On This Family Holiday, Pray for Family

Thanksgiving week.  How did it get here already?  Seriously.  I swear it was March just yesterday and now it’s November?  I’m amazed how time speeds up the older we get.  It makes me realize how important it is to keep our priorities in line and to appreciate our days.  And that’s partly why we celebrate Thanksgiving.  To not forget the good in life and to recognize the amazing people around us.

I have been greatly blessed in the past month to have my mother move to Florida, permanently.  I have dreamed of having her live near me for many, many years. (I left home at the age of 23 to travel the world with my Air Force husband.)

My mother would visit for a few months in the winter, but she never felt “settled”.  Now she has her own place and is starting a new life.  She deserves it as she has had enormous struggles in the past few years.  God has answered our fervent prayers, and the troubles are all behind her.  I now get the pleasure of enjoying her company.

Not only has she moved here but so has my handicapped brother.  He, too, has seen difficult times, which are now part of the past.  He moved to Delaware with my father when my parents divorced, (I was 16) and I only saw him, maybe, once a year after that.  I can’t believe how much I enjoy having him around.  He is delightful!  What a joy to get to know my brother as an adult.  (Well, at least most of the time.  Sometimes we revert back to our name-calling, tease-me-endlessly childhood.)

I am so grateful, so thankful to have them in my life.  The older I get, the more I realize the importance of family.  Yes, they can drive us crazier than a hornets nest, but the family connection is more precious than anything else in this world.

Ronald Reagan once said, “As the family goes, so goes our civilization.”

I have talked often about the correlation between the state of our world and the family.  With all the divorce and single parenting, children are not growing up with the stability God intended and we are seeing the grave results.

Divorce and single parenting have become perfectly acceptable in our society.  I know there are times where you can’t control the situation, but more than not, I believe that too many people just don’t want to put the effort into marriage.  So much so that many are choosing not to marry.

While single parenting has become the norm for many, the affects on our country are being painfully recognized.  Below are some statistics on single parenting.

The Foundry – by Rachel Sheffield 
Unwed childbearing has been on the rise for more than five decades, and today more than 40 percent of U.S. children are born to single women. A new study additionally reveals that the majority—53 percent—of births to women under 30 occur outside of marriage.
The growing rate of unwed childbearing among these low- and middle-income women compounds the economic problems they will face.  Eighty percent of all long-term poverty occurs in single-parent homes, and children in single-parent families are approximately five times more likely to be poor than their peers from married-parent homes.
Additionally, children from single-parent homes face a variety of other challenges that perpetuate the cycle of poverty. Compared to their peers from married-parent families, they are less likely to graduate, have lower rates of academic achievement, have a greater likelihood of experiencing emotional problems, engage in delinquent behaviors at greater rates, and are more likely to become single-parents themselves. (Although about half of the children born to single women are born to those in cohabiting relationships, these relationships frequently do not lead to marriage, and children from cohabiting families do not reap the same benefits as their peers from married-parent homes.)
 Efforts to strengthen marriage are crucial to stemming the growing unwed-birth rate and rebuilding the weakening foundations of a growing number of U.S. communities.

As we celebrate this holiday of Thanksgiving, I ask that you pray for those less fortunate.  I also ask that you pray for our country and the state of marriage.  I strongly believe, as President Reagan once said, that marriage (the ideal family way) is the barometer of our society.  Without it we will fail.  Make a new commitment to your marriage and encourage others to do the same.  Show your children the importance of the holy bond between you and your spouse so they will desire the same for their future.  God bless and Happy Thanksgiving!


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