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The Deterioration of Nuclear Families and their By-products

Family valued?

by Sarita Perera

Want to hear some sad news? The majority of those reading this article are facing/have faced mummy and daddy issues. It’s true, families (and here I mean parents)may have disappointed us and left us scarred and bitter, with emotional wounds (physical ones for some of us too!) Wounds we are left to deal with for the rest of our lives. It may feel like you can never trust another person, ever, and separation from the rest of the world is the best way to live. Or you may be at the other end of the spectrum. You may feel that the love, approval, or acceptance that you never received from your parent(s) must be sought elsewhere, in someone else. Wherever you are on that spectrum, you are not wrong in feeling the way you do. It only goes to show us the magnitude of the damage that has been done and that if parental issues can cause such serious problems, then how parents have an enormous role to play in our lives. A problem can only be as big as the deficit created.

But where does family and the idea of a family come from? Family is not something that someone once upon a time saw in a trance while dancing around a fire. No, Families are a part of God's design for human beings. It is meant to encapsulate a unique relationship of self-sacrifice and love that he himself desires to have with each and every one of his children. God calls us His children. And the Church, His bride. I don’t know about you, but they sound like family words to me.

These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Deuteronomy 6: 6-7

That’s God’s heart right there. God wants Godly men and women to raise up Godly children. In a cycle that continues from generation to generation. So, if God created family from something so close to His heart, doesn’t it seem obvious that the devil would want to destroy it, being the opposer that he is? With every successive generation, families have been torn apart. Divorce rates are now sky-high, with approximately 400 per day in Sri Lanka. Also, children from broken families since the 20th century are facing huge problems of identity, isolation, and depression. And these numbers seem to be on the rise. What is going on? Does God not care enough to see our suffering and pain?

Want to hear something interesting? I am guessing that if you’ve put up with my blab for this long, your answer is yes. God knew all along that the world would come to this. Long before these things happened, He knew families would be broken and children and parents, equally, will suffer. And that is why the very last verse in the very last book of the Old Testament ends like this,

See, I will send the prophet Elijah to you before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes. He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the hearts of the children to their parents, or else I will come and strike the land with total destruction.” Malachi 4: 5-6

And who are we introduced to in the New Testament? Jesus: The Son who introduces us to the Father God. The One who came to restore our broken relationship with God, and who in turn restores every other broken relationship we have here on Earth.

So, what now? My hope is that the rest of this article gives you hope. The anger, pain and hurt is real. And you may have been let down far too many times to keep count. Yet, in light of all that, would you able to believe that the original source of your identity, your joy, and your existence is God and God alone? That even with perfect parents, the absence of God can still leave you feeling empty and hopeless? And therefore, God is the answer to your problem? Sure, a heartfelt apology from your parents wouldn’t hurt. You may even feel entitled to one, and rightly so, Although some of us may never get one. Yet are you willing to say, “You don’t owe me anything”? I am cancelling all your debt”?

This is a process and will take time, But God sees the heart and will honour your work. If you actively seek out individuals who can mentor you, who are mature, love God and want to make an investment in your life, You can let the cycle of broken families end with you! Yes, you heard me. You can build upon the broken, tattered relationships of your parents, and God being the restoring God that He is, will answer your prayers. As you look into the future and your own marriage, prepare yourself for it meticulously. Go forth and Become the man or woman God has called you to be.

When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 1 Corinthians 13:11

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