So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. Then he went to her, and the Lord enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son. (Ruth 4:13)

GOD ESTABLISHED the family unit as a husband and wife who have children—in that order—but increasingly His plan is being ignored or rejected. According to USA Today, unmarried couples made up 12 percent of US couples in 2010, and in at least one US city the percentage was 35 percent. Mail Online reported that by February 2012, the percentage of babies born in the United States to unmarried parents had risen to 41 percent. And surely many Americans were aghast when a woman gave birth four years ago to octuplets—six male and two female children, all of whom she had conceived without a husband or even a father for the children, via in vitro fertilization.

Modern culture is certainly guilty of violating God’s model of marriage and family life. While some individuals sin in ignorance, many do so with a seared conscience. Yet, there is hope. If we pray and trust in God’s Spirit to give us the means to share the good news liberally, strengthen our marriages, and nurture our family life, God’s influence through us may reverse the self-destructive course of a fallen society.

Thank God today for your spouse and children, and tell them you love them.

Jim Dyet and his wife, Gloria, have been married fifty-four years. They live in Colorado Springs. Jim enjoys daily walks with his small dogs and playing golf with friends.