Family Matters

There is a tremendous attack on the family-structure today and we as parents are not always aware of it. Just have a look at the movies, and how they portray the parents to children.

I watched The Croods with my wife and kids a while back. At first I thought it was really funny, and it really was hilarious at times. But when you see how their family is portrayed it makes you wonder what it is they are trying to communicate. The father for instance is old-fashioned and sometimes just plain silly, the mother has no opinion of her own, the brother is like dad (not very bright), the baby is an animal and grandma is just plain kooky. All the wisdom that this teenage girl (Eve) needs is found in her new friend. He is also the saviour of the family.

When children watch a movie and it communicates that their siblings and family members are outdated and plain stupid but their friends are wise, we have a problem. We all go through a rebellious stage where we don’t relate to our family the way we should. All we want to do is chill with our friends and wear what they wear. But no teenager needs a movie to tell him or her that their parents are idiots. And The Croods is by no means the only movie that portrays families in a negative light.

We as parents are already struggling with life. There is always a mean boss or a grumpy neighbour. Not to speak of crime and racism in our country. There are real challenges out there. But the most important issue we have to face is raising our kids. Being a parent is a Godly calling on your life. We often view it as an obstacle to overcome, but in reality parenting is a privilege that entails a lot of hard work and a lot of patience.

I believe that God wants us to succeed as parents. I believe that He wants to be involved in bringing up our children. And that I think is the first strategy: We as parents should invite God into the raising process. Ask God every day for wisdom and patience to raise your kids in good and godly manner.

The second strategy is to incorporate God’s Word. Teach your kids the Bible. I prefer slow and steady rather than Bible bashing. Scripture reading before a meal or bedtime is a good and effective tradition. Have a scripture on a wall or someplace where your kids can see it on a daily basis. My brother for instance has a Bible verse next to some multiplications on the door of his toilet. His little daughter has to read it every day. Use your creativity!

Lastly love them. We are called to be lovers of people – that includes your children. Simply caring for their physical needs is not enough. You have to communicate it to them using words as well as actions. Hug them, be patient and understanding, be encouraging.

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