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The One True Institution That’s Too Big To Fail

“Too Big To Fail”

That phrase became popular following the collapse of Lehman Brothers and other financial institutions in the U.S.

The “too big to fail” theory:

” … asserts that certain corporations, particularly financial institutions, are so large and so interconnected that their failure would be disastrous to the greater economic system, and they therefore must be supported by government when they face potential failure.”¹

The concept ignited a debate over the responsibility of large corporations, the government, and how to reconcile the requirement for national stability with the demand for justice.

We sure spent a lot of time thinking about how corporations could be too big to fail.

But there’s another institution that’s not usually mentioned in the too-big-to-fail conversation:


I suggest that in the context of families, the “too big to fail” discussion applies, with one caveat. In the context of families, “big” represents importance rather than size.

Discussion on the role and importance of family has been trending lately. But for all the questions surrounding the essence of a family unit, we can all agree on one thing: There are disastrous consequences when they’re torn apart.

A family begins when two become one, promised by a sacred vow and consummated in sacred intimacy. The division of a marriage leaves not the two that once were, but two mangled halves, each soul deeply embedded into the other’s.

Failure Would Be Disastrous

The disastrous consequences of these misfortunes have been greatly under-appreciated. The children will be less affected when they’re adults, some troubled couples reason, seeing the only solution in dissolution once the nest is empty.

Today, the hot topic is marriage. Tomorrow, it will be divorce. And in the future, we can only pray the focus is back where it should be: on the children.

The family is the one true institution that’s too big to fail. We must do everything in our power to ensure they don’t.

“Whoever brings ruin on their family will inherit only wind, and the fool will be servant to the wise” (Prov. 11:29).

How do you keep your family strong?


¹ Tom C. W. Lin, “Too Big To Fail, Too Blind To See,” *Social Science Research Network*, accessed July 16, 2015, http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2040921

Photo credit: lorenkerns / Foter / CC BY

About Jason

is an author, speaker, Marine, and father of five. He has flown the F/A-18 Hornet as a Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron 1 (MAWTS-1) Instructor Pilot and the F-16 as an Instructor Pilot. Jason also writes about leadership, parenthood, and worldview development on FIGHTER FAITH. His book One of the Few: A Marine Fighter Pilot’s Reconnaissance of the Christian Worldview is now available on Amazon.

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