Christian Smith 2

All this week we’re looking at helpful insights for Christian parents from Dr. Christian Smith’s research on how parents pass their faith on to the next generation. Smith has found that no other institution or program comes close to the faith-shaping influence of moms and dads. Smith also found that the reason these other influences pale in comparison to parents is the way that moms and dads live out their faith in the context of their day-to-day ordinary lives. Kids who grow up to be committed to Christ almost always have parents who are extremely serious about and committed to their faith. Conversely, parents who are not especially committed, attentive, and intentional in passing on their faith will produce children who are less religious than they are, if they are religious at all. Smith says that parents who want to pass on their faith must believe and practice their faith genuinely and faithfully. You see, kids are not fooled by a parental faith that is purely a performance.