Research shows your example as a parent in the life of your child matters more than you may realize

We are talking this week about passing on faith to our kids. In our first post, When you wonder what God really wants for your family, we said that the first step is to understand God’s expectations. Be sure to start there.

Again today, we are diving in deep so grab your Bible and journal and let’s get to this! The second step to passing on faith to our kids is to model the right example.

In a nationwide telephone survey of 3,290 teens and their parents, along with 250 in-depth interviews, Dr. Christian Smith, a sociologist from the University of Notre Dame, concluded the following:

Most teenagers and their parents may not realize it, but a lot of research in the sociology of religion suggests that the most important social influence in shaping young people’s religious lives is the religious life modeled and taught to them by their parents.

Notice that Dr. Smith emphasizes not only a parent’s spiritual influence but the particulars as well. He mentions two areas – what a parent models and what a parent teaches. Both are critical elements when passing on faith to the next generation. 

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A parent cannot pass on what they do not possess. And what they possess they do so in word (what they say and what God says) and deed (their actions). Both are necessary ingredients. 

This point is further emphasized by George Barna in his book Revolutionary Parenting. He states the following:

You cannot hope to raise a spiritual champion unless you love God with all your heart, mind, strength, and soul. That commitment must be clearly seen through your life before you can hope to have children who embrace that objective.

The good news for parents is that we are more important to our children’s faith formation than we may realize. We must choose to intentionally invest in the lives of our children. Jesus’ great commission to “go make disciples” starts right where we are – at home. And with who WE are!

Our first calling isn’t to raise godly children, it’s to be godly parents.

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Our example matters!

Passing on faith with you,

Patrick and Ruth Schwenk

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Our brand new resource to help further equip parents called Faith Forward Family Devotional is the perfect addition for your family in passing on your faith to your kids. It features a Bible passage, teaching that’s applicable for kids of any age, key ideas to learn about God and His character, questions to spark family discussion, and a prayer. To grab the Devo you can go to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and anywhere books are sold.

We have had some technical difficulties with our giveaways here at the blog so we are moving them over to Instagram. You can join me to enter.


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