A Filipino Family’s Basic Values
Family is God's design to express how He works with human beings. Its design, purpose, roles and flow of authority reflects how God is a father to us, His children. We are designed to be fruitful so we can replenish the earth. We cannot fulfill that by being alone, but, through the unit of a family. We can exercise our God-given dominion if we are able to recognize the purpose of God through families. He crowned us with glory and honor. And though we are made a little lower than the angels, we have the ability that angels cannot do. We are not just merely servants like them. We are created in the image of God, for the purpose of reflecting His glory- and that is through family.
Tayong mga Filipino, we are so family oriented. And this is a very good value, indeed! We are marked as the happiest people in the world because of our attitude toward family. In fact, most of the reasons why we do things unlike the other races like working too hard abroad is because we want to give comfort to our families.
On the other hand, our family orientation does not provide all the values that the Bible advises for us to become a happier and purposeful family. And no matter how beautiful it seems to be, we need to get back to the Bible and let God teach us to manage our family for the praise of His glory.
This is somehow a refresher of what the Lord has designed our family to be. First,
1. Be a One Unit.
The Lord said that " A man should leave her mother and father and shall cleave unto his wife."
This is a very practical instruction. A family must have a unique identity. We signed up for that starting the day we said I do, and signed papers. LEAVE. It does not mean we must turn our back from our parents, it means we need to build our own identity as a family. And it is impossible to build an identity as a family if we still linger ourselves to our parents. A man should cling to his wife. It is the sole responsibility of the man to decide to separate. For what? So both of you and your wife can make a family plan. Planuhin ninyong mag-asawa ang household management, financial management at iba pang areas sa buhay na kailangang planuhin. Hindi yung magulang pa ang magdidikta sa mga bagay-bagay na kayo na dapat ang magdedesisyon. Family needs planning! And it needs the wisdom of the parents but not their decision or bragging opinions anymore. The man must be able to give direction to the family.
The husband must glue himself to his wife. Yep! It is the man’s duty to glue himself and glue all the members of the family as one home. Common fights of couple start when the other behalf will decide based on his/her family’s decision. Kaya yung ibang asawang lalaki, they cannot understand their wives why they do and behave in such ways. Eh baka naman kasi, you hear more from your mother than from your wife. Wala talagang direction ang family niyo niyan! Lage lang kayong mag-aaway! And blessing is hard with that.
Husbands, prioritize your wife and your children. Wives, prioritize your husband, then your children. It is not a bad thing to help and honor our parents. In fact, that is another source of blessing. But it should be a united decision. Hindi mahalaga ang sasabihin ng iba, ng mga kamag-anak niyo, or kung sinuman. You are now a separated and unique unit of the community.
Develop your own family’s culture and tradition. Yes! You should have your own ways of celebrating holidays. Oopppps! Lahat tayo scheduled ang holidays, dapat nasa side ng isa, at nasa kabilang side na naman tayo on these dates. There is nothing bad, but when we cannot cultivate our own family’s tradition, then nothing is right with that. Go, visit your parents especially when they are of old age. Celebrate with everyone, but do not be intimidated if you decide to be on your family’s table, praying and eating together on New Year’s Eve. Do not feel guilty if you decided to go on vacation as a family during Christmas. You can visit your family after. You can celebrate after. Do not forsake to create your family tradition where your children can taste the individuality of your home.
As God is one, so be one as a family. Be one in purpose, vision and mission. And let be God be the center of everything.
2. Accept and Respect.
Christ has given us an example of a body- many functions. So is the family. Many of us differs in function, unique in gifts and talents and varies in personality. Our family should not be a battleground for who is better or who is the loser. It should be a resting place for everyone. It should be a place of refuge na kahit yung ex-convict na kamag-anak ay hindi natatakot na mahusgahan. Do not compare one kid to another, compare achievements or even the color of the skin!
Sa totoo lang, ayaw kong umattend noon ng family reunions kasi laging ganoon ang eksena. Immaturity! It has been a common practice na talagang may dapat punahin sa’yo. Masyadong opinionated ang mga Filipino. Pati timbang at shape ng katawan, pupunahin. And I grew up pa in a Christian family. At imbes na testimonies at kabutihan ng Dios ang pag- uusapan, they will talk about things na will satisfy themselves because they busted it out. Yung iba, uuwing intimidated. Isa na ako doon. I will go home intimidated by the opinion of some. Kaya ang hirap mag convert within the family. We will intimidate each other, then ask everyone to sit down and hear us preach.
Change the way we spend time with our family. Appreciate good things and do not intimidate each other. Mention good things, and if if you can't find any, just shut up. Lahat tayo may weakness and bad side na pwedeng punahan ng iba, but we don't emphasize that in the family. Let the neighbors talk about that. Let your boss point those. But not my family. Mas maganda if naeexcite tayong umattend ng family reunion at hindi feeling challenged sa mga maaring mangyari. Lalo na ang ating individual unit. May the dinner time be a moment of recollection and strengthening each other, not comparison and intimidation among siblings. May our family be our safe place. It is where the Spirit of God must dwell and embrace each one of us.
Family must be a safe place. There is no place like home- if it offers rest. It is not a court. Judgement seats are not allowed. No one is to bring up the mess and the ugly things. It is a place of tolerance and acceptance.
3. Be purpose Driven, not Opinion Driven.
Ano na lang ang sasabihin ng iba?!
Hindi man natin ito sabihin but this echo keeps resounding in our heads and we make conscious choices by these unconscious thoughts. At kaya dahil mali ang motivation natin, ganun na rin ang motivation ng mga anak. We want our children to achieve this because the people expects to see it. Or, we want our mothers and fathers dress up like this because this is how your friends see you. Ang hirap mabuhay ng ganun!
When we let the voice of people sink in, it can influence how we discipline and motivate each other. Let us remember that our main purpose is to please and glorify God! And those seasons of life does not have to be perfect at all times. We carry on through many different seasons, and people outside our home does not have anything to say about that will pull us down.
This is the thin line between strong families. Those who stands strong with their parents and children has a success rate rather than those who stands with the opinion of people.
4. Forgive and Forgive.
This is the ultimate expression of love in the family. To forgive each other means to love each other. It may sound cheezy for many of us, but truly, there is no remedy for anything except this.
It is my mother's instruction that if someone is dying in the family, we must utter words of asking for forgiveness. Though we have not done anything, it is an important thing for someone who are about to leave. Asking forgiveness means saying I love you.
Inside the family circle, there are a lot of misunderstandings and hurt. Kaya, napakamagandang bagay kung ang buong pamilya ay may retreat. May oras para mag pray at magrecollect. Imagine the bond and strength it will give to your family.
Forgiveness is a life skill that will take our children to moral heights where they can live a peaceable life with all men. And alike were promised by the Lord that people who are meek will inherit the earth. They shall live in abundance.
There is no measure as to how the Lord wants us to live an abundant and peaceful life. Our eternal salvation waits for us, but His Kingdom is already in our hearts. May we reflect that on our families. Your family is a powerful avenue to God’s anointing and blessing. Pursue its purpose!