Huh? Really, how interesting. Mr Man huh, well.......hmm
~Please bear with me as I try to relay this post / writing, I'm not sure how to write it, it's an actual series of events and I'm not wanting to make it all "choppy" so I'll try my best to "tell the story" in a lucid way that makes sense.
*It begins with the story of the theft of my daughters purse at our home. We know who did it and it's been an interesting story to play out. The girls involved in the theft are 2 girls from the neighborhood that my daughter got to know, one she goes to school with. At the same time all of this was happening the girls had begun going to Church with us on Weds nights. The "purse" incident is behind us as much as we can put it there, my daughter being 12 at the time and on the more sheltered side of that, really experienced some emotions about the situation as she can not concieve a "friend" doing that, ah lifes lessons. The whole incident has been a wealth of "teachable moments" and continues. However this story has nothing to do with all of that, sort of. We had explained to our daughter that these girls being "minors" should know better, but for whatever reason don't, we explained that as she (our daughter) understands right from wrong by our teaching but not all kids are blessed to have parents involved in their lives.
*About the time of the purse incident, as we were getting to know these girls my wife was "questioned" by them as to some things, I'm guessing to establish the family connections. My wife was asked if I was her boyfriend, to which she explained no, I was indeed her husband, then she was asked the length of marriage and it was quickly compared to my daughters age, I'm assuming establishing that "yes, I'm the dad", not a step parent. My son, being younger than his sister was "covered" I guess by virtue of being younger. Now you would think that all of this info would establish lineage & titles, the girls knowing my daughters last name and knowing it was my wifes as well had begun calling her Mrs Bacon (she was NOT thrilled), (this was a first and made her feel old) anyway, as the night progressed, they were asking me some questions about the Church. They began by calling me Mr Man, not being sure of the last name, I'm not trying to seem closed minded here, but by this point it'd be a given to me that my last name was Bacon too. Yet, I digress, they went on to "check" with my daughter and verify that my last name was Bacon and refered to me as such from there on.
*Now I will say upon thinking about this that I'm surprised in this day and age they are using the Mr & Mrs reference to anyone, thats kind of a lost terminology to many in our more casual society. I guess where I'm "thrown" is all the confusion to get to the Mr & Mrs Bacon point, I know that divorce is at an all time high and single motherhood is right there with it, but has it gone so far that kids have lost the concept of even the possibility that a couple could get married, then have kids AND (goin out on a limb here) stay together and raise them? Wow, I am living in a bubble. When I got to the Church and headed into the class that I help lead with Young Adult (college age) people, it's more of the same as we discuss whats going on in their lives, the single mom & step parent references abound. In many of these "older" kids you can honestly see a visible "loss" of something from all of this. I can't describe it, but a "maturing" I guess, it's like they haven't had a conformation or validation that adulthood has arrived, stuck between adolescence and young adult - possibly indefinately if something doesn't "click" one day.
*I truly never thought I'd see a time when kids meeting another childs parents would have an assumptive default setting of them NOT both being the biological parents, in addition to the default of marriage NOT being the norm but the exception. I realize that this may be indicitive of the area that were in, that it may not "hold" some other places around the USA, but still, I never thought I'd see this on this scale in America. What is the cause for this decline and change? Hmm, this could go a lot of ways but I'm (as always) looking at things spiritually. It really isn't a political issue anyway, as there are some things that you just can't "legislate" and I believe that this falls into that category.
*From a Biblical, Christian standpoint, the world and man(kind) is fallen, just like societies of long ago (extinct now) when left to our own sinful devices we will go to the lowest common denominator as our default setting. Don't get mad yet, this might not be going where you think. Sodom & Gomorrah, Rome and many others when ruled by human instinct and urge, did not survive. We don't need to go into all the details as I think we know. The point being that there are cases and cause for divorce, sadly it happens. People choose to have children without being married, it happens too. My intent is not to play the "morality police" role here, but to look at the impact and affect a growing trend is having on the youth most affected by it. I'll be realistic and honest too, although I don't believe in "living together" without the commitment of marriage, I know it happens, a lot. I also know that some couples have done it and did a good job raising their kids and/or step kids, I'm not denying that it can be done. At the same time we've seen many a strong and powerful woman raise a child or multiple children all on her own. Some guys have achieved this too.
*However the people I'm looking are the kids that are falling between the cracks because of the selfish parents that are only worried about themselves, it happens all to often. Be it leaving the family to pursue their own life, failing to pay the way, not investing any time, I see many that go through the seperation and spend more of their time seeking a new mate then focusing on their kids. Far to many adults are more concerned about THEIR "happiness and fun" than anything for their kids. All to often the kids who grow up in this situation become the same way, it's a learned behaviour. I've known some that rebelled against it and set out to be the best parent that they could be to their kids later in life, but I think sadly that is the exception, and not the norm.
*What is the solution? I don't know, I'm trying not to seem or come off here as overly judgemental but a level of accountability is certainly a good idea. Although, I don't know how much more we can legislate "parenting" beyond what already stands as law. To do so in the case of many of the issues covered here would be to attempt to legislate morality as well. Yet, if we keep the realization at the forefront of our thoughts that the family unit is the foundational building block of a society, then the realization that as the family goes, soon shall the society follow. In a study of antiquity it seems that even hedonistic Rome was BUILT on a moral and restrictive fiber, it was their success that led to the arrogant power driven desire and pursuit, for all to do freely as they please, and so became the begining of the end of the Roman Empire. Rome's morality was actually looking up, due in large part to the spread of Christianity. Abortions and infantcide which were once "the norm", especially for female babies, had all but vanished, but perhaps to little to late as the demise had already eaten away the foundation.
~Shattered shells of people who have no identity, structure or moral clarity are destined to collapse, especially when a society is full of them. So please, try to uphold families, encourage togetherness and stability, tough it out whenever possible, as long as no ones health or safety is at stake, make it work. What seems like an individual decision that "doesn't" affect others, actually does affect society as a whole, and there are SO many of those individual decisions now that it's really rocking the boat.