Friday, March 19, 2021

Stay Away from Church and You Will Leave Your Children Unprotected

 

                                                   (Our grandson, in our church building)

Christian parents: If you stay away from church, and don't involve your kids in church, you'll create little nihilists. See psychoanalyst Erica Komisar's article in the Wall Street Journal - "Don't Believe in God? Lie to Your Children."

Highlights are...

  • A main reason depression and anxiety are common among children and adolescents is: declining interest in religion. "This cultural shift already has proved disastrous for millions of vulnerable young people."

  • A 2018 study in the American Journal of Epidemiology examined how being raised in a family with religious or spiritual beliefs affects mental health. 

  • "The result? Children or teens who reported attending a religious service at least once per week scored higher on psychological well-being measurements and had lower risks of mental illness. Weekly attendance was associated with higher rates of volunteering, a sense of mission, forgiveness, and lower probabilities of drug use and early sexual initiation."

  • The belief in God—in a protective and guiding figure to rely on when times are tough—is one of the best kinds of support for kids in an increasingly pessimistic world. That’s only one reason, from a purely mental-health perspective, to pass down a faith tradition.

  • Parents - get your kids, and yourselves, active in a church. This greatly helps your kids deal with life's big questions, such as "What happens to a person when they die?" Komisar writes: The idea that you simply die and turn to dust may work for some adults, but it doesn’t help children. Belief in heaven helps them grapple with this tremendous and incomprehensible loss. In an age of broken families, distracted parents, school violence and nightmarish global-warming predictions, imagination plays a big part in children’s ability to cope."

  • "In an individualistic, narcissistic and lonely society, religion provides children a rare opportunity for natural community... The idea that hundreds of people can gather together and sing joyful prayers as a collective is a buffer against the emptiness of modern culture. It’s more necessary than ever in a world where teens can have hundreds of virtual friends and few real ones, where parents are often too distracted physically or emotionally to soothe their children’s distress."

  • "Today the U.S. is a competitive, scary and stressful place that idealizes perfectionism, materialism, selfishness and virtual rather than real human connection. Religion is the best bulwark against that kind of society. Spiritual belief and practice reinforce collective kindness, empathy, gratitude and real connection. Whether children choose to continue to practice as adults is something parents cannot control. But that spiritual or religious center will benefit them their entire lives."