May 16th, 2010
The definition of the word ‘family’ is
necessary to understand what we know and celebrate as family
values. Family in the traditional setting and in the Holy
Scriptures was based and is still the father, mother and the
children. Both the traditional religion and the Holy
Scriptures also recognize siblings and other close relatives
in the extended family. Family ties were so pronounced in
the Bible that God warned Israelites not to pollute
themselves with unlawful sexual relationship with family
members (Leviticus 18:6-20).
Family is celebrated by the society that days were set apart
to commemorate uniqueness of family members such as;
Mother’s day, Father’s day and the Children’s day. Today, we
have diversity of family structure at the societal level in
general, the new family structures vary differently from the
traditional married families to single parent families, to
families built around partnerships with or without marriage
which include members who may be step parents, grandparents,
gay or lesbian parents or partners.
EVOLVING PARENTAL ROLES:
In the past, the father was undisputable the head of the
family and the mother a homemaker. Women had rigid
traditional role in the home and that is to keep the home,
undertake domestic chores, take care of the husband by
cooking delicious meals and train the children. The change
in this traditional role has a great impact on the lives of
men and children today. Society’s recognition of the
diversity of family types must be seen in the context of the
evolving and changing roles engaged in by women and men and
in society’s understanding of same sex relationships.
Feminist movements have dramatically changed the way women
plan their lives in terms of how they will invest their time
whether it be invested in career, family, or other
activities. Nowadays there is a general call for men to
share in the domestic responsibilities to allow women that
are desirous to achieve their careers, family goals, and
avoid stress overload.
DEBASEMENT OF FAMILY VALUES:
Most homes are run on three shifts with father on the night
shift, mother on the day shift, and the children shift for
themselves. This is nothing but chasing after the wind.
It is a well-known fact that family values have been
debased. Parents no longer play their traditional roles and
children are disobedient and act flagrantly against social
norms and duties. The attributes of old family values which
include honesty, respect, purity, caring, and commitment
have all been thrown into the garbage. In the present,
families have been shattered by divorce and truth has been
thrown out of homes. Parents lack integrity and children are
more criminally prone than being obedient. There is no
respect for traditional family roles any more. Each family
member is more interested in what is in there for him or
her. Children are at home alone while parents are at work,
sex outside of marriage is accepted, truth is relative, and
the focus is more on self-interest than family interest.
There is no longer respect for lives especially as
television, computer and the Internet expose the future
generation to commonplace crimes and more crimes. Children
are exposed to video and computer games that glorify
killing, rituals and nudity. Is it any wonder there is no
respect for life anymore? Family values have been debased.
Parents no longer live in the fear of God. Children no
longer respect their parents. Trust has been discarded for
suspicion and truth relegated for falsehood. All are in
shambles. Shamelessness has taken over the front row and
disarray is the order of the day. Corruption is the password
as marital beds are daily defiled. Pre-marital sex is
celebrated, x-rated and modeled as the norm. Lust is mixed
with love. The center can no longer hold. Those who hold on
to the truth are castigated and regarded as outcasts.
Really, this world is upside down
WHO IS TO BLAME?
Ask any sinner who is to blame? The answer is not far
fetched. It is of course Satan, the Devil. Of course,
ultimately Satan is to blame. Satan will do all in his
powerless power to bring down mankind. It is Satan’s aim to
bring everything possible to bear on the inhabitants of
earth that will cause them to turn far away from God.
Besides Satan enjoys hurting, maiming, and killing humanity
in the most degrading way, thereby bringing sorrow to the
tender heart of the great God of love and compassion. Let us
face facts and put blame where it should be. Our families
themselves must share responsibility for the woeful state of
our society today. Fathers and mothers in their homes have
allowed the society around them to dictate our values and
standards. Parents have left undone the things required of
them. Children are depending on the parents to guide them in
the right direction but most parents have failed in this
The fact of the matter is that homes have become houses and
they are run on shifts. Most homes are run on three shifts
with father on the night shift, mother on the day shift, and
the children shift for themselves. The wind of life
propelled by Satan sends families into all directions,
negatively abandoning the right direction that leads to God.
God’s way is the only option, the truth and life (John
14:6). Parents have permitted our violence-addicted culture
to re-program their children through films/movies, music,
cartoons, and video games they pay for their enjoyment.
HOW CAN WE EFFECT A CHANGE?
A change is the only thing that is constant in life. Each of
us must be determined to make a difference in our own lives,
in our homes, and then a positive change will come in our
society. Some ingredients for families are:
Families are to spend time together:
Time and love is what children want most today from their
mothers and fathers. Doing routine tasks together are highly
appreciated by children; such as reading the Holy Scriptures
together, playing together, reading them stories, going on
picnics, doing dishes together, working in the garden,
cutting firewood, going camping or just being there for
them. A family must stay close as a knit family, spending
Families are to set definite limits:
Children want order in the home. It may mean some tough love
and discipline at times. Discipline is a risky form of love
because the child often rejects the one administering it.
