In the past few weeks I have been doing a series on Mass Shootings. Sadly in that same time there have been at least four more incidents across the U.S., the most recent hitting very close to home here in the Portland area. This just proves how pertinent of an issue it really is. I have written about the three most common issues discussed after each shooting; Gun Control, Mental Health, and Media Violence. Although I do believe all of these are in some way relevant I feel that they are barely scratching the issue of the real problem.
So what is the real problem? What is the root?
I believe it is the breakdown of the American family.
In Genesis 2 the Bible records the creation of man and woman and in verse 23-24 the following is recorded:
The man said,
“This is now bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called ‘woman,’
for she was taken out of man.”
That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.
Biblically this was established before there was government, before there were laws, before there was church or any form of religion. A man should leave his parents and become "one flesh" with his wife. The family is the very root of all forms of society and when that root breaks down there will be repercussions through all areas of society. I wrote about this and the ways the enemy is attacking our families here.
There are many ways that our families are breaking down but I will touch on two that I feel are very important in our society.
Single Parent Families
To be clear from the start, I am not blaming the single parents here. I admire the job that single parents do and am amazed at how well many of them are able to balance work, family, and everything else. However, no matter how good they are, they can not make up for having two interested participating parents in the home. God created the family to have father and mother and together they are the perfect combination. When one is absent, whether physically, emotionally, or mentally, the plan is disrupted. There are many reasons for single parent families including; divorce, death, births outside of wedlock, etc. Some are unavoidable and there are some marriages that probably are better off to be broken when it comes to abuse and constant infidelity, but according to Ground Spark the number of single mothers increased from three million to 10 million between 1970 and 2000. That's an increase of more than 7 million children who do not have a father figure in their home.
So what is the solution? Long term I believe we need to return to a greater respect of the sanctity of the bonds of marriage. Short term I think we need the good fathers that are there to start reaching out the those children who don't have fathers active in their lives. I didn't grow up with a father who was active in my life but I can name several of my friends fathers, as well as my uncle who lived close, as people who represented what a father should be. I feel that we need to do the same for the kids and teenagers around us.
Parents Not Taking Responsibility
Some parents are there but are not taking responsibility for raising their children. When their children are young they put them in front of a tv or a video game to keep them quiet. Then they give them to a babysitter while they are working. then when they get older they expect the teachers at school to raise their children. Their way of taking responsibility is to ban whatever they think is inappropriate from their house leaving their children free to find out about those things elsewhere. They never sit down and have a serious conversation with their children. They never help their children work through the issues that they face in the world.
I talk about this problem in my post about Media Violence and in my post about a recent controversial book. I believe that parents need to take responsibility for raising their own children and step up and have the tough conversations with them. Teach them how to make their own choices, teach them about safety and to respect human life. Inspire them towards visions and goals that improve the world and teach them to be selfless rather than selfish.
As mentioned above there are many other issues that I feel are contributing to the break down of our families but if we can address these two then that would be a huge step towards dealing with the root of the problem.