Why Church Is Important in Parenting

Juvenile delinquency, crimes by minors, and psychological issues among children are increasing exponentially. Church attendance is decreasing exponentially. Is there a connection? Studies show that children whose parents are serious about church attendance become more emotionally stable and of better character than other children. Too many parents ensure their children are safe, healthy, educated, and socially skilled, but neglect their spiritual development.

Numerous studies by institutions such as Duke University, Indiana University, University of Michigan, Center for Disease Control, Barna Research Group, Gallup, Pew, and the National Institute for Healthcare correlate child development and church involvement.  These studies show that, despite parental guidance, D.A.R.E. programs, after-school programs, athletic programs, etc., many children veer away from quality lifestyles. The research, however, confirms that children who actively engage in a faith community on a regular basis have a SIGNIFICANTLY reduced likelihood of life problems and risky behaviors. The studies also show that children who regularly attended church substantially improved their odds of a happier, healthier, and longer life.

America’s minor children are committing violent crimes and exhibiting anti-social behavior at record rates compared to a few decades ago. A study by The National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine concluded that juvenile crime has increased more than 30% over the last 50 years.¬†Research by the Barna Group and the American National Election Studies shows church attendance down by about the same percentage during the same period. Those statistics combined with the correlation between child development and church attendance prove a positive link between desired child behavior and consistent involvement in church. The sooner children are engaged in church, the better. Empirical evidence indicates that, if children are not regularly active in church by age 12, the odds of becoming active drops dramatically. Parents who truly want the best for their children need to get them involved in church now and regularly. Of course, church-going families can have troubled children, and non-church-going families can have children of model behavior. But, statistically, families not involved in church are at far greater risk of raising children with behavior problems.

The church avoidance trends are most prevalent among millennials. A recent Barna study revealed that 65% of America’s senior adults attend church regularly, while only 39% of millennials do so. Of course, it’s the millennials who are raising most of the current generation of children. Many who are not attending church say they are praying, reading the Bible, and providing religious training to their children at home. However, God’s Word, the Bible, gives strong reasoning for His work being accomplished through the church including corporate worship, ministry sharing, group prayer, in-depth Bible study, and accountability. Personal spiritual development at home is necessary, but it is meant to complement, no replace, the church.

Parents who do not attend church as a family are denying their children a major advantage in character growth and are placing their children’s future and even eternal destiny at risk. I have heard some parents say they want to allow their children to ultimately make up their own minds about their religious beliefs and don’t want the church to influence them. That tells me the parents have no confidence in their own beliefs. Otherwise, such a statement would be like watching their children walk off a cliff with no attempt to stop them.

Both parents should be in agreement about involving their children in church. However, if only one considers it essential, that parent should take the lead in the spiritual welfare of the children. The Bible clearly teaches that the husband and father should be the spiritual leader of the family. In religious and spiritual matters of the family, the children usually follow the father’s lead. A recent study showed that, if the mother attended church, but the father didn’t, only 2% of the children would attend consistently. However, if the father attended and the mother didn’t, 44 % of the children would attend consistently. Today’s America desperately needs husbands and fathers who will lead their families’ spiritual journey.

One final important point. Church attendance is not required to be in a covenant relationship with God just like living together is not required for marriage. But, as a married couple receives the benefits of marriage by living together, so those who have committed themselves to Christ receive benefits of that commitment through the church. Church attendance is a natural expression and evidence of a family’s devotion to God.

If you are concerned about the future of America, and you don’t have your family in church, I humbly encourage you to be a part of the solution by attending church this Sunday…and every Sunday possible thereafter.

 

 

 

 

First Lady Melania Trump Close Up

America’s First Lady, Melania Trump, is arguably the most complex woman in the nation’s history to hold that title. With the grace and poise that may exceed that of Jackie Kennedy, this foreign-born super model has a checkered past and a rather mysterious present. The general public seems to admire her, but knows little about her. Here are some facts you need to know about the elusive celebrity hostess of your White House.

Like it or not, when America elects a president, it also elects a First Lady. President Trump came to the White House as an anomaly to say the least. It is only fitting that he brought with him an equally enigmatic spouse. Born April 26, 1970, in Novo Mesto, Slovenia (then part of communist Yugoslavia) as Melanija Knavs (pr. “navs,” [j’s and k’s are silent in Slovenian]), she grew up in a modest home with her older sister, Ines. Her father, Viktor Knavs, was a card-carrying communist who managed a state-owned car dealership. Her mother, Amalija Knavs, worked in a children’s clothing factory as a designer. Melania was closer to her mother than to her father who traveled a lot on business. She has a half-brother, Denis Cigelnjak, from her father’s out-of-wedlock relationship that none of the family including Viktor has ever met. I have to wonder when Denis is going to show up on a liberal media newscast as another thorn in the Trump family’s side.

