AbstractPipes and Lea have in the work “Family to Family…”have provided the main message in six chapters that have outlined how parents are the source to finding the significant and effective family experience they can pass to their children about Christian faith and for developing for the path of Christian living. This book has been written as a guide for parents that has provided the values, the purpose and the mission of a Christian family. The immediate assertion of the authors posits that the American family of today have been facing a mounting crisis, while at the same time, parents can confront this by setting aside time and becoming a spiritual mentor to their children. The authors have defined what a healthy family consists – quality time together, the commitment to loving one another, encouraging equal engagement of both parents with their children that aligns significantly with the example of the life of Jesus, and passing faith to this next generation centered on the purpose of God spreading his kingdom on earth. The framework of the book has been built on “Experiencing God” providing how families can join the mission of God’s work on earth. Every chapter has a conclusion with specific questions, family activities along with scripture so the family integrates the concepts the authors have provided in the book. This has been outlined by explaining that doing this meaningful and spiritually focused family time creates a nurturing environment that affords the opportunity for curing more family issues than time spent in the process of psychological evaluation.
Pipes and Lee indirectly admit what everyone already intuitively knows: the basic problem of family difficulties is selfishness in its various forms, on just about everyone’s part.
Therefore, Concrete Response
At the age of eleven years, my parents migrated from the mid-west to the west-coast of the United States. Immediately, our aunt had become the source of introducing our family of five to the message of Salvation offered through the teachings of the Lord Jesus. At first, it was just mom and the three kids going to church but eventually dad joined. When everyone had accepted the Lord as Savior, been baptized, life centered around church activities that included Sunday school, church, prayer meetings, Bible studies at the church and at home. There was less tension between my parents and everything was about prayer as the first source to solving any issue that arose in the family life.
Subjectively, the main weakness of the book is the bulk of the message on creating family evangelism. Granted this is a serious Christian commitment and parents offering the foundation of evangelism as a path for their children is extremely significant. However, the fact is, such a commitment is more a personal aspect of an individual’s relationship with the Savior. There is no doubt that Christian families have become a source of evangelistic work. The weakness of the message the authors provide is getting away from the theme and purpose as expressed in the title and opening chapters. By concentrating so much of the book on evangelistic work it gets away from the needed guidance parents can provide children about faith. Faith is a lifelong struggle for believers.
Action step one focusing on faith looks to the self. A subjective self-examination about the depth of faith must be an ongoing Christian practice. This means purposefully setting aside not only prayer time to have communion with the Lord but it means soul searching to identify those times throughout the day, or week that faith has possibly teetered on the brink of questioning what the Lord has challenged. It is sometimes too easy to take faith for granted so this first action is about becoming more centered on how faith has been challenged and bring mindful prayer focused on abiding faith. This is in every aspect of life. It can be about worrisome behavior attached to the visit to the doctor and finding out that the blood pressure issue is still at hand. These every day issues can put dents in faith. Learning to put everything in the power of God and not just giving lip service is the key.
Step two – It remains a challenge as a person of faith not to be suspect of people often judging them by the way they look or behave. Faith is about assuming that people are indeed good. This is particularly a challenge with the people at work. Instead of becoming irritated or even angry ask the Lord to change touch my heart and change me while praying for anyone that I perceive in a negative manner.
Step three – One of the most challenging of the issues of faith is forgiveness. Forgiveness starts with self. Learning to forgive self – truly forgiving one’s self opens the way to forgiving others. The best way to consider this challenge is to understand that the Lord hung on the cross – one of the most horrific ways a human can suffer and die and he asked God the Father to forgive what had been done to Him. It is that simple. If the Lord God can forgive the shame that was put on His Son then forgiving self should be an act of complete faith.
- Anderson, Winnie. Ways to Translate Your Christian Beliefs into Action and Live Your Faith at Work. [On line] Available:< http://www.positivearticles.com/Article/3-Ways-to-Translate-Your-Christian-Beliefs-Into-Action-and-Live-Your-Faith-at-Work/47074> [Accessed July 1, 2017]. 2017.
- Pipes, Jerry and Lee, Victor. Family to Family – Leaving a Lasting Legacy. Lawrenceville, GA: Jerry Pipes Productions, 1999.