“Indeed, of Zion it will be said,’This one and that one were born in her, and the Most High himself will establish her'(Psam 87:5).”
We just experienced our first Christmas together as a reunited family. Right before the holiday my family joined me from overseas after a two month separation. In addition, my oldest son moved here from California shortly thereafter after living apart from us for several years. While our new location and situation is a work in progress, having everyone together again is, to say the least, a wonderful development.
There is something about the traditional family unit that provides the possibility of healthy relationships and stability in the midst of a world that offers neither. It is true that there are a lot of dysfunctional traditional families out there, but who is to say that other structures such as cohabitation and having children out of wedlock offer a better chance for family health?
One study notes that unwed couples are economically and socially handicapped compared to those who are married. These couples tend to have less money and less education. They also have more problems with substance abuse and are more likely to suffer from depression.
But marriage and the traditional family unit isn’t enough to avoid these kinds of problems. The “something” that provides our traditional family with the prospect of being successful is the fact that Jesus Christ is its Head. The members of our familyall profess Christ, including Mom and Dad. With God in charge, we have hope. We can use our spiritual gifts within our family and therefore have a better chance of becoming unified and mature (Ephesians 5:7-13).
Our efforts to pursue godliness give us a better chance for success, also. Thriving godly people create joy,spread wisdom and justice and are self controlled. In addition, godly parents know how to handle their children (Proverbs 29:2,3,6-8,11,15).
On the other hand, families without God in their lives are caught in a trap (Proverbs 29:6). They are subject to deception, futile thinking and ignorance. As a result, these families are more likely to be desensitized and unrestrained in their actions (Ephesians 4:17-19).
Unfortunately, the trend is away from the traditional family. Twenty one percent of the couples in Finland, the country we just moved from, are cohabiting. The percentage is even greater in other Nordic countries. In Britain, married couples will soon be in the minority.
This trend doesn’t bode well for our world. What is even worse than the move away from the traditional family is the move away from God. What we need in Western society is a revival of maginificent proportions.