Why don’t we put the things that mean the most to us first?
1.Popular Culture – Entertainment has pushed relationship time aside. The average American spends 15 of their 40 hrs of free time watching tv.
2.Laws – Marriage is no longer a covenant or a commitment, it is simply a contract that is easily broken and depreciated thru the courts. It has become a good source of revenue for legal fields of representation.
3.Economy – The rising cost of living has forced changes in marriage by dual jobs and no time or energy to spend together.
4.Technology – has put us into materialistic overload, and has caused a revolution in expectations. Instant visual impact influences families to ‘do’ before thinking. Poor choices result in more pressure. Desire has replaced Need.
When we encounter extremely powerful influence sources …. We literally experience a kind of conscience or spiritual vertigo. We become disoriented and our moral compass is thrown off.
There are natural laws that never change. North, south, east west never change. And these principals ultimately govern all behavior and consequences. The challenge is for principles and our behavior to align.
Natural systems – which are based on Principles which do not change.
Social systems which are based on values and behavior that can and do change.
Have you ever ‘crammed’ at school?
Have you ever ‘crammed’ on a farm? Cramming works for social systems but not for natural systems. You can study hard and fast for a mental test, but can’t plant hard and fast and expect to get a crop out of the ground quickly. It is impossible to forget to plant in the spring and goof off all summer then hit it hard in the fall and expect to bring in the harvest.
Is it possible to get good grades and even credentials out of school and not get an education? In other words when it comes to the natural system of developing your mind, it is governed more by the law of the farm than the law of the school.- by a natural rather than a social system.
‘Cramming’ for weight loss? In order to achieve permanent and healthy weight loss you must align the direction of travel- your habits and your lifestyle with the natural laws or the principles that bring the desired results with principles such as proper nutrition and regular exercise. The social value system may reward immediate results through some crash diet, but the body eventually outsmarts the strategy of the mind, so we can see that not only the farm but also the mind and the body are governed by natural laws.
In the long run, are relationships governed more by the law of the farm or the law of the school?
You can’t talk yourself out of problems you behave yourself into and unless you are trustworthy you cannot produce trust.
We come to understand that the principles of trustworthiness, integrity and honesty are the foundation of any relationship that endures over time. People may fake it for a while but eventually violated principles destroy trust. And it doesn’t make any difference if you are dealing with relationships between people or relationship between organizations or relationships between society and government or between one nation and another.
Ultimately there is a moral law and a moral sense – an inward knowing, a set of principles that are universal, timeless and self evident that are in control.
The essence of real happiness and success is to align the direction of travel with natural laws or principles. What are these principals that cannot be changed?
In spite of the work we do on mission statements, if we don’t internalize them in our hearts and minds and inside the culture of the family, these cultural forces will confuse and disorient us. They will stagger our sense of morality so that ‘wrong’ is defined more by getting caught that by doing wrong.
Pilots are trained in the use of instruments whether or not they actually fly in instrument conditions. And that why it’s so important the family be trained to use the instruments – the 4 God given gifts that help them to stay on track.
In an epic historical study one of the world’s greatest historians, Edward Gibbon, identified 5 main caused of the decline and fall of Roman civilization:
- the breakdown of the family structure
- the weakening of a sense of individual responsibility
- excessive taxes and government control and intervention
- seeking pleasures that become increasingly hedonistic, violent and immoral
- the decline of religion.
Who’s going to raise my children? Today’s alarmingly destructive culture or Me?
Who’s going to give me a great marriage? Today’s alarming destructive culture or Me?
Make a choice to live by Godly Christian principals – it will keep your marriage strong in the upheavals of this modern world. Put first things first - for a long lasting marriage.
** These are lessons that I have taught using the book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families. I highly recommend buying this book written by Stephen Covey!
Pastor Gayla Holley