In the 4th part of this Q&A, we started to look at those who are committed to, and promote, the institution of the God-ordained family. Let us continue to review this much more positive attitude towards the biblical family environment which is the bedrock of a stable society.
Quoting selectively from the USA website concernedwomen, we see that they are concerned about:
1. The disrespect for and devaluation of the family and for the unique contribution of fathers and mothers. The attempt to deny biological distinctions between men and women.
2. Sexual promiscuity, cohabitation and sexually transmitted diseases.
3. The alarming increase in violence in American households, including same-sex and opposite-sex partner assaults, spousal assaults, and child and elder abuse.
And they are working to see:
1. The family esteemed as the bedrock institution of society consisting of individuals related by blood, marriage (the legal union of one man and one woman), birth, or adoption. The respect for the distinctiveness of men and women.
2. Society value and respect marriage, encourage sexual abstinence before marriage and educate on the dangers of promiscuity.
3. An end to violence within households, especially the sexual abuse of children, while reinforcing the importance and autonomy of healthy families.
And, importantly, they are doing this from a biblical viewpoint, which is encouraging to see.
In his article “In defence of family life” in January 2023, Niall Gooch wrote about a new study investigating the financial costs of having children.
“There is something profoundly wrong-headed about the whole endeavour of trying to evaluate the good of family life in economic terms, or to treat the raising of children as simply one option among many in the great lifestyle marketplace. And yet many people persist with doing so.
“More fundamentally, some things in life are, and should be, set apart from the realm of price and economic calculation. I am not among those social conservatives who are completely disdainful of the need for growth and prosperity, but it is bordering on immoral to insist that a parent’s responsibility to an abstraction like GDP supersedes their natural and healthy desire — and responsibility — to be closely involved in the raising of their own children. It is, after all, a well-established finding in social science that most women would like to spend more time with their children in the early years.
“This is an entirely reasonable and wise wish. The family is at the heart of our civilisation. As the site of the raising of the next generation, it is crucial to our ongoing survival and flourishing. It precedes all our political and economic arrangements and it will, hopefully, outlast them. At its best it is a place of unconditional love and rootedness. This is what we mean when we talk about Home. It is where we learn the arts of humanity: compromise, forgiveness, tolerance, humour. It is where we find consolation and rest among those whose bonds with us go deeper than choice or shared interests. The value of this way of life is literally immeasurable.
“The weakening of the family does have consequences. Consider how contemporary culture, especially those parts of it entangled with social media, is increasingly febrile and antagonistic. A special status attaches to ‘safety’, understood not in the traditional sense of physical protection from harm, but as the right to be insulated from strong challenges to personal opinions or conceptions of the world. Commentators often speculate about how this has come about. No doubt the demand for a ‘safe space’ is often made cynically, to intimidate opponents. But equally it seems that many people do genuinely experience questioning of their worldview as an attack on themselves.
“A society that wishes to remain open and wealthy must pay attention to the preconditions of liberty. Robust families which take care of their own as far as possible, minimising reliance on the state, are one of those preconditions. Rushing parents back into the workplace, to leave their small children with strangers for eight hours a day, and leaving them little time for informal caring responsibilities or community involvement, is almost certainly a false economy.
“There remain, finally, the human truths about the relative importance of work and family. There is nothing to compare with watching your children take their first steps or perform in their first play, or finally master reading. These things have no conceivable monetary value. It’s not your colleagues who will look after you in your old age. Your headstone is unlikely to feature glowing personal tributes to your professional life. I think often of a simple inscription I saw above a grave many years ago: ‘To a devoted father, a loving husband & loyal friend.’ Which of us, when our time comes, could really hope for more than that?”
As we pointed out before, some of these are certainly worthwhile comments, but they also show how difficult it might be to carry them out, since our governmental and economic systems, all being inspired and controlled by Satan, make this often impossible. But again, we can try to do the best under a corrupt and deeply ungodly government and in a God-defying evil and rotten society.
Some years ago, Rita Kramer wrote a book “In Defense of the Family,” and Chester E. Finn reviewed this and reported as follows:
“At once stern and affectionate, (Rita Kramer) harbors what many will deem old-fashioned views, namely, that an authentic family consists of husband, wife, and children, and that raising the children is the foremost responsibility of the parents, not something to be done for them by public or private agencies while the adults engage in other pursuits. Her book, however, is not an exercise in finger-wagging or tradition-mongering. Rather, Mrs. Kramer’s image of the proper ordering of family and society is grounded in her understanding of child development, of human psychology, and of the requisites for the emergence of an autonomous young adult as a responsible and productive member of democratic society who will in time become a competent parent of the next generation.
“To state her thesis simply, the successful development of the child requires the sustained and active involvement of both parents. This does not mean entrusting the child to the care of well-chosen professionals; it means looking after the child oneself. And those doing the looking-after must act like his parents, not his buddies…
“Does a child grow up with the sense of being protected in a world that makes sense? Such a beginning provides the basis for the flexibility of response that will help him learn and overcome difficulties in later life. Such parents are able to let the child go little by little as he indicates a need and an ability to move out on his own. They instil conscience rather than dependency. The paradox is that only by remaining strong, authority figures can… help their child become independent. He learns from what they are, what they do, what it is to be an adult.
