Family As Defined By The Bible, How America Has Shifted: In today’s episode, we talk with Tim Goeglein who is one of the presidents of Focus on the Family. His message is so strong on families, and that is exactly what our culture needs to hear today. We hardly hear the media promoting marriage as defined by the Bible. Yet, statistics show that the Biblical form is the best and most beneficial form of union! Tune in or read now to learn more about the restoration of the family union in America!
Air Date: 09/20/2017
Guests: Tim Goeglein, David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton
- WallBuilders | American historical events, founding fathers, historical documents, books, videos, CDs, tapes, David Barton’s speaking schedule.
- Dove Channel, Chasing American Legend
- Focus on the Family website.
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Transcription note: As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast. However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers. Additionally, names may be misspelled or we might use an asterisk to indicate a missing word because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.
Faith And The Culture
Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture, this is WallBuilders Live! Where we’re talking about today’s hottest topics on policy, faith, and the culture, all of it from a Biblical, historical, and constitutional perspective.
We’re here with David Barton, America’s premier historian and our founder here at WallBuilders. Also, Tim Barton, national speaker, pastor, and president of WallBuilders. And my name is Rick Green, I’m a former Texas state rep, national speaker, and author.
Find out more about us and the organization at WallBuilders.com and also WallBuildersLive.com. Two websites, so the first website is WallBuilders.com, all kinds of great resources available for you right there. WallBuilders Live is specifically to the radio program. You get a list of stations, and archives of the programs over the last few weeks, and other information. Check out those two websites today.
Thanks for joining us. We’re here with David and Tim right now. Guys, of course, the area of faith and the culture, obviously impacts the family. Our topic today, the family and how the family is doing in the American culture today.
Every Command Given To Us Is For Our Benefit
The family is a big deal in ways that people do not recognize or do not think about. Family, really is not defined by the modern structures of whatever I wanted to be. The family is really defined by the Bible, that is the first institution that God created. Had a man, made a woman, put them together, said, “This is good.” They had children, God blessed it, they were fruitful. That’s the family, man, and a woman, and children.
So, throughout the rest of the Bible God talks about that, how important it is. And one of the lessons that every single Christian should be aware of is out of Deuteronomy 6:24 and also Joshua 1:8, where God says, “Everything I have said is for your benefit, for your good, to keep you alive and prosperous as I have up to now.”
We just have to accept the position that if God tells us something is good then there’s a reason for that. If we start messing with it and redefining it then it’s not going to work the way it was supposed to. And that’s what’s happened with marriage.
We’re at a point now with marriage to where that we no longer have respect for a man, a woman, and children. “But what’s that matter? If I love someone, why can’t I marry them? Why can’t it be two guys or two girls, why can’t it be just living together, and why does there have to be marriage?”
Let’s not forget, David, it’s now one guy and three girls are.
Or three guys and two girls, the whole polyamory thing.
Polyamorous, that is exactly right.
Statistics On Why Traditional Family Matters
Let me just get some stats here- I’m working on finishing up a book that will be out next year. But it deals with part of this issue from the standpoint. Here’s a good reason why you really want a family to be a man, and a woman, and children, in that structure.
Now, everybody is going to have a mother. I’m sorry that’s just the way it works. You’ll have a mother and a father. But whether they live together in marriage and have a family that’s something different. Biologically you’ll have a mother and a father.
For children who have a mother and a father but don’t live in marriage with them, in other words, that mother and father aren’t married and living together. So you grow up with either the mother or the father or you grow up outside of marriage. What we know, statistically, is right now academic scores of children from homes where there is not a mother and father in the home are significantly lower than those of children from homes where you have a mother and father.
Children from single-parent homes without mother and father are twice as likely to repeat a grade in school, they are more than twice as likely to be suspended or expelled from school, they are twice as likely to end up in jail as children from two-parent families, they are seven times more likely to be delinquent, and they’re twice as likely to pull a knife or gun on someone, and gang involvement as almost twice as high. “Ah, who cares about the traditional family.”
Well, if you care about kids, if you want the best for your kids, you ought to care about it. If you like a culture where that you don’t have crime twice as high, and gang involvement twice as high, and where you don’t have twice as many kids failing, you ought to care about it. We’re in this thing now where, “I’ll define my own standards and my own right and wrong.” The family is just much more important than that.
I think your statistics are a little intolerant. They’re not very loving and accepting of the new modern family. So I think we should just ignore statistics and do whatever we feel and whatever we want. Or as the Bible says, “whatever was right in their own eyes,” is what the people did.
This is where our culture is. We no longer want to know what works, we no longer want to know what’s beneficial-
It’s just what feels good.
We want to do what we feel like. When you stop and evaluate what things actually produce- I was going to say that it would really change behavior, and now I’m thinking, “Well, maybe not.” Because maybe not everyone would embrace that. But certainly, if people were more aware of the consequences of actions, certainly for at least some people, on some level, there would be different behavior.
Which then brings up the question, why don’t more people know about these statistics? Why aren’t people being told, “Hey, this is what that produces.” So you can make your own choice, you can live your life, you do what you want to do, you be you. But, just know the options that you choose, here’s what each one statistically produces. And this is what you’re going to deal with if you choose that option.” We just don’t talk about that very much.
Let me go a step further, “I don’t care about my kids, I don’t care what’s good for them, I don’t care what’s good for society.” Just be selfish for a minute, we’re pretty good at that anyway in the culture. “Let’s just be selfish.” Ok, let’s just talk about that aspect. If you are single with kids, your average income is $25,493. If you’re married with the same amount of kids, your average income is $81,455.
I think that’s higher.
I think that’s like more than three times higher. Being married, just for a selfish reason, that’s a pretty good reason. Even with poverty, I don’t think anybody enjoys poverty. Let’s just take the black family because right now in the black community you have the highest percentage of families that don’t have a mother and father with children.
In those families, 37% of women that have children and don’t have a man in the home live in poverty. Only 8% of families with a man and a woman lives in poverty.
So, 37 % of single mothers are living in poverty but only 8% of couples, men and women together, are living in poverty. So, significantly greater chances of poverty if you are a single mother having kids without there being a father or a man in the home than if you are in a committed relationship where the husband and wife, the man and woman are at home together.
Not only does marriage make a big difference for the culture, it makes a big difference for the kids, and it makes a big difference for the individuals involved in the marriage. A married couple, as we just pointed out, are less likely to be in poverty.
There’s just so many reasons where God says, “Hey guys, everything I tell you is for your good, for your benefit, and cause you to prosper.” And we’re going to have to get that message at some point.
One of the groups that has really been good at carrying the message of how important the family is is Focus on the Family. I mean, that’s the emphasis, focus on the family. And one of their vice presidents is a very good friend of ours, Tim Goeglein. He was in the White House for eight years in the Bush administration. He now is one of their vice presidents.
So when we have the pastors in DC we bring in a Congressman or Senator, and Tim Goeglein is one of the only ones we allow to come who’s not directly involved there in Congress. It’s because his message is so strong on families. Pastors need to hear that, every American needs to hear it, Tim, as a great spokesman for marriage because what he says on marriage is so fundamental and so key.Tim Goeglein from Focus on the Family is our gues.
Stay with us folks, Tim Goeglein with us when we return on WallBuilders Live!
Chasing American Legends
If you ever wonder if it’s over for America. Can we restore those constitutional principles that made our nation great? Then we want to encourage you. We want to show you some evidence of how it can be done. We want to show you the evidence behind what made America great in the first place. And we want to have some fun while we’re doing it.
It’s called Chasing American Legends. It’s our special television program that follows the Green family around the nation investigating myths and legends about America. And it’s amazing what we have found and what we’ve discovered. Dove Channel is now airing Chasing American Legends and we want you to check it out.
We’ve got a link today at WallBuildersLive.com so you can find out more about Chasing American Legends, airing now on the Dove Channel. We’re going to take you and march with the Minutemen for the re-enactment of April 19th, 1775. That shot heard around the world. Take you to investigate the battles that George Washington was in.
All kinds of great episodes. Check it out right now at DoveChannel.com. Give our family a chance to inspire yours. We know we can give you some hope of the future of our nation. Check it out. Chasing American Legends at DoveChannel.com
Moment From American History
This is Tim Barton from WallBuilders with another moment from American history. Many today assert that religion is something private, that has no place in the public square, and that it is incompatible with government.
