Should you take your children to church? In this article, we unpack 11 surprising benefits from letting church attendance be a consistent practice.
How should we approach teaching our children about our faith? Isn’t this forcing your beliefs on your children?
It’s interesting that the same people who protest parents teaching children about faith are battling for the right to teach them about issues regarding gender, sexuality, and lifestyle choices. In our opinion, this is the role of the family (parents), not schools, media, or another other entity.
According to a study by the University of Nebraska, families with strong religious (Christian faith) foundations have strong, healthy families.
11 Surprising Advantages Of Taking Your Children To Church
Before we discuss the positive benefits of taking your children to church, you should know that this is not merely about church attendance. The study mentioned above is more about children growing up in a home that has strong religious convictions.
We will distill the article down to our top 11 takeaways.
These families demonstrated the following characteristics and qualities:
NOTE: Quotes under each point are taken from the overview of the Nebraska study.
1) A Practical Demonstration of Love
The findings revealed the main teaching of all these various religions was love. Love is the basic human need for infant survival and for adult well-being (Saxton, 1993). These families practiced their religion by living the true meaning of the word love.
Perhaps the biggest advantage of exposing your children to a community of faith (church) is they are taught the principles of love found in scripture.
Plus they are in an environment and a community where they get to demonstrate and live out those values.
As a Christian, my view of church is that it is a larger expression of the family unit. We consider ourselves brothers and sisters in Christ. Since this is the model that Jesus himself taught, we see it as an environment where we can grow in learning to express genuine and authentic love.
From personal experience, I can tell you that my children have deep connections with church friends they’ve grown up with and adults who have become like aunts and uncles.
My children are adults now with families of their own. But those church relationships that began in their childhood are still active in their life. Today. They have rich relationships because of their exposure in church.
2) A Strong Moral and Ethical Foundation
They created in themselves and their children a desire to do the right thing, make the right choices that lead to meaningful relationships.
Another advantage of living in community with other believers is that we learn the difference between right and wrong.
Some may protest that you don’t have to go to church or even believe in God to have a strong moral foundation.
Maybe not. But my question is, who determines what is right and wrong? Without an objective source of truth (God), We are left to come up with our own ideas of what is right and wrong.
It seems pretty obvious to me this results in a big mess.
One of the factors that led me to Christ is this moral question. I find comfort in the fact that there is a God, he is good, and he is told us what is right and wrong.
Raising my children with this belief structure has helped them develop into well-rounded individuals who are involved in their community and want to make the world a better place.
I attribute this to their Christian faith.
3) Emotional Stability and Well-Balanced Life
[This lead] to meaningful relationships, satisfying life, wholeness, and spiritual, emotional, mental, physical, and social well-being. They shared a functional religion with ethical values and principles guiding family members through life challenges
This was an interesting part of the study. Children who grow up in a community of faith ( I prefer that over the term church) are you usually emotionally stable and have well balanced lives.Children who grow up in a community of faith are you usually emotionally stable and have well balanced lives. Click To Tweet
I think this is in part due to the fact that they learn so many lessons on how to get along with one another.
Bible stories teach us how to love and serve one another (Jesus washing the disciples feet John 13:1-17) .
How to treat strangers in neighbors (the story of the Good Samaritan Luke 10:30-36).
And how to be strong in the face of life’s challenges (David and Goliath 1 Samuel 17).
The Bible is full of life lessons. Add to that that we get to experience life with other believers helps us develop healthy emotions and a well-rounded life.
4) Open and Honest Communication
These religious families practiced the recognized constructs of strong families: clear, honest, open communication;
One of the lessons my children learned in Sunday school was to tell the truth.
This presented us, as a family, many opportunities to have open and honest conversations with one another.
I allowed my children to ask me tough questions. While those questions were not always easy to answer, we were always able to have open dialogue.
This atmosphere of honesty and transparency helped us be close as a family.
And certainly church is not the only place this can happen. But for my family, our community of faith was a great support in learning how to be open and honest with one another.
