Tag Archives: Boundaries

New study: children from broken homes more likely to have mental health issues

Does government provide incentives for people to get married?
Do children do as well when they are raised by single parents or step families?

This was reported in the UK Telegraph.

Excerpt:

Children brought up by single parents and in step families are three times as likely to suffer from mental health problems, a major study has found.

Research on more than 10,000 children found that those brought up by both natural parents are far less likely to suffer severe emotional and behavioural problems.

The major study by University College London shows large differences in the well-being of children, depending on their upbringing.

Experts said the findings added to “a mountain of evidence” about the damage caused by family breakdown, with children left stressed by marital breakdowns, or falling into poverty which could increase their risk of psychiatric distress.

The Millennium Cohort Study examined the mental health of 10,448 11-year-olds living in the UK.

Overall, 6.6 per cent of children living with both natural parents were found to have severe mental health problems, compared with 15 per cent of those living with single parents, and 18.1 per cent of those living in step-families.

[…]Higher levels of mental health problems were found among boys, who were more likely than girls to suffer from conduct problems, hyperactivity and inattention.

[…]Children brought up in low income households were also more likely to suffer mental health problems, with a four-fold difference between the wealthiest and poorest households.

So, from a Christian perspective, here’s what I want to say about the harm caused to children when men and women choose to make babies with people who are not capable of making a commitment.

Chastity

First, the Christian view of dating and courtship is not very popular today, even among conservative Christians. Instead, most people have embraced the “feelings-driven” model of dating and courtship, where relationships are viewed as a vehicle for experiencing fun and thrills. The Christian model stresses self-control, by requiring strict chastity – no sex before marriage. But, if you ask feminists, they will tell you that women should engage in premarital sex for recreational purposes, and that women should not think about the harm that could result from an unplanned pregnancy (abortion or fatherlessness). If a woman thinks that recreational sex is OK, then she will attract a man who thinks that relationships are about personal fulfillment, not about commitment. When you take premarital sex off the table, the focus of relationships becomes about making a match based on commitment, not fun. Men who get into relationships for recreational sex are the exact kind of men who want relationships to be about fun, not commitment. And that’s why women should not choose them, because as the study shows, children suffer.

Stewardship

Second, the Christian model requires the man to provide financially for his family. Christian women are expected to favor men who focus on their studies, choose jobs that pay well, and save their money for their future families. In fact, fathers are supposed to guard their daughters from men who do not work, do not save and are not financially prepared for marriage. Again, this view is not embraced by most people. Most young women believe in feminism, which is the view that men and women are interchangeable, and men have no specific duty to provide for others. So, when women choose men, they are not choosing them according to this requirement to provide. Instead, they choose men who let them rule, or who are fun, or who don’t expect anything out of the woman except sex. A man who makes no demands is valued higher than a man who earns money and requires emotional support for the stress he incurs from working and saving. And naturally, when children arrive, these women find that men who were unemployed or underemployed are not able to take responsibility for their children.

Commitment takes self-denial and self-control

So, there are two reasons why people are not staying together. And both of these are embraced by women today. Women see premarital sex as something they can give to a man to get his attention without having to support him in a feminine / supportive way. And women see a weak man who does not work and save as having no authority over them to lead them. The desire to avoid the judgment and leadership of marriage-minded men causes women to choose losers who are easy to control and manipulate – men they won’t have to listen to or support. The problem with those men is, of course, that they don’t keep commitments. And that’s why we have this problem of broken homes.

Welfare

It would probably help if we were not paying women welfare in order to have babies before they are married, too. After all, you get more of what you subsidize, especially when our new emotional view of morality makes moral judgment of single mothers impossible. Almost every single mother chose to have sex with a man who did not commit, the only exception being rape. But instead of blaming women for their poor choices, we pretend that they can do as they please, and that men must enable their irresponsible choices. When we cut off the funding for women who choose to become single mothers (by choosing to have sex with men who cannot commit) then children will do much better. Children are more important than women or men. We have to shame the grown-ups into restraining their wildness, so that children get what they need from both of their parents.

Former inmate prays with the officer who arrested him eight years ago

Former inmate prays with the police officer who arrested him
Former inmate prays with the police officer who arrested him

This story is from the Daily Caller. Let’s take a look and then I’ll link it back to Christianity and parenting.

