GOD BLESS THE CHILD WHO’S HAS IT’S OWN. FOR IT TAKES A VILLAGE TO RAISE A CHILD!
As I’m sitting here in my living room with my children, we are watching LILO and Stitch the movie. Lilo just said:
OHANA MEANS FAMILY AND FAMILY MEANS NOBODY GETS LEFT BEHIND!”
What does Family even mean? I mean really, what is the true definition?
I did a quick Google search and here’s what I found:
a group consisting of parents and children living together in a household.
all the descendants of a common ancestor.
According to Webster Family means:
a group of individuals living under one roof and usually under one head (household)
a group of persons of common ancestry (clan)
a group of things related by common characteristics
the basic unit in society traditionally consisting of two parents rearing their children; and any of various social units differing from but regarded as equivalent to the traditional family (a single-parent family)
It wasn’t until I had children, and more importantly until today that I realized the true definition of Family. We as human beings are supposed to KNOW ourselves, LOVE ourselves and PROTECT ourselves first and foremost. Then in return, we can do the same for other people. Right?…. Let’s focus on what I just mentioned for a moment. Since I am a logical person, (plus I’m drinking a glass of wine) my brain is breaking down my previous statement. A logical person would determine what I said to be “SELFISH.” I, I and I. God said “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Which is to show concern about other people, seeking the best for them and helping them in their time of need. God is merely saying to treat others the way we want to be treated and to be selfless first and foremost.
I have a void in my life that I’ve been trying to fill. I’m missing LOVE, I’m missing FAMILY. My family dynamic isn’t what you would call normal, what is normal anyway? My memories of family gatherings are non existent. The few that I have each consist of my mom. She was the MATRIARCH of our family, the GLUE that held everyone together. When she passed away, the connection left with her. We have a large family but everyone is so disconnected and estranged. There are SUBERs all over New Jersey, Pennsylvania and majority of them live in the South in South Carolina and North Carolina. We share the same last name and have the same blood running through our veins which makes us family but what does that even mean?
Lately I’ve been yearning for the Sunday dinners, Family Reunions, BBQs, Family interactions. I can’t go to my mom’s house or call her up on the phone and say “Ma, can you teach me how to make your famous Cube Steak recipe one more time?” I can’t call my dad and say “Hey Dad, don’t forget our fishing trip is next Saturday.” Who do I call for dating advice? Who will advise me about Marriage and how to sustain a marriage? My engagements with family is during funerals. I’ve gone to ELEMENTARY school with a classmate and grew really close to him and later found out we were cousins. BLOOD DESCENDANTS. I have family that live in the same city as I do, some in a few towns over, some in the same state. Up until today, there’s a void I can’t fill.
Each person has a specific role and specific responsibilities in a family.
- Joshua 24:15 “But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”
God is first before ANY and ALL things. He is the beginning and the end. We must first form a relationship with him and that will give us a guideline of how to form and sustain relationships with others.
- Colossians 3:19 “Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.”
He that loveth his wife loveth himself. Women are to submit to their husbands but love for your wife is not contingent on that or the lack thereof. Wives are more inclined to submit if they are being loved the way they deserve. He should cherish, honor, respect and love his wife.
- Psalm 103:13 “As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him.”
To be a good father one must be a good husband (in God’s eyes, that is). The father’s presence should be felt in the home, after all he is the spiritual head of household. This is achieved by worship of God and following of his rules. Through leadership, example and Love. Father’s should be spending time, instructing, advising and training their children to do good and avoid bad (evil). Teaching them about the straight path and guiding them so they won’t be lead astray.
I grew up a Muslim and I still to this day remember a prayer (dua) my mom would say everyday to and for us:
Bismillah, Ya Allah. (In the name of Allah) Please guide us towards the straight path and please don’t lead us astray.
Fathers take on possibility, accountability and responsibility.
Possibility of raising a spiritually inclined young man. A God-fearing, kind-hearted, proud, hard working Man who has morals, values and respect. Possibility that he will join society and make it a better place. Possibility of being in God’s Favor and receiving God’s Grace.
Accountability is given to the Father. Not teachers, not after school programs, not the Mother (although she plays an important role in upholding the standards of care), not nannies or housekeeper, the Father. The consequence for failing to carry out God’s plan or the reward for raising a wonderful child.
Responsibility to provide, protect and guide the child. To discipline them and set boundaries for their greater good. Not to “be an authority” just because you are HEAD Honcho in Charge!
- Proverbs 31: 11-12 The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life.
Wives are supposed to submit to their husbands. It’s not about being “less than,” in God’s plan it’s about displaying the correct relationship to authority. Since as parents we are to lead by example, the children will gain a great sense, understanding and respect for authority.
- 1 Timothy 5:14 “I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.”
- Titus 2:4, 5 “That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”
Mothers are most times taught by their elders to marry, birth children, LOVE, respect and submit to their husband. Nurture and raise their children to “Mind Their Manners so they in turn can gain a sense of respect.
- Ephesians 6:1-3 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”
Children are to obey, honor and respect their parents. Act in ways that bring honor and value to their name.
- Behaves in a respectful manner and loves/honors everyone as the same as their sisters, brothers, parents and extended family.
- To love, encourage, guide, protect and support each other.
Families need teachings that only parents can provide. The primary responsibility of parents is for the physical care and moral development of their children.
Often times, our responses are based on what other people do to us instead of our relationship with God. We cannot control others, but we can control our faithfulness to God as we seek to walk in God’s original design for the family.
1 Timothy 5:8 But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
For those that know me, I host yearly BBQs on the 4th of July, Labor Day and Memorial Day. I host Thanksgiving at my house every year. I’ve attempted to host Sunday Dinner and extended invitations to my then Friends at the time and to my family members.
These days it’s difficult finding like-minded people who share the same values as me. This is the REAL reason why I can’t sustain relationships with people.
There’s more to my family’s story that I may not know and reasoning behind the estrangement but it’s quite unfair frankly. But if it’s one thing I do know is that “Life isn’t fair!” There’s one or two things that may happen for reasons that we don’t always understand.
Acts 10:33 So I sent for you immediately, and it was good of you to come. Now we are all here in the presence of God to listen to everything the Lord has commanded you to tell us. (NIV)
Ultimately I am working on my relationship with God. If we don’t have a relationship with God, we can’t have expectations of finding, building and sustaining a relationship with anyone. The few family members that I do speak with and visit, I’ll just cherish the moments and strengthen our bond. Because having them in our lives is a blessing!
I’ve given birth to 5 little people who one day will grow into adults and will have to sustain their own friendships and their own relationships. I must set an example so that I don’t enable bad habits.
God is and will be my mother, father, sister, brother and friend. For God said:
Joshua 1:9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.
References: The Holy Bible, King James Version and The Holy Quran
What’s your definition of family? Want to lend some advice? Interested in joining my village? Do you just need a hug?
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