In early December, there was an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal written by a psychotherapist named Erica Komisar.
In the article, Komisar basically told parents, even if they don’t believe, when their children ask them any questions about God, they should lie and tell them God is real. In fact, in her own practice she has given that very advice.
Komisar then went on to explain why she does this.
She says it is because faith in God helps children in real substantive ways, both emotionally and mentally.
She cited a study conducted by Harvard and published in the American Journal of Epidemiology that showed children who have faith in God and attend church at least once a week scored better results in several key areas including:
- Better mental health;
- Higher community involvements;
- Less likely to use drugs; and
- Less likely to have early sex.
She added that the study of 5,000 youth revealed that children who attended religious service also had a deeper sense of purpose for their life and were more willing to forgive others and themselves.
Additionally, with the world becoming a scary place on so many fronts that children can’t control, a faith in God helps them deal with the anxiety and fears.
As part of this, she links the rising rates of depression in children to declining “interest in religion”:
Why would children function better with a belief in God?
Secondly, would adults function better with a belief in God?
Because a survey conducted by Pew Research last year found similar results. It showed that people who have a faith in God are happier than those who are atheists or classify themselves as “nones,” someone without religion.
According to Pew, 36% of religious people in America surveyed considered themselves “very happy” compared to only 25% for those in the nones/atheist groups.
Similar to children, religious adults are also more likely to be involved in other social and charity groups. And it doesn’t take much involvement. According to Pew’s survey, 58% of Americans who attend at least one service a month are active in other social and charity groups compared to only 39% with no religious affiliation.
Those Americans active in church are also more likely to vote during elections (69%) compared to only 48% of those who are not affiliated with any religious group.
So in a supposed evolutionary world why would people function better with a belief in God?
Maybe it is because God put that in us.
In Genesis chapter one we are told that humans were created in the “image” and “likeness” of God (Genesis 1:26-27).
In simplest terms, we were created to have a connection with God. So should we be surprised, that this connection, in even the most minimal way, enables us to function better as humans?
- No lies necessary: Christianity is good for you: Christian Headlines
- Don’t Believe in God? Lie to Your Children: Wall Street Journal
- Are religious people happier, healthier? Our new global study explores this question: Pew Research