UFI

More than two Parents: Not so New and Not so Enlightened

In Abstinence, adoption, Child Development, Choice, Cohabitation, Courts, Diane Robertson, Families, father, Feminism, Free Speech, Freedom, Government, Marriage, Parental Rights, Sexual Freedom, The Family, Values on July 29, 2015 at 3:10 pm

child 3by Diane Robertson

In 2013 California made it legally possible for children to have more than two parents. More states will surely follow suit. The diversity-in-family-structure-loving-liberals think this is enlightened. They’re working hard to bring society out of the dark ages of Married mother and father families into the “Brave New World” of many parents.

Except this idea isn’t so brave and isn’t so new. Some children have already had a similar experience through divorce and they are speaking outThe Ruth Institute is collecting stories from children of divorce. As it turns out divorced couples, remarried couples, step families, broken families, and shared custody don’t actually feel so enlightened to the children who grew up in these situations.

One such personal story, told by Jennifer Johnson, illustrates what it actually feels like growing up with 5 parents. Johnson’s parents divorced when she was about three. Her mother remarried once and her father remarried twice. Johnson explains what her life was like growing up with five parents:

“it means going back and forth between all those households on a regular basis, never having a single place to call home during your most tender and vulnerable years. It means having divided Christmases, other holidays, and birthdays–you spend one with one parent, and another with the other parent, never spending a single holiday or birthday with both parents. Imagine having each of your parents completely ignore the other half of you, the other half of your family, as if it did not even exist. Meanwhile, imagine each parent pouring their energy into their new families and creating a unified home for their new children. These experiences give you the definite impression of being something leftover, something not quite part of them. You live like that on a daily basis for 18+ years.”

So why would so many adults push for this type of family brokenness and even make it possible for many adults to have legal control over a child? It’s called selfishness. Adults want this so they can have children and have sex with whoever they please and at whatever stage of life they wish. They want this sort of life legal so their partner can make medical and educational decisions for their children. They want convenience for themselves, but not their children.

Johnson writes about a woman, Masha Gessen, a prominent LGBT activist, who grew up with a married mother and father and speaks frankly about how her children have 5 parents. Gessen bemoans the fact that there, as yet, isn’t a way for her children to have all of their parents legally:

“I have three kids who have five parents, more or less, and I don’t see why they shouldn’t have five parents legally… I would like to live in a legal system that is capable of reflecting that reality, and I don’t think that’s compatible with the institution of marriage.”

Johnson’s replies to Gessen simply calling out the truth of the matter:

“If what I had is so great, then why don’t they want it as children? Here’s my conclusion: they want it as adults but not as children. They want the benefits of the socially conservative family structure when they are children. But as adults, they want sexual freedom, or at least they want to appear ‘open minded’ and ‘tolerant’ about others sexual choices, even at the expense of children, even though they themselves would never want to live under what they advocate. It’s a bizarre sort of a ‘win-win’ for them, I guess.”

Children don’t need more than two legal parents. Society doesn’t need diversity in family structure. All children and all of society needs responsible adults who marry before having children, work daily on a loving relationship and together raise their children in stable, happy homes. It can be done and would be the source of a truly “enlightened” society!

Marriage: The Anti-Poverty Weapon

In Abstinence, Birth Rate, Child Development, Choice, Cohabitation, Families, father, Marriage, motherhood, Sexual Freedom, The Family, Values on July 28, 2015 at 9:07 am

wedding ringsby Carol Soelberg

It was all over the news last week: “U.S. poverty heads toward highest level in 50 years.” Other countries around the world, notably Greece and Spain, continue to struggle with insolvency and surging rates of poverty. Economists and other experts point to all sorts of reasons: unemployment, the global recession, strains on government safety nets, globalization, outsourcing, automation…. But I have yet to read anything this week that points to the greatest contributing factor to poverty – the breakdown of marriage and family.

