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Archive for the ‘Marriage’ Category

Pandora’s Box Wide Open

In Child Development, Choice, Civil Unions, Constitution, Courts, Families, Free Speech, Freedom, Gender, Gender Identity, Government, Health Care, Homosexuality, Human Rights, Marriage, Media, Parenting, Religious Freedom, Same-Sex Marriage, Sexual Freedom, Supreme Court, The Family, Values on June 29, 2015 at 11:46 am

pandora's box 2by Rebecca Mallory

     Well America, here we are, front row seat witnesses of what happens to a society that throws all morals and righteousness out the window. These past few weeks have proven to the world that words and laws mean absolutely nothing to America’s Supreme Court. These 9 unelected judges have illegally declared law from the bench based on the most visceral and loud voices putting pressure on the majority and forcing their agendas. Two devastating rules have changed the very fiber of America into more of a European socialist society. The rulings on Obamacare and same sex marriage have “fundamentally transformed” our country.  An incredible number of uninformed Americans have been deceived into believing that “anything goes” and that you can do and declare to be anything you want while everyone else is supposed to accept it.Those thrilled with these rulings and waving “Love Wins” banners happily through the streets have no idea what these decisions mean. It has nothing to do with love at all. It has to do with a constitution which has stood for hundreds of years and protected the rights of all Americans, to now shredding its principles and stomping on the very fibers of morality that made this country great. Personal responsibility is passé, as long as you know the right people who will look the other way and even applaud if you can pull it off. So I give. You win. Here’s my new gig.

     Though I was born a white Caucasian female, I am now a black, transvestite American Indian monkey trapped in a man’s body. I hope you’re not shaking your head in disgust because if you are, you’re a bigot. You have no right to hold any other opinion other than admiration for my “coming out”. Just think of all the government freebies I’ll get from my great revelation! I may even get my own TV show or book deal! Think of the free college tuition I’ll be eligible for! All the free passes I’ll get from my erratic behavior! I can wear a dress when I feel like it, pants or a clown suit when I feel like it, use any public restroom I want to, and pretty much do what I want. And you can’t do a darn thing about it! Especially you evil white privileged dudes who are finally out of power.

These past few weeks we have witnessed numerous atrocities for which no one has been held accountable. A white woman pretends she’s black to become a leader with NAACP, a former Olympic gold medalist decides he’s a woman, politicians run for president who have blood on their hands as they lie, cheat, and steal merely to further their own agenda. And worst of all perhaps, time honored and sacred belief of “marriage between one man and one woman” is stolen from the last bastion of freedom on the earth by the stroke of 5 unelected pens. Think elections don’t matter? Think again.

     Even if you are part of the 5% of people who are giddy from these decisions, by allowing the Supreme Court this unprecedented and dangerous authority, just wait until they decide on something that you don’t agree with. This court is supposed to judge on existing law; not make law from the  bench. But that is exactly what they did. It’s criminal. I’ve spoken to many people who have legally immigrated to America to get away from a corrupt government or socialist society. They are disheartened and in awe that so many Americans would follow like sheep and let our freedoms slip between our fingers so casually. Meanwhile… I’m going to go collect on some of my government freebies. If you’re one of the few law-abiding Americans that still has a job and pays taxes, I thank you for funding my new “coming out” life. My biggest dilemma though is.. who am I today? Hmmmmm…. guess I’d better turn on the Kardashians and find out what’s cool. Then I’ll decide what I believe.

      We’re in trouble America. Please take stock of your life and what you believe. Your values and principles are in jeopardy. Now more than ever, we must love and be accepting of those who do not believe as we do. But that doesn’t mean we have to change our standards. There is a definite difference between right and wrong. Teach your children through your actions what your values and principles are. Let them know that words do mean something and that there are consequences for their choices. Don’t use the Supreme Court as an example though. They’ll be totally confused. Buckle up America, bumpy ride ahead.

