much even she actually enjoys it.
From your description, I'd be very surprised if there is anything beyond perhaps a pre-meal prayer. Some denominations are much more strict about stuff than others. I guess I don't have much of a problem with DH's family's religion because they're Episcopalian, which I call the "hippie catholics." They have a lot of similar ceremony, but they're soooooo laid back compared to many other denominations. They tend to be a lot more liberal as well (hello, female priests at the head of a congregation?) which jives a lot more with my own humanistic beliefs. If they were Southern Baptist, I'd worry. LOL
Last edited by Zanahoria; May 1st, 2011 at 02:59 PM.
Aubry did pitch a fit yesterday because we explained that while yes it is fine if she believes in god being that I do not I will not be taking her to church and DH no longer chooses to attend services so until she is old enough to go on her own she won't be going. Thankfully in spite of our differing views on things DH is accepting of my beliefs and concepts, though he does think I'm a bit nutty; which I am cool with. I'm assuming that at this point what DD views as god is trivial to say the least and if she indeed chooses to believe once she's older I am a-okay with that. I think this will go well and it isn't the 1st one of these I've been to. I hope the food is good and they provide decent drinks.