I admit from the beginning of this post, one of my vices is, I love The Simpson’s.
Should I love The Simpson’s? That’s material for another post. Sometimes I do question the value of a program like this. Sometimes the humour is crude; Homer and Marge hardly serve as good parenting role models, and of course, neither do the children serve as good role models for other children. In fact, in my home it was against the rules to watch The Simpson’s. I went away to Bible college (how surprised is anyone of this?) and grew to love them there. I came home and just started watching them. And even though my dad says he hates them, I’ll catch him watching them from time to time. I just love the biting wit and satire that are a part of each episode. Some of the more recent ones push the boundaries too far but the older ones are quite thought provoking.
But I recently heard someone say that The Simpson’s is the last TV family that is still “nuclear” or “nucular” as Homer pronounced it on an episode. What do I mean by a nuclear family? You almost never hear the terminology any longer.
According to Wikipedia (I know, not a reliable source for sourcing but…) a nuclear family is “a family group consisting of most commonly, a father and mother and their children.” This is hardly true in most cases any longer. This is replaced by what is being called “the postmodern family.” These families include single-parent, surrogate-mother, and gay and lesbian families among others. This embrace of our culture of the postmodern family is truly something to be concerned about.
Christians realize this is not how God intended it. Genesis 2:4-24 reminds us of God’s original created order. God made man and realizing it was not good for man to be alone God made woman. Man and woman were “one flesh.” Out of this union resulted children. The first nuclear family. But what happened?
Genesis 3 happened.
The reality is that sin gets in the way of God’s original intention. When Adam sinned as our federal head we too became sinners in Adam. We are broken people who spurn God relentlessly. Our sin causes us to not love our wives or our husbands as we should. Sin causes us to treat our children harshly or not respect our parents. Sin is man’s greatest problem. Thankfully, in Christ we have the solution! Christ provides salvation from sin and it’s effects.
So, we as Christians know the story. We know that marriages fall apart and children and parents hate each other not because somehow society has changed. The reality is people are just more “out there” in their sin. And it is going to take more than petitioning the government to outlaw gay marriage to change things. It is going to take faithful Christians to proclaim the good news of Christ Jesus to people as the one who can restore man’s relationship with God and heal our sinful hearts. Then when changed people begin to pursue lives of obedience to God, families will change. I don’t just pray for the nuclear family to replace again the postmodern family. I pray that people will get saved and that lives will be transformed! That is the only solution for the family problem we see today.
Back to The Simpson’s.
At the very least, Homer and Marge have been together through thick and thin. Temptation to both spouses by members of the opposite sex have in the end brought them back to each other reminding them of the commitment they made to each other on their wedding day. As much as the children infuriate them, in the end their love for their children is emphasized. The Simpson’s for all their faults, in some way, are the only television family still promoting the “nuclear concept.” Dad and mom and kids. They make mistakes like crazy on the show, but at the end of the day through Homer’s stupidity, Marge’s nagging, and the children’s disrespect, they still come back together as a family. I suppose it is a sad day when The Simpson’s are the only faithful television family any longer. But what do you expect in a world of sin?
Do you want to see things changed? Then instead of boycotting Disney for having a “gay day” or any other political issue coming down the pike, go out and preach the gospel faithfully to a lost and dying world. Go out and build relationships with unbelievers. Go out and model Christ-likeness in your life and in your family to others. Pray for people. Pray for God to bring people to Christ. And love people enough to boldly share with them their sin, their need for a Saviour, and the hope they can have in Christ.
So, the problem isn’t The Simpson’s per se. Or Everybody Loves Raymond or Two and a Half Men or any of those shows. The problem is a world where evil is called good and the church no longer stands for anything. Stand for the gospel and preach it faithfully! Then perhaps as a byproduct of this emphasis on gospel evangelism the family might begin to reflect how God intended it.