Nuclear Family

The Necessity of the Nuclear Family

By Elise DeYoung

Many say we are living in an age of progression. However, our modern age could accurately be titled “The Age of Regression.” Morally, socially, economically, globally, educationally—we have allowed the poison of individualism and secularism to sweep across our nation, removing tradition in its wake.

Possibly the most invaluable tradition that the Left has banished from its self-proclaimed “progressive utopia” is the family—specifically, the nuclear family. This has resulted in extreme social consequences because the family is the fundamental building block of society.

How did we get here?

George Murdock

George Murdock reached this exact conclusion in his book, Social Structures, published in 1949. His work studied hundreds of diverse civilizations across time in order to understand the “science of human behavior.” Even today, it is considered one of the most comprehensive works on the subject.

The first chapter deals specifically with the nuclear family, which he defines as “a married man and woman with their offspring.” In it, Murdock observes that “the nuclear family is a universal human social grouping… it exists as a distinct and strongly functional group in every known society.” He concluded that after examining over 250 cultures, no other social structure could replace the nuclear family on a fundamental level. 

How does Murdock measure the success and strength of this family structure? He evaluates the four vital functions of the nuclear family: the sexual, economic, reproductive, and educational functions.

The Sexual Function

The sexual function, fulfilled through the sexual union (marriage) of spouses, aligns sexual desire with morality and decreases cultural perversion.

Regrettably, we now live in a deleterious society that shames all sexual restraint and celebrates sexual promiscuity. Murdock warned against forsaking the sexual function, saying, “Sex cannot safely be left without restraints.”

Clearly, we are suffering from the consequences of disregarding this warning. Whether it be the entertainment industry, sex education for minors, pornography and prostitution, immodesty, reproductive control, LGBTQ+, or the internet, sex is being promoted without restraint and consequences, completely divorced from marriage.

What were the results?

  • In 2015, the Supreme Court enshrined the contradiction “gay marriage” into law with Obergefell vs Hodges.[1]
  • 60–71% of children have sex before graduating high school.[2]
  • 15.2% of young adults aged 18 to 24 identify as LGBTQ, a stark contrast to older generations who rank below 5%.[3]
  • In 2017, OnlyFans had 100,000 users, and in 2021, the number skyrocketed to 187.9 million users.[4]
  • 45% of American adults are married, down from 50% in 2015.[5]

This is an extreme problem, not only for the poor people who have fallen prey to these statistics but also for the overall health and sustainability of our society. We have ostracized sexual restraint through marriage, and instead, invited both sexual perversion and promiscuity to rule our minds, lives, souls, and civilization.

The Economic Function

The economic function establishes the division of labor and ensures that each family member is fiscally cared for. Murdock describes the division of labor as follows: the husband takes care of the wife, the wife takes care of the husband, and together, they take care of their children until they are old enough to take care of the parents. This charitable model creates a “gridlock of caretaking” where each member’s needs are accounted for.

This gridlock does not ensure that the nuclear family will be wealthy. However, the statistics prove that it is more likely for a nuclear family to be better off fiscally compared to single-parent homes. The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) found, “Children in single-parent families are more likely to live in poverty.” In 2021, 9.5% of children living with two parents lived below the poverty level, compared to 31.7% of children living with a single parent.

However, if American leaders, laws, and voters are genuinely interested in solving poverty or helping young people reach success, they must return to promoting and protecting the nuclear family.

Let me clarify that these general findings are not meant to discourage single mothers or fathers in America. However, if American leaders, laws, and voters are genuinely interested in solving poverty or helping young people reach success, they must return to promoting and protecting the nuclear family.

Melissa Kearney said it well in Time Magazine, “The economic data is clear: to make our nation’s economy stronger for all men, women and children, marriage and family structure must be acknowledged as a driving force of economic well-being. And we must promote positive, shame-free ways of changing our social and economic views on marriage to make improvements that help the nation now and, in the decades, ahead.”[6]

The Reproductive Function

The reproductive function replenishes society by procreation.

It is no secret that for a society to survive, let alone flourish, the members of that society must make more babies. This is arguably the most important aspect of the nuclear family, because it’s the only family structure that can naturally result in the reproduction of children. But, what happens when we abandon this model?

Having children is not only a matter of their own flourishing or society’s; this is about survival.

