“What does your family mean to you?,” a child was once asked.

“Nothing,” she replied. “Mine was so extremely dysfunctional. My father is always drunk, my mother always beat kids. My brothers and sisters already got out of the house and I do not know what they are already doing and where they are. It(Family) is just something that I wish for that I know I will never have.”

A HAPPY FAMILY. Are you also one of the people who are in a quest for this?

Filipino family ties during the early years are superior examples of in high spirit, nurtured families. Other countries would envy how we do things all together — dine, go to church, watch a movie, shopping, go in an, how the whole family would go together to the airport when a family member arrives, how parents are very much supportive to their children’s concerns and a lot more. But now, for many, that was just BEFORE. Before when families are still given much time, attention and care.

Many Filipino families nowadays still carry out the picture of the healthy family like we used to have before. But as of these days also, reality speaks that the country whom many people envied of its close family ties already brought into being a high number of broken homes and unwanted families.

My imagination pictures a scenario where I am walking on the street one day and I meet a child wiping his tears.

“Why are you crying?”


“Are you lost? Where are you from?”

“No. I live there by the nearby kanto where people would always hear the loud cries of children, where father and mother always let plates, saucers and our things at home fly.”

“Huh? Why? Who is your father by the way?”

“I do not know. When father enters our house drank, expect a plate to fly again. My mother use to name him ‘Bitch’ and I call him the same. I have no idea of his real name rather. And I do not care. Our house is like just a hell of ‘bitches’ and ‘demons’ as they call each other there.”

“What about your mother’s name? Maybe I know her and I can talk to her.”

“Never mind. My father calls her ‘Crazy’ and I call her the same.”

“Ah. So where are you going then?”

“I’ll go find my friends. I will invite them to have some cigarette and liquor to somewhat forget this feelings for a while.”

As a Filipino, would I feel great? As years outdo, instead of family ties becoming firmer and firmer, relationship between family members came to be weaker and weaker.

Have you tried having a look to some old photos of your parents during their graduation days? They may not graduated with flying honors but can you notice on the pictures the presence of all siblings, parents and some relatives during that special day? Probably, you would. But in our present-day generation, you can even witness an honored student in tears while receiving her medals, ribbons, and certificates with just his great grandmother with him who could hardly walk already.

Currently, youth would enjoy dropping out of school, joining fraternity groups, being engaged in premarital sex and some are now officially called “batang ina” or “batang ama”. As a matter of fact, in the Philippines, 1 out of 3 aged 15-24 years old youth have involved themselves in premarital sex and 14 percent of girls aged 15-19 are already a mother. WHAT A WORRISOME NUMBER!

Researchers, with all their bests provided us all the reasons and causes why these things are being enjoyed by youth in order for solutions or preventions to be made. Peer pressure, lack of self-esteem, fear of rejection and many more came out – almost all pointing the blame to each child’s FAMILY.

Many would define the word FAMILY as the circle where they started to have Fears; for others, it is a dwelling where Anger reigns; it is also where others experienced being Maltreated; it is the circle where others feel Insecure to be with; for some it is something they never Long to be with anymore because of the experiences they had, and for others it is like hell where they always hear shouts and Yells.

On other family cases, my heart would cry for a friend who tries to live life with the best she can but inside her, she’s in a journey of looking for a father she has never seen since birth; for a friend who would embrace me with tears saying,”it would even be easier for me to know he’s dead than to see her happily living with that monster.”; a friend who dropped out of school after his father took away all their earnings and slept with another woman; and a friend who cries every time she whispers her birthday wish to have their complete family back again.

Is this already the face of the family that God, with great love had given to men? A place where many cannot feel the things that they are supposed to. As the years would go, will children try their bests to define FAMILY in the most negative way they can? This is not God’s idea for families!

Youth, we are the hope of our nation. In the years to come we should not let families become worse and worse. We can no more bring those days when our country is being envied of the close family ties. But we can do it again!

God designed the family as the smallest unit in the society. Yes, the smallest yet with the greatest purpose- for parents to mold the children’s values and attitudes, to help them start dreaming and to give them very positive outlooks in life. He conceived it as the heart of the society, church and nation. The well-being of a society, success of a church and prosperity of a nation all rest on the family influences. He created family ties to be the closest, most tender and sacred on earth because He wants to bind the life of the nation with love.

Everyone has a family. Even the animals have. Many would say they do not have because they do not let themselves be called a part of the family they belong to since they do not want to be embarrassed. We may not be enjoying the family where we belong right now but we can never do otherwise, we cannot chose.

To those who are very much enjoying the company of a happy family, God is so happy watching over you. But! you will not be allowed forever to be hidden under the wings of your parents. God wants you to have your own family in the right time too.

And for you who, until now are still longing for a successful family which will be the complete opposite of the never-been-happy family they have at present, your dreams are all dependent in your hands.

The desired family we are all aiming for all starts with the most careful, most wise and Godly decisions.

