One of the regular emails I receive is HomeWord’s Culture Brief. It is designed to help parents and ministry leaders stay current with youth culture.
In the January 18, 2013 edition they referenced an article from the Chicago-Tribune that highlights research that indicates that kids raised in happy, intact marriages are twice as likely to worship later in life than children whose parents divorce amicably.
I think this speaks to different groups – both the church and to parents. The church continues to struggle to address the issue of students that grow up in the church that don’t return once they hit adulthood.
It speaks to parents as yet another negative effect of divorce. I thought it was interesting that the article used the word “amicable” to describe certain divorces. In my experience, I don’t know if you can really put the words “amicable” and “divorce” together, unless it is simply to make the adults in the dissolving relationship feel better about what is taking place.
I certainly don’t have more answers than anyone else; just found this to be an interesting insight into the impact divorce has on the kids involved. While God is certainly able to work in the lives of divorced parents and kids from divorced homes, I think this research sounds another warning bell for today’s families.
Here is that portion of the article featured in the HomeWord email:
Seeking to highlight a phenomenon that has become so common that it’s often overlooked by clergy, a new analysis of data about children of divorce reveals that kids raised in happy, intact marriages are twice as likely to worship later in life than children whose parents divorce amicably. Researchers say they hope the unprecedented project will awaken pastors to a common oversight contributing to the decline in mainline Christian denominations and religious affiliation in general. “Children of divorce are on the leading edge of the well-documented spiritual-but-not-religious movement,” said Elizabeth Marquardt, the project’s lead author. “These are potential leaders. As we grapple with more and more people growing up without a married mom and dad, the church can make more sense of that.