Family Ties?


James lives on the family farm. He grew up there, as did his father and grandfather. James and Ellen’s house is a modest two story within “rock chunking” distance from his grandfather’s house that James’ brother Alex lives in with his wife and 3 kids. From their houses you can see their father’s house on the hill. The valley is planted partly with a crop of corn, and what is not planted serves as grazing for the livestock. A large garden offers vegetables that can be canned and stored, and eaten fresh. Alex and his father till the land and run the farm, while James works at the local sawmill. There is no need for a babysitter as any of the children is welcome at any house, any time.

Brad lives on 4th Street in town, and operates the local pharmacy that his father founded years ago. Brad and Gloria live with their 4 children and Gloria’s father. After her mother passed, her sister just continued to live in their parents’ home next door. She and her 3 children had lived there for the past 4 years since their father had not come back from Germany in WWII. She works the cash register at the pharmacy for Brad.

What is wrong with this picture of two families from early post-WWII? Nothing, if you lived then. It is life as normal. In some communities in this nation even now, similar scenarios are being played out. In most 3rd world countries this is the accepted “norm”. Families still live, grow, and survive with each other. Families depend on each other.

Our culture in America drives us to succeed. But what we often call success is at the expense of everything that we should be holding dear. We sacrifice family for success. We think that taking time away to earn more money can be justified by the things we buy with that money that make life for or family “better”. In the drive to do that we move away because of a better offer somewhere else, effectively breaking apart our families. Parents are placed in nursing homes because we don’t have time to take care of them any longer. We have to work harder and longer to pay for the things that we cherish, when we should be cherishing the family that God gave us to begin with.

Oh, I understand full well that not all families are the most pleasant environment. Abuse, neglect, alcoholism and many other sins tear families apart. But tearing a family apart because of the drive to possess more and better tangible items is the saddest of all. Family ties have fallen by the wayside in America, and in nations that mimic us. In Japan until a few years ago, there was no such thing as a nursing home. Bu the desire to amass wealth and possessions has driven that nation into a similar situation as we experience. Now, the elderly in Japan are quietly shuttled into facilities so that the populace can go about their western lifestyles uninterrupted.

Soon, I fear as the economy does not rebound and more and more people lose jobs and cannot find work in their field any longer, there will be no place to go but to the charity of family. The government will only offer so much. Perhaps an unemployment check. Perhaps some run down housing project to live in.

No, the only true refuge in the coming times will be in Christ, and in family and the Church – the true Body of Christ. And sadly to say, most families now days have been split, moved and deserted. Family no longer means what it meant a half century ago. Our families are scattered to the winds of time. Sure, there remain a few pockets of resistance. Certain religious groups, certain ethnic groups and certain fellowships exist still that adhere to “sound doctrine”. But as a whole, America is on dangerous ground as these end times play out.


January 16, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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