What this means for the kids of today
Whether boys or girls, all students can benefit from the work of God in their lives. Whether learning how to navigate within a community or learning how to be responsible and considerate of others, living out a faith in God has far-reaching benefits.
“I argue that religious communities socialize adolescents to cultivate two habits highly valued in schools: conscientiousness and cooperation,” Horwitz explains. “The achievement gap between Abiders and Avoiders illustrates how public schools are structured to reward the very habits that religious students embody. This study pushes sociologists to consider religiosity as a missing paradigm in educational inequality.”
There are many ways for kids to learn conscientiousness and cooperation. Scouting programs, family dynamics, and community groups can all promote these basic human qualities. But, God offers self-control as one of the Spirit’s fruit cultivated in believers. (Galatians 5:22-23)
Horwitz further concludes, “Theological belief on its own is not enough to influence how children behave. Adolescents must believe and belong to be buffered against emotional, cognitive or behavioral despair.”
“I found that religion offers something that other extracurricular activities such as sports can’t: It prompts kids to behave in extremely conscientious and cooperative ways because they believe that God is both encouraging and evaluating them.”
Parents, your investment in your kids’ lives matters. They’re learning from you—what a faith in God looks like, how to navigate the mundane day-to-day tasks, what it takes to be a good friend, and how to be responsible in school. Most importantly, encourage them to receive God’s love and to share His love with those around them. That’s true success.