PRI: by Steven W. Mosher —
Editor’s Note: Last week my daughter, Moriah Mosher, who is 18 years old, traveled to Rhodes, Greece, where she addressed the Rhodes Youth Forum on the subject of “Traditional Family Values.” The Forum is an annual meeting of young people from all over the world who are devoted to the search for the common good. My daughter told the group that the common good is to be found not in the discovery of new principles for living, but in the rediscovery of God-given truths about the importance of faith, life and family. She is right, of course.
Steven W. Mosher
Good afternoon, everyone! I want to thank the organizers of this Forum for giving us this opportunity to meet here and discuss the future. I think it is important and I’m very excited to be here.
My topic today is traditional family values. Now I must admit I had a little problem in writing this talk. Values are, as we say in the United States, “caught rather than taught.” So it’s hard to put some of these values into words. But I’ll do my best!
If you have watched a Hollywood movie lately, as I’m sure most of you have, you probably think that Americans don’t have any “traditional family values.” You may think that in America commitment means going on a second date. You may think that every couple in the U.S. lives together. You may think that those few who do get married, quickly get divorced. You may think that most American children are born into broken homes. You may think that most young people are too busy demonstrating against Wall Street to worry about getting an education, or a job.
These may be scenes out of a Hollywood movie, but this is not America. This is not the America that I, and tens of millions of people like me, know. In this other America — the one you don’t hear much about — parents do teach their children traditional family values. Just like my parents taught me.
So what was it like growing up in a traditional American family? What family values did my parents try to instill in me? Let me give you a little of my personal history.
All of us begin as a thought of God, and I am grateful to God, for thinking to send me to my family, a family in which my father and mother were totally committed to each other in a lifelong, loving relationship. There was never any question about this in my mind, never any thought that my parents would separate, never any talk of divorce. It was, and is, a “till death do us part” kind of relationship.