Spencer W. Kimball taught us …only those who believe deeply and actively in the family will be able to preserve their families in the midst of the gathering evil around us.
Did you hear that? Only those who believe DEEPLY and ACTIVELY in the family will be able to save the family. We must feel it deep in our hearts and be proactive in the way we protect our family from the evils of the world.
It is no secret (at all) that Satan is attacking the family unit. We can see it everywhere. Here are some stats that might make your heart weep.
According to “The State of Our Unions” published by the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia and the Center for Marriage and Families:
- Between 40% and 50% of first marriages end in divorce
- In 1980, 13% of kids coming from mothers who were moderately educated were born outside marriage. In the late 2000s that jumped to 44%
- Between 1960 and 2011, the number of people cohabitating increased sevenfold. From about 0.5 million people to about 7.6 million.
Why does it matter that the traditional nature of family is falling apart? Trust me, it does.
Divorce and the breaking of families have a heavy impact on the entire family. Not only does it cause heartache and pain to the spouses, but the children are impacted as well, usually an impact that will last a lifetime.
Dr. Paul R. Amato listed several studies showing the impact the change on the formation of the family has on children:
- Children with divorced parents (on average, compared to children living with both biological parents) measure to have lower academic achievements, more conduct/behavioral issues, lower physiological well-being, and lower self-esteem.
- Children who live in a home with cohabiting parents have more behavioral and emotional problems and lower level of school engagement than children living with married parents.
- ¼ of cohabitating parents don’t live together anymore after a year of child’s birth. 31% break up after 5 years, leaving the children with dissolution about relationships and commitment.
Families are ordained of God, and are meant to be a forever thing. The changing and breaking of the family unit has such a heavy impact on the family members because it was never meant to be broken.
I understand that all families are different, that sometimes a marriage dies, and divorce is necessary. (for more on that read
On the same hand, I know that when we are both committed to the Lord and to our spouse and to our family, we can see miracles change and heal our marriages and our family.
I have seen the miraculous healing power of the Atonement save a marriage that some would consider unsalvageable. I know it can happen when we humble ourselves and let Christ in.
The Lord wants it to be forever, so if we put in the effort, He will provide the miracles.
So how do we protect our families and our marriages from all this nasty?
James E. Faust said that the cure for the decaying family life is for men, women, and children to honor and respect the roles of fathers and mothers in the home. In so doing, mutual respect and appreciation divine will be fostered.
So, there we go. As we honor and respect our roles and the roles of others in our family that we learn from Family Proclamation (nurturing mothers; presiding, providing, and protecting fathers), we will become more united. As we serve and sacrifice for our family and realize the sacrifices other family members are making for our family, we will realize that we’re all on the same team, reaching for that same goal. Because living this way is keeping our covenants, there will be a powerful bonding in our families and in our marriages. Again, when we put in the effort (both husband and wife together), the Lord will provide the miracles. No one wants more for our families to be forever united than He does.
Spencer W. Kimball, Ensign, Nov. 1980, 4.
The State of Our Unions: Marriage in America 2012; The National Marriage Project.
Amato, P. (Fall, 2005). The impact of family formation change on the cognitive, social, and emotional well-being of the next generation. The Future of Children, 15(2), 75-96.
Oaks, D.H. (May 2007). Divorce. Ensign.
Elder Faust; “Father, Come Home,” Ensign, May 1993, 35