As I was listening to the news this morning three topics were covered by NPR while I was driving in my car: (1) the retirement of the Pope and issues of immorality by Catholic priests; (2) the sequester and the potential of hundreds of thousands of government employees going on forced furlough; and (3) President Obama speaking against Proposition 8 with the potential of writing a friend-of-the-court brief urging the justices to overturn California’s voted in gay marriage ban.
I started thinking about the problems in our society and the proposed solutions to the problem. In general, as the narrative goes in the West, the solution our media and government present is wrapped up in money, education, equal opportunity, individualism, and freedom in the pursuit of happiness.
But what happens in a society when money and education don’t solve society’s problems?
What happens when welfare programs are taken advantage of by the drug addicted mom with seven children? Or what happens when the obese disabled man spends his unemployment check on alcohol and then complains he doesn’t have enough money for food? Or what happens when two people’s pursuit of happiness collides resulting in threats of violence or worse?
Our government has only so much money it can spend to try to help these people and there is limited man-power employed by the government to run such social programs or to work in law enforcement, and there is only so much space in jails, prisons, and mental health institutions to keep dangerous people off the streets.
What our nation is doing is not working. So what is the solution?
If I were the President I would have weekly FDR “fireside chats” and speak to the issues of our day. I would use these chats to try to influence and persuade the average man. I would use these chats as a polemic for those who adamantly disagree. I would use these chats as an apologetic explanation of my policies. I would try to help people realize the majority of our problems in society would be solved (not by money or education or even the pursuit of individual happiness) if only people did right within the home under the structure of natural marriage.
Natural marriage and family is based on traditional Judeo-Christian values (which acknowledges everything begins with agape love [see 1 Corinthians 13:3-7] as defined by God who created everything and cares for His creation and that there is a moral law that God authored about how humans should interact to bring about the best possible solution for everyone to keep order and peace) and is the foundational bedrock of a healthy society.
Think about it, before the age of five a child has learned from his or her care-giver: (a) what love looks like (i.e., if he is being taught unconditional love or selfish love); (b) if she needs to fend for herself or trust others to care for her basic needs of food, love, protection, shelter, etc.; (c) if boundaries exist and if there will be consistent consequences for not following boundaries; (d) what authority looks like (i.e., the child will learn if there is an authority structure [a “head of the family” so to speak] or if there is a power struggle between parents or if there is no authority because the child is being neglected. This will be transferred from the home to the school, to sports teams, to the work place, and on the streets in how that child interacts with authority); and (e) how adults interact with people in good and bad situations, which will teach them how to interact with their peers.
Our culture, which has rejected Judeo-Christian values, believes there is no “head of the home.” I understand some of the reasons why: some women saw arguing parents and abuse of authority by their dad, and therefore they think, “I’m never gonna be bossed around by my husband!”
[I must interject here that a husband should never “boss” his wife around or put her under his thumb – any man who thinks this is biblical leadership does not understand Genesis 3:16 and Ephesians 5:22-33.]
Is rejecting the idea of “head of household” the best solution? If you believe it is, then when you get married you will likely: (a) fight with your husband frequently and have a constant power-struggle; or (b) have a passive husband with whom you are constantly frustrated because he is a pushover.
Is this how you want to live?
What do your children learn from the fighting, arguing, power-struggle, or from a passive dad? This might make you think, “I would divorce that guy!” Well, if you get divorced, will anything change with your next relationship? If you have kids and get divorced, what does divorce say to your children? Will it be easy for you financially once you get a divorce? Will it be easy for you and your children at Thanksgiving and Christmas when they see you arguing over where your kids will go for the holidays? What about the complications of divorced families coming together?
When people in my generation think of all the above they tend to think, “Marriage didn’t work for my parents, so I’m not gonna get married!” But is this the best solution, to be alone? What about temptation to satisfy sexual desires or the desire to not be alone? What happens when your girlfriend gets pregnant? Most guys bail because they do not desire to settle down and support a family. Other guys pressure their girlfriend to have an abortion or give the child up for adoption. What kind of emotional scars do you think this leaves on the hearts of the boyfriend or girlfriend? What do you think the child feels when she realizes she was a “mistake” – unwanted by her parents? What about the child not aborted and not given up for adoption, but raised by a single mom? Who supports the mother during those first few months and years? Will that child grow up in the best economic situation? Will that child miss or desire the affection and care of her natural father? Will the child desire to have a “normal” family with her own biological mom and dad loving each other?
When the natural, biological family breaks down in a society it creates the need for: (a) welfare; (b) children understanding agape [unconditional] love; (c) children understanding commitment; (d) children understanding authority; (e) children having equal opportunity; and (c) role models in society to teach respect, right from wrong, and how to navigate this world without becoming a casualty of a broken society.
[Again I must interject here, this is where Christians need to step it up and not judge, but help their friends or children make wise decisions beginning with understanding the cross of Christ – that your sins are covered by the cross and now this is an opportunity to redeem the problem rather than condemn the individuals who made mistakes – but this often doesn’t happen, which is part of the failure of the Church].
As society rejects the natural, biological family and God’s prescription for raising children, so goes society. Rejection of God’s blueprint will result in disrespect of teachers, principles, coaches, bosses, police officers, which contributes to an increased risk of drug or alcohol use, increased crime, increased sex outside of marriage, STDs, and children being born out-of-wedlock, and the cycle continues.
Has society’s solution of money and education worked to solve the problems?
No, because as immorality increases and as families break apart and as more children are born outside of natural marriage, so also the need for money to pay for government programs increases, which creates difficult decisions for politicians when a sequester is about to be enforced.
Let’s get straight to it – what I have said and what I am about to say does not sound presidential, but it is what we need to hear – we all need Jesus, we all need the Gospel. The Gospel teaches us four basic things: (1) God created the world to be a certain way (Genesis 1-2); (2) we humans messed things up and can’t fix it (Genesis 3 to Malachi 4); (3) God sent Jesus to give us the solution (Matthew 1 to Revelation 19); and (4) Jesus will return to restore everything to the way it was meant to be from the beginning (Revelation 20-22).
May you find redemption in Christ, may you not beat yourself up or become cold to the world. May God work in you through Jesus Christ to reform your life – start by picking up a Bible and reading the Gospel of Matthew in the New Testament. Come and meet Jesus. When I did He lightened my load, took a burden off my shoulders, and has been teaching me how to live by His principles ever since.