With Saint Andrew Kim Taegon and companions from Asia, we implore you Lord to send your Holy Spirit to live our faith with courage and dynamism.. Your Daily Prayer

Are Family Values in jeopardy?

What should we do to strengthen family life in the midst of what is happening in the world? In the word of Pope Francis, ‘we need simplicity to pray as a family: simplicity is necessary! Praying the Our Father together, around the table, is not something extraordinary: it’s easy.

Are Family Values in jeopardy?

Fr. K T Emmanuel
We believe that the purpose of life is to know and glorify God through an authentic relationship with His Son, Jesus Christ. This purpose is lived out first within our own families, then extended, in love, to an increasingly broken world that desperately needs Him. Unfortunately, with the increase in urbanization, nuclear families are taking over the joint family systems. The “traditional” family is disintegrating around the world.

A reporter asked the couple “How did you manage to stay together for 65 years?” The woman replied, “We were born in a time when if something was broken we would fix it, not throw it away”. How true. In our times when something breaks we replace it including relationships.

Alvin Toffler predicted way back in the 1970s that we will be living in a world of ‘use and throw away culture’. Today, what we do to things we do to people. As long as our old parents are useful and productive we use them, once they are not useful and productive, we throw them away to Old Age Home rather than take care of them in the house and give a positive example to our children that the elderly need to be cared and respected. We no longer value the wisdom and experience of our grandparents. It is scary that what we do to our parents our children may do the same someday to us. Three of the biggest threats to families are materialism, secularism and negative media influences.

Materialism: It is all around us in our culture. Commercials bombard us constantly, telling us that having more is the key to happiness. We rack up credit card debt so we can buy the latest technological gadgets and designer clothes. We focus our time and energy on attaining wealth and material possessions, while putting less priority on our relationships and spiritual values. Materialism has reached epidemic proportions in our society, and the family unit is one of the casualties.

Secularism: Several recent surveys have reported what may seem painfully obvious: Our society is becoming less religious and increasingly secular.

Negative Media Influences: Our world is supersaturated with mass media extolling ungodly attitudes and values. Many of today’s movies, television shows, songs, video games, websites and magazines convey messages like sex outside of marriage is okay, violence is acceptable, religion is unacceptable, it’s okay for kids to disobey their parents, happiness can be purchased, husbands should not lead their families, young is better than old—all of which can damage families and weaken the fabric of our civilization.

Mass media are called on to portray the image of the happy family. The state should promote the presentation of positive family relations and the training of the coming generation by ordering the production of telecasts as well as art and documentary films. Traditional attitudes towards the family should be taught in schools.

What should we do to strengthen family life in the midst of what is happening in the world? In the word of Pope Francis, ‘we need simplicity to pray as a family: simplicity is necessary! Praying the Our Father together, around the table, is not something extraordinary: it’s easy.

And praying the Rosary together, as a family, is very beautiful and a source of great strength! And also praying for one another! The husband for his wife, the wife for her husband, both together for their children, the children for their grandparents….praying for each other. This is what it means to pray in the family and it is what makes the family strong’. If we stay close to God and depend on Him for protection and guidance, our families and its members will stay intact—and flourish.

(Fr. K T Emmanuel, a Diocesan priest with a Master’s in Canon Law, is working as Judicial Vicar in the Metropolitan Tribunal of the Archdiocese of Bombay, with keen interest in preserving family life of the faithful sacred.)

Get the world’s most loved and largest selling Catholic Missal praying and living the Eucharist in India. Fabulous Offer: 36 Issues for just Rs 2100/-
News world

LATEST STORIES

Sign up for Living in Faith Newsletter

La Croix International