Marriage: The Ties That Bind (And That Shouldn’t Bind)

Marriage is going downhill–in America and worldwide–and it seems to start in the land my great-great-grandfather came from: the Netherlands. I’ve always had a little place in my heart for that country built by the hands of my ancestors. They made it–they conquered it.

But today, as many of those Christians have left the country, it is a horrible and sinful country. As reported in the Brussels Journal two days ago, polygamy has been legalized in Holland.

The Netherlands and Belgium were the first countries to give full marriage rights to homosexuals. In the United States some politicians propose “civil unions” that give homosexual couples the full benefits and responsibilities of marriage. These civil unions differ from marriage only in name.

Meanwhile in the Netherlands polygamy has been legalised in all but name. Last Friday the first civil union of three partners was registered. Victor de Bruijn (46) from Roosendaal “married” both Bianca (31) and Mirjam (35) in a ceremony before a notary who duly registered their civil union.

“I love both Bianca and Mirjam, so I am marrying them both,” Victor said. He had previously been married to Bianca. Two and a half years ago they met Mirjam Geven through an internet chatbox. Eight weeks later Mirjam deserted her husband and came to live with Victor and Bianca. After Mirjam’s divorce the threesome decided to marry.

That’s just totally and completely w-r-o-n-g. God created marriage in the beginning–one man, one woman. Not Adam and Steve. Not Adam and Eve, and Eve Squared.

Also, Dr. Mohler looks at Sociologist James Q. Wilson’s view on marriage on his website, and it’s worth taking a look at. Wilson’s article “The Ties That Do Not Bind” is very interesting to read.

Bad Boys, Bad Boys, Whatcha Gonna Do?

“Nearly as many men are behind bars or on probation and parole (5 million) as are in college (7.3 million).”

I found this article interesting and intriquing. Is it true?

Where the Boys Are, released in 1960, is the quintessential college spring-break movie. Today, visitors to college campuses can’t help but ask: Where are the boys?

Currently, 135 women receive bachelor’s degrees for every 100 men. That gender imbalance will widen in the coming years, according to a new report by the U.S. Department of Education.

This is ominous for every parent with a male child. The decline in college attendance means many will needlessly miss out on success in life. The loss of educated workers also means the country will be less able to compete economically. The social implications – women having a hard time finding equally educated mates – are already beginning to play out. [That’s a big “Ouch.”]

But the inequity has yet to provoke the kind of response that finally opened opportunities for women a generation ago. In fact, virtually no one is exploring the obvious questions: What has gone wrong? And what happens to all the boys who aren’t in college?

Some join the armed forces, but the size of the military has remained steady, at about 1.4 million, for the past decade. For the rest, the prospects appear dark:

The workforce. Thousands of young men find work as drywallers, painters and general laborers, but many have troubling landing jobs. The unemployment rate for young men ages 20-24 is 10.1%, twice the national rate. As for earnings, those who don’t graduate from college are at a severe, lifelong financial disadvantage: Last year, men 25 and older with a college degree made an average of $47,000 a year, while those with a high school degree earned $30,000.

Prisons and jails. Nearly as many men are behind bars or on probation and parole (5 million) as are in college (7.3 million). [Hold it…we’re throwing out a lot of statistics here, are we not? Who is struggling? What types of men? Backgrounds? Race? Etc.?]

“Lost.” Young people who aren’t in school or the workforce are dubbed “non-engaged” by the annual Kids Count report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation. But “lost” sounds just as accurate. About 3.8 million youth ages 18-24 belong to this group, roughly 15% of all people of that age. Though there are no gender breakdowns for this group, the pathways leading to this dead end – dropping out from high school, emerging from the juvenile justice system – are dominated by boys.

While demographers and economists have a pretty good idea where the boys end up, educators are largely clueless about the causes. Some say female teachers in elementary and middle schools, where male teachers are scarce, naturally enforce a girl-friendly environment that rewards students who can sit quietly – not a strong point for many boys, who earn poor grades and fall behind. Others argue that a smart-isn’t-cool bias has seeped into boys of all racial and ethnic groups.

Solutions are just as uncertain. Hiring more male teachers would likely help, as would countering the anti-intellectual male code. But it’s not that simple. Many boys leave middle school with pronounced shortcomings in verbal skills. Those lapses contribute to the low grade and high dropout rates.

Surely, a problem that creates crime, increases unemployment and leads to hopelessness deserves attention. Where are the boys? Too often, going nowhere.

According to Education Watch:

The lack of boys on campus just means that boys are wising up faster than girls to the uselessness of many degrees. And none too soon. Ivar Berg demonstrated the uselessness of most tertiary education 30 years ago — and educational standards have certainly not risen since then. Unsurprisingly, the article also fails to mention race differences. It notes the large male population in jails as if it were a problem for all males when in fact it is mainly a problem for black males. The article is basically a sanctimonious attempt to scare young males back into college by way of gross misrepresentations of what a lack of college education generally leads to. Read Berg’s book (now out in a 2003 edition) for the real facts of the matter.