The Founding Fathers believed exactly the opposite. They held that religion was absolutely necessary in order to maintain our free system of government. For example, John Adams declared, “We have no government armed with power, capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion.”
And signer of the Declaration, Benjamin Rush, similarly affirmed, “Without religion, there can be no virtue and without virtue, there can be no liberty and liberty is the object and life of all Republican governments.” The Founding Fathers understood that limited government required public morality from the people. And that public morality was produced by the Christian religion. For more information about the Founding Fathers views on religion in public life go to WallBuilders.com.
Family Statistics In America
Welcome back! Thanks for staying with us here on WallBuilders Live. Our special guest today is Tim Goeglein, our good friend. We hadn’t had him on in- it’s been way too long! He is over with Focus on the Family, vice president, the external relations there, and senior fellow at Heritage Foundation. We’ve been working with him for years. Tim, good to have you back on, bro.
It is really a pleasure to be back. I’m very happy to report, for those who don’t know, Focus on the Family just celebrated our 40th anniversary in June. We had a remarkable three day celebration. I can honestly say, it’s one of the great honors of a lifetime to be associated with Focus on the Family.
How does it work for an organization? Do I say happy birthday? Or do I say happy anniversary?
You can say either. Way we will answer yes and thanks to both.
Sounds good! Let’s do like a Rapid Fire update on the state of the family in America, how we’re doing, and then let’s talk a little bit about what we can do to support the family in America.
If you have a college education or above in America, probably, if you’re getting married you’re staying married. If you’re having children, you’re having them inside of marriage not outside of marriage. Your faith commitment is probably very continuous, and your work ethic is very good.
But the problem, and it’s a very serious problem in America, is that for those who do not have a high school education or only a high school education and below. Every important empirical data shows that if you decide to get married you may as well get a divorce. If you have children you may have at least one of those children out of wedlock. The faith commitment over a long haul of only those with a high school education is a bit broken. Frankly, and sadly, the work commitments are also broken. This is the new reality in America. It’s not true for every college graduate. It’s not true for every person who is only at a high school education and below.
More Babies Are Born Out Of Wedlock Than In Marriage
I wonder why that. Why do you think that correlation is? Is it just the fact that if you’ve gone through college you’re more likely to have made commitments, kept commitment, had to work hard to finish that. And so it created a skill where you were more likely to stay committed? Or is there some other correlation there?
I think there’s a lot going on in America and it’s not just one answer. The most powerful book that I’m aware of, and the one that Focus on the Family has paid a lot of attention to, is the famous sociologist Charles Murray’s book, “Coming Apart.”
What he shows, using several different data sets, is that there are a host of health issues, there are a host of economic challenges, and then I say, maybe as never before even including two world wars, the Great Depression, etc, there is a very strong cultural component to much of what we’re talking about.
Moral relativism has seeped into the impact between men and women. The very low marriage rate in America, this is very, very concerning. We have the lowest marriage rate ever in America. We have now the majority of babies born to women who are the age 30 years of age and below, the majority of babies are now born out of wedlock.
More babies born out of wedlock to women under 30 then born in marriage.
Absolutely. In fact, let me give you a rather startling statistic. But it’s important for the terms of our conversation today. There was a major study done just over 50 years ago and it was a study that looked intently at the American African-American family.
This study found that 25 % of all black Americans in 1965 were born out of wedlock. Today that number is between 72 -75%. Of all Hispanic Americans now it’s a little over 53-54% are born out of wedlock. And more than one third of all native born white Americans are now born out of wedlock.
The Biggest Family Crisis, A Fatherless Generation
What we really have is we have a baby crisis. We have a marriage crisis. But above all, and this seems to be one of the most important controlling factors, we have a plague of fatherlessness. We have a lot of fathers and dads who are either completely out of the picture of their biological children or when they are present they’re not really there.
So, we at Focus on the Family are dealing every single day, in large numbers, with a plague of fatherlessness, a very low marriage rate in America and the lowest in recorded American history, and these other social pathologies that are impacting, quite literally, millions of Americans but particularly creating a socially dysfunctional moral ecology for millions of young people. This, I would say, is among our most important national challenges today.