As a young lady, who am I not to dream for my own happy, healthy and nurtured family in the future too? But the family, actually, does not excite me. What excites me most is when I would walk along the isle as a 777 bride between the golden-colored, sweet scented flowers along a very peaceful, solemn church wedding.

Like any other women, I am really much motivated for this great event since I thought it would be where the happy ever after and the happy family would get underway. But unfortunately, I was wrong.

A happy ever after all begins with what you are now – how you make decisions in life today pictures what you are going to have in the future. Do not daydream too much of the wedding. Have a high standard of goal with the family you are going to have. Because with these childish daydreaming for extravagant weddings, I tell you, many were married but are mismatched.

Be cautious! How you handle things today is what you will become tomorrow.

Reality check in today’s courtship practices, are they all approved in Christ’s standard? Gone are those days when suitors are obliged to meet the parents first. Welcome to the generation where young ladies and gentlemen meet in secrets and do things in secrets without the knowing of their parents.

Ellen G. White strongly reminds us that we should not trust too much to impulse. Remember, love is not a strong, fiery, impetuous passion. On the contrary, it is calm and deep in its nature, it is wise and discriminating, its devotion is real and abiding and is a pure and holy – a high and noble principle.

Great care should be taken in the formation of friendships and in the choice of companions. We should weigh every sentiment and watch every development of character in the one with whom we would like to link our destiny. Let our minds dwell upon spiritual subjects. Give ourselves constant vigilant self-instructions.

Sitting up late, on the other hand at night is customary; but it is not pleasing even if we are both Christians. These untimely hours injure health and have an appearance of evil.

” Satan knows what elements he has to deal with and he displays his internal wisdom in various devices to entrap humans to ruins,” Mrs. White wrote.

“A young man,” she added, “who enjoys the society and friendship of a young lady unknown to her parents does not act a noble Christian part toward her and toward her parents. Through secret communications and meetings, he may gain an influence over her mind but in doing so, he fails to manifest that nobility and which every child of God will possess.Thou shalt not steal was written by the finger of God on the tables of stone yet how much underhand stealing of affection is being practiced today?”

Be wary!!! We know not how a 16-year-old mother dealt with her early pregnancy plus her parents’ reaction with it plus the murmurs around and how she would deal with the family she is going to have that she never liked and dream of. Do we still want to bear the same feelings as she did?

Choosing a life partner stage, when taken unwisely is the most effective means of destroying the youthfulness and the supposed-to-be very bright future of us.

As a woman, before uttering the words “I do” try to consider the characteristics of the man first. Is his life pure? Can you find true peace in his affection? Has he the traits that will make you happy? Is God the foundation of his life?

And as a man, consider some things too about the woman you are deeply in love with. Will she bring happiness to your home? Will she be patient and painstaking? Will she take your parents as her own too? Does she have God in her life?

“No one can effectually ruin a woman’s happiness and usefulness and make life a heart sickening burden as her own husband and no one can do one hundredth part as much to chill the hopes and aspirations of a man, to paralyze his energies and ruin his influence and prospects as his own wife,” White explains in her book Growing a Happy Home.

Take heed! A little time spent in sowing wild oats will produce a crop that will embitter a whole life. And an hour of thoughtlessness may turn the whole current of life in the wrong direction.

Excited with your wedding? Have you prayed hard for the BEST partner? Again, with the most careful, most wise and Godly decisions are where a happy family begins.

The next important factor towards building a happy family is knowing the great responsibilities laid on your shoulders as parents. Family was not given by the Lord to become a trial and error for the people who wants to find genuine happiness and the real meaning of their lives. Family is a sacred tie that needs to be well and carefully planned by the parents to whom God has placed the greatest responsibilities in a family.

Therefore, before getting into this, both the lady and the gentleman should know the obligations God wants them to perform not only as a husband and wife but also as a mother and a father.

Firstly, to the future wives and mothers. Your primary role is often seen as providing a home first for your husband. In addition, Colossians 3:18 clearly states that ” Wives, submit to your husbands, as it is fitting in the Lord.” Submission means a lot of things- to love your husband in words and in deeds, to be willing to be a part of him and to do only good to him. Serve him when he comes home from work, pray for him every time you would pray for yourself, be open to him and be willing to take your in-laws as your own parents too.

Another big charge to a wife is becoming a mother – to provide the safe and secure environment in which your children can grow and flourish, develop their personalities and talents to move out into the world where they proceed to blossom into being their own person.

Mrs. White expressed, “many ladies, accounted and well-educated are shamefully ignorant of the practical duties of life.” Therefore, a lady, before getting married should have a thorough knowledge of the household duties as a wife and a mother. Your beauty and talents have nothing to do with your family life that much rather than playing the simple, practical duties daily for your family. Who cares if you can graciously play the piano but cannot cook for the family? We should never forget the very common saying that personally comes out from our mouths — “IDLENESS IS A SIN.”

