Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Papa Elf and Church Attendance

We watched ELF again this Christmas. A human raised by Papa Elf, thinks he's an elf, acts like an elf, but doesn't really fit in at the workshop. Two elves talking remark, "If he hasn't figured out he's a human by now, he never will." Over-hearing this starts the great adventure to locate his real father who turns out to be on the Naughty List and not exactly a shining example of fatherhood.

Throughout the movie we see repeated examples of his "Elf" upbringing; positive attitude, innocence, kindness, friendliness, and a great ability to cut out snowflakes.

My point? Upbringing is important. More specifically, fathers are important.
In Touchstone Magazine, Robbie Low reports on a study that found that children raised with church attending fathers were more likely to attend church as adults than if they came from homes where only the mother attended regularly. In fact, even if the father only attended sometimes, that child had a greater chance of attending church in their adulthood.

Father's Att.Mother's Att.Child's Att.

(taken from Gospel-Powered Parenting)

Conclusion: Father's raising their kids to attend church is one thing. Raising them to love God is another. Reading the Bible, praying, having fellowship with other believers are all areas of our lives that can be taught and modeled to our children. If I do not place importance on these areas then why should my children?

So Yes, the burden is on me.

For families without a dad? As the the author of Gospel-Powered Parenting says,
"God is the God of the fatherless. Timothy was raised by his mother and grandmother, and yet he was great leader in the early church."
Fortunately, for us, God is bigger than us and our feeble attempts to raise the perfect family.


  1. Hmmm. It is interesting that number 3 & 4 have a higher percentage than the first one, with both parents as regular attenders.

    Craig B

  2. For the past couple of Sundays we've missed church because of various family illnesses and our family harmony is breaking down a little bit. Christians need the local church.

    Too bad that even those best percentages are still too low.


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