« Back to Articles
The Decline of the Biblical Family Model
by Dr. Johnny O. Trail, LMFT
As we consider the shape of our society, it becomes evident that our culture is in decay and our morals are becoming nonexistent. This can be traced to the decline of Christianity and with it the deterioration of the traditional family. The Bible tells humankind that marriage is designed for a man and a woman (heterosexual in nature) who are expected to remain married until one party of that marriage passes away (enduring in nature). It is only to be dissolved with an eye towards remarriage for the most serious of reasons—fornication (cf. Matthew 19:3-12). Within the context of that union, children are brought into the world (cf. I Timothy 5:14). There is no allowance for premarital sex or immoral forms of cohabitation (cf. I Corinthians 7:1-4). Our society shattered these biblical models several decades ago.

Statistics demonstrate that the traditional family model is in regression. One source avers,

From the earliest census up through 1950, roughly 80% of households were led by a married couple. By 2000, that percentage had fallen to 52%, and by 2010, for the first time in the nation’s history, most households did not include a married couple. Marriage has only continued to decline since then.1

This plunge has happened for a myriad of reasons.

For one thing, it is more lucrative for people to remain single. People who decide to marry are at an economic disadvantage compared to those who cohabitate or raise their children as single parents. One study that looked a several sources revealed the following statistics:

Currently, means-tested programs such as Medicaid, the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) penalize low-income couples who choose to marry including working-class Americans, with one study showing that more than 70 percent of American families with young children and incomes in the second and third income quintiles face marriage penalties related to Medicaid, cash welfare, or SNAP receipt. These penalties can reduce the odds that lower-income couples will marry; one survey found that almost one-third of Americans ages 18 to 60 report they personally know someone who has not married for fear of losing means-tested benefits.2

If a couple attempts to follow God’s plan—marriage and then family—they are penalized by our current government system. Many couples chose to remain single or cohabitate for economic reasons. To summarize, they can get more economic assistance from the government through entitlement programs.

People who follow the “traditional” plan for marriage and family fare better economically, socially, and relationally. The same study says, “children in married-parent families have access to higher levels of income and assets, more involvement by fathers, better physical and mental health among both parents, more family stability, and many other factors.” It is no mystery to Christians that parents who are married and raising children have offspring who have better outcomes in life. There are greater advantages to living in a “traditional” home than in some of the structures that are being suggested by fringe elements of our society.3

These things being true, there are liberal elements in our civilization who want to see the abolition of the traditional nuclear family. These fringe views tie the existence of the traditional family to the reinforcement of capitalism. Since there is an undercurrent of socialism in our nation, there is a move to raise children in communal settings. Marx and other communists saw the family as antithetical to communism.4 One writer reveals this bias when she says,

It doesn't take much of a mental leap to see why capitalism and the nuclear family make for such cozy bedfellows. Atomized family units produce more market labor and buy greater quantities of stuff than sprawling, communal kin groups that can lean on each other to share resources and manpower. The nuclear family's guise of self-sufficiency only barely conceals its toxic codependence with the market economy.5

This stands in stark contrast to many studies the underscore the ability of “traditional” families to prosper economically. Instead, this same source suggests a “universal basic income”6 rather than jobs and pay being based upon meritocracy or equality of opportunity regardless of race, wealth, or status. The idea of earning one’s living is moral and expected of humankind. Genesis 2:15 says, “Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it” (cf. Genesis 3:19).

There is one inescapable conclusion from these and other sources. The “traditional” family is under attack for those desiring social and economic change. This attack boils down to the desire of fringe elements to control the indoctrination of our children. God’s word makes it plain that this is the role of godly parents and no other element of the culture. Ephesians 6:1-4 says, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. "Honor your father and mother," which is the first commandment with promise: "That it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.” And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.”

Christians need to pray that God’s plan for the family would be restored within our society. Church leaders should pray regularly for the families and children they are privileged to shepherd and work with in their congregations. Their souls are imperiled by a culture that has forgotten about God and His plans for strong, Christian families.

1 Carrol, Conn (2022). “No one benefits more from the destruction of the American family than the Democratic Party,” Washington Examiner. No one benefits more from the destruction of the American family than the Democratic Party - Washington Examiner 2 Children First: Why Family Structure and Stability Matter for Children | Institute for Family Studies (
3 Ibid. 4 Gonzalez, Mike (2022). “Socialism and the Family,” The Heritage Foundation. 5 Korducki, Kelli Maria (2024). “Farewell—and Good Riddance to the ‘Typical American Family,’” Business Insider, 6 Ibid.