Is the traditional family structure in America a thing of the past? In some ways, apparently so, but it’s not time for Christians to spazz out. It is time for us to step in and step up!
Statistics from the Pew Research Center show that the traditional nuclear family arrangement, children living with a working father and a stay-at-home mother in their first marriage, is decreasing more and more while divorce rates, single parent households, remarriage, cohabitation between unmarried adults, and children being born out of wedlock continues to increase more and more.
According to Pew1, just sixty years ago, almost 8 out of every 10 children in America had the benefit of living with both parents who were likewise married. Today, roughly 4 out of 10 children in America know this as their reality.
Likewise sixty years ago, 5 out of every 10 American families operated where the father worked and the mother was a stay-at-home mom. Today this is true for only 14% of American families.
Because most of us can rationally and even experientially affirm the strong link between healthy family structure and positive outcomes for children and communities, we naturally and correctly gasp at these figures. We know that children have the best chance to flourish and reach their potential when they have the blessing of belonging to a home where both mom and dad are there, married, and thriving.
But it’s absolutely critical we remember that as Christ Followers we’re not spectators on the sidelines, we’re contributors in the game!
This, of course, is no game! It’s likewise no dilemma for God!
He’s working in and through Christ Followers just like you, and congregations just like yours, to bring about the change that is so desperately needed in our nation and in our culture. But His goal is not necessarily to keep the ladies at home where they’re perpetually barefoot and pregnant. His goal is not necessarily to put a hammer or briefcase in the hands of the guys so they can merely pay bills. His goal is to get His son Jesus at the center of your life so He can change you, and simultaneously work through you to bring change to others.
Are you connected and contributing to a healthy, Jesus-centered local church where your growth and positive influence can be both fostered and compounded? I am absolutely convinced that healthy Christ-followers who are growing in the Gospel, sharing life as family within their congregation, and living on mission together is God’s primary way to bless, build, and rebuild the family… and our nation.