Family Matters


American politics is bound to get ugly the next couple months as both sides exchange blows on foreign policy and the economy ahead of November elections. But besides the occasional skirmish over same-sex “marriage,” the subject of family will be largely ignored.

Here’s why the subject ought to be front and center: America leads the world in dysfunctional family relationships. One third of American children are born out of wedlock. Sixty-five percent of new marriages will end in divorce—the highest divorce rate in the world among major countries. As a result, nearly 40 percent of our children are growing up without their biological father. (In 1960, it was just 7 percent.)

For black Americans, the figures are twice that bad. Yet, how rare it is for an African-American politician or opinion shaper to speak plainly about these appalling conditions. Actor-comedian Bill Cosby did a few months ago. And after many African-American critics upbraided him for it, he fired back by saying his detractors were trying to hide the black community’s “dirty laundry.”

Even as our leaders steer clear of the debate, average Americans know something is terribly wrong. According to a 1999 Shell poll, three fourths of Americans say they are dissatisfied with the honesty and standards of behavior in people, and two thirds think the standard of what is acceptable is getting worse. And the primary cause? Eighty-eight percent of those polled think families failing to teach children has been a major cause of moral decline. Seventy-two percent said parents have the biggest influence on a child’s moral standards and values—more than friends, teachers, religious leaders and television. Could this be why the crowds who witnessed Bill Cosby’s remarks actually cheered him on?

This issue of the Trumpet takes a hard look at the most important subject there is—the institution of family. Most of our readers are aware of the Trumpet’s unique perspective on the news. But perhaps you didn’t know how strong the family ties are behind the organization that produces this magazine. Long-time subscribers have undoubtedly noted several father-son surnames that have appeared in these pages (Flurry, Fraser, Hilliker, Malone). Many sons who have followed in the steps of their fathers to help produce the Trumpet now have children of their own. Not one married member of our staff has gone through a divorce. Only a few from our staff were victimized by divorce as a child.

This is not to say we are perfect fathers and mothers, or that we have perfect marriages with perfect children. But we are a family organization. And that adds to the uniqueness of what you are about to read.

God is a Family. He institutionalized family on the physical level so that we might better understand our role—along with that of every man, woman and child on Earth—within the God Family. In order to model our physical families after the perfect God Family example, we must live according to the laws of family revealed in Scripture.

The articles in this issue are based on that revealed truth. But the information is of absolutely no value unless you take it and begin to apply it in your own life—in your marriage—in your family.

We believe in this way of life. It really does work.