In today’s fast-paced and frantic world, Sundays may be the only time that your family is able to catch up on much-needed rest and relaxation in preparation for another hectic week. Getting up early and rounding everyone up for church may seem more like work than an enjoyable way to end the weekend, but there are definite benefits to being actively involved in your church.
- Lowered Risk Factors – A 2010 Child Trends’ review indicates that kids from religious backgrounds are less likely to be involved in violence, theft and vandalism or to struggle with substance abuse problems than their peers.
- Talking Points That Facilitate Conversation – Finding some common ground to serve as conversation fodder isn’t always easy, especially when you have tweens or teens that seem to think you’re completely out of touch with the modern world. Attending church services together and being active in faith-based programs provides your family with a wealth of talking points, helping to facilitate conversations and strengthen your bonds.
- Instilling a Moral Compass – Regardless of denomination or belief system, one thing that all churches have in common is an emphasis on love, charity and faith. Imparting these virtues to your children through regular church attendance and service allows you to rest easy knowing that you’ve done all that you can to provide them with the moral compass they’ll need to successfully navigate the adult world.
- Creating an Extended Support Network – A church family provides you with an extended network of like-minded people who have the same beliefs and spiritual aims that you have, allowing you to seek support and give encouragement to one another. If you happen to live far away from your own extended family, members of your congregation who you’re particularly close to can help fill that void.
- Decreased Likelihood of Developmental Problems – A special report by the National Survey of Children’s Health indicates that religious participation by an intact family is associated with a lowered risk of developmental and behavioral problems in school-aged children.
- Establishing a Routine – Kids need a reliable routine to truly thrive. Knowing on Saturday evening that they’ll be getting up and going to church the next morning allows your kids to include church services in their own routine, providing a strong sense of security and understanding of the world around him.
- Creating Your Own Traditions of Togetherness – Whether you go out for a late lunch after church to a favorite restaurant or come home to make your own special meal, the benefits of sharing meals as a family are well-documented. When you establish your own family meal routine for Sunday meals after church, you’re creating your own family tradition.
- Exposure to Music – Music ministries are a big part of most churches, and kids who have music training from an early age have been proven to outscore their peers on standardized tests, are more likely to graduate high school and are more likely to go on to college according to studies published in Social Science Quarterly.
- Teaching Kids Organizational and Social Skills – Attending Sunday school classes or children’s ministry programs helps very young children establish the social skills and organizational skills they’ll need to thrive when they begin attending school.
- Church Activities Can Help Kids Learn Compassion – Working with the less fortunate, volunteering to make a difference in the community and participating in outreach programs helps your children understand not only how fortunate they are, but also encourages a sense of compassion. These lessons aren’t easily taught and are valuable ones for your children to acquire as they make their way towards adulthood.
Spending time with other families that share your religious beliefs and are dedicated to making a difference in the lives of their own children as well as the less fortunate members of your community can help your family to become more grounded and fulfilled as a whole. Finding the right church may require a bit of trial and error, but your happiness within a congregation is largely dependent upon your family’s ability to fit in there and feel welcomed. Keep searching until you find a church home that brings you that peace, and attend it regularly to reap the many benefits!