5.31.2009

The Real Family Drama


You know a pop culture story is overblown when even I heard about it. Not having much exposure to the tabloids or TV, I have still heard smatterings of information about OctoMom, Jon & Kate, and, most recently, the Bucks County woman who faked her and her daughter's abduction and ended up in Orlando.

Not surprisingly, America is eating all this up. We take perverse delight as we crane our necks to watch these familial car wrecks. Our tsk-tsking indignation feels good like a deep itch just waiting to be scratched. We shake our heads with a wise sadness beyond our years as we remark, "think of the children," or "what has come of our generation."

And yet we judge and condemn on very unsolid ground. We ourselves are guilty, if not in degree or under the same scrutiny than at least of the same substance, of pandering for popularity, entertaining thoughts of infidelity, throwing our loved ones under the bus, not giving our children enough regard, giving them too much regard, and covering it all up under a veneer of commendable competence and breezy happiness.

One of the things any church historian will tell you is that any major revival in religious fervor is necessarily preceded by a wave of repentance, a gripping of awareness of one's own sins and a healthy ownership of the guilt associated with being part of a faithless generation. If we are really honest with ourselves, hearing about the travails of Nadya Suleman, the Gosselins, and Bonnie Sweeten shouldn't make us feel better about ourselves as we revel in the transgressions of someone else. Rather, they should remind us of how pockmarked we would look if the spotlight was on us; and of how far we do in fact fall short in the presence of Almighty God, as people, spouses, and parents.

I do not know if these celebrity moms/couples will find redemption in the eyes of the media or in their marriages. But, despite the very best efforts of the enemy of our souls to tear our marriages and families and spouses and children apart, we can find redemption and relief and repair and revival in this generation through One who made us, made the institution of marriage, made our children, and continues to make a way for us to make it through it all. With God's great plan for us as the magnificent backdrop, we must daily choose to fight the good faith for our own soul's sake and for the sake of our marriages and our kids. To me, that's the real family drama to follow.
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