The send off party of authentic family values: A reason for societal decadency

Egbufoama Chike

When things fall apart the center can no more hold. in line with the hot outpour of the wisdom of an intellectual echelon like Chinua Achebe, I call for Beyond a cursory look through which one will come to terms to the fact that things has really fallen apart and the center can no more hold.

Egbufoama ChikeThe family values have been sent forth but what is of great concern is what happens after the send forth and what fills the Gap. The heart rending and falling state of family values is alarming such that is dying a death of a thousand distinctions. This unit is so indispensable in the human Society that its relegation is glaring in the life of people in the society today especially youths. Since is the primary vital cell of society

and this mission is accomplished by mutual affection of its members and by family prayer. The church refers it as the domestic sanctuary of the church. As opined in the leader newspaper “what is it that afflicts the human, civil and religious societies that did not have its origin in a family?” A healthy, happy family benefits our whole society. Among the children of strong family values there is less crime, less divorce and less emotional problems.

They tend to go on and have strong, healthy families of their own, having learned from their folk. According to Pope Benedict XVI “…justice and love are some lethal elements of peace borne out of expression of authority, concern, mutual help and readiness to accept others enshrined in the family the first indispensable teacher of peace”. He opined further that as a divine institution family stands at the foundation of life of the human person as the prototype of every social order, enabling its members in decisive ways to experience peace, and as such that the human community cannot do without the service provided by the family. He did not just stop in this revelation but further added that the right of the person which has become the creed of the jet age person has a fundamental social dimension which finds an innate and vital expression in the family What exactly makes up a strong family that possesses good family values? A family that sustains its members — that supports and nourishes the members throughout the span of that family. A strong family unit creates a safe, positive and supportive place for all members to thrive. They are able to utilize resources and to live together in a fairly healthy manner. My goal is to share some lasting family values that I have discovered over the years through my parents and other families close. The adults in a strong family set the tone; they are good role models that lead by example. Rev. Fr. Anthony Onyeocha laments that “peace has taken flight in our families and society” he lamented further saying that “in many families today brother is fighting brother, husband is fighting wife, scandalizing the young ones and wasting money and resources at police stations and law courts” They reach out to friends and community and teach their children the importance of doing the same — and that becomes part of who the children are. They work together to solve problems, and they pass their skills on to the next generation. Below are some qualities that form the foundation of what is required of a good home:

the Igbo people has an adage which says that is impossible to break a broom bunch but very easy to break just one stick. In families belongingness would be defined as the feeling of being loved, of being part of the group and being nurtured by it. Although closeness is good in a family unit, there must be a balance between being together and being separate. A person must be able to develop their individuality, while being supported and confident within the family. A few things that bring a family together are the commitment of other family members, and the spending of time together.

There must be a structure in a family or it will become chaotic and will not be a peaceful setting for a family. Conversely, there must be flexibility or the family becomes rigid and the authority figures become resented. We could compare a successful family to a democracy. There are leaders, but the whole group is involved in the decision making process. Although the leaders are in charge all members develop the ability to cope with stress, and at times lead. While the family works to avoid stressful situations they work together to solve problems, without blaming, criticizing and finding fault with each other. Families that tend to have a strong spiritual base seem to have a sense of well-being that facilitates this working together in times of stress.

A lack of communication can rip a family apart and destroy them. Things that facilitate communication are the things mentioned so far — family closeness, flexibility, time spent together, spirituality. All members must feel a freedom within the group to express themselves freely. MARRIAGE FACTOR: the relationship between the “head” couple. In a family that is parented by a happily married couple, people are able to express themselves more freely. What they might say isn’t filtered through the problems of the “guardians.” A happy marriage seems to set the tone in the house. It spills over from the family to the community and a healthy family will be reaching out to help others. They do not tend to isolate themselves from the rest of the world. An undeniable fact is that a child well brought up in the atmosphere of love,openness,mutual trust and responsible relationship of the nuclear family will always reflect it in his or her conduct within the great social community, as put forward by Rev. Fr. D. Nwachukwu in the leader newspaper that “ embezzlement, inflation of contracts, enlistment of ghost workers in one’s par role: siphoning the needed money for salaries and pensions to overseas banks … as corruptive practices done by individuals which gives a reflection of their family background.

