Yes, we did. Heather Hetchler of Cafesmom and I did a radio show about faith and how it does or doesn’t fit into our stepfamilies. Faith is such a controversial topic because it is clearly related to religion. In our case, Heather is Christian and I am Jewish. For that reason, we thought it would be fun to discuss our faiths and see how we both fit faith into our lives. We did not discuss anything about the show before we taped. As you may expect, we found that we had much in common.
Here are some learnings from that show:
1. Hope and Helplessness: We both felt that our faiths maintained our sense of hope and diminished that feeling of helplessness that we can feel when the family was imploding. If there is something out there guiding us, we always had a chance to make it work.
2. Our North Stars (Compass): Faith can be your compass. How many times have you felt as if you just did not know what to do? If you had a sense of something greater than yourself, perhaps, you can find that answer.
3. The 10 Commandments and the Golden Rule: Remember that book, Everything I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten? Heather and I both found ourselves talking about the basics. Treat others as you would have others treat you. Honor your mother and father (including ex spouses, etc.). No bad mouthing. Practice compassion (the core of the Buddhist tradition). Tezedakah (Hebrew for charity) and the importance of giving back. The art of rituals and how they can ground the family by providing faith and consistency. Many rituals are grounded in faith, Christmas, Passover, Easter, etc. Faith can give structure to the daily activities like Sunday school, youth groups and church/synagogue attendance. If nothing else, these activities are great places to make friends, for the kids and for all of us.
What does it all mean? Faith is a private decision. It doesn’t have to be structured, but it certainly is helpful when the xxxx hits the fan. If nothing else, Heather and I decided that when you are having a bad day or bad family moment, schedule time with any charity. Rock babies who need you. Pack food at the food bank. The world will quickly swing back on its axis and your hopeful life will carry on.
Here’s the show!