This entry is part 11 of 18 in the series: ‘A Better Story’ (Harrison)
- ‘A better story’ – intro
- ‘A better story’ – 1
- ‘A better story’ – 2
- ‘A better story’ – 3
- ‘A better story’ – 4
- ‘A better story’ – 5
- ‘A better story’ – 6
- ‘A better story’ – 7
- ‘A better story’ – 8
- ‘A better story’ – 9
- ‘A better story’ – 10
- ‘A better story’ – 11
- ‘A better story’ – 12
- ‘A better story’ – 13
- ‘A better story’ – 14
- ‘A better story’ – 15
- ‘A better story’ – 16
- ‘A better story’ – 17
The sexual revolution has, in effect, declared war on the weak, namely, our children.
As our communities become more fragmented, our education system more unequal, and our families more broken, the gap between the more privileged and the less privileged is becoming ever wider.
Here’s a stark fact: by the time they start pre-school, children from professional families will have heard 19 million more words than children from poor backgrounds.
Although many factors are at play, the stability of home life is a critical one. Data from the UK show that those in the highest socio-economic band are 48% more likely to marry than those in the lowest band.
The last great experiment in the dismantling of the traditional family took place just after the Russian revolution. In the end Stalin had to reverse the policy.
But is there any special magic to marriage? Well, let’s be clear that some traditional-style marriages are abusive, and some non-traditional arrangements are loving and nurturing. But this should not deter us from seeking the best solution overall. The evidence is clear: one the whole, children raised by two biological parents in a stable marriage do better than children raised in other family structures.
What is less clear is why this is so. Some think that marriage is just a marker for good parenting. Others argue that good parenting arises out of the culture of commitment that comes with marriage. This second approach seems convincing:-
Unfortunately, governments are not very good at promoting marriage. In fact, it is a particular calling for churches.
As the sexual revolution got under way in the 1970s, divorce rates rocketed. Now, they have more or less levelled out. But at the present time it is cohabitation that is the fastest-growing type of family structure in the UK. Of course, cohabiting couples can make great parents.
Twice as many couples who marry after having their fist child split up within ten years, compared with those who marry before having their first child.
Nearly half of all children born today will not be living with both natural parents by the time they reach the age of 16.
20% of break-ups arise from married couples who divorce. The other 80% arise from the break-up of cohabiting couples.
An important recent UK study showed that ‘18.1 per cent of those living in stepfamilies had significant mental health problems, compared to 15 per cent of those living with single parents and 6.6 per cent of those living with both natural parents.’
Very often, it is the fathers who are absent from their children’s lives:-
Glynn Harrison warns: ‘Don’t let the raw data lull you into complacency – this is simply an outrage.’
It is, alarmingly, the case that most children – especially boys- receive their sex education via pornography. The corrupting effects are frightening:-
While the sexual revolution may not be directly responsible for porn, its ideology is incapable of resisting it. Part of the reason is that, although it may be willing advise on ‘safe sex’, it is highly reluctant to consider the moral case against casual sex. It can talk about the mechanics, but not the meaning, of sex. It is unwilling, or unable to give an answer to the question, ‘What is sex for?’ Our children need a richer moral framework than that provided by generalisations about inclusion and diversity. Vague notions of ‘freedom’ and ‘being yourself’ will not work.
Harrison, Glynn. A Better Story: God, Sex And Human Flourishing . IVP. Kindle Edition.