You Can Never Get Enough of What You Don’t Need

In Choice, date rape, Domestic Violence, Education, Families, Freedom, Marriage, Media, Pornography, Prostitution, Research, Sexual Freedom, Technology, The Family, Values, Violence on June 26, 2015 at 5:48 am

marriage unhappyby Tashica Jacobsen

“You can never get enough of what you don’t need, because what you don’t need can’t satisfy you.” I first heard this statement in my family relations class as we discussed satisfying our children’s developmental needs. I knew that this idea applied to other aspects of our health like diet, but never before had I made the connection to our emotional needs. For example a child needs attention, but negative attention in the form of teasing, bullying or physical aggression will never satisfy those needs, even if an unlimited supply is offered to him.

This idea is also true for sexual intimacy. To satisfy the need for intimacy another person in a committed caring relationship is required. Pornography, on the other hand lacks this and so cannot satisfy our need. However it is readily available, and the porn industry continues to thrive, providing people with an extremely harmful counterfeit of intimacy.

Even if an endless supply of pornography is offered, the basic need for intimate contact will never be satisfied because it is not what our bodies’ actually need. Not only will it never satisfy, but it has the opposite effect. Leaving individuals feeling isolated, alone, and helpless. When individuals buy into this lie they waste countless hours and ruin lives chasing after something which is unable to fulfill the need they are trying to satisfy.

It will never be enough

Pornography will never be enough because it can’t meet the actual need that is being addressed. It is a false substitute for intimacy, and one with devastating consequences. Not only does it individualize sex, it is addictive and causes negative changes in attitudes and behaviors.

Sexual experiences have been described as a funnel. Individuals enter into it whether in a healthy or unhealthy relationship and a narrowing process takes place. Sex when presented in a healthy way, is two individuals coming together and sharing their all with another person, being sensitive to each other’s needs and uniting body, heart, and mind. When a married couple enter into the funnel during sexual intimacy they enter in together. Throughout their daily routine they deal with bills, laundry, work, children, and meals. All these things they share together, and sex allows them to bring all that and then participate in a uniting act where they can focus on each other’s, needs as well as their own.

Pornography gives an incorrect view of sex that can never be met in real life. It portrays sex on the individuals’ terms. Viewers start to think of sex as being solely based on their individual terms, and their partner as only there to satisfy their wants. Bad days, health concerns, hectic schedules, embarrassment or pain are not considered. When this happens the individual focuses only on themselves. They are alone, typically pornography is done in isolation, away from spouse and family; driving a further wedge between families.

When the brain is exposed to these unnatural images it starts to change in response to them. When a person is looking at porn the unhealthy levels stimulus flood the brain with high levels of a chemical called dopamine. The brain is not used to such high levels being released and so it adjusts to the levels by getting rid of receptors. Few receptors in the brain means more porn is needed to reach the same levels as before. This leads to addicts which causes the addicts to view material more often and view harder material.

When these chemicals are released the brain creates a pathway, which helps it remember how to get back to where it was before. These changes in the brain cause individuals to become impulsive when it comes to pornography. This combination of factors leads individuals in a downward spiral of addiction that has lasting effects on their lives.

Pornography alters the way that individuals think about sex and can even effect how their bodies respond to sexual stimulus. It changes the idea of what sex is supposed to be and what expectation people have when it comes to sexual encounters. Pornography makes it harder to have a lasting relationship, and addicts show that they are less attached to their partners and more critical of them. In fact many addicts prefer the pornography rather than actual sex with their partner, which causes confusion and heartache in a relationship.

Viewing these harmful images, also changes the way that people perceive sex should be. Women are viewed as sex objects, violence is intertwined with sex. Addicts think that extreme and unhealthy sexual acts are more common than they really are, and that they are socially acceptable. Which in turn fuels disrespect, prostitution, and rape.

