By Craig Funston
I think most people are clear on “infrastructure.” So when I use that term, I am referring to such things as banking, utilities, highways, and common laws—in other words, any system that supports a civilized society.
And I think most people would agree that without adequate infrastructure, every city and country would be the doomed. Re-stated: If there’s no appropriate infrastructure, all civil order is reduced to a primitive existence. (Think cavemen without the loincloth, Maurice.)
Imagine any weather-ravaged city or war-torn country in recent years. Or just consider the chaos that is mounting with the hordes of desperate refugees surging throughout eastern Europe. In both cases, there is an immediate need for an epic re-build to take care of all the basic needs of a desperate populace.
On that note, however, I believe we have foolishly overlooked another aspect of infrastructure, one that is slowly falling apart before our very eyes. And the irony is as follows: We will pour millions of dollars into some foreign country to help in them in their hour of need, yet ignore our own imploding situation.
I am speaking, of course, of the diminishing support for families right here at home. Families, the most essential foundation and structure of any nation.
Just as we need appropriate banking, utilities, highways and laws to keep a civilized society from falling apart, we also need a healthy family infrastructure to do the same for the nation—this nation, that nation, every nation.
If you want to work with an analogy, try this one: Families are like the foundation and framework of the house, not the sheeting or the shingles. You may tweak the siding or roofing and not make a difference; however, you mess with the foundation or framework of the house, and you have “structural” damage, and the house will not last.
Without effective family infrastructure, any civilized society is finished. This is not a moral rant from a rabid right-winger; this is the conclusion of empirical, historical evidence.
The damage from such an implosion may not be felt for a generation or two, but it will still come. And to put things into perspective, we’re probably looking back at the 60’s or 70’s when the family unit started falling apart. That’s why we are seeing the moral mess now.
As the framework of traditional marriage crumbles, the greatest damage is done to the children. The home is where children are reared in a stable and supportive nurturing environment of a mom and dad, where character, faith, morals, ethics, and behaviour are taught and caught. And the children of today are the adults of tomorrow. What sort of future are we grooming them for?
And as the traditional family model continues to lose it role, rights, and relevance (at least in the minds of too many), we should all be alarmed at the consequences of such short-sighted thinking. Any, and I repeat, “any,” civilized society—pick your millennium, please—that endured always had strong family infrastructure.
To be sure, there is a place for the church, school, and state in this process. They need to be supporting families, not running them; being alongside them, not lording over them. We’ve got it backwards today, and we’re paying the price.
Authentic family infrastructure comes from the bottom up, not the top down.
Let’s go back to the usual use of the word “infrastructure,” using electricity as an example. You don’t have the grid, wires, lights, or bills before you have the water: Harness the water, produce the electricity. No water, no power. Everything comes out of the wise use of the water.
Get the water source first, the dams to generate the power, the wires to transmit it, the lights and outlets to utilize it, then the administration to service it, and you have a successful electrical infrastructure.
The same thing follows with the family infrastructure. As our power comes out of the effective and proper use of water, so too our societal success comes out of supporting the family. Out of that infrastructure, citizens are are developed, homes are established, laws are maintained, and so on.
You might say that, either way, no society can survive without laws or light.