“But if any widow has children or grandchildren, they must first learn to practice piety in regard to their own family and to make some return to their parents; for this is acceptable in the sight of God.” — 1 Timothy 5:4 (NASB)
By Bobby R. Henry, Sr.
There is a West African (Ashanti) saying which says, “The ruin of a nation begins in the homes of its people.” Based upon the evidence of what is occurring across this nation and the world, that old saying is becoming a reality at an alarming rate.
Never mind statistics; if we were to speak openly and honestly, we would say that the decline of the American family is at hand, regardless of how we want to define what a family is.
The term family has been modified to include examples of non-traditional views and values. To say that those examples are causing this downward spiral would be minimizing the plight and thereby cheapening the much needed critical evaluation of the cause.
We see the effects constantly of our deteriorating homes. Drug abuse, teen alcoholism, and suicides. The list goes on and on. Our schools seem to be losing the battle to fully educate our children because of the fallout from broken homes. Gang related activities and racism could be attributed to the collapse of our institution called the FAMILY. Hell, if domestic violence is on the increase what can we expect?
Sure, there are outside forces that persistently attack the delicate membrane of the family structure. These forces have not just arrived on the scene; they’ve been around since the beginning of life. Remember: “There is nothing new under the sun.” The only thing that is new is how we have chosen to deal with that which is trying to penetrate our protective constitution.
Our approach to addressing these problems has not been from the position of tenderness, purity, and kindheartedness. We are deficient in these personalities, which communicate respect for all people.
Lack of respect will destroy relationships quicker than a cat can blink his eye.
Where has the respect in our families vanished?
To those of us who are being blessed by having a home trusted in God, have we become so selfish that we are hording all of the love and goodness within the walls of our homes? What good is it if we have a cure for preserving our families if we are safeguarding it for ourselves?
There was a time when the term extended family meant that the bonds of family went beyond the four walls of your home. Family love included aunts, uncles, cousins, neighbors, grandparents and everybody else.
If we are not careful our family, both in-house and extended, will become an extinct family unless we bring back the love, respect and joy that once filled our homes. It did not matter whether our home was an apartment, in the projects, or a single family home, we always had some kind of love to share.
“And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given Himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet –smelling savor.” ——Ephesians 5:2 KJV
A HOME, A FAMILY, A NATION, A WORLD; NOTHING WILL LAST WITHOUT GOD