Restoring the Family

For a very long time I have sensed the prompting to research and write a distilled proposal on what can be done to restore to our society strong families in the context of family law.

Some very serious trends have promoted family breakdown over the past one hundred years. As I pondered those issues, it became clear to me that greater forces than I had realized have been at work devastating families for a long time – and many of those forces are some of our best ideals, but twisted to harm family values.

For example, all of us cherish liberty. Our nation is founded on it. As I reviewed again and again the cases on liberty heard by the United States Supreme Court over the past one hundred years it dawned on me that the very ideal that made America great – that individuals ought to be free to be responsible for themselves and self-governed in a nation of the people, by the people and for the people - is an ideal that has been distorted to consume that greatness. Now the mantra of liberty is that individuals ought to be free to live by personal desire and natural instinct, free of consequence or responsibility, to pursue personal intimacy as chosen.

This new insight has begun to reveal to me a broader perspective on the problem of family breakdown. Laws regulating the family over the last one hundred years have reflected this personal and self-centered ideal of liberty and contributed to the problem of family breakdown.

Could we have such insight with our current state of the law, and see what laws we put into place today that will bring harm in the future? Can we chart where we have come from, where we are, and make an educated guess as to where we are going? And if we can do that, can we then see the problems and consequences that will result from our present acts, and determine a remedy now to avert those problems? I think we can.

That is why it is an incredible privilege to be a part of building Christian leadership to change the world. Law students in class today will make all the difference in averting undesirable consequences to families in the future. Having had the time to gain this broader perspective has made me realize that I don’t want to be myopic about any part of my life work or my calling. The big picture is so much bigger than I am – but my perspective on that picture and how I can be an element for positive change are refreshed by students who are called by God to the law. From my own family to our classrooms, I see those elements of positive change before me everyday.

My work on this project has resulted in a book published by W.S. Hein Co. called Family Manifesto: What Went Wrong With the Moral Basis for the Family and How to Restore it, exploring Social Darwinism, Individualism, and Elitism and their part in family breakdown, while offering the key to family restoration in the inexorable link between marriage and parenting.
My hope is that this project will be a part of restoring to our society strong families in the context of family law.

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