Dear pastors, missionaries, chaplains and friends,
Steve here… If you didn’t catch it already, you need to read the lead article in MacLean’s magazine on April 13, 2015. The front cover certainly seeks to be a little cheeky, but the article “God is the Answer” is an eye opener.
The article shares the work of a Jewish clinical psychologist, Lisa Miller, who has been studying the close relationship between spirituality or religious values and health, particularly mental health.
She has specifically studied mother-teenage daughter relationships where both share a religious belief. She has discovered that if the shared spirituality reached back into the daughter’s formative years, there was an 80% protective chance of emotional illness among families who are high-risk for depression. She claims that spiritually-connected teens are 40% less likely to abuse alcohol or other substances, 80% less likely to engage in unprotected sex, and 60% less likely to suffer from depression than teens who are not spiritually oriented. She writes “In the long run, we think religiosity will confer a protective effect against all kinds of disorders.”
Her work has focused on the cognitive effects and even neuro-physiological effects of religiosity among teenagers. This is certainly not my field, but I found the doctors’ outcomes fascinating.
This Sunday, we honour and celebrate our mothers and grandmothers. Their role in raising up the next generation of adolescents is so critical — absolutely essential.
Mario Bruno, a Fellowship International missionary, recently wrote that one of the best ways Christian parents can know they’ve been successful is whether their children’s training has resulted in their following and fearing the Lord.
2 Timothy 2:2 says, “What you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.”
The Apostle Paul trained Timothy, who trained others who would continue the process to succeeding generations. Christian parents are in the work of disciple-making.
Patek Philippe, the Swiss luxury watchmaker, recently turned 175 years old. The company is Geneva’s oldest independent family-owned watch manufacturer, and its long-term perspective is reflected in its iconic advertising: “You never actually own a Patek Philippe, you merely look after it for the next generation.” This can be said for the Gospel as well. God has entrusted it to us to pass it on to the next generation. Paul wrote “… I have kept the faith.” (2 Timothy 4:7c). The Gospel is a trust which God has given to us to pass on to others and down to the next generation.
What a tremendous privilege and responsibility Christian mothers have to pass on the faith to their children. Let’s celebrate their work this Sunday.
Have a blessed week,
Our 2015 Fellowship theme verse is:
“"For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” Luke 19:10 (NLT)
Click > HERE < to read the MacLean’s article “The Science is in: God is the Answer”.