• Trent Hess

Having Kids to Rebuild Culture

If you’re like me, you’re concerned about the direction our culture is heading. Or to be more accurate, you’re concerned where the culture has already gone and where it might go next. It’s really the speed of change that is most alarming. In 2008, barely over 10 years ago, a majority of voters in California approved a ban on same-sex marriage. Today, even in traditional parts of the country you are expected to not just accept same-sex marriage, but to celebrate it!

Needless to say, if you’re a Californian in 2019 it is completely unacceptable to express the viewpoint that the majority of voters in the state held just a few years ago.

Then there’s “Transgender” issues, which a few years ago weren’t even close to being discussed in the cultural mainstream, but are now being pushed as something that must be celebrated unquestioningly. Cultural changes also include the increasing push to remove any trace of God and Christianity from public life, celebrate abortion, remove all vestiges of gender differences (especially masculinity), denigrate the traditional nuclear family, and in general push Christians into societal irrelevance. These changes are happening incredibly fast.

This can tend to make Christians like myself feel discouraged and basically write off the whole cultural battle as a lost cause. And who knows, maybe it is. Maybe this is part of God’s plan in some way to bring about his will here in America, to separate dark from light, and to strengthen the faith of believers and their reliance on Him. But in the meantime, I don’t think we should give up trying to influence the culture around us and call it back to God’s truth.

If we want to impact the culture in the most effective way possible, and for the long-term, the best thing to do is to have kids.

Not just have kids, but teach them. Train them. Raise them in truth and equip them with the tools to go into the world and make a difference!

The reality is that the birthrate in America is on a steady downward march, just like it is in Canada, Europe and most developed Asian countries. It’s become very unusual to have more than 2 or 3 children. This means that if Christians would consistently go against the grain in this regard and have large families, they could begin to have a growing cultural influence. Once again, this all hinges on us making a concerted effort to raise our children intentionally. This means not letting them be propagandized by the public education system, media, or their peers.

You may say, “But Trent…. Isn’t it distasteful to use children as a tool to rebuild culture?” I have two responses to this.

1.) It is important to be clear that the Culture War is secondary to each of our children’s inherent value. If there were no cultural battle going on, I would still advocate having a large family. Each of my children is a special gift from God and brings joy to our lives. There is nothing more fulfilling than raising our family, and if you don’t feel this way I would not encourage you to have a large family for any reason.

2.) No. It is not distasteful. To illustrate this, let me tell you about Katrina Lantos-Swet. She is the daughter of Tom Lantos, who was a long-serving and well-known Democratic Congressman from California. He was also a Holocaust survivor, as was his wife. Horrifically, the majority of both Tom and his wife’s family were killed in the Holocaust. Tom and his wife had two daughters, one of them being Katrina Lantos-Swet. Between Katrina and her sister, they had 17 children. They basically set about rebuilding the family that was so brutally taken away. This was a source of great pride to the Lantos’s, and it was an act of hope; an act of defiance against the evil that the Nazis committed, and it is inspiring. It is not distasteful. Katrina went on to become well known for her work on behalf of human rights around the world, which is how I heard of her and her story.

The point is, the culture around us has been on the decline for quite a few years with no signs of stopping. It is in need of Christians willing to be respectful, yet bold, and to be a light to the world around them. Having children and raising them to be a part of this cultural rebuilding is a worthy endeavor and is not something to be ashamed of.

So parents, keep up the good work!

You are making a difference.

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