Dan Quayle, the Culture War, and the Bull Elephant in the Room

by Melanie | May 30th, 2012

You know things are getting bad when even the Washington Post notices that the swirling motion in the culture probably has something to do with a toilet. In a recent editorial, Isabel Sawhill of the Brookings Institution admits that the much maligned attack Dan Quayle made years ago, that sitcom character Murphy Brown was a bad example when she had a baby out of wedlock, was actually right on target. She notes ” a wealth of research strongly suggests that marriage is good for children,” and “marriage is a commitment that cohabitation is not.”

Seems obvious to me, yet when we posted a link on our Facebook page a few weeks ago to an article about how the majority of children born to women under thirty are now born out of wedlock and mentioned our concern about it, we were flamed! One mom said the father of her children was too immature to marry. What? Then how in the world is he mature enough to be a father? Another said they would get married in a few years, but I thought, “Why not now?’ Most upsetting, several self-identified as Christians. Did no one tell them, “Flee sexual immorality?” That’s 1 Corinthians 6:18.

Tellingly, all the posts were from women. I wondered if perhaps the men involved just weren’t interested enough in fathering to like a page like Raising Real Men. I wondered if these mothers really preferred things the way they were or if they were just justifying the bad situation they’d gotten themselves into. I wondered if they understood that when a man really loves you, he doesn’t want you to be able to get away, he wants to make you his, to protect you, to give all he’s got.

That’s the elephant in the room and it’s a bull elephant. Where are the men? Why aren’t they acting like men? Why aren’t they anxious to regularize the relationship, to give their name to their love and children? Why aren’t they concerned that their beloved children be legitimate? A real man wants to protect those he loves, to protect their reputations, their inheritance, their future. Cohabitation does none of that. It’s just plain, old-fashioned fornication. It’s having a kept woman, a mistress, but in many cases the slobs aren’t even supporting these women they claim to love. It’s wrong. It’s very wrong.

Those of us raising what we hope are real men need to prepare them for marriage and commitment. We need to teach them that “He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.” We need to teach them that physical intimacy is only for marriage and it is selfish and shameful to seek it outside marriage. We need to raise men who marry, have children, and raise their own children in the Lord. We need to raise men who stay with their families and protect them. Even bull elephants do that.

 

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  • http://aheartforhomesteading.blogspot.com/ Amanda

    Oh, how true your words are. It is just plain *old fornication.*  We have to teach our children this from the beginning and keep reminding them that you get your *directions* on life from THE BIBLE and not the world.

    I was able to hear you both this past weekend at the NCHE conference. What a blessing! Keep up your good work for THE LORD!

    Amanda
    Matthew 6:33

    • http://twitter.com/raisingrealmen Raising Real Men

      Thank you so much for the encouragement, Amanda!

  • Chardone29

    I think it’s supposed to say “Flee sexual immorality” not “Feel” :)

    • http://twitter.com/raisingrealmen Raising Real Men

      Fixed it, thank you! I read it three times and never saw it – amazing!

  • Shannon

    I agree wholeheartedly with your post Melanie!  We have one son and 3 daughters and are working hard to instill in them the biblical purpose of marriage and how choosing the right path with God will lead to success in all areas of life.  The worldly ways can be very enticing and often provide that immediate satisfaction, only to find out later that it is temporary and destructive.    Thank you for the work you and your family do for others!  

    • http://twitter.com/raisingrealmen Raising Real Men

      Thank you so much for your words, Shannon! 

  • Kristinlaughs

    People don’t like to be told what they are doing is wrong.  After several years of “the cult of self esteem” we have millions of people who have never been told their actions are wrong.  There are no longer any absolutes.  I remember when I used to teach public school that we were encouraged to say that an answer was “not quite right” instead of “wrong” and that was in Math class.  Laziness was “motivationally challenged”.  I wish I was making this up.  

    • http://twitter.com/raisingrealmen Raising Real Men

      You pegged that one, Kristin. That kind of thinking is especially damaging to young men.

  • Anonymous

    I agree that marriage is holy and was raised that children need to be in a home with both parents. However, I know of marriages where the husband is not a good example, what’s best in that situation? Does it encourage their sons to grow up also being bad husbands/fathers? Or the daughters grow up thinking that its okay to be treated less than they deserve? I don’t believe in divorce but after many years of marriage and having many friends married so I have seen it all, I sometimes wonder if maybe a few of the marriages would have been better off ending early so the next generation won’t follow in bad footsteps. Any thoughts? I’m praying with a friend now that is struggling and because she has young sons I am torn with giving her any advice.

