Studies prove that a strong nuclear family is necessary
This past Sunday we listened to a guest speaker at my church describe the importance of family in the role of spreading the Gospel in the world through a legacy of Christian parents who raise Christian children with the goal, beyond salvation, of winning the world to Christ through not only the family unit, but the extended family unit. Describing it as tribal, meaning a family as a tribe that is a family of families, it is a way of life that perpetuates the Gospel by passing it down through family lifestyle.
That is as it should be, and despite the breakup of the family unit over the past few decades in America, it may be that Americans getting fed up and are coming back to the roots of their ancestors.
There is no doubt that the American government, at least at the federal level, left its Judeo-Christian roots long ago. Obamacare is a perfect example of how the federal government is intent upon forcing liberal values on all of us, regardless of our devoutly held beliefs, and, if not reversed, this will have an impact on the number of Christians who own businesses, because to keep a business open now means acting against conscience. The Green family that owns Hobby Lobby is one who is now facing huge fines for refusing to participate in abortions.
The federal government is also contributing to the breakup of the family by acting as a surrogate for the role of the father and mother. No one really needs to be married in order to have three meals a day, a home, televisions, cars, air conditioning, the Internet or cellphones. All of that is available free of charge from the government.
Cities are no longer being planned with the nuclear family in mind, as suburbs are demonized and dense apartment style living is praised, and churches are being planned away and crowded out.
As bad as that may seem, all of this may have actually awakened a sleeping giant.
For example, the Barna Group, a Christian-centered research firm, has conducted a study that shows that Americans have realized that our religious freedoms are fading quickly away.
One of the results of the study was that 90 percent of Americans agree that “true religious freedom means all citizens must have the freedom of conscience, which means being able to believe and practice the core commitments and values of your faith.”
The study also shows that 57 percent of Americans believe that “religious freedom has become more restricted in the United States because some groups have actively tried to move society away from traditional Christian values” and “71 percent of evangelicals, 46 percent of practicing Protestants, and 30 percent of practicing Catholics” are very concerned about religious freedom.
Only about 19 percent of young people between ages 18 and 28 share these concerns, and while that could be interpreted to mean a downward trend, it is also the age group that has been the least educated about religious freedom and the most indoctrinated against the Judeo-Christian roots of our nation’s founding and Founders. That, I believe, can change with time, education and the human yearning to be free.
In a recent Christian Post article by Thom S. Rainier, the president and CEO of Lifeway Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention, Rainier speaks of his belief that church facilities will grow smaller over coming years, and that even megachurches will have smaller facilities. Why? Because “the children of the Boomers and Generation X, and even more, the Millenials, have been pushing for more intimacy and smallness.”
I think that deep down inside, Americans, even those that outwardly reject or are not eager to embrace the nuclear family lifestyle, long to belong to a family. I believe that young people, especially those that come from dysfunctional homes, will eventually come to the conclusion that a real family – a married mother and father devoted to their marriage and their children – is the correct model for the future of the country and for their own well-being. Even beyond the economic advantages of the nuclear family, given a choice, most people want the unconditional love and trust that exists in functional families with Christian values.
While I am not optimistic that our current federal government will ever embrace the importance of the nuclear family, I do believe that coming generations will replace them and come back to that lifestyle if those of us who now believe in it exemplify it and promote it.
©2013 Randy W. Bright
Randy W. Bright, AIA, NCARB, is an architect who specializes in church and church-related projects. You may contact him at 918-582-3972, firstname.lastname@example.org or www.churcharchitect.net.