Satisfying the Need

Our society is becoming so saturated with pornography that it’s hard to even go shopping without seeing it in store windows, on shoppers’ t-shirts, and on advertisements. This pornographic culture sometimes takes away people’s ability to even make the decision to avoid it on their own. Our need for intimacy can be handled in different ways. And by avoiding pornography we actually allow ourselves to respond to the things we actually need. By waiting for and taking the steps necessary to ensure a happy healthy marriage, individuals can find satisfaction in their sex life which promotes wellbeing in other aspects of their life.

Is Redefining Marriage Removing Children from Society?

In adoption, Birth Rate, Child Development, Choice, Constitution, Courts, Families, father, Gay rights, Gender, Government, Homosexuality, Human Rights, Marriage, motherhood, Parenting, Population Control, Research, Same-Sex Marriage, Sanctity of Life, Sexual Freedom, Sexual Orientation, Supreme Court, The Family, Values on June 25, 2015 at 10:29 am

society without childrenBy Trishia Van Orden

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.

 

 

Waiting on the Supreme Court

In Child Development, Choice, Constitution, Courts, Diane Robertson, Families, father, Freedom, Gender, Government, Homosexuality, Marriage, Parenting, Research, Same-Sex Marriage, Sexual Freedom, Supreme Court, The Family, Values on June 24, 2015 at 4:31 am

supreme-court-justicesby Diane Robertson

Before this month is over, the U.S. Supreme Court will rule on marriage laws for all 50 states. The questions the Supreme Court must answer are:

  1. Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex?
  2. Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out of state?

Given the history behind the actions of the Supreme Court concerning marriage, the majority of people agree that the Supreme Court will rule that:

  1. The 14th Amendment requires states to license marriages for any two people, and that
  2. The 14th Amendment requires same sex marriages in other states must be recognized by all states.

While the Supreme Court Justices are supposed to remain impartial, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg did not feel like that was necessary with this case. In May, she presided at a same sex marriage, and used words to make it apparent to the audience that she thinks that same sex marriage is a right granted by the Constitution of the United State. The New York Times reported that:

“The most glittering moment for the crowd came during the ceremony. With a sly look and special emphasis on the word ‘Constitution,’ Justice Ginsburg said that she was pronouncing the two men married by the powers vested in her by the Constitution of the United States.”

While we may know what one justice believes, no one can say for sure what the ruling the 9 justices will come up with. But one thing is for certain: children do best when raised by their mother and father. In the past the state recognized marriages because marriage is the best place for children to grow up healthy, and healthy children make societies prosper. In another two weeks, the nation may disregard the needs of children by redefining marriage into a union that prioritizes romantic love and sexual companionship above the needs of children. But the fight will not end there. Many people will stand strong on the side of children and their needs for a mother and father.

 

 

 

Who is Affected in the Fight?

In adoption, Birth Rate, Child Development, Choice, Cohabitation, Courts, Families, father, Feminism, Free Speech, Freedom, Gay rights, Gender, Homosexuality, Marriage, Parenting, Research, Same-Sex Marriage, Sexual Orientation, Values on June 23, 2015 at 5:00 am

baby nappingby Emily Black

When people hear that I am an advocate for traditional marriage, the first question that bursts forth is always, “Well, do you actually know anyone who is gay?” as if my not knowing anyone would be reason to condemn my stance on same-sex marriage. As it turns out, my brother who I am very close to, came out to me a week before my wedding. He had invited me out for ice cream and as our conversation progressed he admitted he had been in a homosexual relationship with a man whom he now lived with and planned to marry once same-sex marriage became legalized in Utah. This experience happened in late July of 2014 and same-sex marriage was legalized in Utah later in October of the same year. My brother has since been united with his partner and they have dreams of one day adding children to their union.

You may now be wondering if my stance has changed regarding same-sex marriage since this incident. The answer is no, and I will tell you why.

Equality

It seems as though we have heard about the issues of feminism, equality, and same-sex marriage much more in this decade than ever before. Of course issues of equality have been around for several decades and the most prevalent arguments seem to be traced back to the civil rights movement, which turned into the women’s movement, and we now seem to have entered a fight for equality in all walks of life, especially when it comes to marriage. What is the fight specifically about now? Homosexual couples are seeking for the same marriage rights that heterosexual couples have enjoyed under the law for centuries.

