DAVID BROOKS, well known liberal writer for the New York Times, in an article for The Atlantic on the nuclear family, cited this interesting quote.
A study of women’s magazines by the sociologists Francesca Cancian and Steven L. Gordon found that from 1900 to 1979, themes of putting family before self dominated in the 1950s: “Love means self-sacrifice and compromise.”
The Atlantic, “The Nuclear Family Was A Mistake,” Mar 2020
Since the 1970s, however, things have changed. Kim Kardashian, a popular media celebrity, seeking to justify her recent divorce, shamelessly boasted this way. Her comments sum up a worldview known as expressive individualism.
For so long, I did what made other people happy,” the 41-year-old explains. “And I think in the last two years I decided, I’m going to make myself happy. And that feels really good. And even if that created changes and caused my divorce, I think it’s important to be honest with yourself about what really makes you happy. I’ve chosen myself. I think it’s okay to choose you.” She pauses before elaborating. “My 40s are about being Team Me. I’m going to eat well. I’m going to work out. I’m going to have more fun, spend more time with my kids and the people who make me happy.
This is increasingly the way the Western mind thinks. It’s all about self. It’s about me. It’s about my happiness. Anyone who gets in the way must be eliminated or at least bypassed. Of course, this is totally opposed to the mind of Christ. Paul exhorts us to think from the mind of Christ (Philippians 2:5). In other words, to think like Christ. How does Christ think? Paul then describes it this way.
Who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross (Philippians 2:6–8).
Self-emptying, serving, humility, obedience, and death. These concepts don’t mesh with the expressive individualism of celebrities like Kim Kardashian. A healthy culture is the fruit of thinking like Christ. You can build vibrant families on these virtues. You can build real happiness on these virtues, but those who imitate the Kardashians of this life will end up utterly empty, not only in this age but in the world to come.
People laugh and smirk at the virtues prized by the women of the past, but these old-fashioned values rub shoulders with biblical ideals. In addition, they produced social and spiritual life and stability. By contrast, the values of the Kardashians, and the millions that think like them, have radically destabilized our culture. They will eventually terminate in social disaster.
Let us respond to our current situation by asking God for mercy to face the future. Let us also repent of any compromise with the selfish expressive individualism of our age. Instead, ask God to help us put on the mind of Christ so that we can begin enjoying the life of heaven today.