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Squires: Nick Cannon, COVID, and CRT prove a biblical approach to family produces superior results than the whims of culture

Op-ed
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Entertainer Nick Cannon shares something in common with a global pandemic and the race obsession enveloping our schools.

Cannon, coronavirus, and critical race theory combine to demonstrate why a husband and wife committed to one another and their children provide the most solid foundation for future generations as well as the most flexibility in times of uncertainty.

During an interview on a popular radio show, Cannon sounded exactly like the pseudo-intellectual, anti-monogamy rock star that he is. He claimed that marriage is a "Eurocentric" practice that is rooted in property ownership. He stated that women lead in the relationship and are in control of the baby-making process. Cannon has seven children with four women. Three of his children were born less than two weeks apart. When asked how he could spend time with all his children since they are in different households, he responded that time is a "man-made construct."

Celebrity status aside, Cannon's attitudes reflect significant changes in American family life since the 1960s. Changing attitudes about marriage and its necessity before having children have had such a drastic impact on nonmarital birth rates that 40% of all children in America are now born to unwed parents. Fathers who don't live with any of their children or support multiple households can still be good dads. They just can't be there for a child who cries out in the middle of the night because of a bad dream or a high fever. They must also manage multiple relationships with their children's mothers. That means that energy, resources, and attention that could be concentrated on one household must now be shared across multiple homes.

Our society has been saturated in feminist thought for more than 60 years. A byproduct of this saturation is the notion that a woman whose primary focus is her home and children is somehow selling herself short. Vice President Kamala Harris expressed that view when she claimed that women were being "burdened" with child care responsibilities while children were learning from home due to COVID. She also stated, "Women should not have to be presented with false choices that say, 'You either have a career or you raise your children.'" She believes women should be able to do both. The view that children get in the way of a woman's career aspirations is an article of faith in our culture and an unacknowledged cornerstone of our approach to social policy.

Our culture celebrates women who run large complex enterprises, unless those enterprises are their homes. It idolizes women who dedicate their lives to educating children, unless they homeschool. It rejects the thought of women laboring under the authority of a man, unless it's her boss. It opposes any notion that a woman should have to submit to anyone, unless it's the government bureaucrat who tells her what she must do to continue receiving her benefits.

The pandemic also gave many parents a window into what their children were learning, and their response has been resounding. They are showing up at school board meetings to protest how critical race theory has been applied in the classroom. They are tired of their children being fed oppressed-oppressor narratives, and they don't want to see high standards eliminated. The education sector has been overstepping its boundaries for years, often acting as if it owns our children. "Educators" forgot that in loco parentis is Latin for "in place of a parent," not Spanish for "these crazy parents!"

This is why a stable and solid family structure is so important. Growing in our Christian faith inspired my wife and me to change our approach to family in hopes of fortifying our own foundation. My wife left her job last year after the birth of our third child, and we also decided to homeschool our children. That shift was motivated by the practical reality of child care costs. More important, however, were the spiritual realities that marriage is a lifelong covenant between two imperfect people, my duty as a husband is to provide for my household, the home is where both body and soul come for nourishment, and education is equal parts scholarship and discipleship.

Politicians may think my wife leaving her job is a setback for her as a woman. She sees it as an opportunity to pour herself into our children and shape them according to our value system, not the shifting norms of culture. Economists may think our household is going to miss out on the extra income. I believe the peace and unity of my family is far more valuable than another paycheck. Teachers' unions may claim that my kids are missing out on important socialization. I'm thankful my three-year-old won't have to explain why a classmate used the "F-word."

I'm not advocating a single approach to family life. There is more than one way to replicate the picture the Bible paints of the Christian household, where husbands provide for the home and promote the spiritual development of everyone in it, wives submit to their husbands and prioritize their homes and children, and children obey their parents and learn to get along with one another. A household like that will produce the type of love, peace, strength and order that I would want to see passed on as an inheritance to future generations.

What the culture offers is men and women motivated by selfish desires, even in marriage. The past 60 years have shown us what happens when public policy and popular culture undermine families by encouraging women to marry the government and allowing men to abandon their responsibilities to their children. These changes have been a recipe for strife, anger, bitterness, confusion, and division. Children need more than resources to become well-adjusted adults. The rates of anxiety, depression, drug use, and suicide are direct reflections on American family life. Psalm 127 begins, "Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain." I prefer the Master's blueprint to anything the culture is trying to create.
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