The immediate effect is birth rates plummet. The birth rate in America has dramatically decreased from 14.3 births per 1,000 people in 2007 to 11.1 in 2021.[7] This is partially due to the decreasing pregnancy rates which, in 2017, reached an all-time low among women aged 24 and younger. This decline has been consistent since the 1980s.[8] Furthermore, since the 1970’s, millions of babies have been murdered in the womb through abortion. In 2021 alone, 626,000 unborn babies were killed.[9]

These two factors result in a rapidly declining birth rate. These numbers are clearly not sustainable for any civilization. Once again, the solution is clear. We must stop killing babies, and encourage young people to get married and have a lot of children. This is not only a matter of their own flourishing or society’s; this is about survival.

The Educational Function

The educational function, fulfilled when parents teach children values and ideals, will result in their flourishing.

We’ve established that the nuclear family provides children with the best fiscal position in society. Not only this, but children within the traditional family structure statistically perform better educationally.

“A new study finds that that by the age of 24, individuals who live in single-parent families as teens received fewer years of schooling and are less likely to attain a bachelor’s degree than those from two-parent families.”[10]

This fact is undeniable in our current age. However, while graduating high school is invaluable in society, it is not the main purpose of the educational function of the family. This is because graduating with a piece of paper does not equate to a good and true view of the world.

This is clear in our current age with the poison of progressive ideology seeping into our schools and corrupting the minds of our youth. It not only leaves destructive effects on the children, but it also threatens to derail our society at large.

Because of its ties to tradition and reality, the nuclear family is the family model best equipped to teach children ideas that will help them flourish in society. The values of marriage, love, charity, hard work, and child-rearing—among many others—are all fundamental to the four functions of the nuclear family.

The Necessity of the Nuclear Family

“In the nuclear family or its constituent relationships, we thus see assembled four functions fundamental to human social life—the sexual, the economic, the reproductive, and the educational. Without provision for the first and third, society would become extinct; for the second, life itself would cease; for the fourth, culture would come to an end. The immense social utility of the nuclear family and the basic reason for its universality thus begin to emerge in strong relief.”

The nuclear family is the fundamental building block of society. It is not only essential for our society’s survival, but is also the best solution to the problems of sexual promiscuity, economic collapse, declining birth rates, and other harmful ideas permeating our current climate.

Murdock said, “No society, in short, has succeeded in finding an adequate substitute for the nuclear family.” I suggest that we not even try.

Read more of Elise’s blogs.

Elisa DeYoung headshot smiling at the camera

Elise DeYoung is a Public Relations and Communications Associate and a Classical Conversations® graduate. With CC, she strives to know God and make Him known in all aspects of her life. Elise is a servant of Christ, an avid reader, and a professional nap-taker. As she continues her journey towards the Celestial City, she is determined to gain wisdom and understanding wherever it can be found. Soli Deo gloria!


[1] “Obergefell v. Hodges,” Oyez. www.oyez.org/cases/2014/14-556. Accessed March 21, 2024.

[2] Ethier K. A., Kann L., McManus T. “Sexual Intercourse Among High School Students—29 States and United States Overall, 2005–2015,” Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved March 20, 2024, from https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/66/wr/mm665152a1.htm

[3] Flores, A. R., Conron, K. J. “Adult LGBTQ Population in the United States,” The Williams Institute. Retrieved March 20, 2024, from https://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/publications/adult-lgbt-pop-us/

[4] Daniel, C. “OnlyFans Users and Revenue Statistics (2024),” Sign House. Retrieved March 20, 2024, from https://www.usesignhouse.com/blog/onlyfans-users

[5] Han, Z. “Fewer than 50% of U.S. Adults are now married. It’s time to give more legal and financial breaks to single people, a law professor says,” Market Watch. Retrieved March 20, 2024, from https://www.marketwatch.com/story/fewer-than-50-of-u-s-adults-are-now-married-its-time-to-give-more-legal-and-financial-breaks-to-single-people-law-professor-says-11664992681#

[6] Kearney, M. “The U.S. Economy Needs More Two Parent Families,” Time Magazine. Retrieved March 20, 2024, from https://time.com/6317692/u-s-economy-two-parent-families/

[7] Fitzpatrick, A., Beheraj, K. “The birth rate ticked up in 2022. Can the reversal last?” Axios. Retrieved March 20, 2024, from https://www.axios.com/2023/10/04/birth-rate-fertility-rate-decline-data-statistics-graph-2022

