While I was in church this morning my mind began to wander and I couldn't seem to focus on what was going on. I began to ask myself why I was even there in the first place. My initial thought was that I wanted to be, until I realized that I really didn't. And so then it was clear I went out of obligation, but to what? Or who? At that point, I then realized one of the main reasons I go to church all the time is because I always went with my parents when I was little. I have been groomed to go to church on Sunday mornings, and I almost feel bad or guilty when I don't.
It's amazing how much of an influence parents have on their kids. They probably don't even realize it at the time. But there can be things that you would never expect to be the case, that are in fact the case because your kids picked up the habit from you. The mind of a child is moldable, impressionable, and I might even go so far as to say delicate.
The things that you decide to make an everyday occurrence will stick with that child. The habits that you can't break, may be engraved in the heart of that child. The routines that you practice, will become religion for that child. And unless their mind is so independent and strong that they renounce it and choose their own way, the things you believe in and ideals that you practice will be mirrored in your child.
I used to say prayers every night before I go to sleep, and I no longer do. I used to say grace before every meal, and rarely ever do anymore. And I wonder now if the things that I do or practice are there because I enjoy them and relish in their spectacular quality and value to my life, or if they are there because it is simply what I am used to doing.
There's no doubt that kids will be similar to their parents. Similar interests, physical qualities and body build, etc. But I want to be free from any loose ends or chains tying me down, and I hope that if I one day become a father, that I allow my kids to decide for themselves what they want.