FOR THE BUSY AND THE NOT SO BUSY FAMILIES
Life has changed but not as we hoped. It was predicted at the 1962 World’s Fair in Seattle that by the year 2001 we’ll work shorter hours; have more time for art, sports and hobbies; and work only 24 hours a week! It is 2009 and we work longer hours, have less free time and more stress. Wouldn’t it be great if we could rewind to simpler times? In his book Little House on the Freeway Tim Kimmel replies: “Life will never again be like it was when we lived in our quiet little houses on the prairie. We all live too close to the freeway to back away from its reality. Together we enjoy all of the benefits and conveniences of modern living. And together we suffer the inevitable consequences.”
Hurried living has taken its toll on our entire society. It’s greatest impact has been felt in the family. A family is a network of relationships that requires time and patience. Both are hard to come by in the average home today. Instead of being a refuge, many homes feel more like a refugee camp. In some homes arguments and blame casting have become a daily habit. In other homes the inmates avoid each other and live as angry neighbors. Sadly, the kids are not immune to this commotion and turmoil. What has happened? Have we selfishly sacrificed our families on the altar of success? Maybe some but not all. Ask most people why they work so hard and they will reply that they are doing it for their family. In a crazy economy they are simply trying to stay afloat, plan ahead and give their loved ones the best they possibly can. That’s not a sin. We have been programmed by our Creator to provide for those in our care. Furthermore, the Bible never condemns success or hard work.
How then can the busy and not so busy families make it in today’s world? First, we need to realize that every family will face difficult seasons in life. Ecclesiastes 3:1-2 says “To
everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven . . . A time to plant, And a time to pluck what is planted.” The times of planting are naturally busier than the times of plucking. It is natural to face those strenuous times of late work hours and loss of job. Believe it or not, your parents, grandparents and great grandparents faced them too. The answer is not in bailing out or blaming one another. Second, forgiveness should be freely given. When Peter asked Jesus if seven times was enough to forgive someone, Jesus replied: “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven” (Matthew 18:22). Pent up bitterness and anger is the root cause of many broken homes. Third, the antidote to all our cares, worries and fears is a life of faith. Faith reminds us that God is in control. It assures us that “all things work together for good to those who love God.” It helps us to visualize the “things unseen.” The only way to get such faith is to be built upon Christ. In Matthew 7:24-25 He said, “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: 25and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.” Things work out in a strange and wonderful way when Christ and His Word are at the center of our lives.