“…dads matter. If we want our kids in church, we must lead by example. Even in this egalitarian age, dads have a unique ability to spiritually shepherd their family, and our children will most likely go where we go—and will keep going for the rest of their lives.”
In a recent article at Breakpoint, John Stonestreet addresses the increasing data findings revealing the strong connection between the faith of fathers and the faiths of his children in adulthood.
He notes data reported by Dr. Vern Bengston, finding that, “56 percent of kids who have a close relationship with their dads share his level of religious commitment, while just 36 percent of kids with a weaker relationship to their father can say the same thing. In other words, the closeness between dads and his kids can make a 20-point difference in how serious they are about their faith!”
It seems, from the data presented, that the best thing that Christian parents can do for the long-term perseverance of Christendom, is to be faithful Christians themselves!
As Christian educators, we certainly advocate for Christian education (classical Christian education in particular) for the specific purpose of the long-term flourishing of Christendom, but nothing supplants the role of the family in the realization of this goal. The work of the Christian school only supplements the work done at home and in the family’s local church. Parents must not expect the Christian school their children attend or the church to which they belong to develop faithful Christian character in their kids, if they are unwilling to practice the same level of faithfulness they desire in their children themselves.
So, dads, take your kids to church!