Excerpt:

Prompted by the slew of attacks on police officers, a former inmate who turned his life around, caused a social media frenzy by praying with the officer who arrested him eight years ago, asking God to protect police from violent criminals.

Texas City patrolman Salvador “Sal” Chapa was attending a barbecue on Saturday when he was approached by Doc Amey, a man he arrested eight years ago for a gun offense. So disturbed by the attacks on police, Amey pulled Chapa to the side of the crowd, where the two joined hands and said a prayer for the officer’s safety, according to ABC13.

Fellow barbecue-goer Kevin Woods was so touched by Amey’s prayer, that he snapped a picture of the pair and shared it on Facebook saying, “We should be seeing more of this in America. There shouldn’t be race involved and this is living proof that color doesn’t matter. This is a prime example. All lives matter ONE NATION UNDER GOD!”

According to the now-viral post, Amey was arrested by Chapa on a gun charge, and received a five year sentence for the crime. While in jail, Amey devoted his time to prayer and getting his life in order. He was released from prison after serving only a year and a half, and has since graduated from Bible college with perfect attendance.

According to Chapa, he and Amey had seen each other in town before, but never talked. Moved by the recent trend of attacks on police officers in America, the reformed criminal was compelled to approach the Chapa who arrested him nearly a decade ago, and ask God to protect the officer from the rampant crimes.

The picture has received nearly 30,000 Facebook shares, including a share by the Texas City Police Department’s official page.

“After seeing the picture getting posted and all, I was overwhelmed but at the same time I was happy it happened. I hope whoever views it looks at police in a different aspect. We’re here to help everybody,” Chapa told ABC13.

I want to be friends with that man. He is a good man!

So I want to make two points, one theological and one about parenting.

First point, Christians who read the Bible carefully will develop a tolerance for God chastising them with suffering, because they know it shapes their character to be more like Christ. This is the process of sanctification, where a Christian is made more like Jesus through the process of encountering the moral law, and learning how to obey it. If a Christian makes a wrong decision, and God lets him suffer, he praises God for teaching him right and wrong. He does not turn away from God, block him out of sight, and then continue to make bad decisions as if nothing had ever happened. Christians, of all people, need to be reading the Bible practically. We need to make ourselves comfortable with being judged, and not be rebellious when it happens. We need to learn to respect God and his moral law, and not make the same mistakes over and over.

Second point, about parenting. I think that there is a lot of hostility on the secular left towards parents who want to discipline their children. This story shows how disciplining is supposed to be done, and what the right response is to being judged and having boundaries placed on you. When a child stays up late and then sleeps right through a test and fails it, the parent should ground the child so that the child associates staying up too late the night before a test with a punishment. Most parents today would be mad at the teacher and the school for bruising the ego of their child. That’s wrong. It’s much better for the child to suffer a trivial punishment now, and not make much bigger mistakes with much bigger punishments later. In computer science, it costs MUCH LESS to fix a defect when it is discovered by the project team in the early requirements elicitation phase than it does to fix it if it’s discovered by customers after the deployment to production phase. Find the mistake early and fix it. The longer you wait, the more it costs to fix it.

Here’s a good passage from the Bible about accepting the suffering God allows you to experience after making a bad decision:

2 Samuel 12:1-13:

And the Lord sent Nathan to David. He came to him and said to him,“There were two men in a certain city, the one rich and the other poor.

The rich man had very many flocks and herds,

but the poor man had nothing but one little ewe lamb, which he had bought. And he brought it up, and it grew up with him and with his children. It used to eat of his morsel and drink from his cup and lie in his arms, and it was like a daughter to him.

Now there came a traveler to the rich man, and he was unwilling to take one of his own flock or herd to prepare for the guest who had come to him, but he took the poor man’s lamb and prepared it for the man who had come to him.”

Then David’s anger was greatly kindled against the man, and he said to Nathan,“As the Lord lives, the man who has done this deserves to die,

and he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity.”

Nathan said to David, “You are the man! Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you out of the hand of Saul.

And I gave you your master’s house and your master’s wives into your arms and gave you the house of Israel and of Judah. And if this were too little, I would add to you as much more.

Why have you despised the word of the Lord, to do what is evil in his sight? You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and have taken his wife to be your wife and have killed him with the sword of the Ammonites.

