Focus on the Family’s President Says It’s Time to “Refocus”
Our culture is in turmoil, says Jim Daly. Once there was cohesiveness. Our moral code was built on Christian principles. Now, we look around and wonder "How did we get to such a place as we find ourselves?”
Daly’s not so sure the situation is so hopeless. “God knows how the human heart is constructed emotionally,” he says. “He knows if people talk to each other with respect and sincerity, guess what happens, a person’s heart begins to open up. So, I don’t think it’s about diluting the message in order to gain acceptance.”
Our culture is in turmoil, admits Daly. “Part of the difficulty today is that in the past, there was a cohesiveness when it came to our moral code. It was built on Christian principles. Our culture generally understood those principles and agreed with them, even through they knew they couldn’t live up to them. So, people knew they were not supposed to lie. There was a social stigma to stealing, to divorce and to cheating. Many of our institutions were built on the idea of the golden
rule and principles of honesty.
“But as the decades have slipped by, we look around and wonder what has happened. How did we get to such a place as we find ourselves today? There’s a bit of panic.
“For example, marriage is an example of God’s character in us,” says Daly. “God starts with Genesis and goes all the way through Revelation using marriage as a metaphor of His relationship to us.”
But today marriage is under attack. “I think one reason today’s culture is so hard on marriage today,” says Daly, “is because it reflects God’s image of humanity – that we’re made in His image, male and female. But to create children together, we become one flesh. Paul says it’s a mystery. And I think it’s a great offense to the enemy of our souls.”
Strengthening the family – long a primary mission of Focus on the Family – remains unchanged, says Daly. “Research shows that today still the best place for the well-being of children is in their biological mom and dad’s home. There’s no other family unit that rivals it. Sure, no family’s perfect because it’s made up of imperfect people. But when a family is functioning well, there’s love in the home and those children are going to do well.”
Daly speaks from experience. He’s the youngest of five children born to alcoholic parents. He ended up in foster care after his stepfather walked out during his mother’s funeral. What followed were hellish years during which his mentally ill foster father accused young Daly of trying to kill him. The boy’s biological father, who had left when Daly was 5, returned to rescue him, but after a year fell back into alcohol abuse and died.