The Best Article About Family I’ve Ever Read

For the past 20 years I’ve scoured libraries, magazines, and the internet for others who are thinking about the implications of the breakdown of multigenerational families.

I can’t tell you how surprised I’ve been at how few resources exist on this topic.

It’s the main reason I chose to finally write Family Revision.

While I’ve expected one of the countless marriage and family writers and thinkers in the Christian world to address this topic, none seem to really understand how the transition from multigenerational family teams to nuclear families is at the root of so many of the other symptoms they discuss.

Well, the silence on this topic was suddenly broken yesterday and not from a traditional family publication but from David Brooks, the New York Times columnist writing for The Atlantic.

In an article nearly the length of a dissertation on this subject, Brooks masterfully exposes the root problem with the modern family.

I’d encourage each of you to take time to read the article.

We’re planning to do a series of podcasts on this article to mine the depths of Brooks’ many profound observations, but here’s a short snippet:

“When we discuss the problems confronting the country, we don’t talk about family enough. It feels too judgmental. Too uncomfortable. Maybe even too religious. But the blunt fact is that the nuclear family has been crumbling in slow motion for decades, and many of our other problems—with education, mental health, addiction, the quality of the labor force—stem from that crumbling. We’ve left behind the nuclear-family paradigm of 1955. For most people it’s not coming back. Americans are hungering to live in extended and forged families, in ways that are new and ancient at the same time. This is a significant opportunity, a chance to thicken and broaden family relationships, a chance to allow more adults and children to live and grow under the loving gaze of a dozen pairs of eyes, and be caught, when they fall, by a dozen pairs of arms. For decades we have been eating at smaller and smaller tables, with fewer and fewer kin.

It’s time to find ways to bring back the big tables.” – David Brooks


P.S. April and I are hard at work on a new podcast simply called “The Family Teams Podcast”. I can’t wait for you to hear the wisdom bombs April’s dropping in our conversations. Get ready!

This entry is a part of Jeremy’s Journal, a newsletter Jeremy sends out every Wednesday morning to encourage you on your parenting journey. You can sign up to get them every Wednesday here.

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