According to Ryan T. Anderson,

Government recognizes marriage because it is an institution that benefits society in a way that no other relationship does. Marriage is society’s least restrictive means of ensuring the well-being of children. State recognition of marriage protects children by encouraging men and women to commit to each other and take responsibility for their children.

Who Takes the Hit?

The question is then asked, why can’t homosexual couples raise children as effectively as heterosexual couples? Until recently, the argument has been that there is no difference between children raised in homosexual homes versus heterosexual homes. This argument has been labeled the “no differences” theory. However, new research has come out debunking previous research on the grounds that former studies in support of the “no differences” theory neglected to follow the methods of experimental design. The most popular study questioning the “no differences” theory was conducted by Mark Regnerus. A follow up article titled, The Research on Same-Sex Parenting: “No Differences” No More expounded on the blatant mistakes which had been committed in the research done in support of the “no differences” theory. The article states,

First, the participants were aware that the purpose was to investigate same-sex parenting and may have biased their responses in order to produce the desired result.

Second, participants were recruited through networks of friends or through advocacy organizations, resulting in a sample of same-sex parents of higher socioeconomic status than is typical of parents in a same-sex relationship generally.

Third, on average, samples of fewer than 40 children of parents in a same-sex relationship virtually guaranteed findings of no statistically significant differences between groups.

Mark Regnerus pointed out that these problems existed and another man by the name of Dr. Donald Paul Sullins carried out a new series of studies. His studies discovered,

…the prevalence of emotional problems among children living with same-sex parents to be 4.5 times as high as among children living with their married biological parents, three times as high as children living with a married stepparent, 2.5 times as high as those with cohabiting parents, and three times as high as children with a single parent.

From these studies, one could gather that children raised in homosexual homes are in fact affected by the sexual orientation of their parents. Is this really a problem though? Are there really enough homosexual couples to make a difference in society? According to the United States Census Bureau’s count in 2013, there were approximately,

  • 55,607,113 married opposite-sex couples
  • 6,571,259 unmarried opposite-sex couples and,
  • 726,600 same-sex couples

 

Defend Our Future

The numbers of same-sex couples has grown since the Census Bureau’s report in 2011. As these numbers continue to grow we will also see the fight for the legalization of same-sex marriage continuing to be prevalent in our society today.

If same-sex marriage is legalized we will see the effects in the future children of America as well as children all over the world who are being affected by same-sex marriage. Children come into this world as innocent human beings who deserve the best care, and as science has proven, that care lies within the walls of a home with a loving father and mother tied together in the bonds of matrimony. Stand for our future and defend traditional marriage.

 

Emily BlackMy name is Emily Black and I am a Marriage and Family Studies major at BYU-Idaho.  My career goal is to become a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.  My life goal is to become a mother.  I have been married to my wonderful husband for nine months and I am an advocate for traditional marriage.

My Dad will always be King

In Child Development, Choice, Families, father, Marriage, Parenting, The Family, Values on June 22, 2015 at 8:39 am

dad with teen daughterby Caitlin Woolbert

My Dad is a great example to me. One of the greatest lessons I learned from my Dad is the importance of telling your children how much you love them. Children don’t just know they are loved. They need to be told. Guess How Much I Love You is a children’s book that teaches this lesson. This is a story about Little Nutbrown Hare and Big Nutbrown Hare, who are father and son. Little Nutbrown Hare wants his father to know how much he loves him, and expresses this by stretching his arms out to indicate this. Big Nutbrown Hare replies by stretching his arms out even further (as he has longer arms) to show that he loves his son even more.

The story continues by measuring and comparing how much they love each other – by how high they can reach, how they love each other to the end of their toes, by how high they can hop, and how far the river is. Big Nutbrown Hare can always do things better as he is bigger and cleverer, which impresses Little Nutbrown Hare. At the end, Little Nutbrown Hare falls asleep saying he loves his dad as far as the moon. To which Big Nutbrown Hare whispers (to his sleeping son) that he loves him just as much, but more.

