My 5 year old son loves to argue with me. For anything, really. One time he threw a tantrum on the way home from the store because I wouldn’t let him drive the car. It doesn’t matter that he’s 3 or that his feet can’t reach the accelerator or the brake. Now he claims to be 37 because the fewer people older than him, the happier he seems to be. He often claims that he was never a baby or a toddler, which I’ve never heard anyone do before. Even Jesus was a baby, I remind him.
My wife says he told a woman at the store recently that he’s in high school when she asked him his age. My wife says it’s because she’s an Enneagram type 8 and all the stories and shenanigans don’t end there.
My 5 year old son randomly came up the other day and asked me if he gets all my money when I die. I didn’t have the heart to tell them that there wasn’t enough reason for him to worry at this time in his life. He then asked my wife, “Why did God make mosquitoes?” The right answer has to do with the fall of humanity, but my wife said it’s a great question to ask God himself. He then said, “Since you die first, will you ask him for me?”
My wife and I are having a third boy sometime in October, and it’s a little scary because it’s so much responsibility and work. I don’t always do the best job as a parent, but I never lack love for my children. My parents did such a great job of providing for me and being generous with me. How can I do less for my children? I can’t imagine life without any of them, and I always pray for parents who have lost a child. I don’t get it, but honestly my heart hurts for them.
The John Locke Foundation says it envisions a state with strong families. It is probably the most important word in the “The Vision of Locke” section on the site. After all, strong families are a prerequisite for a healthy society.
“The family is the source of all mental and moral influence,” famous abolitionist Frederick Douglass said.
It is pointless to argue for a free society without strong families. It’s similar to preaching motorcycle safety while riding without a helmet on.
If the family is in disarray, this will automatically mean more centralized power for the state. Weak families create greater dependence on the government. This is why statists and Marxists love to break up the family. It splits the greater stock between the individual and the state. When the moral character of the family declines, so does the state of our political affairs.
“The family is the natural defense of the human race against utopianism,” said American Enterprise Institute scholar Michael Novak (1933-2017).
I am thankful for my children every day. I don’t understand a society that can throw away the lives of the innocent in our midst. Children are the greatest blessing you can receive and only an inconvenience when you focus on yourself above all else.
The family is where children receive the greatest moral instruction and where parents are also sanctified. I am a better person today because of my children. I am constantly learning more about how to model grace and forgiveness. I see the Parable of the Prodigal Son in new ways. The bonus is that I am constantly amused and laugh at all the everyday absurdities. At the same time, I am constantly reminded that raising my boys is the most important calling and ministry in my life.
As a society, we cannot move beyond the family as the most basic social structure for healthy communities and nation. Reliance on markets or even the Constitution alone is never enough to ensure our freedom and rights.
Renewal for a truly healthy society begins and ends with the family. We must never forget this simple truth when we see the family under daily attack by forces bent on its destruction.
Ray Nothstine is an opinion editor for the Carolina Journal and a Second Amendment researcher at the John Locke Foundation.