The real reason for disintegrating families

While jogging one morning I overheard a conversation, or I should say, disagreement between a mother and daughter in the driveway of their home.

The teenage daughter was getting into her car parked in the driveway, apparently leaving for school. Mom was standing at the garage door saying something to her daughter. I was not able to catch what mom was saying but I did get the daughter’s response, loud and clear. “Mom, shut up!”

Why it is that there is so much disrespect for parents and authority in our kids today. Could it be parents who are too busy to give careful attention to their kid’s development and are pretty much willing to settle for anything? Could it be kids reflecting what they see modeled in their parents? Could it be the product of too much TV and video games?

I don’t know. But I do know what I observe. Just this morning I observed that same mother dropping her son off at the child care provider down the street from her house so that she could get to her security job, I’m serious, she was wearing a security uniform, and drive off in her new GMC Acadia Denali with a price tag in the $40,000 range. I was reminded again what I believe to be the primary reason for two income families and the disintegration of the family unit. Here’s how it usually plays out.

The first phase is your yearnings start to exceed your earnings.  You start to see things you want and you can’t afford them and you say, “I’m going to go out and get those things anyhow.”

Then immediately comes the second phase.  You get over extended financially.  You have more than you can pay for.  Which immediately results in the third phase.

You have to constantly hustle.  You have to get extra jobs – both husbands and wife are working.  You have to work at night.  You have to constantly hustle to make ends meet.

Then because of that the fourth phase.  Your home life starts to deteriorate because you’re tired.  Everybody’s exhausted.  Everybody’s irritable.

It leads to an epidemic of absentee parents.  A lot of it is because of this very syndrome.  Our kids don’t need more things.  They don’t need new vehicles. They need their parents. More than anything else they need our attention.  But we are so busy making a living we don’t have time to make a life.  We don’t have time to give them our attention.  We are so busy paying for our lifestyle that we don’t have time to pay enough attention to our kids. We want to.  We know it’s the right thing to do but we feel trapped by this syndrome.  We feel like there’s no way out.

The truth is you made the decisions that got you into this and you can make the decisions that will get you out.  Yes, it’s going to be painful.  But it’s not going to be painful like you never have the time to love your kids.  It’s certainly not as painful as I’m not living the life I know God wants me to live.

And we keep doing this because we rationalize.  We have this phrase we say to ourselves, “It’s only temporary.”  We’ll do it just for six more months.  We’ll do it for another year.”  You’re kidding yourself.  A temporary situation has become an habitual lifestyle

The Bible says in Hebrews 13:5 “Be content with what you have.”  That means enjoy what you already have instead of always wanting more.

For the sake of restoring health, happiness and a hopeful future to your family, “Be content with what you have.”  The last thing you want to do is look back with regret.

 

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3 thoughts on “The real reason for disintegrating families

  1. I love this post! It is so TRUE!
    We’ve been trying to simplify around our house, and we’ve been getting rid of tons of stuff in the process. The more we get rid of, the more we realize we never needed it all in the first place. Sometimes getting rid of things is hard, especially if we paid a lot of money or if we just bought it a couple of months ago. But it was necessary for us. Now when we go to the store, we look at everything like, “Will that wind up as yard sale fodder in a couple of months?” As we get to know ourselves better, we realize that the answer is almost invariably “yes.” So we forego the purchase. It has worked wonders on our financial situation! And what’s even better, I’m hoping that we will never fall back into the rut of spending for the sake of spending. So it will be a lifelong change, not just a fad.

  2. Great blog, yet I didn’t care for the video clip. Your description of the American family is so true. It is hard to teach our
    kids that the world will not end if we don’t have the latest and greatest. My moto is keep care of what you have
    and make it last. My home is filled with antiques and yard sale treasures. I hope to be one day described by my
    kids as wise with money, not cheap.

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