Monday, Jul 22, 2019
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Focus on the family for our future

Dear Editor,

As I read about crime in our newspapers, I ask myself, “What are the answers to our social problems, crime and the pressures on us from the outside? How do we solve them?” I realize that so much is clear from God’s word that will guide us back to a safer, more caring people, but I wonder why we as a people can’t see it or why we ignore it? It is as if we are blind to the truth of what transforms lives and/or to what works.

I believe that most Bahamians would agree with me, that the real problem is the disintegration of the family. If we had stronger families our future would be bright, and the crime problem would improve.

But how do we bring back stronger families; how do we get back to what we know works?

We know that from history, the proven family that God set up has worked since the beginning of time. What holds societies together is a man and a woman committed together in marriage. Therefore, we need to guard with all our heart and strength anything that would challenge this proven record, or guard against any substitute from within or elsewhere that tells us anything different.

We should guard against any ideology that challenges the notion that God made a man and a woman in His image. We should stand against any belief that confuses our youth regarding sexuality, or any thought that tries to blur the fact that God made male and female, and said that, “It was very good.”

Some of the ways we have drifted from God’s social order for the family are:

1. Confusing our created roles of male and female. The loss of our identity, I believe, will have a detrimental effect on sports. You cannot have a man wanting to be a woman and then competing against women in a man’s body.

Just recently, I heard on the news three different stories about the conflicts resulting from men winning events as women in races, weight-lifting and boxing. What is going to happen to the Olympic Games if this madness continues? It would destroy it and the true meaning of sports it was created to achieve.

My mind goes back to the ‘76 Olympics when I competed in swimming for The Bahamas, and the East German women were cheating by taking male hormones, in order to gain an advantage.

What is the difference now if we have the same thing going on with men taking hormones to make them look more like women and then competing against other women? Should this be allowed all in the name of transgenderism?

2. Allowing gambling houses to operate like fast-food joints. You can now drive up to a window and give your money to somebody else to get rich at your expense, with you getting nothing in return, except disappointment and more stress. Are we blind to see that eventually everybody loses?

3. Becoming weak on discipline/corporal punishment. History has proven that children who are disciplined normally grow up to be good citizens. I call on parents to love their children. This love will include disciplining them when the need arises.

Proverbs 13:24 is correct: “Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.” And Proverbs 23:13-14: “Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you punish them with the rod, they will not die. Punish them with the rod and save them from death.”

Children want to be disciplined and must be taught that they can’t do and say as they wish. For those who choose to spank, be gentle in order not to abuse.

4. Becoming slaves to sexual promiscuity. The “sweethearting” lifestyle destroys families.

Proverbs 5:22-23 says, “The iniquities of the wicked ensnare him, and he is held fast in the cords of his sin. He dies for lack of discipline, and because of his great folly he is led astray.”

My fellow Bahamians, weigh the consequences — a moment of pleasure against a lifetime of turmoil and stress! When you have children, it is your responsibility to raise them properly, which in turn builds a strong family. Do not neglect them and/or let them get involved in crime.

You can lose your very life when you pursue sex outside of God’s plan. We have children having children and teenagers raising babies while they are still in high school.

5. Pursuing wealth at any cost while our families are neglected. We don’t spend time with our kids thinking that money will replace our love.

Once again, the scriptures teach us, “The love of money is the root of all evil” (1 Timothy 6:10).

That means you don’t take a bribe. You don’t cheat on your taxes. You don’t hide your receipts at customs. You don’t steal from your employer.

All this is good, but how do we change? How can we better implement it? How can we once again focus on the family for the future of our country?

I believe the answer to the question is found in Jesus Christ and His church. Now, before some of you write me off as a religious fanatic, try and see that the Lord is good.

Maybe you used to go to church when you were younger. Maybe your parents had you involved in church, but you have walked away. Let’s get back to being churched. How do we prove that the Lord is good? We do this by being faithful in our tithes, getting involved in a ministry (not just sitting in the pew) in which God is at work.

How about getting into the schools? If we save our youth, we save our country. Join the many groups that are already doing this. Take a stronger stand supporting the truths of the word of God; for example, by speaking out against anything that destroys the family as designed by God.

Bring family, friends, work associates to church with you. I know there are hypocrites in the church, just like in all walks of life. Maybe you have never trusted Jesus, because you see too many Christians who are hypocrites, but I think we can all agree that the one thing Jesus was not is a hypocrite. So, let Him prove that He is the answer for the world today. Pray every day for our country and its leaders, our churches and their leaders. If we do this, we would make a great impact on our families.

Let’s not fight what the church stands for or make decisions that will take us away from its truths. The word of God is true when it says, “righteousness exalts a nation”, and “we will reap what we sow.”

Andy Knowles, Olympic coach for The Bahamas

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