The home is the basic unit of any society. Each person is an individual building block of his nation’s society and culture. Homes produce, rear, nurture and train the children who become the adults that take their places in society. The home, therefore, is the laboratory, the incubation chamber for the next generation of a nation. The culture of a nation will reflect the character of the homes that make it up. America’s homes are crumbling before our very eyes. Our homes are being turned upside down…
Developing a strong, healthy culture requires a base of strong, healthy homes. But instead of emphasizing the need to build and maintain strong homes, our culture is actually contributing to the breakdown of the basic unit of our society. A number of factors that are characteristic of our culture are involved in the breakdown of our homes.
One of the most basic contributing factors is the widespread acceptance of couples living together, even raising children, as though they were married, yet outside of marriage. Not only is such an arrangement accepted in our culture, it is often celebrated.
A number of excuses for not getting married are offered by such couples, but the basic reason is a lack of commitment. Many insist that they truly love each other and don’t need a marriage license to prove their love. But if they truly love each other and want to spend the rest of their lives together, why not get married? The question is followed by stammering and stuttering or silence! The simple answer is, they are not truly committed to each other. One or the other or both partners in the relationship want to be able to get out of the relationship without the legal entanglements of a marriage license. It is no surprise that such relationships typically do not last.
This kind of relationship ignores and disrespects God’s law on sexual morality. Living together and being engaged in a sexual relationship as husband and wife outside of marriage falls under the definition of fornication or sexual immorality in God’s word. It is consistently condemned in scripture (1 Cor. 6:9-10; Gal. 5:19-21; Eph. 5:3-5; Col. 3:5-6; Rev. 21:8). It is repeatedly stated that anyone living in such a relationship will not be in Heaven. Many protest that such a standard of morality is old-fashioned and out of date. But God’s word does not change, and it is just as relevant today as when it was first written.
Another contributing factor to the breakdown of the home is actually a byproduct of the living together outside of marriage arrangement. Children born out of wedlock are socially and morally handicapped in that they grow up without the example of a Dad who’s married to their Mom. Their experience of home life is a dysfunctional one. When they grow up they’re more likely to establish a dysfunctional home of their own and pass that experience on to their children.
According to the federal government’s 2012 statistics on births in our nation, 40.7% of all births were out of wedlock. Broken down, it was: 72.2% among blacks, 53.5% among Hispanics and 29.4% among non-Hispanic whites. These figures are staggering! They bear consequences.
A child born out of wedlock is more likely to grow up in a single parent home, experience unstable living arrangements, live in poverty, have lower educational attainment, engage in sex at a younger age, give birth out of wedlock, achieve lower income status as an adult, have a greater likelihood of a troubled marriage and is more prone to divorce than those born to married parents. Continuing down this path, we will reach a point of critical mass where we will not have enough strong, healthy homes to support the ongoing integrity of our culture. Our culture will collapse as a result. We have already come a long way down that path.
The next article in this series will continue to look at factors that are contributing to the destruction of our homes…
Gary L. Hutchens