Mar 24, 2011

Post Modern Family Ministry (Part 3)

This week I am posting a series about the changing structure of the Post Modern family and what it means for us as we minister to them. Much of the data I am sharing is from recent research done by Time Magazine and the PEW Research Center. Yesterday we talked about the increased number of moms in the workforce and how it affects families. Today's let's take a look at family values in the post modern world. 
  • 34% of people say the growing variety of family arrangements is a good thing; 29% say it is a bad thing and 32% say it makes little or no difference.

  • Fully 86% say a single parent and child constitute a family.

  • 80% say an unmarried couple living together with a child is a family.

  • 63% say a gay or lesbian couple raising a child is a family.
  • According to polling conducted by the Gallup Organization in 1969, more than two-thirds of the public (68%) believed that it was wrong for a man and woman to have sexual relations before marriage; only 21% thought this was not wrong. By 1985, the balance of opinion had shifted significantly: 39% said sex before marriage was wrong, while a narrow majority (52%) said it was not. In a 2009 CBS/New York Times poll, the public more decisively rejected the idea that sex before marriage was wrong—only 32% said it was wrong; 60% said it was not.
  • When asked in 2009 whether they agreed or disagreed that women should return to their traditional roles in society, only 19% of adults agreed while 75% disagreed. At the same time, 71% said they have old-fashioned values about family and marriage. Only 25% disagreed with this statement.
  • More than half of the Millennial generation—adults younger than 30—favor allowing same-sex marriage (53%), compared with 29% of adults ages 65 and older, the so-called Silent Generation.
  • Among adults ages 30 to 45 (Generation X), the analysis found that 48% favor allowing same-sex marriage.

  • Among Baby Boomers, ages 46 to 64, 38% favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry.   

  • In 1981, an ABC News/Washington Post poll asked whether people approved or disapproved “of men and women living together without being married if they want to, or is that something you haven’t formed an opinion on?” At that time, 45% disapproved and 40% approved. The share of adults who approve has risen steadily. In 2007, in response to a similar question in a Gallup/USA Today poll, 55% approved of live-in couples while 27% disapproved. 


These shifts in family values have implications for us.
  • We must continue to lift up marriage between a man and woman as God's best plan for the family. Many children today do not see this modeled at home. Hence the changing views of marriage coming from them as they become young adults. The truth of God's Word must be taught and proclaimed in love. 

  • We must draw people to the truth while not driving them away from it. If we are reaching our community, we will have people attending our church whose lives do not line up with God's best plan for the family. Our calling must be to lovingly share the truth with them and then provide pathways for them to move toward it. If we are going to tell people where they should be, then we must provide the steps they can take to get there.
  • We must continue to call our children to sexual purity and a commitment to save themselves for a committed marriage relationship. We must partner with parents in this endeavor. 

  • We must continue to hold up the truth that God reserved marriage for a man and woman. As mentioned Monday, the next big crossroads for the church is whether or not homosexuality is an approved lifestyle for the believer. Again, if we are going to tell people where they should be, then we must provide the steps they can take to get there.
 
Would enjoy hearing your thoughts and input on any of these statements. In the next post, we will explore how the post modern family affects children. 
Posted by Dale Hudson

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