This story means a lot to me. My dad and I get into “I love you more battles” all of the time. These battles are a fun way my Dad tells me how much he loves me. I have tried to win these battles but he always wins.

Another way my Dad tells me how much he loves me is by nudging me three times. I know this might sound a little weird but the three times mean “I love you.” Like I said it may sound weird and seem a little silly but it is one of my favorite things I learned from my Dad.

My Dad continues to teach me the importance of spending quality time with each of his children. I recently went on a 16 hour road trip with my Dad. We had 16 hours of quality time. It was a fun bonding experience that I will remember always, especially the game we started by pointing out all of the animals we saw along the way.

Dad’s, you might not think the things you do with your children have any special meaning. Let me just tell you from personal experience, they do. A great example of this comes from “Charles Francis Adams who is the son of the second president of the United States, a successful lawyer, and ambassador to Great Britain. Although he had little free time, one day he took his son fishing. In his diary, he wrote, “Went fishing with my son today. A day wasted.” On that same day, his son wrote “Went fishing with my father today, the most wonderful day of my life”

Our relationship with our father plays a huge part in who we will become. In many segments of society, people grow up without ever knowing their fathers. This is unfortunate because fathers should play as important a role in raising their children as mothers. A father is the model of a man for his daughter and she will choose a man who is like him.

Daughters look to their dads for much more than allowance, the latest phone, or trips to the mall. The relationship she has with you is something that influences what she will expect from men for the rest of her life. She will watch how you show affection and respect to your wife, your commitment to being with your family, and the ways that you show love to your kids. In other words, you are the model for the type of man she’s likely to be attracted to.

It can be daunting for a man to figure out how to bridge the gap between, for example, his love of pro football and his daughter’s passion for the latest boy band. But, the main thing is to spend time together, to try to regard her interests with an open mind.

Some examples of ways you can get involved in your daughter’s life are:

  • Carpool-The more time dads spend with daughters and their friends in the car and at their school, the more insight they can have into their daughters’ world.
  • Take an interest in her activities– Studies show that when fathers take an active interest in and play sports with their daughters, the girls are less likely to have unhealthy or abusive relationships.
  • Listen without judging– Fathers sometimes want to rush in and fix problems; daughters don’t always need solutions but want to air their feelings without fretting that Dad will freak.
  • Share your experiences– Girls benefit from knowing that even dads have faced adolescent uncertainty.
  • Spend one-on-one time– Bike riding, going out for ice cream or playing board games together is great for younger girls; older girls enjoy going alone with Dad to a favorite restaurant or having a regular bowling date.

There is a cute quote that says, “Someday I will find my prince but my Daddy will always be my King.” Remember Dads that a strong relationship is important to have with your daughters. If you don’t have a strong relationship with your daughter it isn’t too late to start now.

Resources

McBratney, S., & Jeram, A. (n.d.). Guess how much I love you.

Widmer, M. (2004). Strengthening marriages and families through wholesome recreation. Retrieved from http://marriageandfamilies.byu.edu/issues/2004/Summer/wholesomerecreation.aspx

The Degradation of Moral Goodness

In Choice, Families, Free Speech, Freedom, Marriage, Media, Parenting, Religion, The Family, Values on June 19, 2015 at 6:23 am

Marilyn Monroeby Fae Emily Love

What do you and I have in common with a celebrity like Marilyn Monroe? Probably more than you think. We are all human beings. We all make mistakes, and we all live lives that everyone has opinions about.

How do we contrast with the rich and famous people of the limelight? For one, we can’t afford agents  to keep a perfectly sparkling image for us all the time. Even when public figures make mistakes, most of them do not continue to face relentless scrutiny for the things they do and say that are wrong. The public is so quick to forgive the rich and famous, because they are “glamorous” and come across as “perfect”-no matter what. Too often, our society buys into the false assumption that these celebrity idols can do no wrong, and easily forget about their incidents of poor character. Celebrities, in all their glory, whether they make good choices or bad ones, too often become role models.

