LESSON 8 23/10/2016
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS ON THE FAMILY
Suggested Hymns: G.H.B. 83, 86
Devotional Reading: Jeremiah. 10:1-10
Topic For Adults: Behave Your Belief
Topic For Youths: Watch What You Watch
Topic For Intermediates: Guard Against World Pollution
Scripture Lesson: Gen. 2:18-25; Isa. 11:9; Dan. 1:17; 12:4; Jn. 17:9-17
DAILY DEVOTIONAL READING
Learn From Joshua’s Family
This was the valedictory speech of Joshua to the Israelites. As old as he was, he recounted vividly how God started with Israel to the point of dividing their inheritance for them in the Promised Land. He then advised and encouraged them that they should not be ungrateful by forsaking the Lord, but they should rather serve the Lord in fear, sincerity and truth and to put away all foreign gods. He then stated that if it seems evil in their sight to serve God, then they can choose whom they will serve but as for him and his household they will serve the Lord. What a glorious testimony. He was sure that his wife and children are with him in the faith. What about you? Are all your family members already serving God in sincerity and truth? Think and work on this.
Point of Emphasis: As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.
Prayer Point: Lord, save me and every member of my family and help us to serve You till the end of our lives on earth.
The family is one of the basic units of the larger society. It is not independent of the society but constantly interacts with the society. Many at times, the society introduces some negative vices or influences that are at variance with healthy family living, and thereby negatively impacts on the family. This week’s lesson wants to consider some of those negative societal impacts on the family so as to be able to avoid them in our family.
NOTES ON THE TEXT
PART 1: ECONOMIC IMPACT (GEN. 2:18-25)
Right from the beginning of creation and of marriage institution between the first man and the first woman, the purpose or pattern God intends for marriage partners is to cleave or join together in all spheres of life. The Bible says “therefore shall a man leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh”. (Verse 24). ‘To be joined to his wife’ indicates living together, eating together, sleeping together, sharing each person’s feelings and aspirations together, talking together, and many other things that can forge genuine cleaving together.
However, looking at the society today, one discovers that there are lots of economic factors that have negatively impacted on the family and have not allowed the cleaving or joining together of the couple to be possible. Such economic factors have reared their ugly heads in the area of husbands job not located in the town where the couple settles down in, or either the husband or the wife get transferred immediately after the wedding, making the couple to be temporarily separated and only to see each other either by weekend or every forthnight or once in a month or more depending on the distance and the risk involved in frequent traveling. In other instances, it may be the loss of job of the husband who is supposed to be the bread winner of the family. Also the husband may ruin the business of wife through buying things on credit from the woman or borrowing money from the wife’s capital without paying back.
These and many other economic factors have negative effects on many families and if not properly handled, can lead to the disintegration of the family. Couples need God’s wisdom and intervention to be able to overcome any economic challenge that may confront their family so that they will be what God intends for them.
PART 2: TECHNOLOGICAL IMPACT (ISA. 11:9; DAN. 1:17; 12:4; HAB. 2:14)
Many prophets of the Old Testament have prophesied about the fact that in the end time knowledge shall increase. For instance, Isaiah prophesied “They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:9). Daniel also in a strange land admitted that it is God who gave him and the three Hebrew boys knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom and that made Daniel to have understanding in all visions and dreams. He also affirmed that in the last days knowledge shall be increased (Dan. 1:17; 12:4)
One major area where this prophecy has been fulfilled in our world today is in the area of Information Communication Technology (ICT). With the advancement of technology, every group of people has evolved from being mono-cultural to being multi-cultural. The world has become a global village with the influx of foreign cultures influencing and sometimes swallowing the indigenous culture. Unfortunately, it is the ungodly part of foreign cultures that indigenous people always imbibe.
Technology is good if it is used in God’s way. For example, one can reach thousands of internets users with the gospel just by posting the gospel message on facebook or youtube or by sending e-mail to people. One can communicate easily with anybody in any part of the world within few minutes, etc, However, many also use it in a wrong way and this has impacted negatively on the family. For instance, youths are tempted away from the faith through cultures imbibed as they watch television, browse the internet to watch pornographic pictures, online dating, wasting of precious time on the internet for unproductive activities, etc, through which many people learn negative and violent behaviours that make them to become uncontrollable for the parents. This has made the family to be seriously under attack by this environmental factor.
Christian parents must understand this truth and do everything possible to curb their children from falling victim of the negative effects of technology. This they can do by they themselves (Parents) living a godly life and being example of believers to the children. They must find considerable time praying for the children by name. they should strive to get their children involved in Christian activities. They should be interested in the kind of programme their children watch on television and the websites they visit on the internet. Children should be taught to recognise and steer clear of godless programmes being offered through the electronic and print media. Parents must be their children’s friends so that the children will feel free to open up to them on their challenges.
PART 3: EFFECT OF WORDLY SYSTEM (JN. 17:9-17; 1 JN. 2:15-17; ROM. 12:1-2)
From the prayer of Jesus for believers in John 17, one discovers that Jesus Himself knew that the world and its system are not suitable for believers. But because He wants believers to continue the work of preaching the gospel, He prayed to the Father to keep them in the world from following the worldly system. But the truth is that a man is always influenced by the environment he lives in by what he sees, hears and smells. Initially, there is always a clear cut distinction between a born again Christian and an unbelievers in the area of dressing, hair do, music, taste and what a person values; however, because of the influence of the worldly systems on believers things have changed.
For instance, how will one describe a sister wearing mini-skirt to Church, brother with sagged trouser on, wedding gown with half of the breast outside for public view, listening to worldly music, watching immoral films on the television, kissing or pecking an opposite sex, hugging all in the name of civilization, etc. All these have impacted negatively on the family and they have to be addressed by the parents and the church for the family to be what God intends it to be on earth.
There are many environmental factors that are negatively impacting on the family today. Identify which one is affecting your home and work on it and make your family to be a godly model for others in our corrupt society.
- Mention some economic factors that can affect a family.
- What are some of the negative effects the economic factors can engender on the family?
- Identify some negative effects of technology on the family and solutions.
- In what way can worldly system affect the family?