Rethinking family values in China

By November 13, 2015
(Photo courtesy China Partner)

(Photo courtesy China Partner)

China (MNN) — After almost four decades since instating the One Child Policy, China announced the reversal of the law to keep from a population deficiency.

In the 1970s, China saw a thick mass of population that would soon be unsustainable. To keep from overpopulating the country, the government decreed the One Child Policy in 1979. Since the induction of the law, the growth of population has fallen from 1.9% to .7%, according to BBC News.

To put perspective on that, in 2013, India had been predicted to surpass China by the year 2028. Now, just two years later, it’s predicted to pass the country by 2022, according to The Indian Express.

With the extermination of the policy, hopes are that fewer abortions will take place and for less gender discrimination.

Some local media believe this will help the economy to boom because parents would be forced to buy two of everything.

However, it appears the end of the law won’t actually change the shrinking population. “Many have said that nothing much will change,” says Erik Burklin of China Partner. “In fact, a lot of the couples are going to stay with one child because it’s too expensive.”

While the policy’s end might not change the population percentage, it has made families rethink and review their family values.

“What we have felt all along is the family in China is very different in the Chinese culture. Marriages are still being challenged, and we have heard from many friends over there that actually divorce is on the rise. And this is a challenge to the local church.”

Since 2003, the divorce rate in China has been on the rise. The Chinese government shared in August of this year that the rate has hit 3.9%, resulting in 3.6 million marriages ending in divorce.

“We as China Partner want to continue to drive home the importance, as pastors and as Christian leaders, of how we can be salt and light in the Chinese community in the area of marriage and family,” Burklin explains.

China Partner recently held a training conference to speak with church leaders and Christian families about how God’s Word applies to family matters and relationships. They hit sensitive topics like premarital sex and pornography.

Burklin explains both are an issue, but the church doesn’t talk about it a lot.

“As we were invited to give training to church leaders, specifically in Guangxi province, this was almost like an affirmation from God [that] what we’re doing and what we’re concentrating on–helping church leadership in the area of managing family–is very key, and timing is perfect,” Burklin says.

China Partner saw the understanding and difference in Christian families, and now they want to spark that difference in the next generation, sharing what the roles are in marriage and families.

“We just feel like what God is allowing us to do in these seminaries and Bible schools to kind of help in this area of marriage and family training and counseling is just a felt need that they sense, and it’s just a fun need for us to provide that for them.”

Pray that families and marriages will be restored, built on the foundation of Jesus, and for couples and church leaders to not forget what they learned from training.

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