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Study: Parenting Approach Affects Depth of Children's Faith

A new Barna study surveyed young adults about their spiritual foundations and the role their parents played during their childhood in determining their Christian faith.
( [email protected] ) Apr 11, 2007 01:00 PM EDT

A new Barna study surveyed young adults about their spiritual foundations and the role their parents played during their childhood in determining their Christian faith.

The study found that those who received more guidance from parents actively-engaged in applying God’s words on life and family formed deeper standards of faith in their lives.

Results of the study also showed that differing parenting techniques were used to classify the dominant parenting approaches currently used in the United States.

Although "default" and "trial-and-error parents" are both accepted approaches that enable parents to raise their children without the effort of defining their life, according to the study, "revolutionary parenting" - the approach based on one’s faith in God by making parenting a life priority - produced the most desired outcomes for Christian children exemplifying Christian morals and attitudes.

"Those who engage in revolutionary parenting define success as intentionally facilitating faith-based transformation in the lives of their children, rather than simply accepting the aging and survival of the child as a satisfactory result," stated Revolutionary Parenting author George Barna in a statement on Monday. Barna is also the chairman of The Barna Group.

The study further identified desirable attributes that parents would want to see in their children. Consequently, the young adults who formed the basis of the study all possessed qualities that revealed common practices that the parents of the children had implemented. Knowing, loving, and serving God was identified as their top priority in life. They also described their faith in God as being of the highest importance.

Additionally, each of the young adults whose parents indicated spiritual foundations in their parenting approach possessed a "biblical worldview,"b ased on their responses to a series of questions about their view of life. They contend that absolute moral truth exists as defined in the Bible and that God is the all-knowing and all-powerful creator and ruler of the universe.

The young adults also affirmed faith in Jesus Christ as the only means to salvation, affirmed Satan as a real being, and confirmed that all of the principles taught in the Bible are true and accurate.

And while many of the young adults surveyed indicated the importance of being currently active in a vibrant community of faith - as demonstrated by their consistent commitment in worship, prayer, Bible study and spiritual accountability- less than one out of every ten young adults in the United States, however, reflect the measure for living a faith-based lifestyle, according to the Barna report.

Data is based on telephone interviews with 10,000 national young adults between the ages of 21 and 29 over the past several years who satisfied standards related to behavior and belief in the areas of corporate and personal faith.