U. S. Rep. James Lankford: Time to recommit ourselves to families

BY U.S. REP. JAMES LANKFORD Published: December 23, 2012
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We need to start talking again, face to face, about how to fix our downtrodden society. Our families need our help. Parents struggle to make ends meet and end up spending less time at home. Because of the isolation resulting from social media and smartphones, children increasingly seek sanctuary from the pain of growing up from the Internet instead of their parents, teachers, counselors and faith leaders.

As families dissolve, communities disperse and church congregations wane, Americans are increasingly isolated, and our children suffer most. Every day in the United States, 181 children are arrested for violent crimes and 383 children are arrested for drug abuse. Authorities report 2,383 children are abused or neglected. American married couples end up divorced, and only 40 percent of Americans attend church regularly.

How can we help? We can start by recommitting ourselves to our families. The holiday season is a great opportunity to reinvest in our family members, church community and volunteer organizations. Instead of waiting for Washington to develop solutions, let's show our children that real care starts at the dinner table, in the classroom and mostly from our quiet conversations with God.

Americans are too good to allow evil to dominate our culture, our schools and our families. We must turn fathers' hearts back to their children.

Lankford, R-Oklahoma City, is Oklahoma's 5th District congressman.