5) Strong Coping Mechanisms
They shared a functional religion with ethical values and principles guiding family members through life challenges. Most respondents perceived people had attributes similar to God. Nurturing these “God-like” qualities of love, soul, spirit, mind, truth, principle, and life inspired them to transcend egocentric behavior to spiritual maturity and wholeness.
This point goes along with emotional stability and well-being mentioned above.
From Bible lessons and interacting with people in our church family, my children learned that life can be tough at times.
They went to funerals of people they loved. Hospitals to see sick people. They heard the stories and testimonies of people who overcame addictions.
In other words, they saw the ups and downs of life. And they got to experience this in a community of faith where they were taught how to overcome. How to rise above.
They’ve learned that life doesn’t always go as planned, but you work with what you have and you make the best of it.
Seeing this lived out in a community of faith encouraged them to trust God and believe for the best.
He gave them the coping mechanisms necessary to keep moving forward in life and not get stuck in the past.
They learn this from Bible stories, individual testimonies, and watching people of faith navigate life in a healthy way.
6) Principle Driven
Their religion inspired a framework for living based on principle, which influenced the rules, roles, values, morals, and boundaries in the family.
Principles are similar to morals, yet different.
Morals serve as the boundaries that determine what is right and wrong.
Principles are the guiding forces that help us make decisions that keep us within those boundaries. And keep us moving forward so we can be productive and contribute to society.
Principles are the ideas and beliefs that help you make decisions in life. They are concepts and ideas you refuse to violate.Morals serve as the boundaries that determine what is right and wrong. Principles are the guiding forces that help us make decisions that keep us within those boundaries. And keep us moving forward so we can be productive and… Click To Tweet
When someone is principal driven, they make decisions and have behaviors that are based upon certain beliefs that they hold dear. These beliefs, they hold as true.
This makes them dependable. Trustworthy. And predictable. Not predictable in the sense of boring. Predictable in the sense that you know they will be consistent in their actions and behavior.
Contrast this with people who are not principal driven. If you don’t operate based on principle, more than likely your operating based upon what you want at the moment. You are driven by your desires and appetites. Not merely an appetite for food, but an appetite that is driven by your fleshly desires.Being principal driven means that we say no to certain things in order to say yes to other things. Click To Tweet
Being principal driven means that we say no to certain things in order to say yes to other things.
My children were taught the difference between spirit and flesh. Between good desires and bad desires. They we’re taught how to choose the higher good over lower, base desires.
Taking my children to church and letting them be a part of a community of faith. Help them understand and apply this principle.
7) Strong Commitment to One Another
These religious families practiced the recognized constructs of strong families: clear, honest, open communication; commitment; appreciation and affection; quality and quantity time together
One of the great teachings of Christ was to love one another. Jesus said, love one another just as I have loved you.
This is one of the great tenants of our faith. Jesus taught they would identify us as followers of Christ because of our love for one another.
Living with a community of faith as provided my children with a great opportunity to see this lived and expressed. Sometimes even in difficult situations.
Yet, growing up with a spiritual family that shared this value help them see the importance of this golden rule.
8) Reciprocal Living
They cultivated the capacity to give and receive love.
Another aspect of the command to love one another is the idea that we need to learn to both give and receive.
Let’s face it, there’s times in life where we are called upon to give of ourselves. The sacrifice for others because of a greater good.
We see this in our home life, church, family, and even in the business world. Sometimes we need to give even when it hurts a little bit.
There are other times we are on the receiving end. We need support and love from others.
Living in a community a faith allowed my children to see this give and take on a regular basis.
Almost weekly, someone in the congregation had a need and our church family was able to meet that need. Sometimes it was financial. Most of the time it was emotional support. But we learned to give when the opportunity presented itself.
My children saw these opportunities and how the church responded and it taught them that this is the way of life. Giving and receiving. Sowing and reaping.
They saw that this could be applied in every aspect of life.
