Christian Philosophy Lite: Build stable families in America
June 10, 2011 at 1:10 a.m.
By Raymond Smith
It is a blessing to observe, or fellowship with, families that are strong, loving and stable. We look with pride at well-adjusted children who have it all together and are going on to make something of themselves. On the other hand, we feel sad to see some who are unloved and undisciplined, who may easily wind up in prison.
The family is the backbone of the nation. When it goes well, the nation prospers. The family is the oldest institution known, coming before both the state and the church. Families played an important part in the history of the Bible. Early families became tribes before the nation of Israel was formed.
When God created Adam and Eve, He told them to be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth. When the two began having children, they started their own little kingdom, as it were. Unfortunately, by this time, sin had entered the world, and it wasn't long before that first family experienced tragedy, and so it has been to this day. We can learn a lot from the experiences of those who have gone before us and been able to raise great families. The book of Proverbs has something to say about raising children, and child psychologists like Dr. James Dobson of Focus on the Family have given us many valuable teachings.
Our country today is losing its grip on raising a family. In our land of freedom, we have taken too many liberties. We are in the grips of materialism and this easy living has taken the focus off of the discipline of raising families. Some of the problems today are divorce and single-parent families, infidelity, couples living together outside of marriage, permissiveness on the part of parents, drugs, abortion, a liberal media, both parents working and urbanization.
All of these things could be resolved if we had the mind to do it. But today's attitude is, don't be judgmental. Some believe that laws that would build up the family are not the concern of national government, but of the states. I might agree, but even our state doesn't seem to be that concerned.
Strong Families of Victoria has been inactive for some time, but I would like to see it re-invigorated with some new blood. Probably the best new programs would be educational by holding public meetings on child raising - what works and what doesn't. Focus on the Family could provide speakers and literature. If you would like to get involved, call me at 361-578-1210.
When I raised my family, I thought I knew all the answers, but looking back, I can now see where I should have done things differently. There would have been a lot more hugs and kisses, more reading to the children, more talk around the table, family worship and chores to develop responsibility.
The family problem is one we dare not ignore, for it threatens the very foundations of our country.
Raymond F. Smith is a deacon at Fellowship Bible Church in Victoria and president of Strong Families of Victoria.