Yeah, let’s focus in on that father piece. What can you do about it? Pop culture has basically degraded the dad and the father through sitcoms and everything else for years and that certainly had its impact. There’s definitely, as you said, the moral relativism to where dads walk away and they don’t even see a price to that. What do we do to turn that around? How do we encourage men to step up, and keep the commitment, and actually make fatherhood something that you long for that you want to be a part of?
I feel very confident in answering that. This is where the church can play one of its most vital roles in the public square. Churches, places like WallBuilders, places like Focus on the Family, a host of ministries, and para-ministries.
If there has ever been a greater national need for churches, ministries, and related Christian organizations, there is no more urgent or important need than the need to shore up marriage, to shore up the natural nuclear family, and to provide especially male mentors and role models for young boys and girls. This is extremely important.
In the same way- the early 1970s as a result of Roe versus Wade. That very tragic abortion decision by the Supreme Court. In the same way, we’ve spent over 40 years shoring up the pro-life movement. We need to create, and I think that we are creating, a very important national pro-marriage, pro-family movement, that focuses like a laser beam on what moms and dads can do to strengthen their marriage. There’s no national need more urgent than this one.
How To Strengthen Your Family Unit
Let me just ask you, let’s say and our listeners across the country right now, there’s people saying, “I want to do a better job.” We’ve got dads that are listening, fathers that are saying, “Maybe I haven’t done such a great job on this.” If they call Focus on the Family today, what’s the tool that they should ask for? How would you recommend that they start?
I say, going on to Focus on the Family website is a fabulous way to start. It’s a one stop shop. We are rich beyond all measure in the best kind of counsel and parenting advice. And I couldn’t have recommended more strongly.
But I need to say this because I think it’s so important. So often all of us look to government, or we look to a large ministry, or we look to other sort of large established institutions to say, “There is the solution.”
I have to say Rick, I think that one of the most important things that all of us could do, all of us who are listening, all of us who are concerned, and all of us who are praying about family, marriage, and parenting. The most important thing we can do, in my view, is to start an effort in our local churches.
It’s there, the people who are sitting next to us on Sunday, sitting next to us on Wednesday night, the people we’ve gotten to know in Bible class, or in school etc. It’s there that we can often learn about the most serious problems that those families are facing.
For a local church to set up a ministry or a part within that church that allows people to freely come, where they are most comfortable with their neighbors, with their fellow congregants, or parishioners, and to be able to say, “I need help.”
Or proactively to be able to have that church say to the people who attend there, “Look, it’s a tough time for marriage. It’s a tough time for parenting, it’s a tough time for a family, it’s a tough time for raising good kids. Here’s the resource we have in our church. Let us serve you.” I think that those kind of centralized and local efforts are often much more effective than anything flowing out of Washington or large state capitals.
That’s a great, great point. It’s the Biblical way to do it anyway. That’s what we should be doing. Plus then you have that personal relationship where you’re helping that family or that iron sharpening iron of those relationships. No doubt about it.
Tim, we’re right we’re out of time, bro. Thank you very much, keep up the great work! The website, like you said, best place to go, Focus on the Family. Not just fathers, the entire family. Tools, like you said, 40 years of this, certainly the recognized experts in our country around this. Appreciate you coming on!
God bless you and be of good cheer! Thank you.
Stay with us folks! We will be right back with David and Tim Barton.
Have you ever wanted to learn more about the United States Constitution but just felt like, man, the classes are boring or it’s just that old language from 200 years ago or I don’t know where to start? People want to know. But it gets frustrating because you don’t know where to look for truth about the Constitution either.
Well, we’ve got a special program for you available now called Constitution Alive with David Barton and Rick Green. It’s actually a teaching done on the Constitution at Independence Hall in the very room where the Constitution was framed. We take you both to Philadelphia, the Cradle of Liberty and Independence Hall and to the WallBuilders’ library where David Barton brings the history to life to teach the original intent of our Founding Fathers.
We call it the QuickStart guide to the Constitution because in just a few hours through these videos you will learn the Citizen’s Guide to America’s Constitution. You’ll learn what you need to do to help save our Constitutional Republic. It’s fun! It’s entertaining! And it’s going to inspire you to do your part to preserve freedom for future generations. It’s called Constitution Alive with David Barton and Rick Green. You can find out more information on our website now at WallBuilders.com.
