I see a very serious issue facing society and even moreso, mankind. It is the issue of the institution of the family. It is actually one of a conglomeration of issues that are yielded by the weakening of a fundamental human supposition. This is the belief that man and woman are two distinctive types of human beings with intrinsic values that make each unique. While I feel that the human in its wholeness as a divine creation with intrinsic value is being emasculated, the weakening of the distinction between man and woman is an issue that has created many other issues, especially issues with the family. What is worse is that in a cyclical fashion, the failure of a family continues the trend by raising children without identities or a knowledge of who they are as people in the human family. Boys and girls who do not recognize the need to become, respectively, men and women in society will only continue the destructive course. The repercussions of this in society are countless: homosexuality, same-sex marriage, divorce, parentless families, abortion, prostitution, polygamous relationships, and essentially crime in general. This is all because of children who have never grown up in a functional family. The institution of the family must be kept lest society fall into a freefall of immorality where ethics is only situational and subjective.
It all starts with the basic human archetype. One doesn’t even have to believe in a deity to realize that man and woman are not alike in nature. There are qualities that each has that are unique and useful in conjunction with each other. Man is masculine and woman is feminine. Adding the spiritual component, we realize that man and woman are also intrinsically different from all other aspects of the earth. They have the capability to produce and experience abstract thoughts and ideas that no other creature can. This is where we get the institution of marriage, the uniting together of the two types of mankind. What society is doing is seeking to eliminate the distinction between man and woman, and thus the once obvious tradition of marriage. There are no longer roles that each sex is granted, and thus marriage is not needed to sustain life. I must say, that while most of my irritation in this issue would want to be aimed at homosexuality and same-sex marriage because it is such a controversial issue, it is actually less of a cause of the issues with family than it is an effect. The problem lies in the irresponsibility of men and women in society to pass the gender distinction on to the next generation. Instead, society has resulted to acceptance rather than guidance.
It has become very common for a child to be raised in a home with only one parent, which is often the mother. While a daughter without a father produces very serious issues in the daughter herself, a son raised without a father can and most undoubtedly will result in problems within society. I have heard more than once that the biggest population in prison is black males, and well over the majority of them grew up without a father. Most fatherless males grow up with misconstrued notions of what it means to be a man and what true masculinity is. Some may grow up in anger, aggression, and violence; or others as spinelessness and passive, continuing to remain boys despite a change in physical traits. The results are everywhere but in line with true masculinity. Worse yet, some enter adulthood with these problems despite growing up with a father. Of course, this is just the continuance of the cycle.
Men and women are not doing their duties as human beings, and society has seen consequences of this come out from the dark. As society accepts the merging of the genders, more ethical dilemmas will arise, only giving way to more subjectivism and acceptance of all people. As Christ followers, maintaining a Christian ethic, we are called to love, but to also seek justice. Love is not love if it lets others continue in the dark, and justice is not justice if it accepts the broken state of God’s creation. The solution is not easy. We cannot easily re-shift the broken paradigm of the family, but we can begin to listen to the turmoil it is causing and act accordingly out of love. We must insist on the ethic of family by exemplifying it in our lives; and we must seek love and justice by reaching out to the results of broken families.