America's Number One Problem

Our nation suffers from a sickness in its soul.

by Dennis Rainey

As a people, we are healthier, but not happier. We are drenched in knowledge, but parched for wisdom. The most prosperous nation the world has ever known suffers from a sickness in its soul. 

Nowhere is this more apparent than in the state of the family. The biblical values that built our great nation-once passed on from each generation to the next as a national treasure-are now dismissed. As a result, never before have we seen such deterioration in our homes:

Never before have so many children grown up in broken homes.

Never before have so many new married couples come from homes split by divorce.

Never before have so many new parents begun the journey of being called "Mommy" or "Daddy" with such a fractured picture of family.

Never before has the definition of marriage been altered to allow for two people of the same sex.

Never before have our prisons been so full of men who grew up in homes where their fathers were absent.

Never before has the Christian family been so secularized.

Never before has the marriage covenant been viewed with such contempt by a generation of young people.

Never before have parents been ridiculed for seeking to raise children with biblical values.

Never before has it been so culturally unfriendly to be a family with convictions, standards, and boundaries.

Never before have so many Christians laughed, shrugged their shoulders, or done nothing about adultery, divorce, and sin.

Never before have so many been so silent.

Never before has materialism been so flagrantly embraced over relationships.

Never before have we needed enduring models of how to live out a marriage covenant.

Never before has the family been in such need of a new legacy.

The spiritual reformation of America needs a focal point, a rallying cry. I believe this focal point is the family. The pivotal national issue today is not crime; neither is it welfare, health care, education, politics, the economy, the media, or the environment. The issue today is the spiritual and moral condition of individual families.

Perhaps you, too, have lamented the degenerating state of our nation's families. But like many, you have felt a sense of hopelessness--that our culture is sliding downhill and there's nothing you can do about it.

But you are wrong. You may not realize it, but you-and millions of ordinary people like you-are the key to reforming this country.

I am convinced, as never before, that we need a spiritual reformation in this country. And that reformation must begin--can only begin--with individuals. With me. With you.

Nations are never changed until people are changed. The true hope for genuine change in the heart lies only in the life-changing power of Jesus Christ. Through Him, lives can be rebuilt. Through Him, families can be reformed. Through Him, society can be restored.

It's time for this generation to make a stand for the family. I would like to challenge you to consider two things:

First, determine what type of legacy you want to pass on to your children. How will your children remember you? As a man or woman who was concerned with the things of this world, or someone who modeled a life-changing faith in Jesus Christ?

Second, determine to become part of a generation that makes a dramatic commitment to rebuild the family. The time has come for this generation to draw a line in the sand that will not be crossed, to build a wall around the family that will not be breached.

My prayer is that God will work in your heart and give you the courage and strength to leave a true, lasting legacy in your home and in our nation.

Copyright © 2009 by FamilyLife. All rights reserved.

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