I did not grow up in a religious household. My mom was raised Catholic; my dad was raised Jewish. They were married by a priest and a rabbi, somewhat revolutionary for the early 1970s. We celebrated Christmas and Hanukkah, and that’s it. I had a passing acquaintance with CCD (Confraternity of Christian Doctrine) thanks to elementary-school pals who were shuttled there after school, and I was invited to a couple of bar mitzvahs as a gawky pre-teen in pegged neon jeans and braces.

I didn’t feel like I was missing out on religion, because it simply wasn’t part of my life throughout my teens and 20s. I was too busy! I had brunch plans on the weekends, for God’s sake!

As a parent, things are trickier. Life is trickier. I find myself longing for the built-in moral compass, and the steady sense of community, that a religious or spiritual community might provide. Does it? I dunno. I guess I’m asking you, as readers: What does a religious community do for you?

Because, as I’m getting older, and as a parent, I’m starting to think more deeply about how religion or spirituality might play a role in my life. Mortality, too. There are times that I crave guidance beyond friends, a therapist or Google. There are times that I long for a community built around shared values, shared methods of giving back to the world, and a shared background or mission, even a shared fate.

Maybe it’s just that I feel the need for extra protection as I get older and feel more vulnerable. I’m old enough now to know that life is hard, it can be unfair, and sometimes there aren’t easy answers. I think about my (Catholic) grandfather and how he didn’t seem afraid to die. He seemed to know where he was going afterward. I wish I had that peace of mind.

I also want to be able to share a sense of community with my son, something beyond his T-ball team, karate lessons, play dates or occasional get-togethers with his cousins.

I hope it doesn’t sound like I’m using religion as a cop-out. (Save me! Take me to heaven! Give me more friends! No more brunch, promise!) I think I’m just looking for one more layer of insulation in a crazy, sometimes draining world.

For those of you who weren’t raised religiously, did you opt to incorporate it into your adult life? How and why? I’d love to know.

This post has been contributed by a third party. The opinions, facts and any media content are presented solely by the author, and JewishBoston assumes no responsibility for them. Want to add your voice to the conversation? Publish your own post here.