    • http://twitter.com/raisingrealmen Raising Real Men

      Adena, I’ve seen it all, too, and it’s pretty grim out there, isn’t it? We’ve stewed about this a lot, but what we’ve realized is that divorce does not remove the person or their example from their children’s lives. They are still there, still affecting them and sometimes in a much worse way because no longer is the restraint of the godly parent operating in the ungodly parent’s home. It just doesn’t make anything better in most cases. And, that doesn’t even touch the effect the judges usually have. Read about that in this Open Letter to Homeschooling Parents Considering Divorce I wrote a few years ago: 
      http://mamahadeen.blogspot.com/2007/10/homeschooling-and-divorce.html

      And after all, the Word says God hates divorce, so except in cases of real physical abuse that necessitate getting away for safety’s sake, we would usually say, “Stay and pray.”I hope that helps a little, I know it’s not easy… 

      • anonymous

        I hesitate to add my 2 cents here, but feel God wants me too. Our Sunday school teacher used a beautiful illustration one day. He had two pieces of wood. These represented the man and woman, when he glued them together they represented the husband and wife in marriage. The two boards were now one. When he pulled them apart (and he had another man help him, because it was so difficult–another whole lesson/illustration in itself), both pieces of wood were damaged. He reminded us that divorce leaves both parties damaged, and if kids are involved, they are dmaged, too. If one is in a dificult marriage where one of the partners is not living for God, then you can still live a life pleasing to God and be a godly example to the kids. Without talking badly about your spouse, you can exhibit Godliness and God’s love to your children. 1 Corinthians 7:12ff is a good passage of Scripture to study on this topic. Trust God. Having been in an abusive relationship myself, I can say, separate yourself if you are in danger. Get Out! In our case, we had a temporary restraining order. My husband went through the counseling, etc. We had sessions with our pasto. When the time was right and he had truly repented, our marriage was restored. I can testify that when done right and in accordance to God’s Word, the marriage is worth fighting for and your family is worth fighting for!!! Don’t be hasty to end it. You won’t ever regret following the instructions laid out in the Bible. God’s ways are always right.

      • http://twitter.com/raisingrealmen Raising Real Men

        Thanks for jumping in there, anonymous. It’s such a blessing to hear from someone who has weathered these trials and come out victorious!

      • anonymous

        Thank you. To God be the glory!!

      • http://montessoritrails.blogspot.com/ Jessica

        The movie “Fireproof” used a similar example -gluing together a salt and pepper shaker set at the fire station. 

        At the end (spoiler alert!) when the couple renewed their vows, they had a salt/pepper shaker set on the top of their cake :)

        I am raising my 8 year old son as a single mom; I’m not proud of it and I am raising him to be a better man than the father I had and the father he had (who only spent about 2 months with him back when he was 1). In some ways, it is easier this way – my son’s only male influences are wonderfully Christian holy men. But it is NOT ideal and I would not wish this on anyone. 

  • Trish Corlew

    The Bible is still God’s Word and He doesn’t change… if they choose to be in rebellion, there is little anyone can do to change their hearts.  We need to be praying for America.  This didn’t happen over night and we have all been asleep at the wheel for decades.  If we don’t start “Raising Real Men”, that know scripture, know the constitution and history, we will never get out of the mess we are in.  

    • http://twitter.com/raisingrealmen Raising Real Men

      Isn’t that the truth, Trish?

  • http://31thirteen.blogspot.com with eager hands

    YEAH!!!

  • Amber Abston

    We have been trying to instill this in our kids. Our oldest has a hard time with self control, so that is the area we are finding teaching moments in all the time. If one doesn’t learn self control then they will just ‘blow with the wind’. Always doing what feels good and right in their own eyes. It is a hard lesson to learn, at 36y I am still learning it. Thank you for standing for the Word even when the world would rather you didn’t. Some ‘prefer the darkness for their deeds are evil’. You are blessing so many by bringing this into the light!

  • Dawn D Phelps

    I wholly agree with you with regard to marriage. I’m finding, however, that people who agree with biblical marriage will not always agree when the rubber meets the road. My husband and I just gave our oldest daughter in marriage on May 26th. He is a good Christian man and she is a good Christian woman. They were both sexually pure when they married. The problem? He is 19 and she is 18.

    After much prayer (and I do mean MUCH), we all felt this was God’s will and they were engaged for 16 months. They were engaged the day after she turned 17.  While some have been very good about this situation, most have criticized all of us. Many have even accused us of arranging this marriage!

    Having a child marry so young was not in our original plan. We had it all worked out in our minds and God changed that. We learned a long time ago that fighting with God is not wise. It was very clear to all parties involved that this is His will so we went with it. We required that she graduate first. She did so on May 19th so there was no longer an impediment to them getting married.

    I guess the reason I’m posting this here is that as the body of Christ, we should be building each other up and not cutting each other down. Being married is difficult, no matter who one is. It is going to be better for this young couple to be supported than to be criticized wherever they turn. And, we need to all accept that God speaks to different people in different ways. Don’t assume that what God has said to you is the same as what He has said to me. If it isn’t specifically written in the Bible, it is safe to assume that it isn’t a hardfast rule as far as God is concerned.

    • http://twitter.com/raisingrealmen Raising Real Men

      Agreed, Dawn. We’ve got to hold fast to commands and give grace where there aren’t any. 

      Can’t understand why many folks in the world would think it is okay for teens to be physically intimate, but not okay for a 19 who can support a wife to marry an 18yo. 

      I think few these days are mature enough to marry by that age, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be mature enough!

  • Judi

    As long as women put up with it, men will do it. The minute women quit tolerating this kind of treatment we would see a dramatic change in men’s behavior. We need to raise our boys to be men who won’t act like this and raise our girls into women who know they deserve better (as do any children they bear).

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