The casualties of this lack of imagination have been those people who don’t fit well into a network comprised of heterosexual nuclear families. This includes those sexual minorities who choose not to commit to mixed-orientation marriages, but it also includes people who don’t marry or can’t marry, people who don’t have children or can’t have children, and anyone else who does not follow a five-ten-fifteen year pattern of date-marry-procreate. The problem is not that we’ve catered our programming to the majority—that’s unavoidable for institutions—but that we’ve ceased to perceive anything outside of that majority as desirable or even viable. We didn’t err when we told our teenagers to wait for marriage before becoming physically intimate; we erred when we implied our teenagers were all necessarily waiting for marriage and that the only legitimate expression of their God-given sexuality was physical intimacy. We withheld other options in part, I suspect, because we revered heterosexual nuclear families and desired that outcome for our children, but we didn’t anticipate how isolated they’d feel when that didn’t happen for them or how readily they’d discover alternate options outside of the church.
- odd man out on family.