Family Matters recounts the two thousand year struggle of Christianity to reform the Western family in accord with the words of its founder. Jesus' affirmation of the equality of husband and wife before God as well as of the extraordinary value of ordinary children sustained Christian leaders in their efforts to improve the relationships between husband and wives as well as between parents and children. Whether it was the abolition of Roman laws regarding the right of a father to kill his children or challenging the right of royalty to divorce their wives at whim, Christianity has repeatedly played a central role in transforming the values underlying the changing Western Family. The author describes the sometimes seemingly contradictory role of Christian movements in shaping the American family in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries demonstrating the singular significance that religion holds for the family. The author focuses on how in the last fifty years disparate Christian movements have effectively intensified their efforts to strengthen American families over against the wider culture that often appears hostile to the family.