on the doxology.


At our church, we sing a non-gender-specific version of the doxology. This is my preference, and it is the one we have been singing with Atticus since he was very small.


We tend to go to the early service at church, the one with less liturgy and more wiggle room for kids. Because of that, he hasn’t gotten a lot of doxology reinforcement there. At Grammy’s church, they sing the doxology the old-fashioned way. Predictably, Atticus has decided he likes Grammy’s version better than Mama and Daddy’s.

This is fine, of course. He has to find his own path to God and his does not have to look as gender non-specific as mine. As a boy, I doubt that he will experience those dynamics in the same ways that I do. I don’t make him sing it my way. Because he is three, though, he gets upset when I don’t sing it the way he does.

I have a deep desire to prove myself right that working with middle school students has helped to break me of. It is pointless to argue with middle school students, and I have learned to say, “Ok,” sometimes rather than disagreeing about something that is less important than my relationship with a kid. I try to save the disagreements for the big stuff.

This is why I stay silent when Atticus sings the doxology these days, or, if he insists, I sing it like they do at Grammy’s church. The language matters to me, but what matters even more is that Atticus takes in the message, that he knows the God we are singing about. I find that I do not wish to argue about the doxology, no matter how dear its non-gender-specific words are to me.

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