In the News

18 11 2008

This morning before my wife and I left for work I flicked on the TV to one of the news shows. An elderly man was being interviewed about statistics on Child Abuse. What I heard took my breath away and gave me hope. Recently in New Zealand there has been a lot of coverage about a young child that was abused by some of its family members in horrific ways. The Child sustained massive injuries and died as a result. The ones accused of murdering the child were sentenced to life in prison and showed little remorse and this is what the elderly gentleman was going on about. I’m not sure which organisation he stood for, but its ones I would seriously consider supporting.

He opened with a statistic that would scare the best of us. A child that grows up in a single parent or same sex couple home is 1400% more likely to be abused than a child that grows up in a home of a married couple (man and woman). That mans for every child abused in a home of a married couple there are 14 being abused in single parent or other union homes. Although these stats relate to New Zealand only, its not hard to see them relating to other countries in the western world. Some people may not like these stats, he said, but they can’t argue with the factual evidence. The key problem identified was that the government was rewarding people for having babies out of wedlock. Single mums get a huge amount of money and support from the government in New Zealand. Married couples get next to nothing. The incentive for women to go it alone is huge. But right now we are begining to count the real cost of this incentive. Is the government rewarding bad behaviour and reinforcing it in our culture? I would think so. But there is more to the story than that. I’m glad the elderly gentleman didn’t stop there.

If we cut off the funding for those single parents are we letting more children fall through the cracks? Not neccessarily. We can either have a lot of ambulances at the bottom of the cliff or we can do something about the cause. What this man stressed was that we cannot go on rewarding this kind of behaviour. We have gone so far with our talk of rights. We think its our right to “bonk and breed” with whomeever we chose. But without responsibilites what good are our rights? I realise this is tough problem that does not have an easy solution. There will always be failure no matter how good government policies are. Such is the nature of sin. But that does not mean we continue to reward bad behaviour. A generation that has claimed that they don’t need God, and that there are no moral absolutes is suddenly coming face to face with the horrible monster that Sin is, and it doesn’t know what to do with it. This is a time of unprecedented opportunity for the Church to step in. The stage is open but do we have a voice?

For all its suffered under attack from the liberal left, marriage still remains the best option for raising children in a safe environment. Try as they might the world will never give us a better way that what God has set out in scripture. Two people living as one flesh, joined together for life. Its an awesome privelige and it comes with an enormous responsibility. May the Lord help us to be a good example to unbelievers and give us the opportunity to share the love of Jesus with everyone we meet.

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2 responses

19 11 2008
m slater

Sad story, and a tough issue to think through. I agree wholeheartedly that marriage (in the Biblical sense) is far and away the best thing for children, individuals, and society as a whole in comparison to single parenthood etc.

However, there are many mothers (and some fathers) who had no intention of going it alone, but were abandoned by their partner or made mistakes in their past which led to a difficult position now. I think that policy issues aside the message of Jesus seems to insist that these are the very people the church should be extreamly concerned with reaching out to, helping, and healing.

Not that we should condone the lifestyle ofton involved in single parenthood, but neither should we abandon and condem these people, we should graciously love them as Christ would and help them rebuild their lives. It is easy to say we should withdraw support for this and other programs on a academic level, but when we see the people as more than statistics things change.

I’d like to second your line here…
“This is a time of unprecedented opportunity for the Church to step in. The stage is open but do we have a voice?”
The question I have is what should that voice be saying?

19 11 2008
aworthydiscussion

Thanks Mr Slater – you’ve given me some good food for thought. I was thinking about this yesterday as I walked to the bus stop from work. I guess there will always be failure no matter how good the policies are, and how well we care for these people. But the bottom line I wanted to raise is that I don’t think Government should be rewarding or encouraging this sort of behaviour. Single motherhood is glamourised in media, same sex relations are taught as normal in schools, and even worse (especially in NZ) men are shown to be whimps and pathetic fathers. If we have the policy going in the right direction we can start to make a change. Its a really tough problem and one that will not go away even with sound policies. I agree as the church we need to reach out to these people. We need to show them that is there is meaning and purpose in life, and they are not just statistics but people loved by Jesus. That is what our voice should be saying.

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