Now you might be sitting there saying, “Well, I don’t judge people so why don’t you just love them?” As saintly as it sounds to say that you don’t judge; posing the question about loving them is an assumed judgment that there is no love. It is part of human nature to have disagreements, make mistakes and even judge. Pretending not to judge is often used as a convenient excuse to avoid scrutiny or to make moral judgments when an opinion is unpopular in the face of the world. Just like all your favorite celebrities, we too, like to save face.

Is it really bad to make judgments if the judgments are made fairly and for the good influence of our families? In the past, the traditional family or person of great wisdom would make judgments- not to be mean spirited, but to see the difference between moral righteousness or moral wickedness- to further the good in everyone.

What is it in your life that you hold onto that helps you be a good person? Is it the differing voices in the world that mostly agree you are good? Do you look in the mirror each morning and tell yourself you are good? Does your church tell you that God would be pleased with you as a person? In a world where morals become a touchy subject, glorified sexual exploration is casual in society, and families are dividing and changing more frequently; can worrying about being politically correct be more important than trying to exercise true and correct moral principles in our lives?

While we evaluate our lives, let us not forget to be true to what is morally right. As tempting as it is to save face like the very human celebrities we tend to worship, let us not be insincere with ourselves when we feel the need to dismiss what is morally unacceptable for our families strength, happiness and well-being. All humans make mistakes, and all celebrities are human too.

 

What Father’s Need to Know

In Abstinence, Child Development, Diane Robertson, Drug Use, Education, Families, father, Marriage, Parenting, Research, The Family, Values, Violence on June 17, 2015 at 9:29 am

Germany, Bavaria, Munich, Son (2-3 Years) kissing his father, smiling

by Diane Robertson

We need fathers. The politically correct modern notion that as long as a child seems loved and cared for, then it won’t matter who raises the child is just wrong. Children need fathers. Society needs fathers. Mothers need fathers.

For years fathers have gotten a bad rap. They are often portrayed as either aloof workaholics or silly and wimpy. This needs to change. Study after study has proven the importance of a father’s presence in the life of his children and how that importance extends to the health of every society.

Fathers need to understand their importance. How can we expect men to stay and raise their children when they are constantly told they aren’t necessary?

British researcher Michael Lamb notes that negative stereotypes about fathers can have consequences. “Fathers can hardly be expected to maintain a belief in their importance when they are continually being told of their irrelevance, other than as economic supporters.”

Nothing could transform society as substantially as putting the father back in the home. This will not happen unless the majority of people give fathers the praise that is their due.

Statistics show that boys without a father in the home are more aggressive and are much more likely to engage in anti-social behavior. Girls without a father participate in early sexual activity, and that fatherlessness is the number one indicator for teenage pregnancy.

This father’s day let us remember that we really, really do need our fathers and let’s start telling them that.

Confusion Conclusion

In Child Development, Choice, Families, father, Free Speech, Freedom, Gender, Gender Identity, Marriage, Parental Rights, Parenting, Sexual Freedom, The Family, Transgender, Values on June 15, 2015 at 10:54 am

bourne identityby Marlene Hinton

Robert Ludlum begins his book, The Bourne Identity with Jason Bourne as an amnesiac looking for clues as to who he is.  His first tip is when a gun is tossed to him and he is told to take it apart and reassemble it, which he does effortlessly and expertly, increasing his sense of wonderment about himself.

There is psychological and emotional strength in a clear concept of one’s identity because that enables us to reason and act based on understanding.   Confusion is debilitating, disrupting, and threatening (Thoits, 1991).   Jason Bourne was deprived of his resources and capabilities, including judgment, because of the uncertainty of who he was, what he knew, and what his abilities enabled him to do.  To survive, he focused intense energy on discovering his identity.

