How To Raise God-Loving Kids: A Guide for Unfundamentalist Christian Parents

Do you feel a deep desire to give your kids a sense of spirituality and connection, but find traditional church settings to be restrictive and out of touch with your values? You're not alone. Many parents want their kids to grow up understanding the love and compassion at the heart of Christianity but struggle with the hypocrisy they often see inside religious institutions.

Who is an Unfundamentalist Christian Parent?

First things first, if you've never heard the phrase "unfundamentalist Christian" you might be wondering what it is - or at least what I mean when I use the term:

An unfundamentalist Christian parent is someone who wants to nurture their child’s spiritual growth without adhering strictly to the conventional doctrines or practices of organized religion (typically they want to get away from religions that practice a literal interpretation of biblical, embrace purity culture, and / or hold anti-LGBTQ+ beliefs.) 

Unfundamentalist parents prioritize the core values of Christianity—love, compassion, and kindness—over strict dogma.

They aim to raise their kids to be open-minded, curious, and inclusive, embodying the true essence of what it means to be a Christian in a diverse world. By embracing a more progressive approach, unfundamentalist Christian parents create a faith experience that is personal, reflective, and supportive, ensuring that their families spirituality enhances their kids' sense of self instead of constraining it to fit "biblical" norms.

Getting back to core Christian values

At its heart, Christianity is about love. Love for God, love for oneself, and most importantly, love for your neighbor. It is these fundamental tenets that we want our kids to understand and embody as they grow into compassionate global citizens. But how do we share these lessons without the structure and rituals provided by conventional churches?

As a former Catholic turned progressive Christian parent, I spent the last 8 years working through ways to show my kids a loving, inclusive God. I can't wait to share my favorite ways to raise spiritually aware children who understand and live by Christian principles—even if you never want to step foot inside a church again.

  1. Create A Safe Space For Faith In Your Home
    Encourage your kids to ask questions about God, about what it means to be a good person, and about their place in the world. The last thing we want is to force our faith or personal beliefs onto our kids; instead, we can model open-mindedness and show our kids that people with strong beliefs are also excellent listeners and critical thinkers.

    And remember: it's okay to not have all the answers to their questions. What matters is that you're creating an environment where questions are welcomed and exploration is encouraged.

  2. Engage Your Community
    While cultivating a safe space for spirituality at home is crucial, don't forget about the importance of community involvement. Participate in community service projects to demonstrate the importance of helping others. These experiences will show your children that Christianity is not just about believing in God—it's about living a life of love and compassion.

    Seek out like-minded families with whom you can share experiences and learn from. Organize get-togethers where your children can interact with a diverse group of people and learn to appreciate the richness of human experience.

    They don't have to be faith-focused gatherings - inviting new families over to play on the playground or share a meal is just as meaningful when it comes to showing our kids what it looks like to welcome people in.

  3. Do Your Research & Be Smart About The Resources You Use
    The number of people creating Bible studies, devotionals, and more for families with inclusive or progressive beliefs is steadily growing, but it's important to do your research before you "invite" them into your home.

    When they say "all are welcome" - what do they mean by that? Do they mean they're only welcome if they conform to their personal version of Christianity and have a "traditional" view of the family? Or do they truly welcome all who seek to know God, including the LGBTQ+ community and their families?

    Are there evangelical or fundamentalist undertones to the work they do? And is that something you're ok having in your home?

    It may take a little extra digging, but when you know the resources you're using are safe for your family, exploring faith together becomes so much more fun (and surprisingly freeing!)

At the end of the day, spirituality isn't confined within the walls of a church. It's found in acts of kindness, in shared moments of understanding, and in the gentle guidance we give our children as they navigate their path in this world.

When you embrace this approach, you're showing your kids that they are indeed connected to something much bigger than themselves—a connection forged by love, compassion, and understanding.

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