The first duty of parents is having brought the child to life as such the child comes into the world helpless so totally dependant on the parents loving care. He needs the parents for a holistic development. They have got the duty of bringing up the child in a way that he or she turns up a responsible adult in within the larger society. As two parents are in the picture in every family they tend to play different roles as such a certain division of labor is naturally present which amounts from the fact of the nature of fatherhood and motherhood and also from the customs of the society within which they live. For example breastfeeding the new born child. Even in the case of children outside wedlock it is the duty of the two parents to provide for the basic needs of the child whom they have brought into the world. Love is a basic duty of parents to children but care is applied as regards over pampering because this will be endangering the larger society. In most cases a “spoilt” child does not gain sufficient independence and self-reliance and as a result does not grow strong for handling life difficulties. He might find it hard to integrate into the larger society and may have problem with subordination of himself to authorities. It is an inalienable right of the child to get food, clothing, health, shelter, good education both intellectual spiritual and otherwise. It is also a very salient duty of parents to checkmate a child’s access to certain knowledge especially in terms of the type of books he or she reads and the type of films and programs he watches. they are to help their children come up with a good decision of his future as regards profession and marriage but they should not force the child to do any thing the child does not accept with his or her mind. their duty here is that of direction and guidance rather than lording anything onto the child.

WHAT do we ask of a good Christian father, He must read the Bible. Christian family values do not come from politicians, judges, or professors, but only from the one book which is in accordance with reality–the Bible, the very word of God. Therefore, a Christian father should study the Scriptures daily and diligently so God’s family values will be coming from God the Father through the human father into a family. If a Christian father refuses to study the word of God daily and diligently, he will have nothing to offer his family in terms of family values. He will instead subscribe to and teach the secular orthodoxies prevalent in the world. In the book of Deuteronomy, God gave divine instruction several times to fathers. In Deuteronomy 11:18-20 we read, “Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds.” Why did God say this to fathers? Before a father can teach God’s family values and require his children to come under them, he himself must come under the regulation of the Scripture. A father must study God’s word, love God’s word, embrace God’s word, and do God’s word. Because by doing so, they would be declaring to the whole world that their homes were holy homes whose residents were separated from the world and living under the regulation of the King of kings and Lord of lords. What would be the result of following these instructions? “Your days and the days of your children [will] be many in the land that that Lord swore to give your forefathers, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth” (Deut. 11:21). God himself promised that families who did these things would be blessed, successful, and wise Parents, we are to fix God’s words on our hearts and minds, and impress them upon our children, as we are told in Deuteronomy 6:7-9. Do we try to impress them with bigger houses, bigger cars, and bigger everything else? What about impressing our children with Scripture, which points to an eternal, infinite, almighty, all-glorious Creator/Redeemer God? What about us? Are we too busy making money, watching television, entertaining ourselves, or adding onto our houses, to study the word of God? Do we do everything else, but neglect the one thing that is needful, which is to be witnesses to the eternal, almighty God and his law? God told Eli, “I will raise up for myself a faithful priest.” We must remember that no person is indispensable. God can always raise up a faithful priest. When we do our own thing and neglect witnessing for God and being the light of God in the world, God abandons us and what happens we raise up a Samuel. BUT in our own case here the Samuel is raised by situation which comes to be peer group, television, computer etc Jesus Christ was crucified for our sins. What if you have a Ph.D.? Many brilliant people look at the Bible, which speaks about sin, salvation, Christ’s blood, and God. If they do not like those things, they kick, and then they support their arguments against God with some ideas they learned in school. But if you kick against God in this way, remember what God told Saul of Tarsus: “It is not good for you to kick against the pricks” (Acts 26:14, author paraphrase). You will find God as strong and powerful as pricks. You will not survive when you kick against God’s plan of salvation.

Existing within the family is some symbiotic relationship as the child in turn owes the parents reverence, honor, and gratitude. The reverence in question flows from the fact that the parents are cooperators with God. the in-dwelling of the spirit of reverence should reflect in the manifestation of honour. this leads to another chain so as long as the child needs parental guidance and not yet competent to make decisions they are obliged to obey their parents because domestic order demands submission to parental authority. In the family love and gratitude should showcase themselves in words and actions by showing interest in the well being of their parents especially when they are incapacitated by sickness or old age. As the parents are indebted to the children as regards provision of basic needs the children as well have to reciprocate by showing the love gratitude and respect. THE MYTHOS: Our culture is attempting to redefine the definition of “a family” to placate the voices of a small minority. Some common misconceptions… • Fathers are not needed in the home • Children are not negatively affected when Mom works outside the home • Children can make lifetime decisions before they even enter puberty • Spanking is harmful to children and should not be practiced we are told that it’s okay for a child to be raised by two men or two women. These are only a few areas that society is attempting to blur the authentic family value. If you have experience with any, or all of the above misconceptions as I do, then you probably are in agreement.

