A young mother walks into a room and where her two children are watching television. As the mother sits down on her couch she pulls out a book. After a few minutes, her children notice their mother reading. Immediately they turn off the movie they are watching and sit on the floor in front of her. Her children listen as she slowly reads from the book in her hand. Many years later, her daughter sits in a room with her new baby and reads from the very same book that her mother read to her every night after work. If one was to ask her why she did this, she would reply, “Whenever my mother read to me, I could feel her love for me. I want my child to feel my love for her as well.”
Children look up to their parents for love, support, and comfort. They incorporate their parent’s actions and words into their own behavior. Children who come from healthy family relationships have a desire to be like their parents. What would happen to a child, if when they looked up, there was no one there? What would happen if their parents were too interested in their own lives to care about the lives of their children?
Society has seen a huge change in the way that parents view and treat their children throughout time. Before the 18th century, some parents would abandon their children if those children were not assets to their lives. Parents were often more concerned with their own needs and survival than they were for their children. As time passed parenting started to change. People moved from being parent-centered to child-centered and then eventually to family-centered.
In today’s society many adults have started to move back towards parent-centered parenting and away from their children’s best interests. Many parents use their children as props for legalizing the redefinition of marriage. Kathy Faust recently went to the Supreme Court of the United States of America and shared her experience and feelings about growing up in a homosexual family. In her statement Faust said:
“Now we are normalizing a family structure where a child will always be deprived daily of one gender influence and the relationship with at least one natural parent. Our cultural narrative becomes one that, in essence, tells children that they have no right to the natural family structure or their biological parents, but that children simply exist for the satisfaction of adult desires.”
Family and marriage are a very hot topic in the United States today. If one was to ask a friend for the definition of marriage, they might hear something to the extent of “marriage is a committed relationship based off of love in which people are joined together by law.” Many believe that marriage is a way for the couple to be joined together and gain legal benefits. There is however another purpose for marriage. According to Jack Straw “Marriage is about a union for the procreation of children.”
When we remove children from marriage, we are moving toward removing children from society.
As the United States moves away from traditional marriage and towards what some refer to as “contemporary” marriage, families start to collapse. Many children are left behind simply because of the over emphasis on the sexual and emotional wants of their parents. Some couples even refuse to have children because in their eyes children are an inconvenience. Others, who have children, place their children in someone else’s care so the parents can devote more time to their careers or to personal time to fulfill their own desires. Then there are those parents who use their children as props for political statement to influence government policies and laws, such as homosexual marriage.
As couples move away from children and towards their own needs, the future generation of all societies withers away. The rising generation is becoming more aggressive and self-centered. Psychologist Oliver James notes that this is because people are placing their children in daycares instead of raising them themselves. These children are placed second to the needs of their parents. Other children who are used and abused face emotional trials that leave them scared and broken. These children tend to have a harder time acquiring the needed skills and character traits that will enable them to be an effective member of society.
Children need to be part of marriage. When a couple marries, they create not only a union, but a family. When a nation redefines marriage to be between any persons, they are ignoring the needs of children. According to a study done by Mark Regnerus, children who are raised in homosexual families face “a variety of forces uniquely problematic for child development” that children of heterosexual couples do not face. When marriage is redefined to include homosexual relationships children are put on the back burner. Dawn Stefanowicz wrote in her statement to the Supreme Court that “special-interest groups [who] support political and legal objectives toward same-sex marriage, [are] ignoring the horrendous inequality, permanent losses and prejudice to children in the name of adult sexual rights.”
It is not hard to see how parents are moving from a family-centered to a parent-centered relationship with their children. When children become the means to an end and not the purpose and outcome of family and marriage, society suffers. Children look up to their parents for an example, and if parents are forgetting their children, that cycle will be repeated. John W. Whitehead once said, “Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see.”
If this society is to last for another 200 years, parents need to move back towards family-centered parenting. Children need to be part of the family and not be seen as a means to an end or a nuisance. We begin by placing children’s needs before our own – in every circumstance – not only in our homes, but in our laws and policies. We begin this most important action by placing children back into marriage.