Study: Regular Bible Reading Is the Best Way for Children to Grow, Sustain Faith
By Movieguide® Staff
A new report by Lifeway Research shows that the best way for a child to maintain his faith through adolescence and into adulthood is by creating a habit of regular Bible reading.
Most churchgoing Protestant parents of young adults say their kids grew up to be Christians.
But half of them don’t actually practice the Christian faith, their parents say.
And the biggest factor predicting their spiritual health as young adults is whether they read the Bible regularly as kids.
Those are among the findings of a new study among Protestant churchgoers about parenting and spirituality from Nashville-based Lifeway Research. The study was sponsored by Lifeway Kids for use in the book Nothing Less: Engaging Kids in a Lifetime of Faith.
For the study, researchers surveyed 2,000 Protestant and nondenominational churchgoers. All attend services at least once a month and have adult children ages 18 to 30.
Researchers wanted to know what parenting practices pay off over the long haul when it comes to spiritual health, said Scott McConnell, executive director of Lifeway Research.
“Churchgoing parents want to pass on their faith to their kids—and to see their children make that faith their own,” said McConnell. “But they don’t always know how best to make that happen.”
When children developed this habit, they grew into adults who wanted to actively be part of the church and engage the culture around them for Christ.
This spiritual discipline goes beyond the church walls, though, as regular Bible reading can also help shape a child’s worldview.
Teaching a child to have a biblical/Christian worldview is critical in training a child to have proper media discernment, as well.
According to the Movieguide® review criteria, a biblical worldview is any worldview that implicitly or explicitly reflects and/or promotes the moral principles, values and virtues of the Bible (charity, love, compassion, justice, sexual purity, mercy, truthfulness, faithfulness, honoring one’s parents, the ubiquity of sin, etc.), that rebukes evil (such as hatred, envy, greed, lust, sexual immorality, drunkenness, cruelty), that refers to the God of the Bible or a Creator God who is personal and benevolent rather than impersonal (as in the paganism and pantheism of the Buddhists and New Age), or that tells a story or a group of stories that directly come from the Bible, such as THE TEN COMMANDMENTS or THE NATIVITY STORY. A movie can broadly fit the term ethical monotheistic worldview, in which case its got a moral and/or biblical worldview.
In a movie, a viewer can determine the worldview by asking the following questions:
What image/sounds would you say best summarizes the media product? What are the moral statements in the media product?
Do the moral statements agree or conflict with a biblical worldview?
How is evil portrayed?
How does the portrayal of evil in the media product compare with the biblical view of evil?
How is reality portrayed?
How does the presentation of reality in the media product compare to the biblical norm?
How does the media product present knowledge and how does that presentation compare with the biblical norm?
What is the cosmology of the media product and how does that presentation compare with the biblical norm?
What is the worldview of the media product and how does it compare with a biblical worldview?
Who are the stars, the director and the other important production people, what are their worldviews and how do their worldviews compare with the biblical norm?
Is there any redeeming value?
Daily Bible readings will not only strengthen a child’s faith to sustain them for a lifetime, but the readings will ensure that the child grows up with a strong biblical worldview that will dictate the content they consume and help them become media-wise consumers.