Not only that, a mother’s onus also is to protect her children from sickness and while a child is sick, she takes good care until her child’s condition gets back to normal. Being a mother is not being just dependent on hospitals when sicknesses arise. Make your own home a natural treating place for those family members who needs it. That is why, you should ensure and offer good nutrition and proper hygiene to your children.

Sometimes, with these simple, little things come troubles in a family. A husband going away because he has given up doing almost all the household chores daily after coming home from work while the wife just taking care of their child spent her whole day if not in the salon, she’s in the mall spending all his husband’s wages.

Parents are called the “first teachers”. From the very childhood of a child, parents, most specially mothers are to ensure the development of sense of morality. Mothers should have the patience, love and hard work to educate their children well before sending them out to schools.

A mother, on the other hand can also help provide for a family but it is not your responsibility. Yours is to grow with your kids. You must be flexible. You must know that in a family, all behavior is a form of communication and you should have a thorough knowledge how to react in them. Everybody communicates through it like for example an infant may cry when she is hungry or wet, just like an adult may yawn when he is bored at work.

A mother should have the motto of “family first before myself” and an attitude of being mindful, productive and motivated to make her family to the best it can be.

Reminder, there are families whose happiness is wrecked by the inefficiency of the mother. Mothers are being distinguished as the “lights” of the home, then mothers should have the Godly characteristics that would lead their children to the right path.

And for the future husband and the fathers, your greatest role as a husband is clearly stated in Ephesians 5:28 saying that you should love your wives as you love yourselves. Love to wife is not only showed but should also be said. Literally, many can only tell their love for their wives during sexual intercourse. Excuse me, do not make your wives as merely as a sex object.1 Peter 3:7 says you should honor your wives because they have given up their names to take yours.

One more big obligation is that you should be the financer. Marriage is a financial venture and to husbands were given the responsibility to finance, support and provide for his family. The wife can help too but it is not her responsibility. As a husband, your earnings should not be just for your own. No man is excusable for this!

And lastly, it is clearly read in Ephesians 6:4. “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.”

Yes! Fathers should be active in the area of the discipline and rearing of children not teaching them how to speak bad words, how to hold a gun, kick a playmate, how to drink liquor and how to hold cigarettes.

Look out! Like we were before, children nowadays are also copy cats. Before preaching, make sure you are not yet caught doing that thing you are talking about. You should see their development by the way you live and the direction in which you lead your family. Fathers were given the crown as the head of the family. Assume leadership at home but not dictatorial. Open criticism can be a big help to a family. But not because you were given the authority, do not make criticism so severe in the family. Do not make rules that are too rigid either, this will just lead to the disregard of all your regulations.

In a family, selfishness is not obligatory. That is why communication plays a big role. As parents, you should be matured enough to be open in communication because this is the key in all successful relationships. Not just in marriage or with children but with parents, siblings, in-laws and extended family.

Instances where family refuses to speak to or acknowledge other family members is ridiculous. Families need to talk, to work things out, to try to make things better. Family members doing hurtful things to one another, deciding not to love someone or be around someone for their decisions is not only rude and hateful, but against everything Christian-like. Talk to your family members. Tell them how you feel or find out what is truly going on. Make an effort to work things out. Make an effort to understand. Don’t always assume you know.

Time is another important cog. Once you already have your own family, you should never cry for your mother’s daily care and presence anymore. Gone are those days when you can have party with friends and go anywhere you want anytime you want to. Gone are those days already when you are still the child. You are now a playing a very rigid yet enjoyable parent role. Attending parties and gimics are never forbidden to parents anyway as long as you know your limits.

A writer once said: “”it is the cry of many parents that they have no time for their children. Then they should not have taken upon themselves the responsibility of a family yet. By withholding from them the time which is justly theirs, they rob them of the education which children should have at their hands. If they have children, they have a work to do in the formation of their characters. They should never, never neglect their children. They should let nothing interpose between them and the best interests of their children.”

Dinner time can be one of the best family moments together. Research have shown that not only do families develop a stronger family identity, families who eat dinner together regularly can also keep in touch with each others’ lives, a regular family dinnertime provides natural opportunities for planning and problem solving and in a variety of conversation topics, learning is encouraged.

These are only some of the basics and the paragon of what God wants the family to be. A place of love, comfort, contentment and happiness. For sure, a question like “how can these be possible?” would rise.

Simple. Your question can be answered by a children’s song: “with Jesus in the family, happy, happy home.” But then, again, what if we now we still do not have God in our lives?

On our shoulders as youth were laid the responsibilities to make the future brighter. God designed family for joy, satisfaction and security.

We only pass this way but once. We should then make the best out of everything we do. We were put to earth to prepare for the heavenly kingdom that was being prepared for us. And God would like us to make every family a little heaven on earth as a representation of the group we are going to bring in heaven.

Let us enjoy our youthful years but have a keen observation of the things around us. In the future, let us make our family a blessing for everyone in the future- not just a mere result of imprudent decisions; not just a joke and a curse to every child. Remember, the strength of our nation depends on the families we will conceive. Careful preparation Counts!