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Amidst COVID-19, Marriage and Family Matter Now More Than Ever! - May 15, 2020

The last several weeks have reinforced biblical truths that matter now more than ever. Marriage and family are God’s blessings and provide society vital resources for facing the challenges of COVID-19. These vital gifts are essential to our cultural capacity to face the COVID-19 crisis, as they have been with so many crises before. Biblically and sociologically, marriage and family provide even more than relationships. These institutions provide the very foundation for a healthy, civil, and prosperous society. The biblical call to “honor your father and your mother” (Ex. 20:12) also means to honor the God-given authority upon which civil societies can be built. When families are loving and strong, communities are strong. When marriage and family are neglected or despised, community and society are at risk. I’m not going to recite the data about the demise of the traditional family and the rise of crime and poverty in our urban areas. I’m not going to cite the outrageous rise in STDs, divorce, and unhappiness in society since the sexual libertinism of the 1960s. Today, I’m just going to reference the important dialogues happening in many homes around the country right now.

In the midst of this crisis, mothers and fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers, sons and daughters are all talking about the crisis and how they can come together to support one another. We’ve had those discussions in our household. They have gone something like this: “What if our mom and dad get sick? How can we take care of them?” It’s family first and foremost, especially now. Wouldn’t any of you do whatever it takes to sit with a sick husband or wife, grandmother or grandfather, or any of our children, and risk getting the illness or having to suffer in quarantine just to comfort those we love? Those are the thoughts being bantered about during our sheltered-in-place conversations. What about the coming economic crisis that even now is unleashing its brutal challenges to our culture? Do you think that a few checks from the government could ever replace loving, hard-working moms, dads, and families striving to provide for themselves? No way! Our Christian faith calls for dedicated familial love. Our liberties in American also call us to our first civic duty, that of caring and providing for those in our immediate and extended family. The honoring and undergirding of family at this moment is vital.

That’s why an article written by Sophie Lewis, a “scholar” at the Brooklyn Institute for Social Research entitled, “The Coronavirus Crisis Shows It's Time to Abolish the Family,”[1] is so outrageous. In a time when families, not government, are the enduring source of strength and comfort for most people in our culture, Lewis seeks to use this crisis to push Americans to abolish the family, rather than to support and strengthen it. 1960s libertinism masking as “research” has ravaged our culture with broken families, violence, poverty, and despair. Now, rather than deal with the measurable damage such views have inflicted on our culture, people like Lewis seek to destroy the family altogether. It’s ironic to me that researchers like Lewis never seem to see that the destructive, selfish behaviors of libertinism, which sadly now plague even the family, actually cause and expand the pain and brokenness she laments, rather than mitigating them.  


Katie Everett from Campus Reform[2] rightly responds that the answer going forward is actually the strengthening of family, not the hastening of its demise. Quoting Glenn Stanton, director of Family Formation Studies at Focus on the Family, she notes, “Academic and government research over the last couple of decades consistently show that married women and children living with their married biological fathers are the least likely to suffer sexual, physical, or verbal abuse compared with other domestic configurations.”[3] So find a way to love and take care of your family. We will all be blessed if you do.

In this time of crisis, biblical common sense tells us that those we love, especially those in our own family, are our first defense against many of the issues that plague our culture today. Our Founding Fathers honored the biblical structures of family and church as fundamental places of liberty that had the enduring capacity to rise to the challenges that a free culture would face. Now is the time to be thankful for the family that you have, to seek to honor those that you love, and to strengthen those relationships closest to you. If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it has taught us that the institutions of marriage and family matter now more than ever.

The Rev. Dr. Gregory Seltz is the executive director of the Lutheran Center for Religious Liberty.

Be Informed

Stephenie Hovland, member of the Lutherans For Life National Board of Directors, explains how parents can instill life values in children, even at a very young age. Click here to have a listen!


Be Equipped

I write to encourage some different thinking on the part of our public leaders. For Christians, gathering together in church is essential. We live our lives according to the Scriptural teaching above, that man lives not only by bread but also — and I would add, especially — by the Word of God. For Christians, going to church is just as essential as going to the grocer, the doctor or even to the hardware store or garden center. We need to fix a pipe and to hear that our sins are forgiven. It’s time for [governors] to make allowance for churches to meet within reasonable and safe limits — masks on except for when receiving Communion; no more at a time than can fit while maintaining at least six feet between households; similar limits as put in place for ‘essential stores’ (50 percent capacity at most). If we could meet in the aisles of a grocery store, we should be able to meet in the aisles of a church.” Read more from LCMS pastor Rev. Michael Schuermann on the importance of churches being able to gather again, even under COVID-19 conditions.


Be Encouraged

“Ascension Day, a holy day falling inconspicuously on a Thursday in May, is the conspicuous declaration that we are not left as orphans. In the same post-resurrection body that He invited Thomas to touch, Jesus invites us to full humanity even today. He ascended with a body, He shares in our humanity, extending His own body even now, promising to return for our own bodies. Christ is preparing a room for us, and we can know it is real because He himself is real.” –Jill Carattini, Ravi Zacharias International Ministries – a Life Quote from Lutherans For Life •





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