Next semester I will be teaching a course to my juniors: Christian Morality. I joke each year with the parents, "How am I supposed to teach your teenage children morality?"

I am currently taking a Master's level class, "Christian Spirituality, Morality, and Ethics." It has really enlightened me about this subject. It turns out I am not that far off base with my initial reaction to how I am to teach teens about morality. Our morality, deliberately choosing right or wrong, is based on our experiences, knowledge, and influence from others (people, family, and religion).

One of the questions I had to answer was what formed my morality. I really had to ponder this question. I decided that my upbringing by two parents who lived a very loving, and Christ like life, along with raising me in the Catholic Church, which means I went to church weekly, went to a Catholic School, and prayed daily with my family, and alone, all influenced my morality. The sacrament of Reconciliation also influenced my choices to do right or wrong. When I was a child, it probably influenced me, out of fear of punishment, to do the right thing. But when I think back to moral dilemmas, they were based more on the example that was set by my parents. My parents were loving to one another; they were kind, not sarcastic or negative. They gave to charities, they talked about God, prayer, and lived a life that was authentically Christ like. I wanted to be like my parents.

Another huge influence on my morality was and still is my personal relationship with God. I have known God since I was a little girl. I have talked, and walked with him daily my entire life. I always knew if I chose wrong he would take me back. But I did not like to tempt that idea by doing wrong. As a child I wanted to please him. As an adult I not only want to please him I want to give others the love he has given me. To make morally bad choices means that I will hurt people and I have no desire to hurt others.

I am so thankful that God chose my parents for me. I will be eternally grateful for being raised in the Catholic Church and having the opportunity to know, serve, and love God from a young age. I believe these are the elements that have formed my morality. What do you think formed your morality?

Copyright 2015 Lori Hadorn-Disselkamp