WHERE DID THE FAMILY GO WRONG
By: Gary L. Rodgers
Paige E. Golay
What happened to the days when dad worked to buy the needs of the family and mom was content with being a wife and mother who worked at keeping the home with children who looked up to their parents with dignity and respect. Today the family unit seems to be torn apart with each member looking to satisfy their own pleasures and headed off in a direction that separates them from the family unit. I was reading an article where a pastor was asking what happened to those days. I responded to his question and decided to use my response as part of this booklet.
The sad part is that one income does not seem to be enough to give any extras above the general needs of the household. So it became necessary for mom to work outside of the family as well. During the Second World War women took on job positions that were typically filled by men in order to support the family plus this new role for women met the demands of the war effort. After years of struggle for equal rights mom began to realize that she now had the potential to be the main supporter of the family and she could have a career of her own. So who needed who exactly? Why live in a so-called humdrum of a life where you were just known as a house wife?
With the need of additional income I believe that unfortunately our society today has entered the realm of every man for himself. While I am not opposed to people having careers and wanting a better life for themselves and their families, I believe that some things have been traded off for what we want. There always comes a certain amount of sacrifice with careers and having the best of what we can get. I feel that the sacrifice has pretty much come down to our children and our marriage relationship with our partners. With moms and dad’s fighting for identity and seeking a career that gives them independence I have to wonder where does the family unity fit into all of this?
When this country was first formed and people traveled in search of a new and better life it was not an independent thought of me alone, with myself and I. Every member of the family had an important role of support for the good of the family unit over all. Dad knew that he had an important role as the main provider of the family. Mom knew that she had to keep the household organized and maintained with all that encompassed her responsibility with cooking, cleaning, sewing and sometimes playing the role of doctor and nurse. The children had chores that helped as support to the family. Carrying in water, working in the garden, helping to clean up and maintain the needs of the household to keep it clean, warm and running as well as could be expected. Every member had an important role to fill. All were dependent upon each other doing their part. In the evening the family would gather together in spirit as father would read from God’s Word and teach good biblical principles of doctrine. For entertainment family members began learning to play various instruments and harmonize their voices in song which gave each person a unique role. Sunday was a special day of family unity in church and fellowship of other believers.
Later as invention became a way of making life easier for the family it made a way for the family to have more time for communication and entertainment. And as invention progressed into more and more new toys and trinkets I believe that the family became more separated from the need of one another. The coming together to hear and read God’s word as a family unit began to disappear into the keyboards of the computer, I-Pod, smart phones and games. If a child wanted to know about creation, God, Jesus Christ and salvation, why ask mom and dad when they could look it up for themselves and read about it. Unfortunately the electronic world exposes our families to all sorts of strange doctrines and teachings that lead them away from Christ and pretty much tries to promote the tree of the knowledge of good and evil where they can become a god themselves.
For the family to get back to depending upon one another’s support, and to build a dialog of honor and respect toward one another I believe that the power plug needs to be pulled for a period of time each day. The family unit needs to come together again to learn who each member is and what they think and feel. They need to come together with an understanding and teaching about God, Jesus Christ and The Holy Spirit. Am I saying that Mom needs to forget her identity and career? Do I feel that women need to stay at home? Do I feel that the only honorable role for any woman is that of a housewife? Not at all! I do believe that women have proven themselves capable and worthy of praise for their contribution to society and the work place. There are scores of women that are successful in careers of entertainment, science and business, and I am thankful for them. I believe that there are some very respectful and influential women that have worked hard for what they have and they deserve it. (Proverbs 31:10 – 31) What I am saying is that we as a people in general have traded off a lot. Many of us have neglected the important things, like being a contributor to the good of the family; understanding that we as a parent have a responsibility to train our children. ( Ephesians 6:4And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.)
We have robbed the family of the time and devotion that they need. If you lose your family because of career or toys and trinkets then may I ask; was it worth it? Only you can answer that question.
Let’s regain the love, respect, and care for the emotional and spiritual growth of each family member.
Inserted below is a list of suggested topics and concerns that we can share and discuss with our family.
SUGGESTIONS FOR THE FAMILY
Input and review by Paige E. Golay
Set aside a certain amount of time each day for the following items.
(Family communication, Family play time, Bible reading and prayer)
- What do you like about your family?
- What don’t you like about your family?
- Do you feel important to your family?
- Does your family feel important to you?
- Do you feel that your family looks at you as being important to them?
- Do you feel that it is important to have family time?
- What would you like to do as a family?
- How do you handle problems and solutions?
- How do you, or how should you deal with anger and bitterness?
- How can I show you that I love you and that you are important to me?
- How would you show me that you love me and that I am important to you?
- Do you feel that you should improve upon what you are doing for you and your family?
- Openly discuss things that frighten or anger you.
These are things that we already do or I would like for us to do as a family.
- Close relationship with each other
- Show affection
ü Comforting words
- Showing love
- Helping each other
- Understanding that not everyone has your capability or talent
- Show interest in things that you or they like
- Listening to one another
- Allowing each other some space time
Always remember that none of us is perfect; we all make mistakes and we all need forgiveness!
My happiness level today is –
(1) Bad————————-(3) Fair————————(6) Good————————-(10) Great