What are the common characteristics of children who grow up to become spiritually mature adults? The folks at LifeWay Research set to find out, surveying 500 parents of 1005 children ages 20-35. The findings can be summarised in the following statistically significant factors, which I hope to recall if I ever become a parent:
The spiritually mature adult children while they were young children:
- Spent regular time in prayer. The child prayed him/herself and wasn’t just a participant in prayer.
- Achieved good grades. Children with good grades have parents who are involved in their lives. It’s not the child’s intellectual capacity in itself that matters.
- Weren’t rebellious as children/ teens. The parents were able to foster independence and healthy relationships.
- Were connected with adults other than their parents while growing up, e.g. a pastor or youth pastor. These adults were involved in the young peoples’ lives.
- Weren’t disciplined using timeouts. The more common methods were spanking, grounding and loss of privileges.
- Regularly served at church while growing up. They were integrated in the church.
- Participated in ministry or service projects as a family while growing up.
These are statistically significant factors, which means they’re not gospel truth. Notwithstanding, they do give a lot of food for thought on raising children who will love Jesus as adults.