Thursday, December 19th, 2013
It’s not easy being a parent. I know. My wife and I have three girls, 12, 16 (well, almost), and 19. No matter who you are, what your race or religion, being a good parent is one of the most difficult jobs on earth. Life changes, hormones, cognitive acquisition, social skills, religious faith, the list of challenges is endless. Things just aren’t like they were back in the 50s and 60s, even the 70s when there was no Internet, no texting, and no Snapchat. Ask most moms and dads and they’ll admit that their roles get harder every year that passes. But a series of recent studies discussed, in of all places, the liberal huffingtonpost.com concludes that parents who are religious have a less stressful job than those without belief. The liberal canard has been that religious teachings set standards of behavior impossible to achieve and thus put parents in a guilt trap when failing. The truth, born out by several reports, is that Christian parents are ahead of the game. There are several reasons for this. First, seeing parenting as a sacred responsibility sanctifies or sacralizes the role of a mother and father. They see themselves as helping to fulfill God’s plan on earth through their children. They are performing a religious duty. And they get validation for doing a good job.
A psychology professor at Bowling Green State University says that in the battle to be good parents “some emerge from struggling with doubt to develop a strong faith that enables them to be happier mothers and fathers.” Also, according to one study, “The more husbands contributed to daily infant care, the lower their parental aggravation.” Once again, religion plays a role since good fathers are often validated by their church and Christian friends. Sociologist Richard Petts of Ball State University reported the followiong findings in the Journal of Marriage and Family: Religious participation “was associated with greater involvement with children, reduced parenting stress and a lower likelihood of engaging in corporal punishment.” So much for the misconception that Christian parents who believe in not sparing the rod are will be abusive because of their faith. Furthermore researchers found that daily prayer reduces stress for married mothers (Surprise, surprise!). It’s sort of sad that it has taken an academic study to note what’s obvious to my family and the Christian families we associate with. The family that prays together is more likely to stay together, and have a whole lot easier time doing one of the hardest jobs in the world – being a good parent.
An encouraging word: THE NAME OF JESUS
Most people when they hear the words of Psalm 8:1 probably think of the perennial praise song that says, LORD our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! Perhaps more than any others, those who do deliverance get a glimpse of that majesty as they witness demons bowing at the name of Jesus. Sometimes I hear evil spirits cry out, “Stop saying that name.” Just the mention of our Lord causes the powers of darkness to tremble in fear. Sadly, in culture it has become a common curse to express anger, disgust, even damning intentions. But never forget, when you are in need that there is majesty and power in the name of Jesus.