With this sort of thesis, it should easily go without saying that, to transform a society, the family must be strong. We are living in a post-modern era, in which some almost universal hallmarks of a strong family are eroding. I am not speaking strictly of the post-war American nuclear family either. I am speaking of both the nuclear family of the West as well as the extended family of the East, and many forms of that in other corners of our world.
Clearly, when we speak of strong families we are speaking of an historic commitment by healthy cultures to families comprised--at their core-- usually of one woman, one man, united in some form of official marriage to each other. From their marriage comes the pleasure of their sexual union, and from that, the procreation of the human family. While there have been a few exceptions to this general rule, by far the majority of human societies have embraced this view of family, and have seen the health of their societies calibrated to some extent by the preservation of this foundation to their living together in community. And, indeed, most societies certainly tolerate exceptions to this normalcy, but until recently, they have not celebrated the exceptions and have continually sought for a basic ideal.
And there is also, certainly in tandem with broad objectives in especially their educational spheres, a generic understanding that inherent societal values do get passed along in the midst of a healthy familial life together, whether it's sexuality, early vocational values, the rights and responsibilities of individuals in the larger collection of communal and societal life.
The passing on of inherent values is not limited to family--certainly religion and education usually play a part. But it has only been the advent of late modernity and the bifurcation of life into various disparate segments that we've seen some clear breakdowns in many societies because of no clear connections with elements of strong families with these other social values, roles and assumptions.
When we speak of obedient nations, an integrated or wholistic approach must certainly embrace the assumption that our societies are thriving and healthy to the degree that strong families are celebrated and strengthened. And that the degree to which families have been undermined on various fronts requires of us, as Christ-followers, as leaders in our communities, cities and nations to offer our aid. This would be on multiple fronts, to help the family regain its strength and basic biblical ideals for the legacy and foundation of solid family ties, to thereby strengthen all other related arenas of life in our societies.
This certainly means that the church in our nations must become a safe place--for all forms of family, as well as a place where everyone belongs, even when we do celebrate the constancy and longevity of solid marriages and high moral values.