The Future Today


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Thirty-five years ago, Alvin Toffler, American writer and futurist (or, social scientist), wrote these words in the The Third Wave that sounded like he just wrote it yesterday.
A powerful tide is surging across much of the world today, creating a new, often bizarre, environment in which to work, play, marry, raise children, or retire. In this bewildering context, businessmen swim against highly erratic economic currents; politicians see their ratings bob wildly up and down; universities, hospitals, and other institutions battle desperately against inflation. Value systems splinter and crash, while the lifeboats of family, church, and state are hurled madly about. [1]
Eerie but exact, right? Nowadays, we see the Filipino family attacked like never before. For example, according to a news report, “The number of marriage annulment and nullity cases filed in the country has been steadily rising for the past eight years, with an average of 28 couples seeking to have their marriages declared null and void per day in 2012”. [2] 

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According to the De La Salle University for Social Concern and Action, the increasing number of overseas Filipino workers is taking its toll in the families they left behind.
The absence of fathers and/or mothers often increases the likelihood that youngsters will grow up without proper formation and moral guidance especially those parents working abroad. The increasing mobility of family members puts enormous stress on marriages and the traditional family structure. Sometimes, the outcome is broken family.[3]
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And the trend seems not to be ebbing. In The Strong Family, Chuck Swindoll wrote
So we’ll be swimming against the tide if we try to raise our families exactly as we were raised. The world is different today. And the challenge of keeping the genuinely Christian family from becoming an endangered species is perhaps more difficult now than it has ever been. That’s the bad news. The good news is that the biblical principle for raising the family haven’t changed. [4] 
Our context may be different now. But God’s commitment to the family is still the same. 

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According to Psalm 127:1a, “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.” 
The point is that work done independently of God will be futile. But a person who trusts in the Lord will find rest. Without the Lord, all domestic work is in vain. [5]
We can’t build our families on our own. We have to partner with God. To do so, our families have to be built according to His plan, not ours or the world’s. And, that plan has never nor will ever be changed. Of course, obeying His plan does not mean that we will no longer have challenges in our families. Yet, we will not be building it in vain. 

“Grace” Step

Pray for your family. Ask God to build it according to His plan. List down the families you personally know in the church. Make time to pray for one family every day. (NOTE: You may ask for their prayer requests but respect their privacy if they choose not to share it.)

NOTE: This is Day One of the devotional guide (Volume 1, Issue 9) of our church, Filinvest Community Christian Fellowship, for the message on Pass It On! (Part 4)” last April 26.  

[1] Alvin Toffler, as quoted in The Strong Family, by Chuck Swindoll (Anaheim, CA: Insight for Living, 1991), 1. Emphasis added.

[2] Andreo Calonzo and Marc Jayson Cayabyab (2013, April 4), “More Pinoy couples seeking annulment despite high cost,” GMA News, retrieved from http://www.gmanetwork.com/.

[3] Gregorio L. Quitangon (2013, July), “The Philippine National Situation,” Palaso (Vol. 1 Issue 1), retrieved from http://www.dlsu.edu.ph/.

[4] Swindoll, 1-2. Italics his. Emphasis added.

[5] Allen P. Ross, “Psalms” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary, Old Testament, Eds. John F. Walvoord, Roy B. Zuck and Dallas Theological Seminary (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1983, 1985), 885. 

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