Forgotten in the conversation is the fact that marriage is the strongest anti-poverty weapon that we have! In fact, several years ago the liberal-leaning Brookings Institution pointed out that “the proliferation of single-parent households accounts for virtually all of the increase in child poverty since the early 1970s.” (1)

In 2003, noting the dramatic difference in poverty rates between married-couple families and single mother families, Robert Rector of The Heritage Foundation wondered what would happen if the parents of 3.93 million children living in poverty had married. So using the marriage rates from 1960, he theoretically “married” those parents. The result: instead of 3.93 million children living in poverty, we would have 0.75 million children living in poverty. You can see the details of his analysis here.

Data from the U.S. Census Bureau: A child living with two married parents is more than three times less likely to be living in poverty than a child living with either a single or cohabiting mother, or with both unmarried biological parents. (2)
 

Non-marital childbearing and cohabitation at the center of the problem

Single parent homes are rapidly becoming the norm. As the ranks of the unwed mothers climb (41 percent of all births in the U.S. and over 70 percent in the African-American community), no one seems to dare mention the critical importance of marriage. Even though much is said about the poverty of unwed mothers and their children, there is an extreme reluctance to mention pre-marital sex, non-marital childbearing and cohabitation as a focal point of the problem.

Few want to discuss how, on average, those who live together without the benefit of marriage will see a 58 percent reduction in their lifetime wealth relative to those who are married.(3) [75 percent reduction in wealth for those who never long-term partner or marry at all.] Or, that the poverty rate for children living in cohabiting households is about five times the poverty rate of married couple households [31 percent vs. 6 percent]. (4)

Few are willing to talk about the effects of divorce and its affect on wages and the economic stability of individuals, particularly women and children, nor its impact on family wealth overall.

This much we know and must talk about: 

No other social institution has ever provided or will ever provide the same level of benefits as marriage between a man and a woman. Objective studies have consistently shown that man-woman marriage is, among other things, the optimal and most effective means of (1) bearing children; (2) raising children and providing for their physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual welfare; (3) transforming males into husbands/fathers and females into wives/mothers; (4) bridging the male-female divide; and (5) channeling healthy sexual activity and discouraging unhealthy sexual activity. (5)

It must be stated repeatedly: strong marriages and families are an essential part of strong and healthy economies. 

You and your family are part of the solution

A wise man has said: “No success can compensate for failure in the home.” By the same token, we directly and severely limit our success as individuals and as nations when we neglect the home and don’t see its success as a key to our prosperity!

The loss of human capital that occurs from family breakdown stunts economies in so many ways, but most tragic is the human misery we inflict upon ourselves and upon our children.

Here’s what you can do: 

1. Prepare for marriage or work at making your own marriage successful.
2. Have children and put their growth into happy, productive citizens at the center of your busy lives.
3. Recognize that no marriage or family is perfect, but strive to create and model a healthy and successful family.
4. Get educated and speak up. Family capital is a very real thing. Share the message of not only the social and religious importance of marriage and family, but make people aware of the fiscal impact of strong families.
5. If you are just promoting conservative fiscal public policy and not emphasizing the importance of the social issues, then you are missing an important part of the solution.
6. At every opportunity, advocate for traditional marriage and mother-father families. As always we at United Families International welcome and need your support as we strive to do the same.

Some Thoughts About Honey and Vinegar

In Choice, Families, Free Speech, Marriage, Values on July 27, 2015 at 7:45 am

married couples upsetby Rebecca Mallory

      ” You can catch a fly with honey a lot easier than with vinegar” is no truer than with a happy marriage. We’ve all heard and read countless derogatory comments about marriage lately. “It’s old-fashioned”, “women don’t need men”,  “marriage ties you down”. Belittling each other in public sadly seems to be the norm. The other night I was with some friends at dinner and we were listening to (ok totally eavesdropping) on a conversation next to us. These five women were talking rather loudly about  their spouses. Basically, they were “husband bashing”. They were literally trying to outdo each other with examples of the dumb things their husbands had done and what failures they were at being a spouse. I don’t know about you, but that kind of talk makes me cringe. I detest hearing someone belittle their spouse or children in public or to other people. Of course these women were laughing hysterically as they each tried to “one up” the last comment. Almost a “my husband’s worse than yours” contest. I even wondered how much of it was exaggerated to get a laugh. Even if it were all true, who wants to hear it? So destructive. I understand that not everyone has a perfect marriage and it sometimes helps to vent and get support, but seriously? No good comes from this kind of vile talk.

