Congressman Paul Ryan has taken some heat the past few days for comments he made last week on Bill Bennett’s Morning in America. In discussing the problem of poverty in America, Ryan, in part, said this:
We have got this tailspin of culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning the value and the culture of work, and so there is a real culture problem here that has to be dealt with.
Ryan was quickly attacked by some colleagues in Congress and certain media outlets as being racist. Representative, Barbara Lee responded: “My colleague Congressman Ryan’s comments about “inner city” poverty are a thinly veiled racial attack and cannot be tolerated. Let’s be clear, when Mr. Ryan says “inner city,” when he says, “culture,” these are simply code words for what he really means: “black.”
As expected Ryan defended his comments saying, “This has nothing to do whatsoever with race…. It was a long talk and he asked about the culture. This isn’t a race based comment; it’s a breakdown of families….”
ThePreachersWord is not interested in defending or decrying the comments of either Ryan or Lee. But we believe this. When God’s word is disrespected, when there is a breakdown of the family unit, and when the home is no longer the cornerstone of our culture, there will be problems! Not the least of which is poverty.
In the preface to his book, Is There a Man in the House, Dr. Charles Stanley wrote: “I believe that our society’s widespread civil disobedience, disregard for parental authority, immorality and other lawlessness are the direct result of modern man ignoring a basic spiritual principle – – God’s design for marriage and the home. And the blame for our present dilemma rests squarely on the shoulders of our nation’s MEN because they have been designated by God as the heads of their families. Socially and spiritually, the hour is late for healthy homes in America. My urgent plea is: “Will the real man stand up? And, stand – please, before it is too late.”
Those warnings were written by Dr. Stanley in 1977! In the past 37 years our culture has wandered father away from the Bible concepts of home and family, and the man’s role and responsibility. As a result, our problems have grown greater.
This past week Norma Jean and I just completed leading an 8 week course on Dynamic Marriage for our church Family. The material from Family Dynamics Institute (which we highly recommend) uses Dr. Willard Harley’s book, His Needs Her Needs. Dr. Harley says there are ten emotional needs that men and women need fulfilled. Five are typically male and five are typically female.
The ten emotional needs are affection, sexual fulfillment, intimate conversation, recreational companionship, honesty and openness, physical attractiveness, financial support, domestic support, family commitment and admiration.
Admittedly some of these needs can find some degree of legitimate fulfillment outside of marriage. But God has clearly placed inside the marriage bond the responsibility of sexual fulfillment, financial support, domestic support and family commitment. In the beginning God ordered, and ordained the arrangement of marriage. Between one man and one woman. He called it good! The Bible says that marriage is honorable. Marriage is about love, not lust.
Men and Women have mutual responsibilities in marriage. Mutual respect. Mutual rights. God calls upon men to be leaders of the home. To work. To provide. To serve. To support. When men fail to meet their duties, the family falls apart.
Until our culture is willing to submit to God’s plan for marriage, there will be too much poverty. Crime. And societal unrest and upheaval. Our only hope is to return to the beginning….”In the beginning God…..”
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman