November 2012 – The Family

It’s time for my monthly Saturday Evening Post but would you believe it I’m having trouble again uploading new pictures to this page. Until I can fix the problem, I’ll have to make do with old pictures. So read on dear friend, if you have the time!

In considering what I should write about for this November post, Betty said to me why not write about the “Family.”

I hesitated at first as it is so easy to give the impression that we have got it all together and have all the answers which I haven’t. Pictures can impress with happy smiles and perceptions, but seldom reveal struggles that are going on in the heart of individual or families. This causes me to hesitate as I don’t want to cause further pain as we approach the Christmas season with it’s emphasis on happy family time.

The month of November was a rather uneventful time in the Evans household but we did have the joy of spending many happy hours with our grandchildren after school, resulting in some good fun around the meal table with a swim in the pool and even setting up the Christmas Tree.

When you think about it “Family” is an incredible gift God has given us. To think that we have the God given ability to procreate after our kind, is a staggering privilege to say the least.

I will never forget the birth of my first child, a son who had his mothers good looks and ah…! what can I say?…no no, you guest it. Now that was a real awesome experience!

Family! ah family what a wonderful supportive institution!

Now, I am not about to condemn people who have felt it necessary to break up their family nor to say divorcees are people without character, because there is plenty of pain out there. Besides all of us somewhere along the line have failed the character test knowingly and unknowingly. I’m sure all of us have privately committed sins of commission and sins of omission.

The tragedy is when our sins effect future generation of family, and they do. Even the best of christian families have private family pain which they don’t talk about. 

Having said that and now having the time to philosophically meander along the river of life and consider the value of family, I am increasingly alarmed by the endemic break down of the family unit & attitude in society toward divorce. Even among christians, personal happiness is equated above the responsibility to keep the family unit together.

Divorce is all too easy and regularly leaves a sad legacy of dysfunctional children and grandchildren in its wake. Its no wonder God hates Divorce. Malachi 2:16

I have always admired married couples who have made their marriage work despite the enormous differences in their personalities, even when infidelity has been involved. The sacrifices people/parents make to keep family together is something to be applauded.

My parents have been an example to me as were Betty’s parents to her. We have only vague recollection of their personal struggles, if any. They fought their battles in private and practiced self denial when it came to the families interest. They left a legacy in their children for years to come of the positive power of the family unit. I applaud them!

There is an article you may care to read in the Index column if you dare! It is called “Scribblings about being a Wife” by Betty Evans. All you good wives ought to read it. ha ha!

I recall a lady once coming for private counselling who was living in a unhappy marriage. When asked why she never left the marriage? She said “My Marriage Vows!” “I married for better or for worse” she said “even though right now it far worse than I ever expected.” Then she added “by God’s grace it may turn around one day.” Was she living in denial? No, she had taken a stand to live in obedience to God’s Word despite her personal unhappiness. Think about it!

Years later when the couple were in their senior years, it turned around for good and they lived out their latter years in peace & companionship. The extended family were preserved from incredible heart ache and emotional damage. What an amazing sacrifice, indeed it was!

By God’s grace their children and grandchildren lived out their days not knowing the struggles their parents had in keeping the family unit together. Someone had to die to self and make the sacrifice, in this case it was the parents who put aside personal happiness for the good of their children and grandchildren. “Easier said than done” you bet it is, but previous generation have done it for the good of the family and so can twenty first century families.

I am painfully well aware that there are those who would lay down their lives to preserve the family unit. Unfortunately the decision often is taken away from them. It takes two willing people. My heart goes out to those with broken dreams and say to them “you did your best.”

I was pleasantly surprised to read the following quote from the General Assembly of the United Nations. The first formal recognition of the family unit’s special status as the basic building block of civilised society came in 1989 when it passed resolution A/44/82 (1989) proclaiming 1994 as the first International Year of the Family.

The theme of the year was “Family: resources and responsibilities in a changing world,” and its motto was “Building the smallest democracy at the heart of society.” In 1993, the General Assembly declared the 15 May 1994 the first International Day of Families, to be celebrated annually thereafter.

The General Assembly sought to raise the awareness of governments at the national, local, and regional levels about the threat posed to families and the possible consequences to society of the fragmentation and disintegration of the family unit.”

If world governing bodies are concerned, so should we do all in our power to preserve the family unit which of course is the building block of civilised society. May God give us the grace.




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