[8] Maddow-Zimet, I., Kost, K. “Pregnancies, Births and Abortions in the United States,1973–2017: National and State Trends by Age,” Guttmacher Institute. Retrieved March 20, 2024, from https://www.guttmacher.org/report/pregnancies-births-abortions-in-united-states-1973-2017

[9] (n.d.). “Number of legal abortions reported in the U.S. From 1973 to 2021,” Statistica. Retrieved March 20, 2024, from https://www.statista.com/statistics/185274/number-of-legal-abortions-in-the-us-since-2000/

[10]Harrison, R. “Teens From Single-Parent Families Leave School Earlier,” NYU. Retrieved March 20, 2024, from https://www.nyu.edu/about/news-publications/news/2015/february/teens-from-single-parent-families-leave-school-earlier.html

Feminism: The First Wave

Feminism: The Radical First Wave

By Elise DeYoung

“What began as a movement with the principled intention of equality for women has turned into an abstract ideology that is seeking to overthrow all traditional structures under the guise of women empowerment.”

I wrote this over a year ago for a thesis project, which I titled “Behind the Veil of Feminism.” My goal for the assignment was to look beyond the boss babe propaganda and the gender pay gap debate to answer the deeper question, “What is the ideology of feminism?”

After researching its ideology and those who have historically promoted it, I firmly concluded, and still believe, that feminism is, in fact, “an abstract ideology that is seeking to overthrow all traditional structures under the guise of women empowerment.”

However, I excused first-wave feminism, arguing that feminism fell short of its original, righteous design during the third and fourth waves. It wasn’t until recently when I revisited the first wave, that I became convinced that feminism has never been “a movement with principled intentions.”

Feminism, from its conception, has always been a dangerous ideology, designed to destroy all traditional structures and ways of life.

The Origin of Feminism

The ideology of feminism was born out of the minds of women like Susan B. Anthony, Lucy Stone, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. These women were discontented with the status of women in 19th century America. They worked to revolutionize the relationship between women and the broader society.

The movement was officially conceived in 1848 at the Seneca Falls Convention with the signing of the Declaration of Sentiments. The first wave ended in 1920 with the ratification of the 19th Amendment.

This period of feminism is largely looked upon with approval by both conservatives and progressives because it resulted in a woman’s right to vote, which in turn led to educational, vocational, and political equality between the sexes. Surely, with these results, we must conclude that first-wave feminism was principled and beneficial. Before we come to this conclusion, we must challenge ourselves with the question, why didn’t feminism dissolve after these political wins? Why have we continued to see a second, third, and fourth wave (each more radical than the last)?

Because the feminist mission was not complete after the ratification of the 19th Amendment. The amendment was only a means to an end to the early feminists. So, what then, is their end? Thankfully, we do not have to ponder this question long because the early feminists clearly laid out their radical intentions in the Declaration of Sentiments. After examining exactly what the first feminists wrote, I believe it will become clear that the end of feminism has always been social revolution through the reproach and replacement of men and the rejection of the family.

Social Revolution

Leftist movements always have a shared value of revolution. Whether it is climate change, critical race theory, or the LGBTQIA+ movement, all progressive movements call for the dismantling of the past to prepare for the restructuring of the future. Feminism is no exception to this rule.

In the Declaration of Sentiments, Elizabeth Stanton makes the case that in order for women to have the rights they deserve and the positions in society that they desire, a political and social revolution is required. Stanton writes that such a revolution “Has been the patient sufferance of the women under this government, and such is now the necessity which constrains them to demand the equal station to which they are entitled.”

Stanton wrote revolution into the fabric of feminism. The ideology itself demands the overthrowing of systems, ideas, and traditions which constrain it. Revolution—the foundation of the philosophy—has manifested itself largely in feminism’s insistence on the reproach and replacement of men in society and the rejection of marriage.

All progressive movements call for the dismantling of the past to prepare for the restructuring of the future.

The Reproach and Replacement of Men

We are never surprised today when we hear feminists complaining about the so-called “patriarchy” and expressing their disdain for men. However, this argument has been made since the founding of the ideology.

Stanton wrote, “The history of mankind is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations on the part of man toward woman, having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over her.” She continues by saying, “He has endeavored, in every way that he could to destroy her confidence in her own powers, to lessen her self-respect, and to make her willing to lead a dependent and abject life.”

