Raising Children in Faith has Many Positive Benefits

Raising Children in Faith

No matter how parents differ, almost all have one thing in common, the goal of raising children who will grow up to be healthy and happy adults. There are many different parenting styles and techniques that have been tried and tested over the years while both the parents and the children grow up. One strong factor that is often mentioned in conjunction with children’s overall health and happiness, according to a study conducted by a sociologist from Mississippi State University, John Bartowski.  This study compared the behavior, self-control and happy or unhappy behavior of over 16,000 children of which the majority were first graders. The conclusion of the study was that children who attend religious services frequently with both parents tended to have a higher level of self-control and were able to access better social skills than children who did not attend regularly.

Reasons Religion May Be Beneficial

There are many reasons that religion might be good for children, but three of these reasons stood out in Bartowski’s study.

  1.        Networking – Attending worship services regularly offers much more than a simple sermon. Instead, most congregations form a tightly knit community. Such a community of like-minded parents provides social support, patterning and positive reinforcement to children and parents alike. Many times, smaller sub-groups form naturally or are created in an effort to pair up individuals with similar needs.  These vary from dieting groups and enhanced scripture study groups to simple playgroups meant to bring newer mothers together on a weekly basis. When the foundation of all of these interactions is faith-based, children tend to have a lot of contact with other adults who value the same faith as their parents which reinforces their faith even more.
  2.       Sacrifice Mentality – The values which tend to be forefront in most religious congregations are skewed toward the family and toward sacrificing one’s own time and energy in order to benefit others. Parents who practice these values are able to more fully relate to their children, just as those children become more able to relate to their parents as well. This learned empathy frequently changes overall perspective leading to healthier attitudes, habits and patterns.
  3.       Stewardship – Though the word stewardship is typically used in reference to money, items owned, or the environment, it is used with surprising frequency in Christian religious groups when referencing children. The Christian belief that children belonged to God before they belonged to earthly parents is taught, lived and believed by millions worldwide. When parents are able to see children not as possessions, but instead as children of God, they frequently work harder to be patient, to teach correct principles, and to model self-control and good behavior.
  4.       Significance –  The sacred significance placed on parenting by religious institutions is yet another benefit to children who are raised in religious homes as most parents place weighted importance on heaven-worthy goals and eschew goals that are more worldly.
  5.       Anxiety – In a world that is filled with plenty to worry about, parents must be able to teach an effective way for children to cope with overwhelming worries. Christianity teaches that a faith in Jesus Christ can overcome most of life’s challenges. When parents pass this type of knowledge down to their children, they are, in essence, teaching how to cope with anxieties that some may find crippling.

Is the Type of Religion Important?

To this point, studies have not been able to prove a link between any certain type of religious belief having the most or highest level of benefits. Instead, a strong Christian faith seems to be beneficial for children, no matter which type of denomination.

Today, choosing a Christian group to worship with can be difficult as there are so many options to choose from.  Some types include:

  •         Traditional churches with a brick and mortar building
  •         Traditional church with both a building and an online presence
  •         Online only church congregation
  •         Neighborhood congregation that meets in homes

One example on an online-only congregation is the Way International. With the fundamental goal of Biblical teaching, research and fellowship, the way international slideShare is one example of how the organization reaches out not only to Christians in the United States, but to those across the entire world. While some choose to connect with like-minded individuals online, other Christians choose to use the teachings provided to enhance their own gospel-themed studies and family teaching moments.

No matter how you look at it, there are many benefits to raising children in a Christian home, and the exact type of worship or location of the worship does not seem to matter. This leaves parents to select the Christian congregation that feels right for their family and not worry about which one will truly be the best as they work to raise their family.

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