Wall Street Journal columnist and bestselling author Peggy Noonan penned an interesting column this past Friday. In it, she focused primarily on the forthcoming Supreme Court confirmation hearings of Solicitor General Elena Kagan. She predicts they will be bland, more “show over substance” and full of senators “who give long soliloquies and put forth extremely long and circuitous questions.” She also thinks they’ll be plenty of posturing along with “vanity and camera hogging.”
I think Peggy is right, but she also made a few intriguing comments that confirms and highlights the very mission of Focus on the Family. Peggy wrote:
“There’s a sense that everything is abstract to those who succeed in this world, that what they know of life is not grounded in hard experience but absorbed through screens—computer screens, movie screens, TV screens. Our focus on mere brains is creepy, too. Brains aren’t everything, heart and soul are something too. We do away with all the deadwood, but even dead trees have a place in the forest.
“The ones on top now and in the future will be those who start off with the advantage not of great wealth but of the great class marker of the age: two parents who are together and who drive their children toward academic excellence. It isn’t ‘Mom and Dad had millions’ anymore as much as ‘Mom and Dad made me do my homework, gave me emotional guidance, made sure I got to trombone lessons, and drove me to soccer.'”
Peggy is correct, but her comments are striking all the same. Who could have imagined, even a generation or two ago, that the “great class marker of the age” would be a child with two responsible parents who remain married and together in the same home? But with out-of-wedlock births on the rise, the statistics suggest that two-parent families may be headed for minority status.
The truth, of course, is that a two-parent loving home has always been a predictor of success. Each year, social science continues to confirm what the scriptures teach and promote as the ideal. In fact, out-of-wedlock birth remains the predominant cause of childhood poverty.
If there is an upside to a down economy, it is that money woes often cause us to reassess and reprioritize what is most important in life. Jean and I realized pretty quickly that our boys do not need gimmicks and gadgets but a Mom and Dad who teach and tell them about God, His goodness and His son, Jesus Christ.
Ironically, it was Focus on the Family’s “Celebrate Life, Celebrate Family” Super Bowl campaign—a deliberate attempt to raise awareness of the importance of parents in the life of a child—that generated such an enormous amount of controversy. In other words, the very solution to the great problem of our day is increasingly falling out favor, at least according to certain activist groups.