Really???Kicking your kid to the curb…Really???
by Kenneth Justice
~Last night as I was sipping coffee at one of my favorite café’s and the woman sitting next to me asked me to watch her laptop while she put more coins in the meter…..after she returned we ended up striking up a conversation for a bit. She is 29 years old and last month was the first time in more than three years that her parents allowed her to return home for dinner.
The young woman was raised in an Orthodox Jewish home and when she decided in her early twenties to dress more ‘modern’ and to wear unapproved body piercings….her parents excommunicated her from the family.
It’s gotta be pretty intense to be cut off from you family as an early-twenty something; no financial support, no place to live, and no family to come home to when you’ve had a tough day or week.
I don’t want to make it sound like this problem is only limited to Orthodox Jewish homes; I know of Protestant, Catholic, and other religious groups who have done the same thing to their adult children when certain behaviors occurred that were not allowable.
What goes through a parent’s mind when they kick their child out for not living up to their religious standards? Is that something you would do as a parent?
A relative of mine who grew up in an ultra-conservative Christian home was told she needed to move out at age 19 because she wanted to have a serious relationship with a boy….oh the horror! Her father did not approve of sex before marriage or any type of relationship in which he was not directly overseeing the young man who would be dating her daughter; so the father’s plan-of-action was to kick his daughter out!
The young woman I was talking to at coffee yesterday told me that her mother found a Rabbi who talked to the husband and explained, “Look, if you want to have any kind of relationship with your daughter you’ve got to look past her lifestyle and let her come home for dinner at least”. And thus, after three years of exile, the young woman was told by her father that she could come home for Rosh Hashanah and the slow road to reconciliation has begun.
Look, you don’t have to tell me what it means to be passionate about your faith; I am extremely passionate about my Christian faith……but that doesn’t mean I’m going to kick my family to the curb if they don’t agree with me! Any time a religion is practiced which causes children to be cut-off in the manner of the young woman….it causes me to wonder if it’s a religion I would really want to take seriously.