Signs of the last days: The breakdown of family relationships
…Without natural affection, truce breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good.2 Timothy 3:3
When the kids were younger, we would have family get together around the table in the dining room for our evening meal. I would cook, the kids would set the table and before we ate, dad prayed a blessing over our food. It was a wonderful family time each evening. When we finished our meal, we washed and dried up and put away dishes. Then we would move into the siting room and spend time laughing, telling jokes, watch movies, just having a real family time.
We ate together, prayed together, spend time together, went to church together, went on vocation together. So, we were together most of the time, as were most families back in those days. But this is not the case for most families today.
Because most homes own multiple cars today, everyone often travels separately, following their various busy schedules. As a result, a few families sit down to eat a meal together and even if they do, it is rarely cooked at home but usually eaten at a restaurant. Families don’t even watch television together anymore. Because they have so many televisions in their homes, they can all be home, yet not together, watching different programs in different parts of the house. Unfortunately, many families don’t even attend the same churches.
The truth is, if families are going to spend time together today, it won’t usually happen unless they cancel something else and schedule time to make it happen. The day of families spending large amounts of time together has almost vanished in our modern-day world. But according to the signposts that Paul lists in second Timothy 3, the deterioration of close families and marriages are developments that will occur in the last days.
Paul goes on to say that society will be “without natural affection”
The traditional family relationship that once existed in abundance are threatened today by schedules, multiple jobs in one home, financial pressure, divorce, kids living with separate parents, multiple cars that help to create separate paths of each family members’ life, multiple televisions per home, and so on. Parents go one direction while the children go another direction, and very often Dad and Mon don’t go the same direction. The family resides in one house together but they don’t share life together, and most often they don’t even share a meal together unless they schedule it into their week.
Sociologists say this troubling trend has contributed to rebellion in children who feel neglected or unwanted attention disorders in children who are rushed from one place to the next or who spend time watching television instead of enjoying time with their parents and siblings and marital relationships deteriorating as a results of life moving so fast that husbands and wife don’t take time to connect and share their hearts and lives in a meaningful way. This problem today is epidemic. Just ask any school teacher about the state of children today and teachers everywhere will verify that the family is in serious trouble.
Thank God those of us who love Him do not fall victim to this plight. By living according to God’s Word and by making our families and participation in a local church a priority, we can build strong families even in these last days. If we don’t take time to build our families right, we will unfortunately reap sad consequences. These are the last days, therefore we are obligated to wisely build our families to resist the spiritual storms that are characteristic of this age.
Knowing that we live in these last days, we who are married must stay before the lord, keep a pure heart, and cleave to the spouse God gave us. If you struggle in your marital relationship, God’s Word and the power of the Holy Spirit can mend it. Yes, it may take time and work, but in most cases with God’s help you find that you don’t have to become another casualty of this trend towards divorce that is so rampant in the world today.
But if you have already fallen victim to this symptom of the last days, God’s grace is present to fully restore. He loves you and cares deeply for the wounds this has inflicted on your soul and on the souls of your children. With the help of God and empowerment of the Holy Spirit, it is possible for you to fully recover from this trauma. God is always present to help those who call on Him in time of need.
Question to consider: In light of what you have read today, how is the condition of your family? Do you spend time together? Do you sit down and eat a meal together each day, or do you find your family all going in different direction and hardly ever spending quality time together?
My prayer for today
Lord, I am so glad that you saved me and delivered me from the destruction that is at work in the lost world today. When I read your word and watch what is happening in the world around me, I see how carefully you tried to warn us of these things and to prepare us to live victoriously in them. How can I ever thank you enough for so carefully revealing the future and the truth to those of us who love you and your word. Father I ask you to help me live each day wisely and not to waste a minute. And please teach me to take advantage of each opportunity when I can tell the good news of Jesus saving grace to people who are lost and in need of Him. I pray in Jesus name.
Love, Pastor Cindy.