Since God's commandment to our first parents to be fruitful and multiply, and continuing with unbroken teaching over the course of thousands of years, marriage and procreation have been revealed as not merely an arbitrary precept of God, but as an imitation of his very nature – life-giving love.
In an age where both the importance and definition of family seem to be under constant attack from all sides, my friend Johann Christoph Arnold provides a much-needed perspective on marriage and an approach to child rearing that is at once time-tested and completely up-to-date, and solidly grounded in faith.
In this engaging work, Pastor Arnold explains with certainty that we can still raise children the right way and avoid caving in to the pressures of a confused culture. He doesn't mince words, but his teachings maintain the compassion of the gospel as he genuinely shows his concern for the plight of parents faced with a difficult teenager or a disabled child. As the fabric of family, and society, is challenged, he offers up concrete steps to bolster and encourage those parents who want to pass on to their children the values their parents gave them.
I have often said that the greatest blessing I ever received was being the son of Robert and Shirley Dolan, and being raised within the loving family of my parents and four brothers and sisters. As I read Why Children Matter, I found myself nodding in agreement as the love and wisdom of my own parents was reflected in Arnold's sage advice.
In the following pages I invite you to enjoy insights which reflect the experience and tradition of an entire generation of pastors and teachers who guided schools, parents, and children — over the last hundred years — in Europe, South America, and the United States. And I pray that Why Children Matter will help contribute to a better understanding of the amazing gift of marriage and family.
Timothy Michael Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York
New York City, March 2012
From Why Children Matter by Johann Christoph Arnold.