older married couple I used to have my own business doing Ad Specialty items for companies. I guess I was expected to wine and dine clients and take them to lunch, etc. I didn’t really enjoy that and rarely did it. My assistant and I used to go to lunch almost three times a week and laugh ourselves sick. That was way more fun. However, there was one client I thoroughly enjoyed taking to lunch. He was in his upper 60’s or getting very close to retirement age. We always went to Black Angus and always got the prime rib. As soon as we sat down he would start talking about his dear wife Virginia and how he totally idolized her. He would almost get teary as he reverently talked about their special marriage, about how she was the best cook, the best housekeeper, the funniest, best grandmother, etc. On and on. I absolutely loved it and loved hearing him. The first time I met her, I literally thought she’d be on a pedestal. He put her there in my mind. Though she wasn’t literally on a pedestal, I held the highest regard for Virginia because of what her husband had said over and over and over. Though that was over 15 years ago, I still have so much respect for this sweet man who adored his wife and wanted the world to know it.

What about the opposite? I know several people who can’t say anything good about their spouse. “He’s lazy, he doesn’t make enough money, she’s a slob, she’s gained so much weight, the house is always a mess, he’s never home, he doesn’t do this, he doesn’t do that.” Honestly! Such a downer! What spouse would possibly look forward to going home and being assaulted with that?  It makes me think way less of the person blathering on and on than the poor spouse in question. Someone who speaks kindly and positively about their spouse skyrockets to the top of character in my book. I try to avoid people who are negative and talk down about their spouse. It’s like someone grabbed the front of my shirt and started pulling me down, down, down. Such a drag!

If you’re one of those people who “spouse bash” consider this for a minute. What if you made up with him/her between the time you bashed him/her with your friends and now, but your friends don’t know things are better? Because of you, they still think he’s/she’s a jerk. Is that fair? And more importantly, what about you? “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” (John 8:7) Is that you? Because it certainly isn’t me. I am a flawed person just as is my spouse. Two imperfect beings trying to create a life together.  Each makes mistakes on a daily basis, yet each just wants to be loved and accepted despite those flaws.  Would it be so difficult to just let some things slide once in a while and “don’t sweat the small stuff?” My daughter has a friend who literally screams at her husband the second he walks in the door until bedtime. Guess what he does now? Gets up early to leave “for work” but actually just goes to his mom’s house and hangs out because he doesn’t want to hear his nagging wife. He stays as late as possible at work too. Who wouldn’t?

So how much different would your marriage be if you immediately stopped gnawing and picking at the not so perfect things your spouse does? That’s what you expect him/her to do for you, right? (No “yea, buts” inserted here). Do you want to be judged by how you judge others? I sure don’t! Kind of puts it in perspective, huh? Picture your spouse sitting around with a bunch of friends firing off the dumb things you’ve done lately. Not good, and totally unfair.

husband helping wife In this world of cynicism and hardness, people are starving for a kind word of encouragement; especially to and from those we love most. I just saw a quote on Facebook that said, “A kind word makes you the most beautiful person in the world, no matter what you look like.” Isn’t that the truth? We’re in the middle of building a house so my husband is completely hooked on an HGTV show called “Fixer Upper”. This couple Joanna and Chip Gaines from Waco, Texas are the hosts. They are a little cheesy at times but so sweet to each other and their four small children. It’s such a breath of fresh air to see such love and admiration between husband and wife. And boy, are they talented!!

So bottom line is this. Marriage is vitally important; especially with the persecution  and downplay of importance that this sacred institution has been assaulted with lately. Sit down right now and make a list of all the great and positive things about your spouse. Better yet, praise him/her out loud for these great things! It may be a challenge at first but once you’re on a roll, I’ll bet you think of a ton of things to be grateful for. I’d do it here for my spouse but it would be way too long. (He might be looking over my shoulder so I threw that in!) Here’s the best one though, he loves me for who I am, flaws and all. What a great guy, huh? Honey or vinegar… Which do you prefer?

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