Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Feeling Lonely?

Don't worry, you're not alone.

[A] comprehensive new study paints a sobering picture of an increasingly fragmented America, where intimate social ties - once seen as an integral part of daily life and associated with a host of psychological and civic benefits - are shrinking or nonexistent. In bad times, far more people appear to suffer alone...

If close social relationships support people in the same way that beams hold up buildings, more Americans appear to be dependent on a single beam.

Could it be that there's a socialization crisis in America? Silly me, how can that be possible? After all, isn't one of main reasons people keep telling me to send my children off to school is so they can be socialized? They love to remind me that if they spend too much time with their family, they'll become isolated and social misfits.

Stuff and nonsense. They have it reversed.

The family is where the first and strongest connections to others are made. Isolate a child from his family and he becomes an emotional orphan - always looking but rarely finding lasting friendships. The family provides the foundational beams that make strong relationships with others possible.

Sadly, most churches have bought into the same philosophy. We have isolated children and divided families by age and circumstance. All so that children can learn and develop friendships with others at their level. This continues on into adulthood with college and career, young marrieds, and MOPS. (There's no "POPS" because somewhere in the transition, dads just fall off the radar screen.) We enter the church as a family and leave as individuals. And now we're paying the price.

Just look at all the lonely people.

A friend loveth at all times and a brother is born for adversity. Proverbs 17:17

(HT: Dr. Helen)

Related posts by Spunky: The Youth Group Question, Fit for Service (An article about keeping children in the service.) and R is for Relationship.

For an excellent essay on the family and church minsitry read Voddie Buacham's thoughts.

Related bloggers: Confessor, Why Homeschool

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