However, when discipline is given fairly and in love,
children do not complain. Someone once said, that discipline
is one of the most durable gifts we can give our children.
King Solomon, using the wisdom God blessed him wrote:
“He who spares
his rod hates his son,
But he who loves him
disciplines him promptly.”
Definite limits are not for children alone. Parents must
also set limits for themselves. Husbands must know their
limits and lovingly keep to them, just as wives must know
their limits and respectfully keep them.
Parents to be the right model:
Someone once said, ‘Do as I say and not what I do”. This is
not Biblical. Parents must be role models to their children.
Parents must live what they believe and say. Be genuine;
children have a way of spotting hypocrisy immediately, and
they don’t like it. It has often been said, that, the best
thing fathers can do for their children is to truly love
their mothers. The best thing mothers can do for their
children is to be submissive to their husbands. Showing
affection and love openly to your spouse is a sure way of
getting your children to understand love and appreciate it.
Show your kids how much you value them:
Parents must consistently demonstrate love and respect. This
involves being a good listener, speaking in respectful
tones, expressing appreciation for something well done,
showing affection (appropriate touching on regular basis).
Resist the temptation to “preach” to your children. Think of
what it takes to make you feel valued and do the same to
Let your children choose when appropriate:
Do not be overzealous and over domineering but make sure
your children understand that each choice has consequences,
good or bad. They must learn to accept the responsibility
for their choices. It is not always the loving thing to do
when we shield them from suffering brought on by their own
Our world is fast becoming materialistic in values and
Therefore there must be a paradigm shift by the youths to
the old traditional values. In the past these traditional
values guided society with a godly hand and human face. I am
sounding the gong for a return to values that treat the
human person as an image of God. This should be our mantra
in a society where the spirit of commercialism has become
the teacher of faith, a society where condoms and other
contraceptives have taken over the enviable values of
abstinence and mutual fidelity. Parents are to be examples
in integrity, honesty, and exemplary character to their
children. I know better those things that lead to conflict
in homes. Couples create marital conflict by:
i. Failure to make each other happy and
ii. Determination to deliberately hurt each other.
Marital conflict has nothing to do with strong religious and
moral commitments, but lies in the power of basic emotional
needs. You can only keep true to your marital vows by being
realistic about meeting each other’s important emotional
needs and opening a ‘love bank’.
Pleasurable interactions cause deposits and painful
interactions cause withdrawals.
All marriages can be saved from divorce. Extra marital
affairs are bad, yet marriages torpedoed by affairs need not
sink. They can be towed into dry dock repaired and refitted.
They can also be parked in hanger while repairs are carried
out to make them better to fly. Commitment and trust are
vital bonding links in marriage but are easily thrown
overboard when spouse’s basic emotional needs are unmet.
Spouse becomes vulnerable to the temptation of an affair.
Couples that commit themselves to each other’s needs lay
foundation for lifelong happiness in a marriage that will be
more satisfying than they ever deemed possible. Homes must
be conducive for their living mates. Couples must express
agape love to each other and devotion to their off springs.
There must never be a diary of wrongs. Wipe off the slate of
wrongdoings daily before you sleep.
Chronic behavioral problems are usually an indication of a
failure in parenting —generally centering on the father's
failure to lead his family in a Godly manner
The essential things Parents are to do to enshrine core
family values include prayer:
Pray! Pray! Pray!
Let your children know you as a prayer warrior. Always pray
for your spouse, children and for yourself. There is power
of life and death in the tongue; so parents must control the
words they utter or say to their children. You need God’s
help to make sure you do and say the right thing at the
right time. And your children need God’s protection from the
temptations that Satan puts across them constantly. Prayer
is the master key, hand it over to your children. Let them
know the efficacy of prayer and teach them to pray at all
times in all circumstances with thanksgiving to God. The
best gift to our children is the gift of our prayers. It is
a gift of tremendous power that has definite eternal
consequences, but costs nothing but our time. God in His
infinite mercy will grant to our society the true family
values based on His word. Amen! God created the family. He
personally played and talked to the first family in the
Garden of Eden before the fall. God has redeemed us and
reconcile us back to Himself. This is a great opportunity
for the family. We must never let it pass us. I will like to
share with you a quote; In Stephanie Coontz’s book, “The Way
We Never Were”, she wrote:
“Pessimists argue that the family is collapsing; optimists
counter that it is merely diversifying. Too often, both
camps begin with an historical, static notion of what “the”
family was like before the contemporary period. Thus we have
one set of best sellers urging us to reaffirm traditional
family values in an era of “family collapse” and another
promising to set us free from traditional family traps if we
can only turn off “old tapes” and break out of old ruts. The
actual complexity of our history—even of our own personal
experience—gets buried under the weight of an idealized
image. Families have always been in flux and often in
crisis; they have never lived up to nostalgic notions about
“the way things used to be.”
My clarion call is for families to go back to core values;
what it used to be at the beginning; enjoying cozy and pure
love relationship with God our creator and having godly