Every family requires these three elements for survival in the world we live in. Yet, many of us have overlooked their importance to our own peril. Many people in our world have lost any sense of faith in the ability of God to come through in their relationships with their spouses or children; they have no hope that things will get better because they have been disappointed many times; and their love has waxed so soft that it’s almost completely melted away in the face of the harsh heat of reality.
I hope to challenge this vicious cycle fading faith, hapless hope and lethargic love in this new series on the role of the ingredients of faith, hope and love in family life and child care. The plan is to restore our faith, renew our hope and refresh our love so the wheels of family life can run smoothly once again as they get oiled with these graces. The family remains the functional unit of society and almost every societal ill can be traced back to a breakdown in the family structure. Christian homes which should serve as a model for the world like a city set upon a hill are sadly not exempt from this unfortunate situation of decay… How do we return and take our place in the plan of God for the world? How shall the sons of God be manifest in this dying world?
It is when we shine as lights in the midst of a wicked and perverse nation. It is when our faith is so strong that nothing else matters; our hope is so tangible it is almost palpable and our love- our pure unconditional love is so real that it overflows in selfless actions.
I will introduce the subject of faith as a necessary family life ingredient today with the following story of the Syro-Phoenician woman’s encounter with Jesus when He walked this earth:
From there Jesus set out for the vicinity of Tyre. He entered a house there where he didn’t think he would be found, but he couldn’t escape notice. He was barely inside when a woman who had a disturbed daughter heard where he was. She came and knelt at his feet, begging for help. The woman was Greek, Syro-Phoenician by birth. She asked him to cure her daughter.
He said, “Stand in line and take your turn. The children get fed first. If there’s any left over, the dogs get it.”
She said, “Of course, Master. But don’t dogs under the table get scraps dropped by the children?”
Jesus was impressed. “You’re right! On your way! Your daughter is no longer disturbed. The demonic affliction is gone.” She went home and found her daughter relaxed on the bed, the torment gone for good. [Mark 7:24-29 (The Message)]
This woman wanted her daughter healed by Christ- she believed and knew that Jesus could cure her daughter and she didn’t get daunted in her faith even when He told her that healing was first for the children then left-over scraps could be scrambled by dogs. She knew Jesus had the power to heal and she wasn’t going to give up at the initial words which some would have felt was discouraging at the least or even found insulting. Jesus recognized her faith and granted her heart’s desire!
We see also the faith of a parent in the story of Jarius- a ruler of the synagogue who wanted healing for his daughter as well before further complications arose and the little girl was dead. Yet, Jesus said to him- “Don’t be afraid; just believe”. These same words are for you today- do not entertain fear in your parenting, let the power of Christ be manifest as you tackle the affairs of daily living in this world; whatever the situation may be in your home, however complicated it may seem; take the words of Jesus to heart- “Don’t be afraid; just believe!”. Remember we are joint heirs together with Christ; for as many as received Him even to as many as believe on His name- to them He gave the power to be called sons of God. Healing is the children bread. You can experience it in every area of your family life. When faith is present, contradictions don’t faze us, the cares of this world don’t break us, we have our faith grounded in He who was and is and is to come! Hallelujah…
We’ll continue with the subject of faith next week before we delve into hope and love in the family… till then, continue in God’s grace.
Dr ifelayo ojo