10 Now therefore the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised me and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.’

11 Thus says the Lord, ‘Behold, I will raise up evil against you out of your own house. And I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun.

12 For you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel and before the sun.’”

13 David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” And Nathan said to David, “The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die.

This attitude of being grateful for judgment and boundaries is not popular on the left. The left is all about not judging, and especially about not punishing. They call it compassion – letting people who make mistakes get away with it instead of teaching people who make mistakes a lesson that will make their future decisions better. I often see Christians refuse to judge other Christians when they make mistakes. Instead of warning them, we want to pray that their mistake will “work out”. My advice for people, and especially Christians, is to not run away from being judged and having boundaries placed on you – if they come from someone who is wiser and who loves you and is looking out for you on a long-term basis. Parents are like that, most of the time.

Occupy Wall Street mom divorces husband for $85K, abandons her kids

Tom sent me this article from the New York Post. Read the article and decide who you think is to blame.

Excerpt:

She’s protesting banks — but still getting a bailout.

The Florida housewife who abandoned her family to join Occupy Wall Street is divorcing, giving up custody of her four kids and taking a big payout from her husband.

Professional protester Stacey Hessler is legally splitting from her hubby, Curtiss, but not before waltzing off with a portfolio that includes cash and his 401(k) retirement fund, filled with stocks and other instruments of American capitalism.

The divorce settlement, filed Oct. 16, awards Occu-Mom the $79,585 fund and a $5,800 bank account. Her total take: $85,385.

The filing lists Curtiss’ occupation as banker and says he earns $65,000 a year. Her job is listed in court papers as “protester” and her employer as “Occupy Wall Street.” Annual salary: $0.

Divorce papers cite “irreconcilable differences” for the split, saying the 19-year marriage “is irretrievably broken.”

One OWS protester who knows her says that Stacey’s devotion to the movement caused the divorce but that she was unfazed by the breakup.

“She didn’t seem sad about any of it,” the source said. “It was just so matter-of-fact.”

[…]But she did respond when a Post reporter asked about a YouTube video showing her making out with another protester during an Occupy “Kiss In” on Valentine’s Day.

“I actually made out with four guys,” she said, laughing wildly.

Curtiss, 43, initiated the divorce in Volusia County, Fla., where the couple raised their family about 25 miles west of Daytona Beach.

So who is to blame? The bad woman who did bad things? Let’s take a look at it.

Who is to blame when things go wrong in a relationship?

My view is that the man in the story is to blame, because I think that whenever something goes wrong in a relationship, then the person whose expectations are dashed is to blame. The reason why I think this is because you have to take people as you find them and then vet them as if they were job applicants applying for the job of marriage. The job of marriage has very specific requirements, and these requirements are objective. Someone is going to have to raise the kids, someone is going to have to cook the meals, someone is going to have to earn the bulk of the money, someone is going to have to deal with the beasties that invade the home. The goal of the relationship is not to test the person to see if they are “fun” or whether your friends are envious. The goal of the relationship is to test the person for the role they will play in the marriage.

Does it work in reverse – are women responsible for their bad choices?

What I’ve found is that although many people see that the man is responsible when he makes a bad choice, they don’t see the reverse situation. So consider the case where a man has sex with and then dumps a woman, who expected him to marry her and have children. Who is to blame? On my view, it’s the woman who is to blame. The man was bad before she got there, and you cannot expect a bad man to act good, just because you imagine that he will. And giving him recreational sex won’t make him act good – even if you imagine it will. Imagination is not the equivalent of passing an interview with the woman’s father, and getting the father’s approval. Imagination is not a 12-year resume with no gaps. Imagination is not a $500,000 investment portfolio. Imagination is not a paid-off home. Imagination is not a handful of reference letters from his former girlfriends. If the woman relied on her imagination when choosing a bad man, then the woman is to blame for the bad man’s bad conduct. She needs to take responsibility.

