By Waylon Bailey
You may have seen the report of the Harvard University study about children who attend church, but I am certain you weren’t surprised. This scientific study reported what common sense and common knowledge have always known to be true.
Children who attend church regularly (that is, once a week) are happier, better adjusted, and more likely to do well as adults.
Who knew? Actually, we all did. All you have to do is look around and you see this repeated over and over. Of course, it’s good to see publication by a very secular university that validates what we and most other people already know.
What were the findings?
Harvard’s T. H. Chan School of Public Health found that children who go to church once a week or children who pray daily have similar outcomes. Both groups have lower risk of substance abuse and depression as adults. This group is also more likely to volunteer.
Study author Ying Chen noted that “many children are raised religiously, and our study shows that this can powerfully affect their health behaviors, mental health, and overall happiness and well being.“
One of the most significant findings for me is that children who have been raised to pray, read Scripture, and attend church are generally happier as adults. They experience peace, joy, and hope just as the Bible says.
What this study shows more than anything else is our need to give our children a rich and full experience of Christian worship, Scripture, and theology.
We should not short change our children. We should not think that attending church occasionally is good for our children. We should give them all they need to be strong and fruitful adults in a hostile world.
Would you reaffirm with me your commitment to help children know God and to follow Him throughout life?