At age 16, Melania obtained some local modeling gigs. The family moved to the Slovenian capital of Ljubljana where Melania was quickly scouted as a model. Her father’s fortunes in the car business increased with his Communist Party affinity, and he drove a Maserati during Melania’s high school years. She enrolled in Ljubljana University in 1987 majoring in art and design, but dropped out after a year to pursue a modeling career. She and her sister moved to Milan then Paris as both began working with well-known photographers. They changed their last names to Knauss (pr. “noss”), the Germanized name for Knavs. Melania Knauss moved to New York in 1996 where she landed covers on magazines such as Harper’s Bazaar, Vanity Fair, GQ, and the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. She posed nude for a section of a French magazine and for provocative pictures in other publications , something I assume she regrets now. She entered the U.S. on a work visa and soon received her green card for permanent residency. The green card was issued under the EB-1 program which grants residency to immigrants who demonstrate “extraordinary ability.” She became a U.S. citizen in 2006. She considers citizenship in this country the greatest privilege on the planet and says she cannot and will not take our freedoms for granted.

Melania met the recently separated Donald Trump at a New York fashion party in 1998. She first rejected his request for a date refusing to give him her phone number. Later, she agreed to take his number and call him. The couple eventually began a relationship and were engaged in 2004. The following year, they married in a lavish million-dollar Palm Beach, Florida, ceremony attended by celebrities galore including Bill and Hillary Clinton (little did Hillary know…). Melania was 35, Donald was 59. It was her first marriage; his third following wives Ivana (1977 to 1992) and Marla Maples (1993 to 1999). There is no contact among the three ex-wives. In 2006, Melania gave birth to Barron Trump.

Keenly business minded, she launched a jewelry collection, “Melania Timepieces & Jewelry,” in 2010. In 2013, she debuted a skin care line, “Melania Caviar Complexe C6.” Both brands have enjoyed significant success. She speaks five languages–English, French, Serbian, German, and Slovenian. She has taught Barron Slovenian and French.

Viktor and Amalija eventually followed their daughter to the United States where they now live, alternating between Trump Tower in New York City and Mar-A-Lago in Palm Beach. They are adamant about staying behind the scenes. Sister, Ines, is single and now lives in New York residing in the $2 million apartment owned by the Trumps and previously occupied by Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump. Melania is very close to her sister and considers her as best friend and confidant. Barron spends considerable time with his grandparents in New York particularly during the Trumps’ official travels. Below are pictures of the Knavs (left) and Ines Knauss (right, with Melania). Isn’t it uncanny how much the Knavs look like Donald and Melania?

The last thing Melania ever dreamed of was being America’s First Lady. She kept a rather low profile during the 2016 campaign finding it difficult to transition from her role of mother and business woman to the harried political scene. After her husband’s unexpected victory, she retreated with her son and family in familiar New York until the school year ended before relocating to the White House. After a year-and-a-half, she is still adjusting. Her’s and Donald’s has not been a model marriage. They have worked through alleged affairs, travel separations, and little time to themselves. They differ on many political issues. She is, nonetheless, a devoted wife and nurturing mother. Although her life as First Lady is not one she chose or even desired, she urged her husband to run for president. She was concerned that he would regret not doing so, but she never thought he would win. However, she considers her job as First Lady a duty and wears the title proudly, honorably, and capably. She maintains a respectful popularity among most Americans and many foreigners including some of our enemies. I would have to say she provides a much needed and delicate balance to the often caustic environment of the White House.

 

 

 

Why Opening Boy Scouts to Girls Is Bad for America

For over a century, Boy Scouts has been one of the most respected youth organizations in America. The institution has helped guide millions of boys through the rite of passage into men of character and honor. This week, the organization caved to the cultural trends and political correctness opening its troops to girls. This ends a long tradition of male bonding and gender-specific leadership that young boys need and crave. I believe this is the beginning of the end for Boy Scouts of America.

Decades ago as I approached my 11th birthday, I could hardly wait to become a Boy Scout. I had my uniform and handbook well in advance. During those critical formative years, I learned many lessons and skills from the weekly meetings, camps, and activities led by adult male role models devoted to making men out of boys. Along with millions of other boys, I learned the skills of outdoor activities, safety, survival, and resourcefulness. More importantly, I increased in faith, character, patriotism, and respect for others. It was an environment where boys could be comfortable talking with each other and their leaders about topics from personal hygiene to proper relationships with the opposite sex.

Boy Scouts of America was founded by William Boyce in 1910. Three years later, Juliette Gordon Low began Girl Scouts. Both founders understood the reality of gender differences in life roles and implemented appropriate objectives into their organizations to foster those differences. For a century, scouting for both genders has had parallel objectives of character building and life skills development. These objectives were complemented by the instilling of gender-specific roles in young lives to elevate them to productive and responsible adults.

The fundamentals of scouting have always promoted gender equality with differing roles. Yes, men and women should have equal opportunity, equal compensation for equal work, and are deserving of equal respect. However, scouting has always acknowledged that there are necessary differences in males and females beyond the obvious physical attributes. Each have God-given roles in life that correspond to the perfect design of his or her Creator. Although those roles sometimes overlap, they must be considered differently in preparing young men and women for life’s challenges.

Three years ago, Boy Scouts of America removed its ban on gay scout leaders. Girl Scouts had already adopted a more-or-less “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy for leadership. This began a slippery slope from the principles and values on which Boyce and Low founded these magnificent organizations. I believe Wednesday’s decision to blend the genders sealed the destiny of Boy Scouts to ultimate irrelevancy. Revival of the former traditions would remedy the collapse, but that is highly unlikely. We are losing another avenue for helping young boys to become men of character and valor that our society needs so desperately. Boy Scouts of America is just the latest victim of a society that has lost its true north and is wandering aimlessly in a sea of cultural hazards. I invite your comments.

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