When I was growing up, no one ever asked what a “family” was. It was assumed that everyone knew the answer. Well, I described just how much, and how quickly, times have changed in my new book with Sean McDowell called “Same-Sex Marriage: A Thoughtful Approach to God’s Design for Marriage.”
Dennis Prager summed it up well when he said, “In one generation we’ve gone from ‘father knows best’ to ‘father doesn’t matter’.” Christians and other traditionalists on this issue will say a family consists of a married man and woman and any kids who come along. Others will say that definition is too restrictive, that a family can be an unmarried man and woman, or a man and a man, or a woman and a woman. Others wonder why we restrict the family unit to two adults at all and advocate a kind of model known as polyamory.
“Who are you,” they pointedly ask us, “to tell people who they can love?”
In the old days, we could point to the Bible as well as the thousands of years of history to support our answer. But what do we do when people either reject the witness of Scripture and history, or willfully change its clear message?
Well, there is yet another source of authority that most of our neighbors still respect. It’s called “science.” And while empirical data are limited in what they can tell us about moral questions such as what makes a marriage, they can tell us a lot about what works in the real world.
And that’s why the findings of Mexican sociologist Fernando Pliego are so interesting. Pliego, a researcher at the Autonomous National University of Mexico, looked at 351 academic studies in thirteen countries on five continents.
Read more: Breakpoint