Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Families (with Writings from 2011)

I find myself in a somewhat confusing position. If you have been following my posts, you have likely noticed that I don't happen to come from a happy family situation. I also come from a church that puts prime importance on families and their ultimate roles in achieving the highest joys possible in the life to come. That's not the part that confuses me. It is rather that I somehow have two different responses to the idea of 'family' at the same time. Experience has left me with a great difficulty in believing that anyone will be a real part of my life for any real length of time - everyone drifts away so why expect anything more? At the same time, I have something of a burning sense inside that families are supposed to be something of immense value with the ability to have incredible sustaining power throughout the individual's life.

There are studies on the value of having both parents involved in a child's life and most mainstream religions put import on respecting the family. In a society of personal entitlement and a general dismissal of purity in adult or child, it seems there is little respect for either. Our world is straying from the ideals we claim to embrace by teaching each other that no one should expect anything according to a morally obligated outlook because that interferes with the individual's wishes and the individual is now the focus of the western governing world. In the eastern governing world, the pendulum tends to swing too far towards the dictates of the governing powers. Both are incorrect extremes.

America was built on a foundation which could only be solid for a moral and religious people who respect their position as imperfect people striving, with the help of God, to become better, purer, more like Him (John Adams). Such mentality and direction is built in the home, family by family. It is not the role of the government to take responsibility for the moral training of its people and should not be trusted therewith, as we have all witnessed how easily corruption is found hiding in its ranks. Families can't give up its rights and obligations to reinforce and strengthen each other and then be surprised when the failings within start infecting the functioning of larger units in society. And America's failings aside, she is not the only nation to have troubles. (I love what America is supposed to be; I am saddened that her people are straying from that ideal.)

This may seem to put excessive weight on the import of the family, but consider the following section, one of my "Writings from 2011".
Season 5, episode 15. "Guilt Trip", Numb3rs
Charlie Eppes, brilliant mathematician who helps his FBI agent brother solve cases, is troubled in this episode by the reactive nature of law enforcement. No matter how many criminals they can catch and convict, there are always more. He makes many comments towards wishing for a pre-emptive (read 'preventative') means to lower crime rates. He used a parallel story of Emergency Room doctors finding that the best way to better 'treat' crash victims came from promoting safety belt use.
Charlie's nature is to turn to math for hope and possible solutions. Fictional character though he is, I found myself wanting to tell him that we already have the answer.
In "The Family: A Proclamation to the World" there is a paragraph near the end indicating that the breakdown of healthy families is in direct correlation with the breakdown of society. This is not just some random religious position either. Run a statistics check or even ask a neighborhood officer about the kinds of families that create most of the criminal clientele, especially those that start out young. In a word? Broken.
A lot more evidence and arguments for this position can be found in a simple google search of "broken families crime" online.
So where does that leave us? Returning to the concerns of Professor Eppes, it doesn't take a genius to reverse engineer the situation and discover where the desired solution can be found. The campaign for seat belt use becomes the campaign for stable homes and families. A mother and a father caring for and providing for, nurturing, teaching, and loving their children is the best crime prevention possible.
Unfortunately, we get the family we happen to be born into and they aren't always picnics and happy holidays. Sometimes they can be closer to Nightmare on 13th. Mine was probably closer to Cinderella without the Prince Charming rescue and escape. So how do we connect our broken home backgrounds to create a stable home future? The operative word there is 'create' and the Proclamation gives valuable insight and direction into what makes an ideal, healthy family. All I can say is I expect I'll have to refer to it regularly myself whenever I happen to get the opportunity to build my own family. I have also spent years considering where I've come from and paying attention to what I do not want to have with intentional permission to and request that God's Holy Spirit will knock me upside the head if I start falling back into original patterns. I think maybe it has a lot to do with the desires we have deep down inside and our ultimate willingness to step aside from what vanities and pride we may have that prevent us from admitting we might actually make (or be making) mistakes, new or old.

My biggest hangup will likely be a huge difficulty in trusting enough to enter a family relationship in the first place. I can only hope whatever family my future husband has will be patient and welcoming and be openly loving to each other enough that I can try trusting them with me. Also, I have long stated that it would be better for me to stay single than to bring children into the same kind of family I grew up in. I intend to marry at some point in the future, but I am not so desperate for human connection that I will accept a man who will not live up to being a good husband and father. After all - I have seen the influence they have on their families.

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