The Natural Family in Peril
As a society, we need to awaken to what is happening all around us in our world today - the disintegration of the family! Being raised in a family and society where family is valued and fundamental to our culture, I was not aware of this situation and the troubling trends that are currently happening in society and around the world. Last October, I attended the first World Congress of Families in the United states in Salt Lake City, Utah. At this large gathering of pro-family people from all around the world, I learned about the current trends of declining marriage, childbirth, faith and values, as well as the increase in divorce, abortions, atheism, and moral decay around the world.
As a society, we have become selfish and self-centered and have turned our hearts away from marriage, children and family. The Old Testament prophet, Malachi, prophesied and warned of what will happen to us if families lose their cohesion and fail. If parents do not turn their hearts to their children, or in other words, if we do not value having and raising children, God will "smite the earth with a curse". He warns that if our hearts are not turned to our children, and the hearts of our children are not turned to us, "the whole earth will be utterly wasted". Families, as we have known them for millennia, are disappearing as we continue to turn away from marriage and having children.
Over the last few decades the family has drastically changed which is having serious repercussions across the United States and around the world, affecting our culture and economy. If we do not reverse these dangerous trends, we will bring upon us the curse; the decline and disintegration of our families, societies, nations and the world.
Consider these consequences of turning our hearts away from the family:
There are more single adults than married adults in the US. In 2011, for the first time, less than 50 percent of US households were made up of married couples, and only 25 percentof twenty to twenty-nine-year-olds were married compared to 70 percent in 1960.
Nearly as many children are born out of wedlock as in.
More US marriages end in divorce, than stay married.
There are more single individual households in many major cities, than households with any kind of family.
Fertility rates have fallen 50% over the past 60 years. In some Asian countries, there are more women of childbearing age who do not want children, than those who do. In England, the majority of women in childbearing age say they would rather buy a house than have a child.
Among couples who move in together in the US and Europe, most choose cohabitation than marriage.
50% of Hispanic children, and 70% of African-American children are now raised without a father.
Throughout the world, more people believe that "the family should support the career" than those who believe that "the career should support the family."
Women are now the primary breadwinners in 40% of US families and make up more than half the workforce today. The labor force participation for Women aged twenty-five to fifty-four has increased from 37-75% between 1950 and 2010.
For the first time, In 2014, half of the world's nations birth rates were below the replacement rate of 2.1 children per woman. To maintain their work forces, they must encourage and incentivize more births, or count on in-migration.
There is a "Demographic Winter" coming, if we do not increase our Total Fertility Rate (TFR), the number of children born to each woman. Fertility rates have fallen 50% over the past 60 years. Every industrialized nation has declining fertility. The TFR in Japan is only 1.39 (66% below replacement). In the last 25 years, Japan's population over 60 has almost doubled (11.6 to 20.2%). It is projected that midpoint in this century, the population in Japan will decline by 25%. In the European Union, the TFR is 1.5, and in Italy, Greece and Spain it is even lower. When a country's TFR falls to 1.3 or less, it will lose half of its population every 45 years. The collapse of fertility leads to fewer children and more elderly. If these trends continue, the UN's Population Division estimates that there will be 248 million fewer children under 5 than there are today. Since the Black Plaque, we have not experienced prolonged birth decline, until now. Some governments are using Incentives to get more people to have children, but they have not been very successful. Reversing this dangerous societal trend is very difficult and may prove impossible if we do not awaken our societies to this awful situation. For our future success, we must turn our hearts back to our children and to the importance of the family in society, our nations, and our world. It is the foundation for a successful and sustainable future!