By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Diane Miller - Sharing religion still core value for many families in America
Placeholder Image
    Having a religion and sharing that religion in a family setting is still important to Americans.
    In every study looking at what makes families strong and resilient, a shared religious core is listed among the top 10 characteristics. When sharing a faith is important, no particular religion is singled out as producing a “stronger or more resilient” family.
    According to the Gallup organization, 90 percent of Americans have a religious preference and 80 percent say that religion is important in their lives. Concerning sharing a religion in marriage, statistics show that 80 percent of Jews and Protestants and 60 percent of Catholics marry someone of their own faith. Inter-religious marriage is increasing in the United States; however, there is still a widespread belief that the husband and wife should be the same religion.
    In strong families, faith in God plays a foundational role in daily family life. Religion provides for individuals and families' guidelines for living, freedom and peace, a positive, confident outlook and purpose and meaning. These benefits cross age lines from the young to the elderly.
    Research supports what some have known: that religious beliefs help protect children from involvement in drug abuse, delinquency and teen-age pregnancy. Regardless of the believer’s denomination or socioeconomic standing, faith appears to give resiliency to children and a sense of stability and coherence to the membership. Religious commitment acts as a “protective factor” for the young person facing opportunities for behavior that would put them “at risk.”
    Parents in families with a religious core feel a responsibility for passing on their faith. This is done in positive and meaningful ways. Tradition, rituals and providing a religious heritage while criticized by some as being mechanical and meaningless can be an outward expression of a deeper commitment. Religious education in families is part of the total child socialization process. Even parents who are not affiliated with a religious group (75 percent) would like their children to receive religious training.
    Sharing religious beliefs does not guarantee a perfect or even happy family but it does increase the likelihood that the family will be resilient when ordinary and extraordinary life events take place.
    If you would like more information on healthy family functioning for your organization, contact Diane at (912) 871-0504, or
Sign up for the Herald's free e-newsletter