Fam­i­lies need to get back to ba­sics

The Compass - - OPINION -

Drugs and bul­ly­ing. What a lethal com­bi­na­tion. The ma­jor­ity of peo­ple now are fi­nally ask­ing why? What’s go­ing on? What can we do to al­ter cir­cum­stances in our chil­dren’s lives?

I’ve been watch­ing 100 Huntley Street ev­ery day for the past cou­ple of weeks. It’s pow­er­ful stuff. There’s a book out called “Why they die; teen sui­cide,” a must for us all to read. It of­fers rea­sons and an­swers to sui­cide amongst our chil­dren. This is the sec­ond lead­ing cause of death for our teens in Canada to­day and the third lead­ing cause in the United States.

Most of the time it starts with bul­ly­ing. I lived in the United States dur­ing Pres­i­dent John F. Kennedy’s reign, when prayer was taken out of school and I watched a steady de­cline in so­ci­ety, be­gin­ning at home, school and then church, which are emp­ty­ing at an alarm­ing rate

Then it reared its ugly head in Canada. Tak­ing from our chil­dren, many times, solid ground, strength, courage and pur­pose for liv­ing. They have noth­ing solid to hold onto. No pace to go when times get tough.

What can we do? Get back to the ba­sics. We were al­ways taught to be a God fear­ing na­tion; not any more. Ask any teen to­day to re­cite the Lord’s prayer, the 10 Com­mand- ments, even our na­tional an­them and you’ll get a blank stare.

How many chil­dren in this prov­ince know that on our pro­vin­cial coat of arms there’s a Bi­ble verse, Matthew 6:33: “Seek ye first the king­dom of God.”

The Knights of Colum­bus say “Keep Christ in Christ­mas,” and all Ro­man Catholic homes years ago knew and be­lieved the fam­ily that prays to­gether stays to­gether. How of­ten do we hear that in so­ci­ety to­day? Al­most never! There’s an­other cul­prit: tech­nol­ogy.

For heaven’s sake, par­ents, mon­i­tor your chil­drens’ time and en­ergy spent on these de­vices that they’ve been led to be­lieve they can­not live with­out. It’s not be­ing nosy or snooping. It’s be­ing cau­tious and pro­tec­tive, which is our parental duty and right.

I also lived in the United States (I be­lieve it was 1969) when it was des­ig­nated the year of the child. That same day in church our min­is­ter said, “Get ready for the dis­in­te­gra­tion of the fam­ily the minute you give a child the up­per hand.”

Have we seen this hap­pen? Yes we have. And it has also crept into the class­room. No dis­ci­pline leads to way­ward­ness.

I’ve ex­plained to my chil­dren and grand­chil­dren over the years we all have to have dis­ci­pline. Why do you think there’s yel­low lines, bro­ken and solid down the cen­tre of our roads? Think what driv­ing would be like if these lines weren’t there. This was just my sim­plis­tic way of ex­plain­ing a type of dis­ci­pline we have as driv­ers and adults ev­ery day.

With­out bor­ders and direc­tions in our lives, life falls apart.

We have all read the notes of vic­tims of sui­cide, say­ing they have no pur­pose or rea­son to continue liv­ing. Let’s give them back a rea­son and a pur­pose by get­ting back to ba­sics: love of God and fam­ily.

Re­mem­ber the story about the man who built his house on sand, and the other who built his house on rock. Which came through the storm?

Let’s turn our so­ci­ety around and please God it isn’t too late.

I’m not go­ing to dic­tate to any­one about how to build a strong foun­da­tion, but mine is built upon my faith in the Lord Je­sus Christ.

Our fu­ture as a na­tion hangs in the bal­ance be­cause our young peo­ple are our fu­ture. God help them all, and us adults as we lov­ingly give them the right direc­tions. Joy French-Cole­man writes from

Har­bour Grace

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