Have you ever paused to think about just how interconnected our social issues really are? Perhaps you’ve recognized that whether it’s issues involving life, marriage, parental authority, religious liberty, poverty or general morality, nearly every social ill we face today seems to flow naturally from one fatal tendency of man; that is, the tendency to exercise our sexual desires outside of the bounds prescribed by the One who made us. Without exception, the moment we do this, things begin to go awry.
You don’t have to be a religious person to recognize both the personal and societal harms that result from unrestrained sexual behavior. Its destruction lies everywhere and affects everyone, and all of us can see its negative impacts (abuse, rape, broken families, fatherlessness, betrayal, addiction, trauma, abortion, etc.). We may like to indulge our appetites for certain inclinations, but we never like the bitter consequences that follow. And even while much of what’s happening in our culture today is little more than our attempt to avoid these consequences (e.g. abortion, government subsidized contraception, special legal protections for sexual behavior, suppression of contrary religious viewpoints, etc.), the damage is inescapable.
In my work at The Family Foundation, I’ve become acutely aware of the interconnectivity of issues and how one’s view on human sexuality lies at the heart of most every issue we encounter. (Our five core values are Life, Marriage, Parental Authority, Religious Liberty, and Constitutional Government)
Consider just a few of these connections. Sex before marriage results in unintended pregnancies, which often lead to abortions, the majority of which are sought by younger unmarried women. Meanwhile, sex before marriage disincentivizes marriage, enabling individuals to enjoy a primary benefit of marriage without the corresponding responsibilities of commitment, fidelity, and financial support. This, among other things, leads to fatherlessness and a loss over time of what it means to be a father. Children who grow up without a father figure active in their lives are significantly more likely to end up in prison and impoverished. Children born to unmarried parents suffer the lack of security and stability that comes with the marriage bond.
Sexual relationships other than a married, monogamous man and woman dilute the understanding of the importance of marriage, distort the ideal standard for healthy human relationships, and destroy marriages and families. Adultery in marriage leads to insecurity, distrust and betrayal, often culminating in divorce. Divorce leads to at least a million other complications which need no extrapolation, but especially for the children of that union. Same-sex civil relationships purposefully deprive children the ability to have both a mother and a father, which every child deserves whenever possible. Growing up without a mother or a father impacts a person negatively in deep and profound ways which manifest themselves in many other areas.
Most of the threats to religious liberty in our culture today have been the direct result of the formal elevation of homosexuality or of a person’s subjective identification as something other than their biological sex. Whether it’s declining to participate in a same-sex “wedding” ceremony, the hiring of employees whose beliefs and life choices are consistent with the organization’s mission, maintaining separation among males and females in areas of bodily exposure, objecting to paying for others’ contraception drugs or devices, or resisting government coercion to perform an abortion or “sex change” operation (just to name a few), every one of these scenarios has been made a heresy or a crime as a direct outgrowth of this same source. And each time, religious freedom comes under direct attack.
Many of the issues involving parental authority confirm this same narrative. Whether it’s parents’ ability to be informed of and/or object to sexually explicit instructional materials for their children while in school, parents’ right to opt out of government-sponsored sex education, or parental notification before their child has an abortion or receives birth control drugs, unhealthy views about sex continue to threaten parental rights.
The connections are endless, I assure you. Yet for all of the problems we inherit as a result of our own or others’ unhealthy sexual behaviors, the good news is that we already know the solution.
It’s a simple yet profound formula: Preserve sex for a life-long monogamous marriage.
That’s the solution. And from it flows strong nuclear families, with a husband and wife, bearing (or adopting) and raising children in a loving stable home with a mom and a dad. If we’re smart and we really want to fix our problems, we will not reduce this concept to a “Leave it to Beaver” episode of days gone by. I challenge anyone to come up with a better idea. There aren’t any.
So then if that’s the case, why aren’t so many of us doing it? Well probably, among other reasons, because it’s hard. It takes a lot of work. And it compels us to not think of ourselves first, but to put other’s needs and desires ahead of our own. And yet as we are witnessing today and will continue to see in more glaring ways, the alternatives have infinitely more drawbacks and prove much harder in the end. And unlike our formula, they were not designed for human flourishing – which is what we’re all really striving for.
At The Family Foundation, our heart is for free people to flourish and prosper, and to live the healthiest and most fulfilling life they can live. So we have chosen to promote and protect the family. We have recognized that if we want to restore a broken culture and to maintain our freedom, we must restore the traditional nuclear family. There simply is no other way. And that’s good news for everyone.