The brash claim that all men have “an absolute tyranny” over all women is not new. From the beginning, feminists have implanted a disdain for men into their followers. They have done this largely by convincing women of a long list of grievances that men have committed against them. Stanton included such a list in her declaration and used it to justify the destructive nature of the ideology of feminism against men. In short, she argued that men have conducted the government, conditioned society, and instituted religion in order to oppress women. You may be more familiar with this concept as it is known today—the patriarchy.

The feminist solution to this alleged problem is for women to stand up and overthrow men’s tyranny over them. Or as we hear it today, “women need to be empowered to rise up and overthrow the patriarchy.” The effects of this thinking have been women replacing men in almost all spheres of life. Husbands and fathers have been replaced by single mothers or unconventional family units, the universities have been dominated by women, the military has manipulated its standards to uphold women over men, and the workplace has been radically reworked to value women workers over men. The list goes on.

Whether you support these social trends is irrelevant. The fact that cannot be denied is we are seeing the replacement of men in society, and this is all by the first feminists’ design.

The Rejection of Marriage

The most destructive war that feminism has waged since its founding is the war against the traditional family. Some may be tempted to believe that the feminist attack on the family began in 1963 when Betty Friedan published her book Feminine Mystique. In it, Friedan argued that the station of a wife and homemaker is equivalent to that of a slave—where the home is a prison, children the chains, and the husband the jailer. Sadly, this flawed thinking dates back much farther than the 20th century.

The most destructive war that feminism has waged since its founding is the war against the traditional family.

The Declaration of Sentiments reads, “In the covenant of marriage, she is compelled to promise obedience to her husband, he becoming, to all intents and purposes, her master—the law giving him power to deprive her of her liberty, and to administer chastisement.” From its beginning, feminism has ruthlessly attacked the institution of marriage by degrading and misrepresenting it.

Not only this, but the early feminists have always fought to loosen divorce laws to favor wives over their husbands. “He has so framed the laws of divorce, as to what shall be the proper causes of divorce; …the law, in all cases, going upon the false supposition of the supremacy of man, and giving all power into his hands.”

A world in which men “lose” and women “win” in a divorce was the world that the early feminists were seeking to create. Thanks to legislation like no-fault divorce, we are living in the first feminists’ imagined utopia where marriage vows are easily broken, and families are routinely torn apart.

The Results of Feminism

Feminism is arguably one of the most powerful leftist movements in history. This is partially because it has had over two centuries to do its damage and also because it has wrongly been accepted as a societal good.

Feminism is arguably one of the most powerful leftist movements in history.

Whether you consider the decline of masculinity, the rise of “boss babe” culture, the acceptance of abortion as a “Constitutional right”, the rejection of marriage, and the rise of divorce—it cannot be denied that we live in a society today that has been gravely affected by the ideology of feminism.

While we cannot attribute all these civil illnesses to feminism alone, we must recognize that this was the future that the first feminists envisioned. Elizabeth Stanton closes her feminist declaration with the words, “We shall employ agents, circulate tracts, petition the State and national Legislatures, and endeavor to enlist the pulpit and the press in our behalf. We hope this Convention will be followed by a series of Conventions, embracing every part of the country.”

Congratulations, Elizabeth, you got your wish.

It should not surprise us when we see modern feminism bent on destruction. The first feminists planted these seeds of destruction and revolution from the beginning. They only needed time to grow.

We need to stop excusing first-wave feminism as a “principled movement” because once we accept that premise, we lose the fight. Feminism has always used corruption and destruction as its means to its end—and that end has always been a revolution of society, the reproach and replacement of men, and the rejection of marriage.

Read other articles by Elise here.

Elisa DeYoung headshot smiling at the camera

Elise DeYoung is a Public Relations and Communications Associate and a Classical Conversations® graduate. With CC, she strives to know God and make Him known in all aspects of her life. She is a servant of Christ, an avid reader, and a professional nap-taker. As she continues her journey towards the Celestial City, she is determined to gain wisdom and understanding wherever it can be found. Soli Deo gloria!

two boys play in the ocean at a beach

Aim for 10,800 Hours

By Edward Murray

Happy New Year!

January 1st represents a day of goals and ‘bucket-list’ changes for people all over the country. Whether it be diet, exercise, smoking, or Tick-Tock (please put this on your list!), for a week or two, the topic of many conversations will be New Year’s Resolutions. It happens every year—for at least two weeks, gym-goers won’t find good access to an elliptical or stair-climber due to the sudden influx of newcomers. Yet, once the two-week mark hits, the facility returns to normal.

