The Vanishing Family

By Andy Alexander

While shopping in Wal-Mart recently with my wife Joy, we ran into a school teacher that had worked with her. She stated that she was eligible for retirement, but she kept on working because of the potential good influence she could have over her students. This is a quality that every good teacher possesses, the desire to help others.

During the short conversations that we had with this teacher she stated that out of twenty students in her class only four had two parents at home. That is right here in middle Tennessee, not some distant state or country. The family as God would have it is quickly disintegrating in our country, our state, and even our own town. There are a lot of factors that may figure into this problem, but the major one is the absence of God in most people’s lives.

The first chapter of Romans describes the downward spiral of those who reject God. It is an ugly picture and one that has been repeated time after time throughout history. If we would only learn from history as God would have us to, then we would not have to suffer through so many heart-wrenching situations in our lives.

The family, as many of us who are older know it, is vanishing. More and more children are being raised by one of their parents or by their grand-parents. This is not healthy for the children involved, the parent, the grandparents, or society in general.

God’s word teaches that fathers and mothers are to raise their own children (Eph. 6:4; Titus 2:4-5). These children are to grow, marry, and have a family of their own (Gen. 2:24). There are circumstances that require one parent to raise the children alone, such as the death of one of the parents. In this case, it is better for the widow to remarry and continue to live as God’s word teaches (1 Tim. 5:14).

Even in many two-parent families today the children are not raised by the parents. A babysitter, pre-school, or someone other than the parents are doing the majority of the rearing of the children; thus they are having more influence over the children than the parents. Parents comfort them-selves by rationalizing that the little time they do spend with their children is “quality” time. However, a generation is raised that does not know what real family life is like and when they become parents, they will likely continue the lifestyle they have been taught.

Where is the family? Dad’s working overtime. Mom has a job that she’s going to quit soon. The children are engaged in activities designed to keep them busy till mom and dad get home. And, with all the things that mom and dad are able to buy with their extra money, the children ought to be happy. In fact, if mom and dad have time this summer and are able to take their vacations at the same time, the family may spend a week together.

How many “Christian” households does this sound like? As Paul told the Ephesians, “wake up” and redeem the time that has been wasted. Our children will soon be grown and gone. What will we have taught them? Think on these things!

Guardian of Truth XXXVII: 11, p. 1
June 3, 1993