The Family – In the Changing Times


‘I cannot live without my family. They are everything to me… my parents, my sisters and brothers, they are the world for me.’ Have you heard someone say this to you recently? There are many who will smirk and roll their eyes if anyone said this to them. There used to be a time when people upheld family values and were willing to sacrifice anything for their family… but that was way back then. There has been a shift in the hearts, minds and attitudes of the people in matters concerning the family in recent times.The present culture has taken the control of families into its hands and we find families crumbling, breaking and falling apart. Marriages are made in a hurry and broken even faster than you can imagine. Live-in relationships are flaunted by celebrities and the elite giving youngsters the idea that living without commitment is the way to be. Parents are so caught up in making two ends meet, managing their career and following their dreams that they don’t have time or energy to share with their children.Gone are the days when a 9 to 5 job would keep the kitchen fires burning and you could return home by about 6 pm. With the rise in Call Centers, youngsters are making a beeline for high paying jobs without considering the price they have to pay. Working in a nightshift often means being cut off from the family you are living with since they are available in the evening or night while you go off to work at that time. Their holidays and your holidays don’t coincide any more. There are no more family unions or time to just sit around and chat. Routines and schedules don’t match at first and soon lifestyles and mindsets too don’t match. Most Call Centers teach employees the culture of the country they are working for. Soon workers get alienated from the culture they are living in because they have no connection with them. They feel the need to move out and be with others who think like them which mostly are the same crowd that they work with.

When a young couple marries they have a tough time starting a family. Mothers who stay at home and look after the children are a rarity these days. There are no doting parents who give up their comforts and preferences to make a life for their children. Mothers leave their tiny tots as early as a few months after birth to get back to work and a grandmother or ayah raises children at home today. Children spend more time with the relatives or baby sitters than their own parents. Though the reasons may be sound – as in getting financial security – these don’t make up for the loss of the building of a bond between the child and his parents, especially his mother.

As the years roll by, the children get used to growing up on their own or relying on a relative or someone else for their needs. They don’t feel the need to connect with their own parents any more. They look around and find their role models from around or on the television which is full of masala characters who don’t have any values or principles in life. On television the good guys always seem to lose out to the bad guys who have all the fun. The little child thinks ‘I like to have fun so the bad guys are the ones to copy!’

It not just growing children who miss their parents, even adults are getting further and further away from their own parents. As a result of this the aged people are getting isolated and lonely without anyone to care for them. Older people cannot manage to live on their own since their meager pension if they have any is not sufficient to run a house or suffice to meet their needs. As children who were raised by parents who made sacrifices for them, this generation of adults have let down their parents in their time of need. Many parents find themselves alone at home or left in an old age home where nobody visits them.

Relationships are strained, resources drained… Families are struggling day after day to meet their needs. Within the family relationships have weakened to the point of breaking, each person is living in an island of his own… feeling lost and lonely without anyone to care for him. Is this the family we dream about? Is this the family that every young girl or boy getting married wants? What is our definition of a family? Is it just an obligation of relating to some people because we were born into it or because we got married? What is the family God wants us to have?

We have a choice to make everyday. We can choose to let how others live, what the media portrays or society expects to become our life or the script for our family life. Or we can choose to make a life for us and our family which is based on the Word of God and godly values and principles. We can choose to look into the hearts of our loved one and see whether they are hurting even if they don’t convey it to us in words. We can be a family that keeps love at the topmost rung of priorities in our lives.

The foundation for our life is built by parents and one’s upbringing. If we want the future of our family to be good, we need to invest more of ourselves into it. We need to nurture and build our family so that it can resist the tides of change and the storms of upheavals in society too.

Be a blessing to others and eternally transform lives by supporting CBN INDIA’s Ministry. Partner with us to reach millions of Indians to share the love of Christ and a message of hope to the needy ones by making an on-line donation today.

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