In this article you will read truth that you know is true, now verified by science. This will be matched with new data about the Bible that re-verifies how important you are. Moms, you are so important.
Dads, you are another category. You weren’t even studied in this study or data collected on you for this new data. Dads, you are also so important.
A 2022 study published in the Journal of Neuroscience shows that teen brains shift from focusing on the mom’s voice to the voices of peers. The actual brain function shifts.
We all know how important peer friends are during this adolescent development process. We already feel second to their friends in importance. But now we know that this is part of the God-created brain—the brain that was created wired to change.
This new study used fMRI technology to watch the brain light up. As infants the brain lights up when the infant hears the mother’s voice. As teens, the mother speaks and the brain doesn’t register. But the brain does light up when an unfamiliar female voice is heard. Source.
My interpretation is the brain is saying, “I’m lost in my identity as I’m growing up. I’m so lost…wait…did that new person just speak to me? Will this new person like me? Will this new person think I’m cool? Will I think I’m cool if this new person likes me?”
This is the growing brain shifting and growing towards independence. Mom’s voice is now the background noise supporting the independence.
If that isn’t true?!!
So background-voice mom, know that you are still the most important voice to your teen. Every study still says so. There is still influence in being background-voice mom.
The 2022 study about the Bible from the American Bible Society verifies this. They found this big number: “63% of adult Americans say their religious faith is the same as their mother’s was when they were ten years old.” Source.
Moms, this is your voice having lasting influence. This is you providing that necessary foundation.
Then there are these Barna statistics to support how important you are.
Hey dads, I see you too.
Of course, your beloved doesn’t stay ten and you are watching your beloved’s faith change right before your very eyes. You have fears that your beloved won’t take the childhood faith decision into adulthood. From this American Bible Study data report, the numbers also reveal–and are too high–that this is really happening.
But the same American Bible Study report also says, 52% of Gen Z are very curious (21%) and extremely curious (31%) about the Bible and/or Jesus. I’m excited about that big number!
Your teen has this foundation from you and is curious to learn more!
This is such good news for this youth pastor’s heart.
You, mom, can feed this curiosity. Initiate the awkward faith conversations. We have a free great resource specifically to help you with that.
(There is also a Holiday version for $3.99, https://bravester.com/shop-now/)
Don’t be afraid of their questions or of their doubts. Research together. Remember that, “Doubt is not toxic to faith. Silence is.”
Feel this holy tension with your teen and wrestle through it until you both see the holy. This means more awkward faith conversations. This means you won’t have answers—until you both do the research together.
Your teen will hear you in this shared holy tension. Your teen will hear you loudly, likely all the way into adulthood.
This youth pastor’s heart says thank you.