Just "bumping" this one.
As it hasn't attracted any replies, I thought I would add one or two thoughts/confessions of my own.
Firstly, there is a vast difference between the world Rita and I grew-up in as children, and the world our own children inherited 40 years later. We were children in the 1940s/1950s, and grew up with post-war austerity. Food was rationed, electric power cuts were frequent, and the education system had changed little since Victorian times. To a child of our generation, the world looked very grey.
When our own children came along in the 1980s, everything had changed almost beyond recognition. They grew up in a world of plenty, a world full of colour and interest, a world in which travel opportunities were taken for granted, and certainly a world which was rapidly becoming electronic.
However, when I look back to my own childhood, I am grateful for the security I always felt, and the knowledge that my parents loved me. My parents were neither wealthy nor well-educated, but we survived, and I am grateful for the fact that I was able to advance educationally through the opportunities the nation made available to me.
Our own children grew up in an age of far greater material prosperity, and consequently with greater expectations of life. I'm glad that we were able to bring them up in the nurture of the church in the way that we both had been, and even though now as adults they have not made any Christian commitment, I feel that those early years were of great benefit to them and are also valued by them even though the faith does not hold a central place in their lives at present.
Family-wise, we always tried to maintain a relaxed atmosphere, in which the children were given space to be themselves, and make their own decisions and choices in age-appropriate ways, while also being very much aware of the values by which we lived. We tried to model the standards of behaviour we expected from them -and no doubt failed miserably!
. Happily, they were both sweet-natured kids, and I don't remember discipline or control ever being a big issue.
Regrets? Looking back, I wish we had discussed more with our children as they grew older, and had created more opportunities for them to talk about either their faith or their doubts. And no doubt we should have prayed more.
OK, so that's me - how about you?