Sometimes, what I’ve noticed is that women tend to focus on the bad thing that the men do that is counter to their expectations, because they project a standard of morality onto the man that the man expressly repudiates. In fact, I have actually met atheistic women who think that atheistic men should act based on some standard of morality. But the problem is that neither the atheist woman nor the atheist man accepts any objective standard of morality. If there is no designer to the universe, then the universe is an accident, and there is no way that we OUGHT to be. If there is no way we OUGHT to be, then there is no point in expecting anyone to be any way – it’s just your opinion against their opinion. So you have a woman expecting a man to act according to some standard that she doesn’t think is real by her own worldview!And meanwhile, the good men are passed by because we are “too strict”, “too religious”, “too moral”, “too chaste”, “too sober”, “too predictable” and “there is no chemistry”. (Chemistry = emotional craziness)

My conversation with a Christian woman

I had a conversation with a Christian woman a while back about this, and she could not see how a woman could be responsible for her choices in the same way that the man in the news story was responsible for his choices. So I invented a new example to show how men could be to blame, unlikely though that may be, since men are perfect in every way. This time, I imagined what would happen if a stripper-gram woman showed up at my door. I actually told the woman I was chatting with that I had to go because a stripper-gram HAD shown up. I told the woman how attractive the stripper was, and how I was in love with her, and wanted to marry her. How she undoubtedly was very wealthy, and well educated, and how she would help me to raise little Michele Bachmanns and William Lane Craigs. I waxed eloquently on her B.S. in integrated science with a minor in philosophy, her M.A. in economics and her Ph.D in International Studies. All of which I had no evidence for, except for the feelings aroused by the sight of her naked cleavage. Besides, I explained, it would be easier for me to change her to match my vision of her after we were married.

At this point, my debating partner began to see the point. She could see that this imaginary stripper was going to dash my expectations, and probably cheat on me, and spend all my savings on shoes, handbags, dresses, jewelry and breast implants. And who would be to blame? ME! Because I am the one who was refusing to court her properly, and instead inventing an entire future life together that the imaginary stripper and I had never discussed. The stripper had never demonstrated that she capable of meeting those requirements – or even willing to try. I never asked her to try – and that’s my fault.

Why some women make bad decisions about men

I actually know a Christian-raised atheist woman who co-habitated with a left-wing, global-warming atheist and then got pregnant and had an abortion, and she blamed the man for this. As if an atheist should be expected to believe in objective moral values and marriage! As if the man had been able to get her to co-habitate and get pregnant without her consent! She accepted no responsibility for her choice of this man whatsoever. And when I told her about the dangers of pre-marital sex and the importance of courting rules, she dismissed them as being too strict, claiming that a good job, chastity, virginity, apologetics, a firmly-grounded Christian faith, a rational basis for morality, sobriety, and so on, were all totally unnecessary for a sensible successful marriage. Still! After all that! Her criteria for a man? First, “chemistry”, which is another word for physical attraction. And second, the approval of her very impractical, immature peer group. After all that, she still rejected the idea that standards for choosing the right man were important and should override her emotions.

Marriage advice from Christian philosopher William Lane Craig

Here is a question of the week from Dr. Craig on “Marriage Advice”!

Here’s the question:

Dear Dr. Craig,

Marriage is in the foreseeable future, and I would like to ask you for any advice before it happens. Can we avoid any mistakes? Would it be helpful to meet with a pastor for premarital counseling? Are there any helpful tips you could give from a Christian perspective or from your own experience?

Thank you in advance!

Zareen

Here are the main pieces of advice Dr. Craig gives:

  1. Resolve that there will be no divorce
  2. Delay having children
  3. Confront problems honestly
  4. Seek marital counseling
  5. Take steps to build intimacy in your relationship

And here’s the controversial one (#2):

2. Delay having children. The first years of marriage are difficult enough on their own without introducing the complication of children. Once children come, the wife’s attention is necessarily diverted, and huge stresses come upon you both. Spend the first several years of marriage getting to know each other, working through your issues, having fun together, and enjoying that intimate love relationship between just the two of you. Jan and I waited ten years before having our first child Charity, which allowed me the finish graduate school, get our feet on the ground financially, establish some roots, and enjoy and build our love relationship until we were really ready to take on the responsibilities of parenthood. The qualifier here is that if the wife desperately wants children now, then the husband should accede to her wish to become a mother, rather than withhold that from her. Her verdict should be decisive. But if you both can agree to wait, things will probably be much easier.

I wonder if the married readers agree with him about the “waiting at least a year after marriage bafore having children”?

UK Liberal Democrats oppose tax breaks for getting married and staying married

From the UK Telegraph.

