Popular culture often spurns the religious, depicting them as creepy hypocrites, out-of-touch outsiders, or militant radicals. But the reality is, faith plays a role in many, many people's lives across America. And while faith may mean attendance to a couple religious services a year for some, for many people it does have a significant impact on the actions of their daily lives.
A post by Family Share about polls and articles featuring the impact of faith on family life tries to answer the question, "Are religious families happier families?"
Here are some of the findings:
1. A Dec. 15 Family Studies poll shows that people who attend church regularly are 10% more likely to say they have a happy marriage than those who rarely or never attend. Also, families who make religion a part of their normal lives are 15% more likely to eat dinner together daily, 15% more likely to do household chores together, and 13% more likely to do activities outside the house together.
2. A Dec. 15 Washington Post article concludes that "average Americans who regularly attend services at a church, synagogue, temple or mosque are less likely to cheat on their partners; less likely to abuse them; more likely to enjoy happier marriages; and less likely to have been divorced."
3. The same Washington Post article, based on several studies, says that "that religious teens are more likely to eschew lying, cheating and stealing and to identify with the Golden Rule."
4. A national study by the Department of Sociology, Anthropology & Social Work at Mississippi State University reveals that children of religious families are “rated by both parents and teachers as having better self-control, social skills and approaches to learning than kids with non-religious parents.”
While what makes a happy marriage and a happy family are far too complex to show in just a few studies — and faith isn't simply a quick fix for family troubles — it's interesting to see the secular world acknowledge that maybe — just maybe — faith doesn't necessarily hurt people, and families who look to a higher power that encourages (or gives strength for) better behavior can benefit from their faith.
What is the biggest impact your faith has had on your family?