Bringing Your Kids to Church

Scot McKnight directs some gracious words to people who bring their kids to church:

When you are here, the church is filled with a joyful noise. When you are here, the Body of Christ is more fully present. When you are here, we are reminded that this worship thing we do isn’t about bible study or personal, quiet contemplation but coming together to worship as a community where all are welcome, where we share in the Word and Sacrament together. When you are here, I have hope that these pews won’t be empty in 10 years when your kids are old enough to sit quietly and behave in worship. I know that they are learning how and why we worship now, before it’s too late. They are learning that worship is important.

Family Structure and Inequality

In the women’s Bible study today, several people observed how common it was for families today to have nontraditional parenting arrangements: single parenthood, blended families, complicated custody arrangements, etc. Many of those families are managing well enough, but some are struggling.

In the New York Times today, Jason Deparle points to one of the reasons families so often struggle today:

An interesting pattern over the last four decades is that inequality has grown much faster for households with children than it has for households over all — an indication that changes in family structure (as opposed to wages and employment alone) have increased inequality.

Later, Deparle cites a study in the Annual Review of Sociology that observes:

A large body of research indicates that living apart from a biological parent (typically the father) is associated with a host of negative outcomes that are expected to affect children’s future life chances or ability to move up the income ladder.

“Children who grow up apart from their biological fathers score lower on standardized tests, report poorer grades, and view themselves as having less academic potential than children who grow up with both biological parents. More importantly, they are also more likely to drop out of high school, less likely to attend college, and less likely to graduate from college.

Divorce and the decreasing rate of marriages have given adults in our society more options, but for a lot of people, they haven’t made life easier. Instead, they appear to be adding to the troubles of both parents and their children.

Via TaxProf Blog.