Studies show that religion plays a major, and positive, role in the lives of many young adults. In fact, religious teens are more likely, when compared to their non-religious peers, to engage in healthy behaviors like:
- Wearing a seat belts
- Exercising regularly
- Healthier eating and sleeping habits
- Conservative attitudes toward sex and have lower levels of sexual experience
- Participate in student government
In addition, children who attend religious services at least once a week are less likely to:
- Take risks
- Get in trouble
- Take drugs
However, per Child Trend’s analysis of religious service attendance, the percentage of students in the 10th and 12th grades who attend religious services generally declined between 2002 and 2012. On the other hand, religious attendance for 8 graders increased between 2009 and 2012.
In addition, the percentage of students that acknowledged that religion played an important part in their lives has been declining since the early 2000s. Surprisingly, however, research also shows that the parents have the biggest influence over whether or not young adults remain religiously active when they older are their parents.
The role parents play parents who practice what they preach are like beacons of light that shine brightly as an example of how kids should lead their lives. In fact, when it comes to religion, a study from the National Study of Youth and Religion found that:
• 82% of children raised by parents whose beliefs were important to them were themselves religiously active as when they got older.VS.
• 1% of teens raised by parents who attached little importance to religion were highly religious in their mid to late 20s.
The bottom line, parents play an incredibly influential role in the lives of their children; this is why it’s important for parents to practice what they preach. Young adults are looking towards you to determine how to live their best lives; therefore, when there are inconsistencies, it can lead to a loss of influence over the lives of your children. As it stands right now, young adults’ affiliation with religion is on a decline and if things must change, parents must realize that a hands-off approach has consequences. Parents must make a commitment to set the bar above which their children will rise.