Child poverty is a cultural breakdown and is on a rise in our nation. We are experiencing an increase in child poverty and a greater dependency on the State. Scripture declares, “If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Psalms 11:3). The Census Bureau reported in a study released this week that 65 percent of American children lived in households taking aid from one or more federal programs as of the fall of 2011. This has dangerous implications.
“Almost two-thirds of children,” said the Census Bureau, “lived in households that participated in at least one or more of the following government aid programs: Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), Medicaid, and the National School Lunch Program.”
This may seem like a blessing, but it has a dangerous flipside, it creates a culture of dependence on the State. Think about it like this, “Dependence on the federal government (Pharaoh’s kingdom) is the earliest life-lesson some Americans are teaching their children?”
“In 2011 there were 74,294,000 children 17 and under and 47,939,000 of these children -- or 65 percent -- lived in households receiving aid from one or more of these programs. That included 34,959,000 in the National School Lunch Program; 26,350,000 in households on Medicaid; 17,321,000 in households on food stamps; 6,350,000 in households on WIC; and 2,279,000 in households on TANF.”
This means that children living in households that have never taken federal assistance are now a minority in the United States.
In the future, those not living in dependence on government assistance will be among a minority of adults. What happens if or when this aid stops?
One reason for the dependence on government aid has to do with the breakdown of the Christian family model. As recently as 1970, according to the Census Bureau, 85.2 percent of American children were living with two parents but by 2011 that number dropped to 68 percent.
“Of the 74,294,000 children 17 and under in the United States in the fall of 2011, 50,442,000 -- or 68 percent -- were living with two parents. However, 3,760,000 of those children were living with two parents who were not married, leaving only 46,682,000 children -- or 63 percent -- living with two married parents.”
Dismantle the family and children enter the quicksand of poverty. Here are the odious stats:
Notice the breakup of the traditional family model of two married parents leads children into poverty. The ultimate struggle for the future of America is not political or economic, but cultural. It is between those who believe in Christ and His Kingdom culture, traditional family life and values, and those who do not.
This Census Bureau report highlights the importance of apostolic ministry church structure with all five ascension gifts equipping and empowering the saints, and the restoration of all things which includes family government and personal responsibility. God made it very clear:
“And God spake all these words, saying, I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” (Exodus 20:1-3)
These figures lead us to some important questions such as: What institutions can reverse these trends of cultural decline? Can the public school system, universities, Washington D.C. politicians and bureaucrats, the courts, or Hollywood entertainers? The clear answer is there is only one hope to break these trends, the restoration of the Church and the traditional family of God.
What we are seeing right now is a generational decline. Children are growing up in families that cannot teach them the basics of self-responsibility and success in life. This means children are being mentored by slaves of Pharaoh’s kingdom. Where are the Kingdom of God role models, models of a success of those that have escaped Pharaoh’s kingdom? If the children do not have role models that offer hope as well as plans to escape, they are going to be trapped in the same cycle of poverty and dependence. This slavery, therefore, is trans-generational!
The greatest question today is, “Who will stand in the gap and make up the hedge?” (Ezekiel 22:23-31). Left unchecked the process of family disintegration is going to make a permanent group of economic slaves that will never escape because they do not have role models that can show them the way out.
I believe the trend of broken families and poverty can be stopped. It can be stopped by the power of the Holy Spirit and getting back to the family model that God set for us. This can start with us at home. As everything that can be shaken is being shaken remember that the Kingdom of God cannot be shaken. “Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this” (Isaiah 9:7). Let’s get back up on the Rock by building our house on the written Word of God.