Ponder this: Grow closer to God by talking with parents

Your next phone call home could help you grow closer to God. Three communication studies found a link between individuals’ religious development and discussing religion with their parents.

A person’s religious identity is largely shaped by talking to his/her parents about religion, according to a paper presented at the National Communication Association annual convention. This happens all throughout a child’s life. Young children talk to their parents about religion and are usually told what to believe. As children grow up, religious conversations shift to more of a dialogue than a lecture.

The impact of talking about religion with parents applies even after the child moves out of the house. If you call your parents on the Hello Walk to talk about your faith, they will likely still impact your religious identity.

A person’s relational spirituality (defined as being in a relationship with God or the universe) is impacted by how the parents act during the religious discussion. When moms engage in open discussion and dads are more affectionate, children have more relational spirituality, according to a study published in ‘Psychology of Religion and Spirituality’. If your parents are open during religious discussion, you could grow in your relationship with God by talking to them.

Positive communication about religion can lead to a person becoming more religious. Discussions that allow the individual to ask questions, share their opinion, and end the conversation are seen as more positive, help strengthen the parent-child relationship and influence the person to discuss religion again in the future, according to a study published in the ‘Journal of Adolescent Research’. If your conversations with your parents reflect these positive aspects, you could become more religious through talking about religion with your parents.

What you think about religion is likely impacted by conversations you had with your parents about religion. A great practice to grow your religious identity and relational spirituality is talking with your parents, so next time you call home consider talking about God.

 

Madison Garner 

Columnist

Contact Madison Garner at mgarner16@my.whitworth.edu

 

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