Last month the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) wisely voted to send a five-year study of the family back to the committee that drafted it for revision. “Living Faithfully with Families in Transition” was weak precisely where it hoped to be strong—as a social-justice statement about families.
The report preached about being inclusive of all people and all family forms. What really counts, it contended, is how the various forms function and the quality of their communicative process. This, it argued, is what both the social sciences and the Bible say.
The report was mainly wrong about both the social sciences and the Bible. Good family process is important, but on the whole intact married couples do a better job of it. Why? They are on average more invested in both their children and each other. And the Bible’s long march toward endorsing monogamy and its caution about divorce leads to much the same position.