Summary: If we take a close look at the state of the traditional family as we enter the twenty-first century, it would not be far from the mark to ask ourselves, "Who's minding the store?"

Responsibilities Of Children

Ephesians 6:1-4 "Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord."

Col. 3:20-21 "Children, obey [your] parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord. Fathers, provoke not your children [to anger], lest they be discouraged."

Psalm 34:11 "Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD."

If Body?*

we take a close look at the state of the traditional family as we enter the twenty-first century, it would not be far from the mark to ask ourselves, "Who's minding the store?" It is difficult to pin point any positive strategy being implemented by any organized group to reverse the downward moral spiral of our culture. Those of us in the Christian community who sometimes try to make some effort to combat this terrible societal trend and call our culture back to the values and standards of the Judeo-Christian ethic, are often met with strong opposition by the cultural change agents and political correct police of our day. We seem to be butting our heads against a wall of unconcern. We often run head on into the "Who cares?" attitude permeating even the ranks of those who call themselves Christians.

What has happened to bring this deplorable situation to pass? Perhaps the old fable of the frog in the pan of water clearly describes clearly what has happened. It is said you can throw a frog into a pan of hot water and his survival instincts will cause him to immediately jump out. Place the same frog in a pan of cold water and ever so gradually raise the temperature and he will stay there and be boiled alive.

It would seem that there was a time in the not too distant past when the family was quite safe in an environment that was cool, calm and conducive to societal stability and spiritual growth. Then Satan slowly turned up the heat and we are close to being boiled alive. The seeds of the family's destruction were sown long ago with when the ungodly philosophies of secular humanism began increasingly to penetrate and permeate every institution and facet of

our culture. Unless Christians, pastors, churches and parents wake up and jump out, the traditional family may soon become just a sad footnote in the long history of the decline and fall of man.

I will again mention some obvious indicators that all too clearly tell the sad tale of the family's deuteration and destruction. Less than five percent of children in our nation live in homes that could be called traditional; where there is both a father and mother and the father is the provider and the mother is the primary care giver and home maker. Recent stories in the press tell of whole classes of students in kindergarten and primary school in which it is difficult to find even one family that has not been broken by divorce or does not have one or more parent absent from the home. Studies strongly indicate that the fact that our nation has one of the highest rates of suicide in the world among children and young people, young males in particular, can be correlated to this situation; especially the absence of a good male role model in the home.

Where does the solution lie? We know that none of the surface and band- aid solutions based upon pumping untold additional billions of dollars into the social and welfare systems of our country will work. In fact, a strong case can be made that this just further exacerbates an already alarming and near hopeless situation. It is clear the family needs to be restored to its former glory if our culture of crisis is to be changed and our society have any real hope of survival. But how can this be achieved?

I believe that since the problem is obviously spiritual, the solution must be spiritual. Help most come from God through His Word and His people. We must restore scriptural priorities and reawaken spiritual values. We must begin with the understanding that the needed changes in the family and in the principles of interpersonal relationships within the family, are only possible when there is an acceptance and acknowledgment of the Lord Jesus Christ not only as Saviour, but Lord; of our own lives as well as the life of our family. Without action based upon this understanding, bright ideas, cute concepts and psychological precepts become only so much psycho-babble. It is only when Christ is allowed to come into our families and our own thoughts and desires are subjugated and surrendered to the control of His Spirit, that families can function in the way a loving God has ordained.

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