To put this another way, each year, resolutions fail because of nearsightedness. These so-called ‘goals’ are too fickle, short-term, and temporary. Moreover, as many have said before, the problem with resolutions is that they are singular resolutions instead of lifetime habits.

Instead, we make resolutions and household habits that aim for the long term. This year, let’s aim for 10,800 hours with our children.

Aim for 10,800 Hours

In his book Education: Does God Have an Opinion? A Biblical Apologetic for Christian Education & Homeschooling, Christian Educator and Apologist Israel Wayne (referencing Malcolm Gladwell) writes:

           “In 2008, in his book Outliers, best-selling author Malcolm Gladwell introduced a new concept to the American psyche. The ‘10,000-Hour-Rule” suggests that if you wish to truly excel in any field, you need to dedicate 10,000 hours of focused and targeted practice, study, and development. Successful musicians, athletes, artists, lawyers, actors, doctors, etc., have all given witness to investing this level of commitment into their craft.

           According to the Center for Public Education, most states require between 175 and 180 days of school or between 900 and 1,000 hours of instructional time per year, depending on the grade level. Taking the lower number of 900 annual hours, this calculates to a total of 10,800 hours of seat instruction for students enrolled in a government school for grades 1-12. Can you see where I’m headed with this? The goal of every Christian parent is to seek to utilize those 10,800 hours for the glory of God.1

Think about how little time we have with our children in our homes—considering that at best we may have 18 years, then take out all the time they’re asleep or out with friends (not to mention public school, there goes eight more hours a day during the school year), an eternal perspective will show that our precious moments are fleeting.

Plan for the Last Day

In our culture, most, if not all, energy is expended planning for the first day. Think of how much effort and money we spend on wedding days (i.e., the first day of the marriage). Consider how much preparation young couples endure for the birth of their first child. Or fill in the blank for countless other life events: the first day of school, the first day of college, the first day on the job, etc.

We are good at aiming for the short term but largely miss it culturally for long-term planning. Imagine if we reversed it. Imagine what this would look like if we flipped it. What if, instead of investing in the first day, couples spent all their efforts and resources planning for the last day of the marriage?  

Thinking this way immediately brings to the forefront the need for daily habits rather than singular resolutions destined to fail in the first week or two.

Aiming for the Last Day is Nothing Less than Daily Discipleship

Begin this year thinking and praying about the last day your children will be in the home. Consider the words of the Psalmist:

3Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. 4Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. 5Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.” (Psalm 127:3-5 ESV)

Instruments for war. That’s what the scriptures tell us our children are. But as anyone who has ever served in the military or seen the Lord of the Rings will know, no one innately has the ability to wield weapons for war. Efficient usage requires training, and arrows need sharpening.

Moreover, as Wayne and Gladwell remind us, at best, we have 10,800 hours to invest in these arrows. However, consider that if you have a 10-year-old at home like I do, then your time is already—at least cut in half. With this little time, nothing less than serious stewardship, daily habits, and intentional-planned investment will cultivate what is needed for the last day.

In other words, this year, plan for discipleship, not for resolutions. Even thinking of that last day may pull on your heartstrings. If it does, then use it! Marinate on and pray for that last day! And resolve to invest each hour of each day to the best of your ability by the power of God! And never forget that you are not alone!

Edward Murray currently serves as Manager of Special Projects and Policy Research for Classical Conversations and The Homeschool Freedom Action Center. He is a native of Augusta, GA, and an alumnus of Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte, NC, where he earned his M.Div. He lives in Newport News, VA, with his wife and three children.

  1. Wayne, Israel. Education: Does God Have an Opinion? A Biblical Apologetic for Christian Education & Homeschooling. (2017, Master Books), p. 19. ↩︎
the shadows of figurines of Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus in the manger

Anticipation and Arrival: A Heartfelt Advent Reflection

By Sadie Aldaya

Hey there, fellow journeyers on the road of faith! As the air becomes crisper and the days grow shorter, our hearts collectively turn toward the season of Advent—a cherished time of preparation, anticipation, and joy. So, grab a cozy blanket, settle into your favorite chair, and let’s dive into the beauty of Advent and how we can prepare our hearts for the arrival of Christ.