Although role identity is adaptive over time, a firm sense of personal identity is central to emotional and behavioral health (Stets & Burke, 2000).   Gender is a primary component of personal identity – indeed of the nation itself, as stable families are the cornerstone of any society.  Children are the result of gender.

How unfortunate, then, that elements of our culture are advocating for confusion through biological, emotional, and behavioral blurring of gender.   Roles, such as who-takes-out-the-trash do not define an individual in the same way that gender and its physiological, psychological, and emotional potential does.

Some sociological and science researchers claim gender is irrelevant.  However, the research cited in backing such claims is largely flawed.  For example, one article reveals that the comparisons of families are NOT actually between same sex couples and traditionally married heterosexual couples, but rather unmarried cohabiting couples.  The data for the latter vary dramatically from those of heterosexual married couples.

Also, the samples used are convenience rather than randomly selected, further impairing validity.  Likewise, the research organization often has a pronounced bias, selecting and shaping everything from conceptualization and questions to interpreting data and reporting findings.  These considerations make reports that there is no difference or even advantages to same sex relationships less valid.

In fact, several forums claim that domestic violence is a greater problem in same sex relationship households, so much so that a U.S. Justice Department study refers to it as “epidemic” (Callie Maire Rennison, “Intimate Partner violence and Age of Victim, 1993-99,” Bureau of Justice Statistics: Special Report, Oct. 2001).   Additionally, married women in traditional heterosexual relationships experience the lowest rate of violence in comparison with women in other types of relationships (“Violence Between Intimates,” Bureau of Justice Statistics Selected Findings, Nov. 1994:2).

Only recently have we had to clarify whether two-parent homes are made up of a married man and woman.  This confusion of basic gender differences weakens the strength of the concept of marriage, of family, and of parenting.  It also sets the stage for young people to wonder about their own identity and explore – taking apart and reassembling in some fashion – their identity, particularly regarding gender.

Ironically, media creates at the other end of the spectrum a hypersexualized model that contributes to the morass of what young people view as appropriate or “normal.”  It is little wonder that identity confusion in this and other areas is propelling society toward chaos.   Emotional and psychological confusion disrupt the ability to feel contentment and peace and live accordingly (Burke, 1991).

There is great power in structure and security.  In jerking the firm gender foundation from under the feet of families, we leave a quicksand of insecurity and insanity for the next generation to navigate.   Married mothers and fathers are the solution.

Parenting is most powerfully expressed in assuring each child of his or her precious individuality, distinct worth and worthiness, and the unlimited devotion of family members.  Mothers and fathers model this adoration in their daily interaction and response to each child.   Confusion is replaced with confidence, stability, and resilience in maintaining clear understandings of identity.

Families find happiness, communities flourish, and society increases in peace when each individual acts with a certainty of who he or she really is.

Marlene Hinton is a wife, mother, grandmother, and defines herself principally through faith, family, and freedom. A teacher for many decades, education, particularly in those three areas, is a focus. She holds degrees in history, Spanish, bilingual education, and a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

Resources
Burke, P.J. (1991).  Identity Processes and Social Stress.  American Sociological Review. 56:6, pp. 836-849. 

Ludlum, R. (1980).  The Bourne identity.  New York:  Bantam Books. 

Regenerus, M. (2012).  Children of parents who have same-sex relationships? Findings from the New Family Structures Study.  Social Science Research 41:752-770.   

Stets, J.E. & Burke, P.J. (2000).  Identity theory and social identity theory.  Social Psychology Quarterly.  63:3.  224-237. 

Thoits, P.A. (1991). On merging identity theory and stress research.  Social Psychology Quarterly.  54:2, pp. 101-112. 

