Our American culture is rich with gifts God has given for human flourishing. Sometimes we take these gifts for granted. Sometimes, tragically, we reject them. One of these good gifts is the family.
Growing up in a coastal suburb of Los Angeles, I couldn’t articulate God’s beautiful plan for the family as a moral and economic unit for the raising of the next generation and the perpetuation of society. We just lived that way. We knew work brought the money to meet life’s needs. We assumed you married first before having children. It was normal to respect authority figures and obey the law. Whether or not we saw these as Christian values, we knew they worked. When the government’s policies incentivized something different, the society began to show cracks.
One of those cracks was something called “the generation gap.” Families of faith often avoided the gap. But faith was declining in America. The generation gap was not simply due to normal teenage rebellion. Everything in society seemed to be pushing the generations apart: drugs, free sex, music, Hollywood, even higher education. California state universities were teaching students to hate and rebel against America, capitalism, ‘the patriarchy, and the traditional family. The hard leftist ideology at certain universities drove some students to violence and led others — the peace-loving ones — to live in drug-infested streets as hippies.
The US Supreme Court handed down decisions banning official prayers in public schools and upholding abortion rights. Feminists’ were unsuccessful in passing the Equal Rights Amendment. But their effort, along with the enactment of a national no-fault divorce law, served to undermine marriage and the traditional family.
Then, in 2015, the High Court redefined marriage.
To “be fruitful and multiply” means to have children and form families. Families lead to the creation of other forms of government — cities and nations — in which we organize ourselves to use God’s gifts to flourish on the earth.
We have arrogantly rejected this foundation.