Thoughts? Is this just “girls are better than boys so you guys need to get back into college to show them up” or is it “we’re worried about boys today.” Or could it possibly be that it’s completely true, and we need more male teachers or whatever? I’m sure my female readers were heartily agreeing that they’re having a harder time finding males with the same brain capabilities. But let’s not get into that debate–guys are always smarter, right?

Of course, the best solution would be to homeschool your kids. That would solve a lot of problems.

Demon Child

“When you’re essentially told you have a demon child, you feel like you’ve failed yourself and your kid,”

As I sat in Dr. Mohler’s studio the other day he mentioned that one of his most popular shows that he’d done in the past–spanking. Of course, I had an idea for a post, which quickly flashed, through my mind. But I also quickly put it away. I wouldn’t steal controversy.

But much to my surprise this morning I picked up USA Today and glanced at one of the front page articles: “Out-of-line preschoolers increasingly face expulsion.”

My first thoughts were “who is the one who is supposed to keep kids in line? The teachers? Are they the ones who must put up with kicking, fighting, screaming, biting and the six-year-old and his dirty underpants? Are parents dumping their kids off expecting the teachers to take their jobs as parents while the mom and dad head off to make money to pay for three cars and a million-dollar home?

Today, 7 our of every 1000 preschoolers are expelled for not sharing, acts of anger, throwing mulch, running ahead of the group, and other instances of blatant disobedience. Is this treatment too harsh for preschoolers?

“This is an issue that cuts across (demographic) settings,” Walter Gillian says regarding expelled children, “We’re talking about the educational equivalent of capital punishment being handed down to the very young.”

So what’s the problem? How can we reduce the amount of children expelled on a regular basis? Could the problem be that we do not have enough teachers in the classroom? Or could it be poor parenting?

“When you’re essentially told you have a demon child, you feel like you’ve failed yourself and your kid,” says Claire Lerner, director of parent education at the non-profit group Zero to Three.

Maybe they ought to feel that way if the discipline of the child has been neglected. I’m not going to rush in right here a push for one type of discipline technique or anything (though the counting “One…two…three” is the worst technique ever invented), but I will support obedience. That’s basic. Discipline for obedience.

Yes, I was spanked, and I can tell you that I do not remember that much about it (no, my parents are not forcing nor telling me to put this in the post). I believe I’m better because of spanking. It’s not necessarily the most pleasant thing in the world, but it’s worked for generations, and if used correctly, is a great tool in parenting.

But when we have parents who give their children far too many choices, we have serious issues. I’ve seen at associate with kids who’ve been raised with too many choices of what they wanted for breakfast and what they wanted to wear to school. They are never ordered to do anything. The parents may attempt to negotiate with them, but will basically allow them whatever they want.

Most of these kids are the “monsters” expelled from school because they think only of themselves, and may “behave” only if they get their way or it will be of benefit to them. How in the world will these children be able to relate and act properly in society when they have never learned to obey and follow orders?

For some though, it may be special needs, and I understand that. Betsy Tores said that they are “seeing kids now from fractured families with no ability to bond.”

Every issue really boils down to the base of society–the family. When that breaks down, everything else follows, and we’re seeing the repercussions.

The family: Dad, Mom, and kids. It’s a fact of life that’s getting torn apart–and we as a society are reaping the consequences in the government, in our schools, and in every place we go.

Let’s pray that we return to the foundation of all society.

Back In Action

I’ve got an article entitled “Demon Child” (or something to that degree) coming up here on Agent Tim Online. The only problem is that I must head on out to my church to help lead worship, so I don’t have time to type anything up. But stay tuned folks…Agent Tim is back on the blogoshpere.


Quick update: I’m here. I’m alive. I’ll be audio posting.

And last night was awesome–we heard the president of the New Orleans Seminary speak…and he received a standing ovation…it was really awesome to see that the Southern Baptists were the first on the ground in NO. Awesome…

The Earth Is Full Of Your Splendor

“How many are your works, O Lord! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.”

And the earth is full of your splendor.

As I sat on the plane two nights ago, I got to watch the sun set below the horizon. It’s colorful rays flashing across the rolling clouds below made me sit back and just think about God. And as I sat there, I wondered how a person could believe that there is no God, and that all things are made by accident.

I know it’s an old though, but it seems so new every time you open your eyes long enought to see God’s glory displayed in the world around you.

How is a building made without a builder?

My Grandpa and I walked past this architecture studio, just full of designs, and computers, and a beatifut interior. They, of course, desing buildings. The designs were pretty complex, and beautiful as well. But if we just look at the earth and our bodies, we are so much more complex than the tallest skyscraper in Nashville. Yet people would believe that we are accidents made by nothing, when they cannot believe that a skyscraper had no maker. It certainly does seem unreasonable to believe that there is no God.

Would this arguement stand the test before an atheist? Probably not before some more fleshing out of my short essay, but I believe that it’s pretty logical. It’s a valid arguement. So off I go, and leave you with my thoughts above.