The impact of post modernity on families
by beatrice ofwona
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The 17th and 18th centuries can be looked at the as ages of modernity as they were characterized by great change. Post modernity therefore is the culmination of this process of constant change whereby excess freedom birthed a people who were hostile to cultural roles, rules and regulations but instead sought to embrace a global culture. Sometimes, people just want change for the sake of change and may be looking for change without knowing what changes they really want to see. In this trial and error mode, anything goes and gayness, abortions, anarchy, terrorisms are borne and entertained. 2Timothy 3:1-9 speaks of these terrible last days when people will be lovers of themselves and of money, boastful and disobedient, without love or self control, lovers of pleasure and not of God. They will be people of depraved minds who will not have it in them to acknowledge the truth. But they will not get very far with whom they have become and their folly will be clear to all.
The media remains the biggest culprit in the spread of post modernism. Whilst technology is admirable, it has however become the very channel through which these vices are spread. From hundreds of TV channels to pornography on the internet to infidelity on facebook and cell phones; to information exchange on blogs, u-tube, DVDs and CDs; to obsession with computer games instead of play, the enemy easily infiltrates our lives. These tools, although helpful and having their usefulness, are the very ones that are abused by man for selfish gain and are the very avenues for the devil to work on us. 1John 2:15-17 throws caution, ‘Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world- the cravings of the sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does- comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever’.
From once communally knowing and acknowledging God, man has digressed into secularism, materialism, consumerism and individualism. And God has given him over to his sins because He is displeased with what He sees from His throne. Romans 1:18-19 says, ‘ The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness since what may be known about God is plain to them because God has made it plain to them’. Man knows what is right and what is wrong. That is why he does wrong things in the dark. In hiding he views pornographic sites in the silence of his misdeeds even after promising not to do so. He drives for miles and miles to engage in affairs. He even conceals his homosexual tendencies from the world and practices them where he feels accepted because deep inside, he knows he is doing the wrong thing. He steals from his employer’s till when eyes are not on him and he engages in gossip when the one being talked about is absent. Man has the innate knowledge of what is right and what is not but at the back of his mind is the philosophy that has been introduced by post modernity- that he is free to do as he wants.
Against this backdrop therefore, it is obvious that the family unit is in trouble. The high divorce rates, dysfunctional homes and broken children who themselves become broken up parents and continue with the viscious cycle in most countries attest to this. How then do we deal with the problem?
Firstly is to be rooted in the Word and therefore in Christ so that we are able to counter the strange doctrines and philosophies that are being wafted our way. Colossians 2:6-8 expounds, ‘So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him, rooted and built in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ’. Although the world is under the control of the evil one, we know that the one who is in us is greater than the one who is in the world. We are the assured of victory.
Secondly, yet most importantly, is that this victory is only possible if we are born again Christians because this is the beginning of having the assured, indwelling presence of the Lord. Most of the destruction in our lives may be because we are not living right with God. We therefore become susceptible to everything and anything because we are rooted in nothing. It is through the power of the Holy Spirit that we understand and become rooted in the Word and His in-dwelling presence is promised when we receive Jesus Christ as our personal Savior and friend.
When we are rooted in the Word then we can engage in spiritual warfare because these strange philosophies are initiated and brewed in hell. 2Corinthians 10:3-5, Paul elucidates,’ For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ’. Therefore, with the Word in us, we are armed. Ephesians 6:10-18 explains about this amour of God with which we must face the enemy.
Thirdly is to be the role models that we would like for our children. If we are addicted to anything that has to be done in hiding or even in the open, then we must renounce these and follow Christ. Apostle Paul told others to follow him to the extent that he followed Christ. Let Christ be our compass and our direction. Let us be able to tell our children or other people,’ Follow me as I follow Christ’.
Fourthly, let us train our family on righteousness. This entails having a place within the home that the Lord’s altar is built. However, we can build altars of worship that we can carry with us when we go on holiday with the family. We should also be able to discuss issues of addictions, rights and privileges to our children and point out the extent to which these clash with Biblical doctrines. We must also monitor them and establish the culture of accountability in their minds. We should let them know that all people struggle with one issue or the other and that they would not be outcasts if they were in that boat. As we disciple our children, we should remember to discipline them when they are wrong for in sparing the rod, we spoil the child. The bible says that foolishness dwells in the heart of a child but the rod of discipline drives it out.
God is looking for a remnant generation that will be left intact and separate from post-modernism. After all the internet and media interruptions, we will consciously decide to switch off and concentrate on what matters most -Our Lord Jesus Christ; for we are the light and the salt of the earth and we should be committed to not being polluted nor defiled by the world and all that is in it. We are in the world but we are not of it.
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