9) Inner Peace
They met the deep, inner needs of the soul, such as connectedness balanced with autonomy, a congruent sense of identity, self-worth, ego integrity, trust, unconditional love, creativity, as well as expressing and understanding emotions.
Being raised in church, my children were taught that they were created in the image of God. That God love them so much, that in spite of their sin, he sent his son to die for them.
They were taught that they could be forgiven if they did something wrong. That Gods acceptance of them was not based on their behavior, but based on his love.
These are basic Christian doctrines.
These doctrines allowed them to realize their identity was in the fact that they were special in the eyes of God. They didn’t have to look somewhere out there for love, because they were already loved.
These basic truths are meant to instill within us a sense of belonging, identity, and acceptance. Knowing these things gives us peace.
Well, there were always be issues in life that we have to wrestle through, knowing we are deeply loved by God should give us a sense of security and peace in our heart.
I’m grateful that my children grew up in a church that taught them about the love of God. They were taught The God is good and everything he does.
Because of this, they have a strong sense of purpose and well-being in life.
10) Relationships More Valuable Than Money
Rich, meaningful relationships were a top priority that met the soul’s needs and created a teachable, receptive spirit in the children. Through leadership, role modeling, and balance between discipline and love, parents guided their children.
The teachings of Jesus emphasized the value of human personal relationships. It seems everything Jesus did and said was in the context of relationships.
There’s certainly nothing wrong with wanting to succeed or the desire to do better in life financially.
However, this study brought out the fact the children who were raised in a church culture tended to value relationships more than money, work, or economic gain.
My takeaway is that doing life in a community of faith helps you determine and figure out your deepest values. It helps you find out what matters most in your life.Doing life in a community of faith helps you determine and figure out your deepest values. It helps you find out what matters most in your life. Click To Tweet
Perhaps it’s because in church we learn that there’s more to life than this life. Eternity is emphasized.
In light of eternity, what really matters more, the relationships you have are the money in the bank?
When you begin to measure things in life based upon the reality of eternity, some things matter more than others. Relationships tend to rise and importance while other things simply don’t matter as much.
11) Appreciation of Their Parents Values
The children chose to accept their parents’ values by recognizing the stability, significance, and proper function. These families developed their minds to think; seek after truth and wisdom; have a vibrant spirit with acuity; experience oneness with God, nature, and others; connect to positive life energy forces to be fully alive; and contribute to a healthy society.
This final point was very interesting to me.
We live in a culture that seems to want to strip parents of their rights to raise their children the way they see fit. There’s an enormous battle over the family.
I’m certainly not anti-education nor opposed to the teaching profession. It’s an admirable calling.
I am concerned, however, that there are those who think the state (government) should have more control over what a child is taught than parents. At least, that seems what this battle is over.
We’re often been made to believe that children should not be taught about faith because they should make up their own mind when they’re older. If this is not the opinion of scripture.
God instructs us to teach our children about the ways of God.
I found it refreshing that this study concluded that children who were taught a strong religious faith background, and were taken to church on a consistent basis, did not resent that, but rather appreciated the fact that their parents took them to church.Contrary to popular opinion, children who grow up in a community of faith generally do not resist or resent it. They embrace it. Click To Tweet
Contrary to popular opinion, children who grow up in a community of faith generally do not resist or resent it. They embrace it.
Is there value in taking your children to church? Should it be a priority that we consider?
And this article, We discussed the research done by the University of Nebraska. From this research, I distilled the top 11 benefits or advantages of raising your children in a community of faith.
- 11 Surprising Advantages Of Taking Your Children To Church
- 1) A Practical Demonstration of Love
- 2) A Strong Moral and Ethical Foundation
- 3) Emotional Stability and Well-Balanced Life
- 4) Open and Honest Communication
- 5) Strong Coping Mechanisms
- 6) Principle Driven
- 7) Strong Commitment to One Another
- 8) Reciprocal Living
- 9) Inner Peace
- 10) Relationships More Valuable Than Money
- 11) Appreciation of Their Parents Values
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