On Aug. 1, the Gospel Coalition published a column titled “You Cannot Improve on God’s Design for the Family,” in which Glenn Stanton discusses a California senator’s belief that “the state must be able to assign legal parentage to more than the child’s mother and father.” Check out this excerpt:
So how should Christians who don’t consider themselves “culture warriors” think about such developments? Does Christianity possess a theology of family and parenting that should guide our thinking?
First, there are clear examples in Scripture of many different folks caring for children. Extended families and close friends are common to nearly all families. The 12-year-old Jesus, returning home from the Passover feast in Jerusalem, made the first day of the trip in the company of his extended family, and Mary and Joseph trusted them with such a task. At least that was what they had believed. In reality, the young Messiah was still back in the big city, being about his Father’s business (Luke 2:41-49). It took Mary and Joseph three full days to find their boy. Jesus lived in a large family circle with real family drama.
So we should not think of a proper family as only mom, dad, 2.1 children, and a faithful dog named Rex. The nuclear family is surrounded by extended groups of important folks: grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, siblings, and so on. And a variety of extended families make up every village. And villages make up towns. And towns make up states. But only two people in these nuclear confabs can be a child’s parents. Except in special circumstances, such as adoption, parents are the man and woman whose genetic offerings created the children from their loving union. And every culture finds the need to establish a reliable means to keep this man and this woman together to raise, protect, and provide for their offspring. This necessary social glue—tying the father to the mother and their child—is called marriage. It is a common grace that God has given to all human cultures throughout history and each has embraced and practiced some form of marriage between the two halves of humanity.
What do you think of Stanton’s position? Are there any other factors that should be considered?
Register for a Marry Well account today to join the discussion. Even basic members can comment.