Casting vision for a generation that can’t imagine marriage is desirable.
When some of us over-40 folks talk about “defending marriage” with statements like “kids need a mom and a dad” or “traditional marriages are healthier,” we are essentially using an ineffective message.
For the generation of under-30-year-olds, we have to go back further than that; we have to help the re-imagine marriage.
When we use statements like “kids need a mom and a dad” they reject that as untrue because their experience tells them otherwise. They might have wanted a mom and dad that stayed married, or wanted a mom and dad who didn’t fight with each other, but when they take stock of their life so far — if they have any degree of success and normalcy — they deduce that you really don’t need a mom and a dad to succeed in life. (Sure, it might be desirable, but its not an absolute.)
Even if millennials did grow up in a stable two-parent family they most certainly had extended family members and close friends who did not, and as they assess life through their friends’ experience they reach the same conclusion – kids don’t really need a mom and a dad.
So we have to help the next generation – mellennials particularly but also many gen-xers – to re-imagine marriage. The vision of a conflict-free family with both biological parents married to each other has to be re-introduced to most Americans, along with a compelling vision of its benefits, peace and pleasures.
So how do we do that? I’m open for suggestions.