Why a sterile modern world doesn't need tired tropes about "family idolatry."
This is a very tricky issue! My late wife was older than me - not surprisingly no children came even though we longed for them. I find it hard to respect an eminent Evangelical leader because he and his wife vehemently berated us for not adopting not long after we discovered we could not become parents naturally. AAAAARRRGGGHHH! And too many churches presume unfairly that single men in the church are single by choice - I was in my 30s getting married and my singleness was no choice! (In retrospect it was providential: I was 35 when my wife emigrated to the UK! And I met her through close Christian friends who arranged the meeting so that we might fall in love and get married: God was at work!) So lots of sensitive issues around all this folks! I just found Kevin de Young's argument odd because it is so Arminian - why have 5 children if in the providence of God you have five children who reject Christian faith (see the splendid article in today's TGC about church youth group members who go on to reject faith at University). Many of my Christian friends have atheist parents, many of my most godly friends have faithless children.
Everything my husband and I have felt, observed, and talked about. Thank you.
It's fascinating to see the tropes about the idolization of the family... when most single people I know still see family as a good and worthy pursuit! And they rather NOT be single. Rather have children. It's almost as though it's not a real concern about the church, but more a cover for a wound, which I would understand.
The past several month I've been reading research behind the plummeting birth rates. We would do well to encourage policy that supports marriage and children. And beyond financial factors, we would do well to soul search amongst the most hopeful people — the church — why so many of us are choosing very delayed child-rearing... or the preference of sterile marriages (aside from the stinging wound of infertility).
We have seen single friends who want to be married. And married friends who don't want kids (or don't want them for anytime soon... and certainly not too many.) Both are strong realities.
"But repenting of these destructive attitudes does not require adopting a compensatory one, in which there is no spiritual or social significance to building homes that raise up little futures. We don’t have to close one eye to reality in order to see each other with the other eye."
(The Decadent Society was such a fantastic book, as well.)
I remember reading (in Evan Welcher's book) the phrase: "Some of you should use social media" and it took me aback. I was so used to hearing what we should all do, or what we all shouldn't do, or what we all *could* do. The phrase made me really weigh it differently. Am I the *some* who *should* be using it?
I think the phrase "Some of you should" would be helpful in this context as well. One side is missing the should, and the other side is missing the some.