Minister’s Letter – When the New York Times aligns with the Bible
An unexpected agreement occurred between the famously secular New York Times and the Bible last week. Before we had a break in our sermon series on Malachi, we were reminded of how God wants husbands and wives to stick together (Mal 2:10-16). In an essay provocatively titled The Explosive Rise of Single-Parent Families Is Not a Good Thing, economist Melissa S. Kearney outlines the social and economic costs of single parent households. “The evidence is overwhelming”, Kearney writes. “Children from single-parent homes have more behavioural problems, are more likely to get in trouble in school or with the law, achieve lower levels of education and tend to earn lower incomes in adulthood.” Boys without dads are particularly vulnerable.
We Christians recognise that, in a fallen world, the ideal family scenario might not be achievable. My working assumption with many single parents is that they are victims of a troubled world rather than perpetrators. We also recognise that, by his powerful grace, God can overcome difficulties and bring blessing out the mess. The church is one place where those blessings can be found, so single parents ought to feel welcome here. But we also recognise that the path of godliness has real benefits, and that it’s both foolish and sinful to deliberately cast aside God’s ways. It’s nice when both the Bible and the social sciences realise this! As we meet today, let’s resolve once more to align ourselves with God’s ways as we seek his gracious blessing over our lives.