Why such a title for Christmas?
Why upset you at such a special time of the year? At the start of this year I informed readers of this column that this year is especially dedicated to the family. Up until now I have endeavoured to share some of the roles and responsibilities that are needed to make the family as a unit function in current conditions prevailing in our country and world. You will no doubt read articles in this edition geared towards our Christmas period. In fact many of us will be thinking of a well-deserved break and end of the year holiday. The most stressing thing on our minds will be the Christmas cards that should have been sent, what am I going to give as a Christmas present and what will our Christmas meal be like. Of course it is also the custom for the pastors and the assemblies to focus on the Christmas story. We may be thinking of portraying Jesus as the special gift of salvation that was sent by God to redeem man from sin or even use this time to share the message of “ glory to God in the highest and on earth peace,
As I was preparing for my usual article for our magazine I felt that it would also be wise to have a look at some of the things that are taking place in our country during the course of this year. I therefore took the liberty of looking at the international calendar for all countries in the world and noted that this year has been declared the international year of the family. State welfare and other departments are now planning programmes aimed at the family. It is therefore only natural to ask what does the church offer regarding families. Here I must first of all point out that a family is not just a husband and a wife. A family extends to children as well as to grand parents, as well as uncles, aunts and cousins. Today the family as a concept has been ripped apart by the pressure of demands from a world that seeks to drain every bit of strength and time from family relationships. It is the family that is under attack and it is the Church that must find solutions and strategies to counter this satanic onslaught.
n my last contribution I stated that we need to look at family relationships particularly in the light of the fact that this year we are celebrating the international year of the family. There are four basic institutions that contribute to a stable society : the church, the school, the state, and the home. All four play a vital role and affect individuals, communities and the nation. In looking at how we can strengthen family relationships it is important that we accept that marriage and the family are of divine origin as seen in gen. 1:27 –28, 31. God instructed his creation to be fruitful and to multiply, and also proclaimed that his creation was good. We can conclude that intended for man and woman to live together in a relationship of love, trust, and mutual helpfulness. It is also safe to assume that God has provided divine laws to safeguard marriage and the home. One of the Ten Commandments emphasises the responsibility of the children toward their parents ( Ex. 20:12).