A father that is absent from the home is felt very deeply by the children. Every family should do everything possible to keep the family together. Marriages are more brittle today than ever before. So are the children. All of the broken marriages leave countless children behind in the aftermath; fearful, and often angry. These tragedies need to stop. This is not what God intended for us. This must all surely break His heart. Sacrificing “things” for your children. There are times when a mother must work outside the home and there are times when it is a choice. Parents need to place their children above their possessions. Have less “stuff” so you can give them more “time”. If you must work, then work. What are your priorities? We all know there are times when a family chooses divorce over reconciliation. It’s the easy way out. The real losers are always the children. Especially if they are in junior or High School or younger. Don’t place your children in a position where they have to make a choice between parents at such an early age! You will scar them emotionally for life!

Scripture is very clear about spanking. It’s not going to kill your children. In fact, it’s going to help them. The key is to spank in love and not in anger. If you want your family to thrive then you really need to consider spanking your children for direct disobedience. It will bring peace into your home and will show your children that you love them enough to discipline them. They will probably even thank you for the spankings some day. “He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.” (Proverb 13:24) Everyone has their ups and downs in a relationship, but relationships are not meant to be disposable. During the ‘downs’ we need to look for ways to fill the relationship up with love once again. During the ‘ups’ we can let the relationship overflow with the love we have, spilling onto those around us. Many people, especially modern politicians, speak about family values. Yet the truth is, whether the speakers are politicians, judges, governors, or presidents, few, if any, advocate the biblical idea of family values. Dr. Amitai Etzioni, who is the father of several children and a professor of sociology at a major university. Dr. Etzioni expressed his unhappiness with the prevailing views of our culture that people are born good, that everything a child wants to do is good, and therefore parents and others must allow and enable children to do whatever they want because it is good. Professor Etzioni recognizes that social reality does not substantiate the “man is born good” idea, and thus he no longer believes it. However, he thinks the biblical view of original sin–that man is born a sinner and grows up practicing sin–is too pessimistic, so he subscribes to a mediating position that society should let children express themselves but not so freely. Freedom with responsibility, Children should be controlled, brought under some discipline, and taught some kind of social and family values.

Our world is in trouble, and our homes are falling apart. That our homes are falling apart is abundantly evident. A casual listing of current social evils, of itself, reveals something about our home problems, the magnitude of which would have been unthinkable even two generations ago. Such a list would include not only excessive divorce, battered wives and deserting husbands, but also abortion, missing children, child abuse, sexual molestation, alcoholism and drug abuse, suicide epidemics among teens and the elderly, lonely elderly people, extensive poverty of single parent families, and on and on the list could go. The Family while perhaps not as gravely endangered has nonetheless suffered to an extent often indistinguishable from the rest of society. It is no accident that these things are happening in our homes. Homes are being destroyed because family values are being attacked! Most attacks against the family values have not been consciously perceived as such because they have been labeled in some affirmative fashion – such as “pro-choice,” “no-fault” divorce, “state’s rights”, or some other positive sounding designation. Moreover, the source of these influences may be perceived as originating with some individual or some organization, whereas they generally come from ungodly philosophies, technological advancement, secularism, materialism, consumerism of all sorts. To repair and strengthen our Christian homes we must identify the source of these attacks. We must understand our enemies’ values, and their weaponry. We must then plan our strategy and tactics for a counter attack. When we have fortified and strengthened Christian family values, we will find that we have also put our nation on a better footing because the strength of a nation is no greater than the cumulative strength of its homes.