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Forests and Families

In Child Development, Choice, Divorce, Drug Use, Education, Families, father, Marriage, motherhood, Parenting, Religion, Sanctity of Life, Schools, The Family, Values on June 12, 2015 at 7:29 am

family in forrestby Tom Christensen

When driving through the arid national pine forests of Montana, Colorado, Utah and Arizona, one cannot help but notice large numbers of dead trees.   Mountain pine beetles about the size of a grain of rice bore into, lay their eggs, feed on and protect themselves in the soft phloem of an older tree, creating a deadly girdle cutting off the transmission of nutrients to the rest of the tree.

Vulnerable pine trees infested by the beetles quickly turn orange and die.  Abandoning a dead tree for one living, pine beetles spread from one tree to another until there are no mature trees left.  Literally millions of acres of pine forest have been destroyed in this manner.

Bark beetle infestation is a symptom of a sick forest already weakened by draught, disease and the aging process.  Pine trees when young and healthy have a natural internal defense mechanism against bark beetles.  They produce a pitch substance that encapsulates or drowns the beetles; and the beetles naturally avoid them.  When the trees grow older and are weakened by draught or disease, they are unable to stave off the beetles.

Bark Beetle.jpgA pine forest cannot be protected from the beetle by impractical artificial means, such as the regular injection of insecticide into trees, or by waiting for unreasonable natural means to destroy the beetles, such as extreme cold weather or forest fire.  The best approach is to steadily “replenish” the forest by planting and nurturing a fresh supply of seedlings and younger pine stock.

Not only are the scores of dead trees unsightly, the non-reproducing dead trees contribute to soil erosion, mud slides and flash floods.  The dead trees also affect wildlife habitat, food chains, and a broad range of ecosystems.

The Devastation of the Natural Family

Like a majestic ponderosa or lodge pole pine forest, the future of an entire civilization turns on the health and strength of its families.  The greatest hope for society is the formation of impenetrable unions of strong, capable men and women who honor their marital covenants, care for their own, and produce a steady supply of young ones prepared to carry on the fight for life, liberty, and the family.

 Forest After Bark Beetle 2.jpg
The internal defense system of an enduring society is a stable family structure, elevated moral standards, and a willingness among parents to “multiply and replenish the earth.”  Like a pine forest, a human society is replenished when the older population renews itself with healthy, responsible young people who marry and continue the cycle of life.

On the other hand, a family’s internal defense system can be weakened by narcissistic dysfunction, addictions and attitudes.    Like pine beetles, negative social policies and conventions (such as those that disfavor traditional marriage, religion, childbearing and responsible parenthood), feed on families under stress.  However, unlike bark beetles, they target the young as well as the old.

Similar to the death and destruction of millions of acres of pine forests, the effects of the weakening and dissolution of families throughout the world are plain to see.  Nations depopulate, crime rates rise, schools fail, quality of life declines, and economies sink.

Preserving the World’s Families

What can be done to protect the health of the world’s families?

Family Working Together.jpgFirst, each family must strengthen its own internal defenses and immunities.  Stable families can resist those who would destroy them if they are well-organized, self-sufficient, and put their marriage and children first.  The best protections include living by a consistent code of rules and expectations; practicing forgiveness, integrity, thrift and industry; communicating with and loving each other; and playing, working, and worshipping together.

Second, individuals, families, communities and nations must resist harmful external influences such as media, policy, institutions, and peer influences that seek to penetrate them.  They must acknowledge that high-sounding policies of government paternalism, anti-capitalism, and moral relativism stunt economic growth and opportunity and destroy lives, families, and personal initiative.  Government policy too often addresses the symptoms of family decline rather than the causes of it.

Parents are the first line of defense.  Next comes the faith institutions, the school and university, and the community.  In some settings such as the United Nations, the opposition is so vast and organized that one cannot fight these battles alone.  To provide an effective voice of reason, families, churches and organizations must join with others, including professionals, to influence policymakers and to shape policies at distant, unreported venues.

In summary, the stakes are too high and the potential destruction too devastating to allow the enemy of the family free reign.  For a society to flourish, the limits of government must be understood, mature families must be replenished and strengthened from within, and the common characteristics and vulnerabilities of those who would destroy the family must be clearly identified. 

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