Excerpt:

 In a speech designed to reassert the Liberal Democrats’ voice in government, the embattled Deputy Prime Minister will also set out his vision of an “Open Society” — in direct contrast to the Big Society trumpeted by David Cameron, the Prime Minister.

Tax breaks for married couples are a key demand of the Tory faithful and Mr Cameron has committed to their introduction before the next election. The issue has the potential to become a major source of friction within the Coalition in the New Year.

As Mr Clegg delivers his speech in Westminster on Sunday, a number of Tory MPs will meet David Gauke, the Treasury minister, to press the government to introduce the tax break for married couples as soon as possible. It means Mr Clegg is now in open disagreement with the senior Coalition partner on two major areas of policy — the marriage tax break and Europe.

In his speech to Demos, the Left-leaning think tank, Mr Clegg will say: “We should not take a particular version of the family institution, such as the 1950s model of suit-wearing, breadwinning dad and aproned, homemaking mother, and try and preserve it in aspic.

“That’s why Open Society Liberals and Big Society Conservatives will take a different view on a tax break for marriage. We can all agree that strong relationships between parents are important, but not agree that the state should use the tax system to encourage a particular family form.”

[…] Research has suggested that children brought up by two married parents living together are happier, fare better at school and are less likely to become heavily involved in alcohol, crime or drugs.

The Centre for Social Justice [CSJ], a pro-family think tank set up by Iain Duncan Smith, the Work and Pensions Secretary, said that just one in 11 married couples separated before their child’s fifth birthday, compared with a third of unmarried couples.

Gavin Poole, its executive director, said: “Nick Clegg’s stance flies in the face of all the evidence, completely ignoring national and international data demonstrating how important marriage is to the health and wellbeing of children and families.”

And this isn’t surprising – Obama has said the same thing about not preferring traditional marriage over other arrangements.

Excerpt:

President Obama has included homosexual couples raising children in a list of “American families” in a recent proclamation declaring Monday National Family Day.

“Whether children are raised by two parents, a single parent, grandparents, a same-sex couple, or a guardian,” said Obama in the proclamation, “families encourage us to do our best and enable us to accomplish great things.”

The president went on to encourage participation in Family Day by sharing an evening meal as a family unit.  “A strong nation is made up of strong families, and on this Family Day, we rededicate ourselves to ensuring that every American family has the chance to build a better, healthier future for themselves and their children,” he said.

The family day proclamation is in keeping with Obama’s oft-professed support for the homosexualist agenda.

When Obama proclaimed June “LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) Pride Month,” he reiterated that he supports several issues on the homosexual docket, including homosexual hate crime legislation, homosexual “affirmative action” in the workplace, allowing open homosexuals in the military, and adoption to homosexual couples.

During the same month, Obama signed a presidential memorandum extending spousal benefits to homosexual partners and other unmarried partners of federal employees.

It’s important to realize that the secular left, including our own Democrats here at home, are committed to the destruction of marriage. They support policies like sex education, single mother welfare, no-fault divorce, redefining marriage, and so on. They do not support traditional marriage. And they will oppose and and all incentives given to people who choose to marry and who choose to stay married. They do not care about providing children with a stable environment to grow up in, with a mother and a father who are biologically linked to the children. They would rather have more children growing up in poverty and exposed to violence, neglect and abuse than promote traditional marriage.

The secular left opposes traditional marriage for 2 reasons. First, they do not like the way that traditional marriage tends to lend itself to the man working and the woman staying at home – they want both people to work and pay taxes, so the parents are “equal” and they want the government feed and educate the children instead, so all the children are “equal”. Second, they do want to encourage “healthy attitudes” about sex, so that people who have sex before marriage do not feel guilty about it – since the school has told them that “everyone is doing it”. The left doesn’t want people who decide not to marry to feel bad about sex. They prefer to remove the moral boundaries that protect children.

In fact, if you are a woman, and you vote for the leftists, and you are wondering why you are not married, you should understand that the very policies you vote for are the policies that take away a man’s willingness to marry and his ability to perform the traditional obligations of a husband and father. He has no reason to commit in order to get sex – you’re giving him sex for free. And he has no money to provide for a family – he paid it all to the state in taxes. And he has no ability to lead on moral and spiritual issues – that’s all been beaten out of him in the public schools, where objective morality and theism are frowned on. Think before you vote.