This Is Where The Church Can Step In Bring Aid
Welcome back! Thanks for staying with us on WallBuilders live! Thanks to Tim Goeglein for joining us today as well and thanks to Focus on the Family for the good work that they do.
We’re back with David and Tim Barton, you guys, already pointed out at the beginning of the program the negative statistics that a nation experiences when we don’t have fathers in the home and we don’t keep the family intact the way that God designed it.
Yeah, one of the things I really appreciated that he pointed out is there something churches can do about this. They can find people- when you look at how many families now where the children are being born into homes where there is not a present father, there’s not an active role model for these boys and girls growing up in those homes, this is where the church can step in and say, “Hey, let me show you what it means to have a father in your life.”
Ultimately, one of the things, as we do so much with young people throughout the summer. One of the things we deal with constantly is how many kids come from broken homes and some of their greatest pain is because they don’t have a father in their life, they don’t have a father in their home. This is where Tim Goeglein challenges churches and Christians, this is where you can make a difference.
We have friends that do a lot of foster care and orphan care ministries. And so not only are there people inside the church there are people inside the community who have never had this male role model.
Prayerfully, if there’s not a father there, prayerfully there’s an uncle or a grandpa. But this is such a great opportunity for us to make a difference, a real practical difference in the next generation.
“If there is a young man who does not have a father figure his life. Let’s show him what it means to be a man in culture. To be the Biblical model of masculinity. This is what a man looks like, this is how you are a man, this you stay committed and you work hard. This is how you respect women.” And we show them and you can break that cycle of fatherless homes.
Actually, it certainly is a cycle. You see this over, and over, and over, in certain communities and in certain demographics where a fatherless goes home breeds fatherless homes. But we can now break that cycle by getting involved, by speaking in these kids lives, and saying, “Hey, let’s go fishing this weekend. Let’s go throw a Football, let’s kick a soccer ball, let’s do something together.” But certainly a great way where Christians churches can get involved, so let’s find people who need that father figure and let’s make a difference.
It’s not just getting the kids on the right track. That’s part of it, but it’s also getting our views on sexuality right. I’ve got a really close friend of mine, he’s a pastor, he was talking to a couple recently, they were having trouble in their marriage.
As he was talking with each of them he finds out that she’s sleeping around a bunch of guys and he’s sleeping around a bunch of girls and they’ve got kids and etc. He said that that’s wrong.
They both looked at him and said, “What?” He said, “Has no one told you that you’re married and you only have sex with each other?” And they both looked at him and said, “That’s the first time we’ve ever heard that.”
In the culture we’ve got today where that sexuality is anything you define and whatever gratifies you, we keep forgetting God’s command that everything he tells us is for our benefit. And he is the one who said, “Look guys, here’s the deal. Sex is great inside marriage between a man and a woman. Outside of marriage or with any other combination it is wrong.” That’s for our benefit that’s for our good.
Just like we got to get the kids straight on this we’ve got to get the adults straight on it too. Because we’ve come through a generation where we just haven’t taught morals, we haven’t taught rights or wrongs, and the culture paying for. All the stats were used early, all the delinquency, and the education, and everything else that we’re having trouble with, it goes back to families.
Family As Defined By The Bible, How We Can Make A Significant Impact
As big as this problem is, the good news is this is something that very practically we can make a difference, have an impact on, by saying, “Let’s start changing this narrative, let’s get involved, let’s invest in the next generation, let’s find these kids who don’t have a father figure and let me live on them, let me invite them over to do something, let’s go out, let’s do this together.”
And for these young couples, let’s help them understand there are things that have certain beneficial results and certain things that have negative results and you can choose what you want to do, but you should just go into this knowing that there are consequences for actions, positive and negative, and help them understand. Really, even help change that narrative. But this is something very practically we can get involved in and make a significant impact.
Thanks for listening today folks! Thanks to Tim Goeglein for being our special guest here on WallBuilders Live! Thank you for being a part of our program. Check out our website today, WallBuilders.com and WallBuildersLive.com. You’ve been listening to WallBuilders Live!