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Family First

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Your Future:  Are You Who You Want To Be?

Our country is at a crossroads. Our churches and communities are at a crossroads. Your family is at a crossroads. As we drive along the highway of life, most of us have passengers aboard. It is not enough just to check the rear-view mirror periodically or simply to keep our eyes on the road and drive the best we can. We must have a destination and then map the route to that destination.

We all have some regret when peering in the rear-view mirror. I believe “Family First” is a true destination goal for most parents. However, for most of us the decision to make family a priority is merely the first and easiest step toward the destination. Our GPS or map might be old, ragged, or just nowhere to be found. Unfortunately, creating the map is not as simple as pushing a “Family First” button on the GPS. It is even more of a challenge if you had poor parenting or marriage examples in your own lives. It also might be difficult if your children are in their teenage years or have already left the nest. Do not be discouraged. There are plenty of “apps and maps” to help you out! First, let’s peer in the rear-view mirror to see the generations that preceded us.

Our modern homestead is strikingly different from that of earlier generations. Most people grew their own food, cut wood for fuel, and made their own tools and clothing. They preserved their own food, prepared beverages, and sewed and embroidered for themselves. The staple food was bread, and meat was only for special occasions, Sundays, and holidays. Home was a place of work, the center of economic activity. The church doubled as an assembly hall and the village gathering place. Prayers, storytelling, and music were household activities. The man read from the Scriptures or recited a prayer in the presence of the assembled household. After 1900, a stripping-away process began to occur, minimizing the intersections of family members and changing household life and activities greatly. The majority of the population shifted to cities and suburbs, and the household roles also changed. The family “unit” gave way to more individualistic lives, roles, and goals that resulted in a more fragile and splintered family. “Divorce is a very recent phenomenon and has contributed to an emphasis on individual satisfaction in marriage.”

Much has changed in family education as well. Regarding the mixture of home and school, “by the end of the 18th century, school was not yet a necessary part of every child’s upbringing. Apprenticeship was at one time the model for learning every kind of skill.” Family relations were described as “patriarchal.” The father filled the role of teacher and father. In our modern society, the man, and sometimes the woman, face a wrenching apart of work and home life. Now, the central activity of fatherhood is outside one’s immediate home. Children have slowly moved from economic worker to spoiled consumer. Families must battle for time together as more and more isolation and independence prevails in work, in education, and in worship. A report from Massachusetts during colonial times declared that public funding of elementary schools was not desirable because “the office of instruction belongs to parents. Parents have opportunities to impart instructions, and to gain an influence over their children which the public teacher does not possess.”

Many tools to help make family a priority are in A Lasting Legacy.


Future Foundation Builders
P.O. Box 3764
McKinney, TX  75069
E-Mail: doug@futurefoundationbuilders.com


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