Originally uploaded by dkendig
Civilizations and nations that thrive understand that underpinning their strength is the attention and priority to strong family principles and values. But, these days, children like to be independent at very early ages. This streak of independence and self-help is not wrong in itself; what will be missed is the sense of community and togetherness of a strong family when times become difficult. In Singapore and Malaysia there is a Malay word ‘gotong-royong.’ ‘Gotong Royong’ exist in the Malay kampongs (enclaves) where families will chip in and help another family in need or the whole community in a spirit of co-operation. You see this same spirit in the Amish community as noted by barn raisings. Neighbors freely give of their time and their skills to help one another. When children leave home too early without first capturing the gotong-royong or family spirit something will remain missing in their lives.
The Lees@Ban Thao Beach Phuket
Christianity emphasises the importance of keeping the family strong but at no other times are family values threatened and undervalued than in these modern times. To prevent this it may be useful for us to heed the guidance of God in establishing strong Christian principles of keeping our family together. Effective family life does not just happen; it’s the result of deliberate intention and practice. If countries are underpinned by strong families then strong families are undergirded by God's teachings. What are these principles?
Hear the Truth Continually. “Hear O Israel, the lord is Our God, the Lord is one.” Strong families lean hard on some unshakeable facts and this is a major one. The Lord is OUR God is not a statement to be uttered like some mantra but to be lived. The pronoun is in the pleural so this is not a personal matter. This must be our family statement. We acknowledge His presence, His uniqueness, His place, His right to rule over us. We seek His will. We walk in His ways. And just as the Lord is One, the family is also One.
Love the Lord fervently. “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words, which I am commanding you shall be upon your heart.” Underline the word ALL. Our love for God must be complete. It is not possible to transfer to our children a principle and then to propagate through the succeeding generations if we as parents do not personally embrace a love for God that permeates all of our being. The family’s love for God must be a deep down dedication.
Teach the Young Diligently. “And you shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. And you shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. And you shall write them on the door posts of your house and on your gates.” The take-home message here is one of intensity, to teach every time and every where. To do this, teaching must be such that it is done in very natural setting making use of every opportunity that life presents to point the children to God and His love. The teaching has to be consistent and in many ways repetitious. It is not only to be communicated with verbal cues but with visual cues, body language - parents must live the teaching.
Extended Lees in Malaysia
Strong families build strong houses and Proverbs 18:10 says ‘the name of the Lord is a strong tower, the righteous runs into it and is safe.’