Marriage Is What Brings Us Together Today

Category: , By Christian
The phone rings. Stacy picks up. One of her good friends is on the other end and announces her engagement. Congratulations are in order. The two friends catch up. Stacy hangs up the phone.

"Who dat, mommy?" A common question from the two-year-old.

Stacy explains to Elli that her friend is getting married. "Just like mommy and daddy are married. Just like nanna and papa are married. Just like grandma and grandpa are married. Just like harmonee and tyson are married."

Elli pauses. Blinks. Processes.

"Oh. I get married too."

Of course. All the cool kids are doing it. Common logic in Elli's mind is that if everyone she loves is doing it, then she needs to do it too. And since a lot of people around her are married, it has become the normative paradigm. As a father, that makes me glad. I don't want her to get married soon, by any means. But I'm glad that the seeds of fidelity and family are growing.

At the same time, the exchange highlighted one of the struggles of my job. As the strength of the traditional family has weakened in America, the trend has been even more dramatic in the urban core. Marriage just isn't normative anymore. The challenge with working with adolescent black boys is that they have very few examples of faithful fathers in their lives. I have 12 boys in my class this year. Two of them are in relationship with their dad, and neither of those two dads are married to the mothers.

Welcome to a completely different reality. It's a reality that begs to be changed if future generations are going to lead the resurgance of areas that have been abandonded by the empire. Kids need stable living enviornments. Kids need adults who are faithful to them and faithful to each other. But when you don't see people around you getting married, it's tough for you to grow up thinking...yeah. I'll get married too. And when you don't grow up with a dad who is engaged and who teaches by example how to love your furure kids and your future wife, then doing so yourself in the future is a challenge. There are some things that are better learned by experience than through books and Dr. Phil.

Renew and Restore

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