EDITORIAL: Parents are key
The world is out to win over the hearts and minds of our young people. Thousands of dollars are spent every day trying to lure them away into a compromising, self-centered, tolerant lifestyle.
The competition is tough but parents have the home court advantage! The devil would have us believe that we have lost our influence. Studies indicate that parents are still in the game. In fact, they have the upper hand. Giving up now would be like handing over a forfeit when victory is just around the bend.
A recent poll commissioned by the American Bible Society conducted by Weekly Reader Research has found that almost 80 percent of America’s 30.2 million 12-18 year-olds think the Bible is important, and 87 percent of parents think the Bible is important.
While the results indicate obvious differences in the way teens and parents view the importance of the Bible, the study also confirms that parents have a strong influence on their children.
While the survey’s results may prove encouraging for parents, there is still plenty of work to do. Only 10 percent of America’s 12-18 year-olds participate in daily Bible reading. A third of teens attend weekly worship services, and more than 80 percent believe their prayers are answered some or all the time.
Parents who attend church weekly tend to have teens who worship weekly, while 78 percent of parents who never attend worship services have teens who never attend. The same correlation applies to Bible reading and prayer habits. Parents who responded positively to the question of whether it is important to raise children with religious or spiritual values had children who were significantly involved with faith.
Findings from a June 2006 poll by the American Bible Society and Weekly Reader Research revealed that 67.7 percent of 12-18 year-olds believe parents are the most important role models in today’s society.
Based on the findings of the survey, an old saying holds true. When it comes to kids, the most important things are caught not taught. We can talk until we are blue in the face, but not until we live out our faith in front of our children, will they ever make our belief system their own. Actions do speak louder than words.
It is never too late to start practicing what you preach. When was the last time your children caught you on your knees in prayer? When was the last time your family found your Bible laying open following a time of personal worship? Have Sunday mornings become your time to catch up on your sleep from a busy week? Sure, you are only as good of a Christian as you are at home, but sleeping in on Sunday isn’t the best way to make your point.
The choices you make are making a difference in the lives of those living under your roof. We must never underestimate the power of a life well lived. Teenagers may not act like it, but they are watching and waiting to see if this Jesus you believe in has the ability to make a real difference in everyday life.
Your kids are counting on you! When it comes to raising godly kids, godly parents are still the key.