The Engage Family Blog

Official Blog of The Family Policy Council of West Virginia

The Theft of the Family

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Guest blog commentary by Nathan A. Cherry.

After God made Adam and Eve and placed them in the Garden of Eden, He gave them a simple directive: “be fruitful, and multiply.” (Gen 1:28) And multiply they did, which is how the human race came to be. But if we read further we will learn that God had a greater plan in mind for the man and the woman. He knew that is was not good for the man to be alone (Gen. 2:18), which is why He created a helper who would stay by man’s side through this life. This was the establishment of the traditional family as we know it today.

Why is this so important? When God established the family I have to assume that as the Creator of all things He knew what He was doing. So when others come along and try to tell me that a family is any number and combination of people living under the same roof according to whatever agreement suits them all; I just have a hard time swallowing such a bitter pill. I can’t imagine that people are better off doing things their own way rather than following the plan of the One who created them. And it would seem that I am not alone in my conclusion.

Recently the Family Research Council ( conducted a confidential survey on the topic of family structure and theft. They concluded that “Adolescents who live in an intact married family are less likely to steal than those living in step-families, those whose parents are divorced, or those raised by cohabiting parents.” In fact, the highest rates of theft among adolescents were those living in a step home, or with a single, cohabiting parent.

Lest I be accused of stereotyping, the facts speak for themselves.

Arguably the most well-adjusted, happy, healthy kids come from homes where both biological parents have lived out a sacred example before them. It would seem to me that in other types of homes much tension would exist. Perhaps “dad” threatens to walk out of this cohabitation if “mom” doesn’t get her act together; there’s nothing to stop him, not even the legal ramifications. And what kind of security can be found in a step-environment? Statistics repeatedly show that once a person has been divorced it becomes easier and easier to divorce a second and third time. How does that provide the stable guidance and leadership that our youth need today?

Though many secular studies would not want to admit it, God had the best plan for the family and home centuries ago when He told one man to commit to one woman for their entire life. Studies and statistics from respected sources such as Focus on the Family and George Barna have consistently shown that when children are raised in an environment of love, respect, trust, and commitment they learn and embody those traits in their own relationships. But when homes are ravished by deceit, abuse, neglect, and desertion they will internalize those traits and carry them into their adult lives where they have a great chance of repeating them.

The conclusions by The Family Research Council are not alone. A Penn State University researcher found that children living in single parent homes were more likely to commit property crimes than others. A researcher at the Research Institute on Addiction concluded that children living in homes with both biological parents have the lowest delinquency levels. And a United Kingdom study found that kids in single parent homes were more prone to vandalism and theft. 

When God established the home as one man and woman with their children, He didn’t do it to be separatists, bigoted, or just plain mean. He did it because He knew that environment was the best to raise children in the “nurture and admonition of the Lord (Eph. 6:4),” and see them become the God fearing, God honoring adults He intended them to be. Who am I, as an individual, and who are we, as a country to tell the Almighty Creator anything about His own creation? 


Nathan A. Cherry holds a Master’s Degree in Biblical Studies from Trinity Theological Seminary.  Nathan provides leadership in discipleship, culturally relevant teaching, and outreach as Associate of Ministry at Central Chapel in Hedgesville, West Virginia.


Written by Jeremy Dys

October 9, 2008 at 3:53 pm

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