Faith of our Mothers

Every Mothers Day as I grew up in the church, we would replace "Father" with "Mother" as we sang "Faith of our Fathers." But if a new Barna survey is correct, that hymn should have had been written "Faith of our Mothers" in the first place.

  • Men may enjoy advantages in physical strength, but they are much less likely than women to exercise their spiritual muscles. This gender gap extends to the typical family unit: mothers outpace fathers in terms of spiritual activity and commitment. In fact, the Barna survey examined 12 different elements of faith behavior and perspective. Mothers were distinct from fathers on 11 of the 12 factors.
  • When it comes to spiritual perspectives, a majority of mothers said they have been greatly transformed by their faith, while less than half of fathers had shared this experience. Also, three-quarters of moms said their faith is very important in their life, while this view was true among just two-thirds of fathers. Mothers were also more likely than fathers to be born again Christians, to say they are absolutely committed to Christianity, and to embrace a personal responsibility to share their faith in Jesus Christ with others.
  • Moms are also more religiously active. In a typical week, mothers are more likely than are fathers to attend church, pray, read the Bible, participate in a small group, attend Sunday school, and volunteer some of their time to help a non-profit organization. The only faith-related activity in which fathers are just as likely as mothers to engage is volunteering to help at a church.

Is this true of your church? Of your mother and father? Of yourself?

If so, consider replacing "Father of Our Fathers" with this updated version . . .

Faith of our Mothers

Faith of our mothers, living yet,
after church meetings, house-breaking pets,
Car-pooling Little League, lessons at 2,
None would get done if it weren't for you.
Faith of our mothers! Holy faith!
We will be true to you always.

Faith of our mothers, living still,
in spite of doc'tring others while ill,
Working long hours and dinner at 5,
Only by God's grace are they alive!
Faith of our mothers! Holy faith!
We will be true to you always.

Faith of our mothers passed on to each
child and grandchild, nephew and niece,
Sharing their faith, their hope, and their love,
Grant them your strength and peace from above.
Faith of our mothers! Holy faith!
We will be true to you always.

(c) 1993 James N. Watkins

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