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Shaping the next generation in God’s ways

How often do we express gratitude to God for blessing us with families that provide unwavering love, support and guidance? To what extent do we truly grasp the importance of our families in shaping our lives?

In the midst of today's rapidly changing world and the hectic pace of life, families face numerous challenges. Working parents with busy schedules struggle to find balance, leaving little quality time for family bonding. The pervasive presence of screens and digital devices has reached unprecedented levels. When observing families at restaurants, it is common to see everyone engrossed in their digital devices, actively engaging in online communication rather than having face-to-face conversations. Additionally, the intense competitiveness within educational systems, combined with high standards for academic achievement and the relentless pursuit of success, can create stress for both parents and children. Moreover, the absence of strong social connections, community support, and sufficient resources can contribute to feelings of social isolation, making it difficult for families to navigate their challenges and access the necessary assistance.

In the present context, our society is increasingly fragmented. The pressures on families have intensified, and if we neglect the importance of prioritising their well-being, we are inevitably on a downward trajectory that will impact our entire nation. Therefore, it becomes imperative for the world to seek solace in God's wisdom as a guiding principle. Reestablishing the significance of God's teachings and scriptures in our lives holds utmost importance, underscoring the need for us to diligently return to them.

The book of Genesis provides a blueprint for the family as God intended it to be. God created Adam and Eve, establishing marriage as the union between one man and one woman. The family serves as the primary context for love, companionship and the upbringing of children. Understanding and embracing God's design for the family is essential for its success. Love lies at the core of every Christian family, as Jesus Himself taught us to love one another just as He loved us (John 13:34). Love fosters an environment of acceptance, forgiveness and selflessness within the family, nurturing a deep bond and providing a secure haven for each member to thrive and grow. Unity is another vital element, ensuring that the family functions as a united team, facing challenges together with shared values and a common purpose.

The Bible assigns distinct roles and responsibilities to each family member. The greatness of God's wisdom is truly remarkable! Husbands are called to sacrificially love their wives, mirroring the love of Christ for the Church (Ephesians 5:25). Wives are encouraged to submit to their husbands in love and respect (Ephesians 5:22). Parents bear the responsibility of raising their children in the ways of the Lord, imparting godly values and offering spiritual guidance (Ephesians 6:4). Children are called to honour and obey their parents (Ephesians 6:1-3). Embracing these roles establishes harmony and order within the family unit. This may very well be the secret to a happy family.

Prayer serves as the lifeline of a Christian family, connecting them to God's presence and grace. Establishing regular prayer times as a family not only promotes spiritual growth but also strengthens the family's bond with God. It provides an avenue for family members to seek divine guidance, express gratitude and intercede for one another's needs. Additionally, engaging in family worship nurtures a solid foundation for spiritual development, enabling family members to deepen their understanding of God's Word and grow in faith together.

As Christian families, we find our place within the framework of the church community, where we discover a valuable support system and a nurturing environment. Within the context of the church family, we not only seek support but also cultivate meaningful friendships and receive wise counsel. Just as the African proverb suggests that it takes an entire village to raise a child, members of the Christian community can serve as spiritual parents, playing a vital role in the upbringing and guidance of our children. These children are the future leaders of the church, actively contributing to God's Kingdom work. It is crucial for us to invest in the younger generation, empowering them to radiate as beacons of hope and love in a world that yearns for the transformative light of Christ.

God's genuine care extends to our families. Have we actively pursued God's will for our families? Have we gathered our family members around the Word of God? Are we releasing our families to God in prayer? - Deaconess Malar Thomas

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