The Deterioration of Families in the United States
I just read a blog post by Bob Buford on the Leadership Network blog in which he summarized key ideas from the annual Aspen Ideas Festival that he attends. After gloating about the cooler weather he has enjoyed, Bob shares 12 key learnings from the current and future economic situation in America. I would encourage you to read the post and check out the resources Bob recommends.
One particular point grabbed my attention. In point #8, Bob writes:
Charles Murray and Robert Putnam (their books recommended below) both said the deterioration of Family Structure in America is our greatest issue. They spoke about the number of fatherless families whose children underperform in school, which, of course, affects their ability to get good jobs. Murray said, “The problem in education is not the teachers. It is what the teachers have to work with. You can’t dump misfit kids into schools and expect overworked teachers to raise them.”
Being both a parent and the husband of a public school educator, this issue resonates with me. Couple that with a quote I heard some years ago regarding the impact that the dismantling of the family structure has on the longevity of a society, it does more than resonate–it concerns me. Some questions immediately come to mind:
- What’s the solution to this trend? What really, practically must take place for things to turn around in our country?
- Is a turn around probable, or will we (as Bob later quotes from St. Augustine) receive God’s justice by “giving people what they want”?
- In a country where the ‘rights’ of the individual is exalted above the needs of the community, are healthy families and a healthy society even potential outcomes?
- Who has to be on board for lasting success? Who takes the lead?
I’d love to hear your thoughts on these questions. Moreover, if you are a church leader that is intentionally striving to strengthen families beyond an occasional encouraging word and an annual seminar/series/workshop (let’s face it, that’s not working for families in the church, much less those in our communities), I’d love to know more about what you’re doing.
And if you believe God has called you, mandated you to impact families in significant ways, and you’re looking to develop a robust model for doing so, check out Leadership Network’s Marriage Ministry InnovationLab where effective strategies will be shared and new models will be born to raise up healthy families.
And my prayer is that will lead to a healthier world.Image credit: FamilyMediationServices.com