Writing a generation ago, sociologist Christopher Lasch pointed to the weakening of the family as the most significant and dangerous development of our times. In his book, Haven in a Heartless World, Lasch described the breakdown of the natural family as a calamity for the society at large, as well as for the individuals whose lives are so directly affected.
Tellingly, he also wrote this: “The first thing to understand about the present crisis of the family is that it did not materialize overnight.” Indeed, it did not. The current crisis of the family must be traced to economic, political, social, and ideological causes. But there is another cause as well. The family crisis is a theological crisis, and this must be the church’s first concern.
The first theological fact about the family is the truth that the natural family (the family consisting of married parents of the opposite sex and their biological and adopted offspring) is not a product of human social evolution. The Bible reveals that God created human beings to live and to thrive within the context of the family, constituted on the foundation of marriage.