In the words of St. John Paul II, the family is “the first and fundamental school of social living: as a community of love, it finds in self-giving the law that guides it and makes it grow.”
These words provide a clear definition of the family. But in our world today, thanks to cultural influences and anti-family rhetoric, they hold little meaning. They sound idealistic to many, impossible for most. The family has been redefined—and not in a good way.
There is evidence of this all around. Pew Research tells us that two-parent families are on the decline, cohabitation is more prevalent, and fertility rates are declining. The article concludes: “There is no longer one dominant family form in the U.S.” Such language exposes the cultural problem we must confront every single day. Society has lost any understanding of the need human families have for a greater reliance on God and His design. Instead, society has fallen back on political correctness.
This is so because today’s family has been redefined to include two people who are of the LGBTQ persuasion and who have achieved status as families in many cases because of the USA’s cultural desire to be tolerant rather than honest about nature and the real meaning of marriage.
I mean no disrespect for anyone when I put forth the truth that marriage and family begin with one man and one woman, who through marriage are joined together and then through conjugal union bring forth children. This complementarity between the male and female is what nature intended. It is a design set forth by God, not by the state, the media, or special interest groups. Pope Benedict XVI taught this truth when he said that “God entrusts to women and men, according to their respective capacities, a specific vocation and mission in the Church and in the world. Here I am thinking of the family, a community of love open to life, the fundamental cell of society.” In this same address, the Holy Father taught that “the State, for its part, must uphold with appropriate social policies everything that promotes the stability and unity of matrimony, the dignity and responsibility of couples, their rights and irreplaceable duty as educators of their children.”
And yet in a secular society it would seem that variety rather than nature is the overriding theme, which is why President Biden’s American Families Plan has little to nothing to do with the family. Nowhere do we find a definition of the family in that plan, because in our nation today the postmodern notions of a family are whatever individuals declare it to be. Such philosophical mumbo-jumbo devoid of God “assumes no permanent commitment. Any group of individuals might qualify” to be a family.
Sister Deirdre Byrne has it right when she says: “We have to be prepared, battle ready” as “soldiers for Christ in this dark time, where every day, things seem to be ramping up about things that are against the family and faith.”
Are we battle ready, and will we stand in the gap defending the family as we are called to do? The answer is yes! We need only look to Mary and Joseph to find the perfect examples of family, love, courage, and hope.
This is not a time for cowards; it is a time for heroes. Let us remember the words of St. John Paul II: “The family has the mission to guard, reveal and communicate love, and this is a living reflection of and a real sharing in God’s love for humanity and the love of Christ the Lord for the Church His bride.”
That, my friends, is the authentic definition of the family! And family is definitely not just a word. Stand up and defend it!© Judie Brown
The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.