Culture Post: The Powerful Influence of Moms in Christians’ Households

*The following is excerpted from an online article posted on Barna.com. Acknowledging the influence of moms isn’t just the stuff of Mother’s Day cards; it also became a major finding and theme in a recent Barna study of practicing Christians’ homes in the U.S. The Households of Faith report, produced in partnership with Lutheran Hour Ministries, finds that mothers—more often than fathers, or any other category of frequent participants in households—are seen as the confidants, providers of support and drivers of faith formation. We observe this dynamic in the responses of adults, who esteem and rely on their moms as sources of strength, companionship and wisdom. In turn, mothers still meet a range of needs and provide support for their grown children or, when applicable, grandchildren. But some of the clearest examples of the broad impact of mothers surface in the responses of Gen Z, who offer a portrait of mothers who are present, passionate and faithful. For all the stereotypes of teens rolling their eyes at their parents, Gen Z are actually very open with and dependent on their mothers. Consider their descriptions of one-on-one time with other housemates. Today’s Christian teen consistently identifies their mother as the principal housemate for almost all activities. From eating meals together (85%) and watching TV or movies (81%), to talking about God (70%) and having confrontations (63%), mothers are the primary activity partner for their teens. They are second only to friendships even when it comes to using their phones for texting (69% mothers vs. 73% friendships) and calling (61% vs. 71%). The only time mothers are not leading the way is when it comes to activities like interacting on social media or playing sports, both dominated by friendships. According to practicing Christian teens, mothers are the go-to person for all kinds of support: advice (78%), encouragement (75%) and sympathy (72%). Meanwhile, fathers play a somewhat key role in meeting teens’ tangible needs for money (74%) and logistical help (63%), though even on these two issues, they are somewhat on par with mothers. As mothers are seen as advisors and encouragers, teens report approaching them with tougher topics. In the impressionable middle and high school years, even conversations about sex (41%) aren’t off limits between teens and moms. (Understandably, when discussing sex, there is a bit of a difference depending on the teens’ gender, with 30 percent of boys and 48 percent of girls talking about this with their mother, and 50 percent of boys and 10 percent of girls covering this topic with their father). Christian teens also primarily seek out mothers’ opinions on questions of faith (72%) or the Bible (71%), as well as things that might be troubling them (78%). No wonder 68 percent of Gen Z in this survey say their mom was the one who was there for them in their last personal crisis. To read the entire summary of the significance of mothers, click the source link below.

Source: Barna https://www.barna.com/research/moms-christians-households/

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[reposted by] Jim Liebelt

[reposted by] Jim Liebelt

Jim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for HomeWord. Jim has over 35 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, having served over the years as a pastor, author, consultant, mentor, trainer, college instructor, and speaker. Jim’s HomeWord culture blog also appears on Crosswalk.com and Religiontoday.com. Jim and his wife Jenny live in Quincy, MA.

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