Does it matter if parents are – or aren’t – Christians?

Meredith Flynn —  May 9, 2013

Parenting_chart_LifeWayCOMMENTARY | By Russ Rankin, LifeWay Christian Resources

Most Americans believe good mothers and fathers must be loving, supportive and protecting, but fewer see the necessity of parents having a commitment to Christianity or religion, according to a LifeWay Research survey released May 7.

According to the survey, “Loving” is the No. 1 characteristic deemed mandatory for mothers (85 percent) and fathers (79 percent). After “loving,” four of the next five characteristics are shared, including “supporting,” “protecting,” “encouraging” and “involved.”

What Americans don’t necessarily see as mandatory traits of good mothers and fathers are religious convictions, including being a committed Christian.

Parenting_chart_2_LifeWayFor mothers (35 percent) and fathers (31 percent), being “Religious” garnered a slightly higher return than being a “Committed Christian” (26 percent for both mothers and fathers) on the survey of desired traits.

“Clearly Americans who are not Christians themselves would not be expected to value a Christian commitment among parents today,” noted Scott McConnell, director of LifeWay Research. “However, 3 out of 4 Americans indicate their religious preference is Christian, Catholic or Protestant. This means only a third of these people appear to value parents modeling a commitment to Jesus Christ to their children.

“For many who indicate a Christian type religion, this preference simply reflects something they were born with rather than something they feel they must nurture in the next generation,” McConnell explained.

Read more about the survey at LifeWayResearch.com.

Meredith Flynn

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Meredith is managing editor of the Illinois Baptist newspaper.