“Church attendance is good for the soul, but a new study by FRC shows that it’s also good for American schools. In a special edition of Dr. Pat Fagan’s Mapping America, Drs. Nicholas Zill and Philip Fletcher found a startling discrepancy between children who live with both biological parents and attend religious services weekly and those from broken homes who worship less frequently.
With data from the National Survey of Children’s Health, Zill and Fletcher found that students from intact, churchgoing families are five times less likely to repeat a grade. Less than a quarter of these parents (21%) were contacted by their child’s school for behavior or achievement problems, compared to 53 percent whose kids were not living with both parents and not attending church services regularly. There was even a noticeable difference in the level of parents’ stress. The more frequently a family worships together, the less anxiety moms and dads report about their kids’ school performance.
Perhaps even more surprising is that these differences held even after controlling for family income and poverty, parents’ education level, race, and ethnicity. As Mapping America illustrates, church and family are the perfect prescription for many social ills. Children thrive, the family bond strengthens, school success skyrockets, and the nation reaps the reward. As Dr. Fagan says, the intact married families who worship weekly are the greatest generator of human goods in the land. We encourage policy makers to strongly consider whether their proposals support such a family structure. It is to society’s advantage that they do.”
I went to church tonight and the sermon was from Matthew 13:1-23. Verses 13 through 15 are soooo applicable.