“The centrality of the parents and the stability of the family have several corollaries. Formal institutions, notably the schools, are to play supporting rather than leading roles in the drama of child-rearing. If parents attend to their child’s values and character, if they assume responsibility for sex education and moral development, the schools can concentrate on cognitive skills and subject matter. This is desirable, both because intellectual development is something that schools can do well (and that parents seldom can) and because the controversies surrounding such curricular and pedagogical matters are far less fractious than those involving issues of faith and morals.”
Again, we would not agree with everything stated above, especially with the idea that parents can seldom help with the intellectual development of the child. That concept seems to be dead-wrong. It also overlooks the terrible and God-defying role which schools are playing in far too many circumstances.
That’s quite a defence, if one was needed, about the necessity and need for a properly constructed family as God ordained. Her supposed “old-fashioned views” are nothing of the sort; that is a tag that so-called “progressives” like to use in a derogatory way to support their own man-made conclusions that they arrived at where the teachings of the Creator God are ignored or not even considered. After all, man thinks that he knows best in all things including redefining the family unit. What a lesson these people will learn in the future!
Finally, in this section, we will quote an article headed “The Decline of the Traditional Family and the Threat to Democracy” by John W. Whitehead, which is a robust support of the God-ordained family and we will quote from this article as follows:
“The traditional family–a married man and woman with children–is in decline, even as lip service to ‘family values’ is being paid to its importance from both the Left and Right of the political spectrum. Under the swirling current of this double-speak, the entire social fabric of American culture is being upended as a result of deteriorating family life and the conditions that undermine care for our children.
“These startling conclusions are backed by a recent report of the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago. The report concludes that households will move even further away from the family-structure model of a stay-at-home mother, working father, and children. [As we have pointed out before, this rather sad development is many times dictated by economic realities, not necessarily by choice or preference. It is simply not desirable to become homeless while insisting that a mother must stay at home rather than fulfilling the need of supplementing the family income].
“Because of divorce, cohabitation (unmarried adults living together) and single parenthood, a majority of families rearing children in the 2lst Century will probably not include the children’s two parents. Moreover, most households will not include children at all. ‘Marriage has declined as the central institution under which households are organized and children are raised,’ commented Tom Smith, author of the report. In fact, a growing proportion of children has been born outside of marriage.
“These structural changes in the family have obviously led to a reassessment of values. And, as the study illustrates, the U.S. has not reached a peak of modernity. More changes, thus, are in store.
“Values have shifted in several areas. For example, ‘the climb in divorce and liberalization of divorce laws,’ the report states, ‘went along with public support for the idea that divorce was preferable to continuing failed marriages.’ [Sadly, if a marriage has failed indeed, perhaps due to adultery and other sins, divorce might very well be the preferable and only alternative.] Moreover, greater tolerance of premarital sex coincided with gains in teenage sexual activity, cohabitation and non-marital birth. In brief, changes in structure and values have gone hand-in-hand over the last generation to transform the American family in both forms and norms.
“However, the effect of this transformation may have other consequences for society. In 1952, a California appeals court touched on what the impact may be:
“The family is the basic unit of our society, the center of the personal affections that ennoble and enrich human life. It channels biological drives that might otherwise become socially destructive; it ensures the care and education of children in a stable environment; it establishes continuity initiative that distinguishes a free people.
“From antiquity, the family has served as the basic building block of free societies. Likewise, we find a strong emphasis on the high estate of parenthood and history. Wherever we turn in the ancient world, to Judaism, to Greece or to Rome, the family structure has been revered. And long before foreign invaders toppled any of those great societies, they collapsed from within, due largely to the deterioration of their family structures.
“The family, not the state or the school, therefore, has been primarily responsible for teaching lessons of independence and proper conduct, which are essential to a free, democratic society. If, as we now see, these family functions begin to break down, then everything else we cherish is in peril.”
You will see that we have deliberately underlined the phrase “has not reached a peak of modernity. More changes, thus, are in store” as structural changes in the family have obviously led to a reassessment of values. That was prophetic as this was written in 1999, some 24 years ago where society then was markedly different to 2023, and not for the better. There has been an acceleration in the downgrading of the traditional family to an extent that has been breathtaking in its progress.
As a final note in this section, we quote from our weekly Update #1095, dated 22nd December 2023, under the heading “Blasphemous Woke Nonsense”:
“The Daily Mail wrote on December 18:
““Couples getting married will be asked if they want to be called ‘husband and wife’ under new woke Church guidelines. It is part of new ‘inclusive language’ rules published by The Methodist Church, which warns that old-fashioned terminology ‘makes assumptions about a family or personal life that is not the reality for many people’.
““The guidance also advises preachers to share their pronouns with congregation members ‘to create a safe space for people to be themselves.’… they should use ‘gender-neutral language’, opting for words such as ‘folks, teammates, friends, colleagues, or simply people’. It adds: ‘People of different genders may choose to use a gender-neutral title such as Mx’…””
Such action from a mainstream Church is both deplorable and laughable and is indicative of the way that mainstream Christianity has, in the main, followed secular leadership in downgrading the importance of the Family unit.
(To be continued)
Lead Writer: Brian Gale (United Kingdom)