Ungodly philosophies are now attacking four distinct categories of family values. These are – first, the sanctity of human life; second, lifetime commitment to marriage; third, family authority and responsibility, and fourth, family heritage. The most pressing and the most important cultural issue now confronting the family is the defense of human life. It is now primarily being fought over the specific issue of abortion. This is not the only major issue that families must fight, however. Christians need to launch major campaigns to overthrow easy divorce laws in this land. Christians need to reassert the primacy of family authority and responsibility. And Christians also need to restore inheritance rights to individual family members. These latter areas of attack against family values go largely unnoticed by Christians today, and hence people are doing very little to combat these attacks, because the few people who are highly concerned about these issues are concentrating their efforts in the battle against abortion advocates. The attack against the sanctity of human life comes primarily from the philosophy of humanism through the immoral but now judicially legalized practice of abortion. Closely associated with abortion are other human life issues such as euthanasia, infanticide, suicide, and genocide. Many children learn their values from television, movies, and music instead of from their parents This is very evident from the increased rate of social malaise: ethnic and regional conflicts, corruption, violence, armed robbery, militancy, luxury, waste and attitudinal self aggrandizement. When children are very young you can restrain them and that is the time to require them to respect you and God Almighty, and to require them to obey God the first time he gives a command. But Eli failed to restrain his children. He had been told many times to train them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, but he failed. The Septuagint uses the word ‘noutheteo’ , which means to put the word of God into his children’s minds to make them love it, obey it, and walk in the light of it. He failed to impress the word of God upon them exactly. Fathers, you can be impressed by many things–toys, cars, houses, computers–but let me ask you, are you impressed by the word of God? If you are, you will impress your children with it. You will place it into their minds in such a way that it makes an indelible impression upon those children forever and ever. Such children will never let the word of God fall to the ground. I know this sermon will cause some to feel grief and regret because you were busy watching television, and now your children want nothing to do with God. If this is so, we cannot do much now. What you sow, you reap. Parents, have you required obedience of your children? Or have you become marshmallows, just wanting to eat, relax, lie down and not be bothered? I must ask you, parents: Are you working so hard that you neglect God’s word? Are you so busy luxuriating and indulging that you do not require your children to obey you the first time? If so, you are kicking against God. If this is true of you, soon you will see God as an enemy, and it will not be good for you. If you neglect God and do not honor his word, one day you will be filled with regret. What a pathetic situation! Eli’s sons were indulged when they were babies and they grew up into monsters. He had failed to bring his children under the authority of the Lord by teaching them to obey their parents. He failed to learn the total depravity of man. He thought children were born good and he allowed them to express themselves freely. So you read their story. These children despised God’s sacrifices. They despised worship. They became gluttons and introduced temple prostitution. They were called wicked men (1 Sam. 2:12). They did not fear God. They did not love God. They had no relationship with God. Eli was scared and could not restrain them. When he told them that he heard of the wicked things they did, including sleeping with the women who served at the Tent of Meeting, all he could say was that this was not a good report. And how did his sons react? They did not listen (1 Sam. 2:25). There was another father in the Old Testament named Joshua. In Joshua 24 he gave his people the choice of serving foreign gods, such as the gods of the new land of Canaan, or the gods of Ur of the Chaldeans, or the living, true God–the Creator, Redeemer and Lord of the covenant. They had a choice! “But,” said Joshua, “as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord” (Josh. 24:15). Think about it. Parents, are you functioning as a prophet in your home, representing the Prophet, Jesus Christ? Do you articulate God’s word to your family and require obedience to it from them? Are you a priest, representing the High Priest, Jesus Christ, in your home? Do you minister to your family about salvation through Jesus Christ and forgiveness of sins? Do you pray and intercede for them? Are you a king, representing the King of kings and Lord of lords, Jesus Christ? Do you control and restrain your children? Is there order in your home? When we worship our children, they become Ichabods, which means people without glory. But when we worship God and honor him, our children become glorious. Samuel served the Lord under Eli and learned first time obedience. We are told he received favor from man and God and lived in the presence of God. Even though everyone else was living in great darkness and apostasy, At the beginning of 1 Samuel 3 we read that “in those days the word of the Lord was rare,” but it concludes by saying that “the Lord continued to appear at Shiloh, and there he revealed himself to Samuel through his word.” The word became plentiful. Let me assure you, when you read the word of God and it grips you, what does that mean? That God is pleased with you. When you pray and you delight in doing so, it means that God is communing with you. May we soberly examine our ways. Do we want the favor of God, the presence of God, and the fame of God? If so, let us learn to revere the word of God and the God of the word. May we be delivered from self-indulgence, from gluttony, from the love of this world and from laziness. May we become people of the book and practice true, biblical family values, that we and our children will bring glory to God and in the process become glorious ourselves. Amen.

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CSN: 50925-2008-20-19

Egbufoama Chike

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