Why the Modern Family is a Failed Experiment

So, one of the things we want to talk about, we like to lean in occasionally in these two things that are going on in the culture, kind of the spirit of the age, what are we talking about? What is hitting the family from a cultural perspective? And one of the things that a lot of people are realizing, both in the Christian world and the secular world, is that it feels like the modern family is a failed experiment. And this is a really critical thing for us to figure out what to do about, because oftentimes when people begin to come to that conclusion, you really have one of two choices. You can either go back and reform the family, like you lost something in the past that needs to be restored, or you need a revolution. Like the whole idea of family is flawed.

And this is why there’s so much at stake in this conversation around what was God’s blueprint for the family. And if God really wanted family to be a multigenerational team on mission, and we’ve replaced that with this idea of the family, as a collection of individuals and this experiment fails, then what is likely to happen is the culture is not going to suddenly wake up and say, let’s go back to the original blueprint because they don’t have that revelation. They’re not looking at what scripture is saying about the family. And so instead, they’re going to probably advocate for a revolution. And there are those who are saying this. This voice is kind of beginning to get louder in the culture. I came across one expression of this recently. Historian feminist, Linda Gordon said, “The nuclear family must be destroyed and people must find better ways of living together.”

That sounds like Star Wars.

“Whatever its ultimate meaning the breakup of families now is an objectively revolutionary process. No woman should have to deny herself any opportunities because of her special responsibilities to her children. Families will be finally destroyed only when a revolutionary social and economic organizations permit people’s needs for love and security to be met in ways that do not impose divisions of labor or any external roles at all.” And so this is, this is kind of what’s at stake. One of the reasons why, you know, one of the things what we are talking about is actually somewhat similar to what Linda Gordon is talking about is we both agree that the experiment has failed, but what Jeff and I are describing to you guys is that there is another pathway towards how to recover from this problem besides revolution, besides starting over and saying, the family’s failed to let’s go into some other experiment.

And that is restoration. We need to restore God’s original design for the family and the culture needs to see what these restored families look like. So it begins to really … The hope for what the family really is, what it’s supposed to be as that place of love, as a place that really does function well as really the only place where you can get a lot of these needs and matter the way that God really designed us to get a lot of our needs for love and for all of the different aspects of meaning that are really critical, that the family is supposed to fill, like this is something the family needs to step up and become, but it really is going to take rediscovering that blueprint.

Yeah. One last thing I’ll say, which is interesting is I don’t blame people for having this view, right? Because family has actually done nothing but be a disservice to them. Well, you think at the level of brokenness and sin and generational pain and hurt it’s at some level, you know, you can almost go into mythological places over the last couple thousand years of like everyone has that thing they need, they think they need to get over, right? Every mythological story, every big grand narrative always has that hump that you have to beat or achieve or climb over. And it sounds bad, but I feel like a lot of people actually frame their family past as that these days, meaning like their family wrecked them, their family hurt them. Their family is nothing more than brokenness. There’s only, they were either abused or hurt or traumatized or whatever.

And so their lot in life actually has only to have enough grit to overcome that. Right. If I can only actually shed the skin of my family and go into individualism, I’ll find healing, peace, growth, and blessing. That is a lot of people’s mental narrative. We might not say it as explicitly like that, but a lot of us believe that our life is trying nothing more than to find healing from the places in the past, which is usually the source of the family. But like you said, it’s not the actual proper view of family. That the reason that family picture is so broken is because that family picture was resting and being informed by individualism itself. So it’s kind of like a chicken or the egg thing as well as a failed modern experiment. And it’s not the biblical blueprint of a bigger picture, a bigger narrative and a bigger mission for what God actually has in his design. So that’s what I would give you guys today and to think about is exactly what Jeremy said. We’re actually all saying the same thing. We just believe this solution is actually going back, not going forward without it.

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