Embracing the Anticipation

Advent is like the quiet hush before the grand symphony. It’s those moments of waiting in breathless anticipation, knowing that something extraordinary is about to unfold. As Christians, we’re not just marking off days on a calendar; we’re actively engaging in a sacred rhythm of expectation.

The Candle of Hope: A Beacon in the Darkness

The first candle of Advent flickers with the light of hope. It’s a reminder that, even in the darkest nights of our lives, the promise of Christ’s coming illuminates our path. This season invites us to pause, reflect, and anchor our hope in the enduring promise of a Savior who brings light to our world.

Preparing the Manger of Our Hearts

Just as Mary and Joseph prepared a humble manger for the birth of Jesus, Advent calls us to prepare the manger of our hearts. It’s a gentle nudge to clear away the clutter, the distractions, and the noise that often fills our lives. In this quiet space, we make room for the Christ-child, the ultimate gift of love.

Cultivating a Spirit of Repentance

As we prepare, let’s not forget the beauty of repentance—a turning of our hearts toward God. Advent is a season of reflection, a time to examine the corners of our souls and allow the transformative power of Christ’s love to bring renewal. In the words of John the Baptist, “Prepare the way for the Lord.”

The Gift of Waiting

In a world that rushes from one moment to the next, Advent invites us to embrace the sacred art of waiting. It’s not an idle anticipation but a purposeful, expectant waiting that stirs our souls and deepens our connection with the divine narrative unfolding in our lives.

Advent Traditions: A Tapestry of Faith

Whether lighting the Advent candles, reading Scripture, or engaging in acts of kindness, our traditions during this season weave a tapestry of faith. These simple yet profound traditions draw us closer to the heart of Christmas, creating moments of reverence and connection with the timeless narrative of Christ’s birth.

There are many Advent resources available to you. We’ve enjoyed Biola University’s Advent Devotions and Calendar over the years. Perhaps it will be useful to you in this season of heartfelt reflection.

Carrying the Light Beyond Advent

As Advent culminates in the celebration of Christ’s birth, let’s carry the light of this season into the year ahead. The hope, preparation, and waiting experienced during Advent are not confined to a few weeks in December but serve as a reminder to live with expectancy and the assurance that Christ is with us always.

A Journey of the Heart

As we journey through the days of Advent, let’s embark on a sacred pilgrimage of the heart. May the anticipation, the preparation, and the waiting be not just a seasonal observance but a transformative journey that draws us nearer to the essence of Christmas—the wondrous arrival of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Also, read the blog, Advent: Preparing Our Hearts for the Coming of Christ.

Sadie Aldaya is the Research and Quality Assurance Specialist for the Special Projects and Policy Research Department, Classical Conversations Foundation. Sadie and her husband homeschooled for over 20 years. She served as a Classical Conversations field representative for 15 years, providing community and support for other homeschooling families. Sadie’s passions are to stop government encroachment in areas where they have no authority or jurisdiction and to see Christians return to a biblical Christ-centered worldview.

four candles lit in a dim room against a blurred out backdrop of a Christmas tree

Advent: Preparing Our Hearts for the Coming of Christ

By Jennifer Bright

As the Christmas season approaches and we prepare to celebrate the birth of our Savior, our calendar quickly fills with events, activities, gatherings with family and friends, shopping, etc., all good things. Still, we can lose sight of the most essential thing in the busyness: focusing on Christ. He quietly fades into the background of our busy schedule.

What could we do differently this year to intentionally focus on Christ, to prepare our hearts and homes to celebrate His birth?

This month is a time of “advent” to slow down, remember, prepare, and spend moments in dedicated and intentional worship of our Savior, Jesus. We remember His birth on December 25 and prepare for His Second Coming, His Return. Advent is from the Latin word adventus, which means “coming; arrival.” The early Christians were expectantly looking forward to Jesus’ Second Coming, but today, many put the focus on remembering His first coming as a baby in a manger. His first “advent” is not the end of the story.

Two sisters in the Bible, Mary and Martha, in Luke 10:38-42, who both love Jesus, remind us not to become so distracted and overwhelmed with the good things that we miss the best thing, Christ Himself. Martha is like many of us as we prepare for Christmas. We attend many wonderful Christmas events and make memories with our families. We are busy rushing around checking off our to-do list. We have many things to do but leave ourselves physically exhausted and spiritually drained. Mary shows us a more excellent way by realigning, resting, and receiving the Living Word that transforms our souls. She sat with others to listen and learn from Jesus Himself.

