Another Endangered Species
During the last couple of decades, our world has spent increasing amounts of time telling us that we need to take major steps to save our environment, to be sensitive to the animal creatures which share this planet with us! A number of “endangered species” lists have been published which include everything from the “big cats” of Africa to insects or rodents which share our own state. On those lists are the names of those creatures which will die out untimely unless we give them protection and provide special conditions for them.
Upon listening to many of the young people I encounter on a daily basis, there is something which should be added to the “endangered species” list. It’s a species whose survival at this time, I believe, is in serious doubt. It is a species whose extinction would be tragic and irreplaceable. This is not a biological creature but a sociological entity. That species is the American family.
The very existence of the family unit, a group of close-knit individuals, parents and children working together toward common objectives, is now threatened.
See the statistics! One out of every two marriages ends in divorce. One parent families are increasing in numbers much faster than two parent families. More and more children are being born in the country without the advantages of a stable, married parental unit. Fifty years ago, one out of thirty babies was born to a one parent family, today that figure is one in eight. The average American father spends seven minutes a day with his children, it is said; American husbands and wives spend an average of 28 minutes a week in serious dialogue.
From statistics like these one can ascertain that the American family unit is in trouble. Perhaps, it is already too late to save this most valuable social entity, American family. Perhaps this institution will also succumb to the mounting pressure which threaten its survival and it will become only a lost chapter in future history books.
I hope not. Most of us, particularly in the church, hope this will not happen because we have always believed that the survival of communities and nation are dependent on the strength of the family unit.
With the help of our God and for the sake of our children, let us strive to protect, maintain and restore this “endangered species”, the American family.