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The Faith of Our Fathers

How do your mom and dad talk about faith with you as a young adult? Is it an integral part of your relationship with them or are they more hands-off, not wanting to push their beliefs on you?

Whatever the dynamic in your family, studies show that parents play a major role in the faith formation of young adults.

From the the Association of Religious Data Archives,

“What the best empirical evidence shows … is that even as the formation of faith and life play out in the lives of 18- to 23-year olds, when it comes to religion, parents are in fact hugely important,” report Smith and Patricia Snell of the Center for the Study of Religion and Society at the University of Notre Dame.

Of the many influences on emerging adults, “One of the most powerful factors was the religious lives of their parents — how often they attended religious services, how important religious faith was in their own lives, and so on,” they write in their new book, “Souls in Transition: The Religious & Spiritual Lives of Emerging Adults.”

But according to the article, parents are becoming more pluralistic when it comes to discussing belief systems with their young adult children. Like the culture around them, they are “wary of lifting one way of approaching truth and meaning over another.”

I suppose it’s understandable to a degree. Parents know that at some point their children must decide for themselves what they believe. But there’s difference between being careful not to pressure your child into believing what you do and abdicating your responsibility to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ, even as your children enter into adulthood.

Could it be that parents are so used to the culture teaching their kids in every other realm of life (academics, religion, etc.) that they’ve forgotten how?

HT: Tim Challies

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