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Summary: This is in my opinion a very challenging task (not impossible). How do we carry out the demanding responsibility of raising a family in the world in which we live today?

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STRENGTHENING THE FAMILY IN TODAY’S SOCIETY

Given on Saturday, 14 June 2008

For 1st Annual Family Life Conference

At Shiloh Baptist Church

Waukegan, Illinois

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Sister Loretta Henton and the Mission Department for this awesome opportunity to speak at the Shiloh Baptist Church, Mission Department 1st Annual Family Life Conference. Thank you (X3) for allowing me to be a part of our church’s distinct history.

I want be before you long ... in fact, Sister Henton gave me specific instruction of what she wants me to do in an email, she said and I quote “We are asking you to be the conference speaker, to sum up the whole thing” and it is my prayer to do just that ....

STRENGTHENING THE FAMILY

IN TODAY’S SOCIETY

This is in my opinion a very challenging task (not impossible). How do we carry out the demanding responsibility of raising a family in the world in which we live today?

•EMOTIONAL TOUGHNESS. Some would argue that it takes emotional toughest (you know tough love) to deal with today’s stressful or painful situations. If it is not raising gas prices, it raising food price ... if is not gas and food that concerns us it is the horrors of a senseless war. Some folks call it half a dozen in one hand and six in the other.

• BACK TO THE OLD TIME WAY. While on the other hand ... others would argue that, strengthening the family is an almost impossible task in today’s society, unless we go back to the old time way of support from family, friends, church, and community.

In addition, I would say ... all of that is fine and dandy; yet the complexities of life still beacons the question “HOW” ... how do we strengthen the family in today’s society.

•TOLERANCE. Is the answer tolerance? On the other hand, is it some sort of built in resistance to stress that allows a mother to sleep at night when she knows that her teenage son is out in the streets hustling and up to no good? While others are too scared to sleep wondering if this will be the night; the cops ring her doorbell and tell her “your baby boy is dead.”

However, for some of us, raising a family in this society has become more a misery than a ministry. Allow me to explain ... you see, some people are struggling right now because they are not getting along with one of their children. The simple words “good Morning” somehow turns into an argument.

Some people go to bed worried. It is a misery not a ministry because they do not know, where their kids are or what they are up too.

Allow me to stick a pin right here...and deal with this one for a minute.

I still remember very vividly as a little boy, every night at ten o’clock unlike to raunchy stuff we see on TV today, there would be a commercial that said ... it is ten o’clock do you know where your children are.

As a child, I often pondered how many parents really knew. Although I did not know the answer that -- there is one thing that I knew for sure -- Theodore and Gloria Parks knew where theirs was in the bed. In addition, for those parents who did not know ... I often wondered if they blamed themselves.


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