“Focusing on the list might give us the Christmas we want, but so often at the expense of what we need. Unless we are intentional, all the shopping, decorating, wrapping, and attending can fill up our calendar but leave our soul empty.”

-Lisa Appello, When We Want a Mary Christmas in a Martha World

Year after year, I have been like Martha. All good things to plan and do, but neglecting the best, like Mary, worshiping and adoring our Savior and King. My challenge to myself and you this Advent season is to prepare our hearts for the arrival of our long-awaited Savior, to be like Mary and worship Him.

We can prepare our hearts for Jesus’s advent through: 

Pray for God’s wisdom about the activities, events, and gatherings we will participate in this season. Will it draw us closer to the Lord? Are they activities to fill our schedule or moments to fill our hearts in the worship of Jesus?

Set aside intentional time to worship, read Scripture, pray, listen to music, and sing songs that lead us to grow deeper in our relationship with Christ. We should not focus on a checklist to complete but should set aside time for true worship, as He has created us to worship Him in spirit and truth. (John 4:23). Also, to join other believers, worshiping and adoring our Savior at church and home. (Hebrews 10:23-25).

Keep our eyes, hearts, and minds on our hope in Christ as redeemed people bought with a price. (1 Corinthians 7:23) We are His children! We should be longing and looking for His Second Coming, awaiting His arrival, and preparing our hearts for that day.

This season, I will reorient myself to the best thing: worship through His word, prayer, and music that brings me to the throne of grace. I will invite others to do so as well. What about you? What will you do this Advent season to prepare your heart and home for Christ’s coming?

Let me leave you with lyrics from Bob Kauflin’s song, “In the First Light.” 

In the first light of a new day
No one knew He had arrived
Things continued as they had been
While a newborn softly cried.
But the heavens wrapped in wonder
Knew the meaning of His birth
In the weakness of a baby
They knew God had come to Earth.

As His mother held him closely,
It was hard to understand
That her baby not yet speaking
Was the Word of God to man.
He would tell them of His kingdom,
But their hearts would not believe
They would hate Him and in anger
They would nail Him to a tree.

But the sadness would be broken
As the song of life arose
And the Firstborn of creation
Would ascend and take his throne.
He had left it to redeem us,
But before His life began
He knew He’d come back not as a baby
But as The Lord of ev’ry man.

Hear the angels as they’re singing
On the morning of His birth
But how much greater will our song be
When He comes again to Earth
When He comes again

Hear the angels as they’re singing
On the morning of His birth
But how much greater will our song be
When He comes again to Earth
When He comes to rule the Earth!
When He comes back, When He comes back
To rule the Earth!

Here are some additional resources to help prepare your heart and home for Christ’s coming:

Jennifer Bright is the Communication Manager for Research and Quality Assurance for Classical Conversations. Jennifer’s passions are classical Christian education and discipling the next generation to live for Christ. She supports homeschool families by tutoring their students with the classical tools of learning. Jennifer and her husband began their homeschool journey almost 20 years ago in Russia while serving as missionaries, and currently, they reside in Covington, Louisiana.

the U.S. Capitol building during sunset

A Generation of Transformation: Radical Reversal of Culture from Family to Government

By Regina Piazza

What is one thing public education and home education have in common?

The obvious answer would be . . . education. However, as we see in Vladimir Lenin’s ominous promise—“Give me just one generation of youth, and I’ll transform the whole world”—perhaps transformation is the true common denominator, as transformation is always the goal of education. Therefore, at the heart of the question of whom we trust to educate our children lies the bigger question of whom we trust to transform our world.

Education in America Is Eroding

Four decades ago, Former President Ronald Reagan illuminated the outcome of trusting the declining public school systems in his 1983 report titled A Nation at Risk:

“Our Nation is at risk. Our once unchallenged preeminence in commerce, industry, science, and technological innovation is being overtaken by competitors throughout the world. This report is concerned with only one of the many causes and dimensions of the problem, but it is the one that undergirds American prosperity, security, and civility. We report to the American people that while we can take justifiable pride in what our schools and colleges have historically accomplished and contributed to the United States and the well-being of its people, the educational foundations of our society are presently being eroded by a rising tide of mediocrity that threatens our very future as a Nation and a people . . .

