parent support

Jesus Freak: Your Religion Shouldn’t Trump Your Kid’s Health

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faith healing

Jesus Freak: I am a Christian mom who was raised in a fundamental Christian home. I have questioned my beliefs and have come to love myself and God on my own terms. I’m raising my kids the same way. 

I am normally hesitant to tell people that I believe in faith healing, or divine healing, because it’s not widely understood. And when it is, it has negative connotations—like crazy snake handlers in the Ozarks or unyielding parents who insist God will heal their child at the expense of his life.

I’m not either of those types of people, but I do believe. I have seen healing work in my life multiple times, and I am not here to convince anyone or argue. I’ve questioned and practiced my beliefs, and I’m comfortable with them after close to a decade. I often would rather not talk about it because this is the kind of thing that I believe most people should figure out for themselves.

But one thing I have learned as a new parent is that I don’t know everything. Parenting is utterly unpredictable and can be terrifying. I thought that I would go into this whole parenting gig with my set beliefs and come out on top. I’m sure any new parent can understand that everything I once believed has been turned upside down. I know I’m better for it; my relationship with God, my faith, and my love for myself have grown much stronger as a parent.

Nonetheless, there is a line where your faith affects your parenting. Every time parents make headlines for sacrificing their child’s health for their religious beliefs, like this Jehovah’s Witness mother who was overruled by a judge for refusing treatment with blood products for her very ill 13-year-old son, parents around the world scoff and are quick to brand her a “bad mother.”

What kind of mother would refuse any health treatment if her child’s life was at stake? What kind of mother wouldn’t jump in an instant to get her child medical treatment just because of her religious beliefs?

I’m not saying I would do the same as this Jehovah’s Witness mom, but I understand. I understand what it’s like to be immersed in a church culture with a staunch set of beliefs. I understand what it’s like to believe that living in faith and holding out until the last minute is the only way to make God come through.

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