There is a statement that has been attributed to the ancient Greeks that goes, “The life of the nation is the life of the family writ large.” In other words, our nation is a reflection of what’s going on in American families.
Several years ago Dr. Nick Stinnett approached strong families and asked, “What makes you strong?” When the interview process had concluded, six qualities surfaced in a remarkably high percentage of those families:
- They expressed appreciation for one another.
- They demonstrated good communication patterns.
- The family spent time together.
- The members of the family were committed to the family.
- They had a high degree of religious orientation.
The family had the ability to deal with crises in a positive manner.
This is much needed advice. Divorce rates among people over fifty have doubled over the last twenty years (CNN). Overall, the divorce rate seems to be going down, but that may be due to the fact that for the last thirty-five years the decline in marriage has escalated tremendously. Today less than 60 percent of Americans are married (Alabama Policy Institute). It’s not because people are choosing a single lifestyle; they’re just choosing to live together without the commitment to marriage. Also, the number of children born out of wedlock is on the rise. Today only 66 percent of children in the U.S. are born in two-parent households (API). Last but not least, in 2015 the Supreme Court declared same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states.
We must go to the Bible to refresh our minds on what a family is. We need to learn about the commitment God expects from husbands and wives (Matt. 19:6-9). We need to study the role of parents in bringing children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Eph. 6:4). We need to define marriage as a lifelong covenant between a man and a woman (Gen. 2:24; Eph. 5:31-32).
Stronger families build stronger nations. If our nation is going to thrive, it will do so in proportion to the rise of godly homes.