If an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to impose on America the mediocre educational performance that exists today, we might well have viewed it as an act of war. As it stands, we have allowed this to happen to ourselves . . . .

Our concern, however, goes well beyond matters such as industry and commerce [i.e. STEM & College and Career Ready]. It also includes the intellectual, moral, and spiritual strengths of our people which knit together the very fabric of our society.”

Are We Embracing Socialism?

Marion Smith, Executive Director of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation states, “When one-in-four Americans want to eliminate capitalism and embrace socialism, we know that we have failed to educate about the historical and moral failings of these ideologies.” This startling statistic is widely evident in the government-controlled school systems’ promotion of Critical Race Theory (CRT), Social Emotional Learning (SEL), Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI), and LGBTQ++ coercion, where children are deceitfully maneuvered from parental teaching to state indoctrination.

Undeniably, a parent is charged to “train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it”(Proverbs 22:6); however, in an act of calculated division, totalitarians such as Hitler, Lenin, and Mao have used this proverb in their attempts to eradicate the family and shape the minds of the upcoming generation with the intent to, in those infamous words of Lenin, “. . . transform the whole world.” This exceedingly conspicuous tactic is front and center throughout America today, and has been clearly spelled out in Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) #4 of the United Nations Agenda 2030, with which the United States has cooperated:

“Our vision is to transform lives through education, recognizing the important role of education as a main driver of development and in achieving the other proposed SDGs. We commit with a sense of urgency to a single, renewed education agenda that is holistic, ambitious and aspirational, leaving no one behind. This new vision is fully captured by the proposed SDG 4 ‘Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all’ and its corresponding targets. It is transformative and universal, attends to the ‘unfinished business’ of the EFA [Education For All] agenda and the education-related MDGs [Millennium Development Goals], and addresses global and national education challenges. It is inspired by a humanistic vision of education and development based on human rights and dignity; social justice; inclusion; protection; cultural, linguistic and ethnic diversity; and shared responsibility and accountability.”

Is the intent of this agenda not clearly stated—“to transform lives” through global state control of education and the Marxist indoctrination of children?

The Family is the Solution

This agenda is in stark contrast to American parents’ unique success in cultivating a firm foundation of freedom in our nation, even before the development of our Constitution. Historically, American families have worked, worshiped, and educated while being undergirded with the self-evident truth that sacrifice over self-service, and self-governance over government restraint cultivates freedom, yet our modern families continue to succumb to the subtle and consistent conditioning toward the UN’s divisive preference to bring all schools under government control.

Now, more than any time in our nation’s history, is the time for parents to boldly and courageously assert our inherent responsibility to direct the upbringing and education of our children and vehemently reject the UN report’s claim that “the State remains the duty bearer of education as a public good.”

Now is the time for families to awaken from their self-imposed financial slumber, revive atrophied personal civic responsibilities, recalibrate family priorities, and recapture their God-given right to educate by exiting the institutions of indoctrination—the government-controlled K–12 schooling systems.

Now is the time for families to cultivate and practice ownership and discipline with the honorable motive of self-governance and freedom.

Kevin Roberts, President of the Heritage Foundation, states, “If a nation takes on the character of its people then our classrooms are ultimately about formation of citizens and souls.” Family is the best classroom—not government, entitlements, or vouchers.

Family necessitates devotion to one another, to our work, and to our inheritance.

Family promotes time-honored values, protects the dignity of life and marriage, and is the most trustworthy institution in civilization.

Family teaches that work is worship, and you must pay your own way—freedom’s prerequisites.

Ronald Reagan once said, “The family has always been the cornerstone of American society. Our families nurture, preserve, and pass on to each succeeding generation the values we share and cherish, values that are the foundation of our freedoms.”3

Through devotion, sacrifice, and commitment, the family establishes, inculcates, and maintains freedom. Families, therefore, are incomparable educators and the trustworthy remnant to guarantee that enduring transformation occurs in the world.

Regina Piazza is a thirteen-year home educator with Classical Conversations and has held multiple roles including Tutor, Director, and Support Representative. She is a former Air Force veteran and two-time business owner who ran for Florida State Senate for the first time in 2022. She is currently working to preserve education and religious freedom as Classical Conversation’s Florida State Advocate.

To hear more from Regina, check out Episode 24 of our podcast, Refining Rhetoric, “Why a Homeschool Mom Ran for Senate with Regina Piazza.”