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101115_Radio commentary_Strong Families Equal Strong Children_#862

Wisconsin Family Connection
Week of November 15, 2010 - #862
Strong Families Equal Strong Children
 
Did you know we set aside a week every year to celebrate the family? Next week, November 21-27 is National Family Week. How fitting to have a week to celebrate the family unit, the foundation of society.  The National Family Week website, alliance1.org, puts it this way:
National Family Week is based on the premise that children do better when their families are strong, and families do better when they live in communities that help them succeed.
 
Amen! And I would add to that, those families do better when they attend churches that help them succeed as a family. Julaine Appling has a saying, that as the family, so the state. That could be applied to several different layers of society. As the family, so the church. As the family, so the community. The point is communities, churches, the state—we’re all only as strong as our family units. 
 
In 1778, John Adams, the second president of the United States and known as the father of the American Revolution, wrote this in his diary, “The foundation of national morality must be laid in private families.” 
 
With his characteristic foresight and wisdom, Adams pinpoints a truth our society would do well to remember. Families are where our children learn values, morals and the skills they need to become active participants in society. History, experience and decades of social science research corroborate that fact.  
 
A married mother and father, a family, is every child’s birthright. Unfortunately, the reality is that not every child gets that birthright. But the purpose of something like National Family Week is to champion the family, in all levels of society, so that more children can have that birthright – whether it is their natural family and biological parents, or adoptive parents.
 
It is fitting, then, that November is also National Adoption Month. Consider these words from President Obama’s National Adoption Month proclamation this year:
 
Giving a child a strong foundation -- a home, a family to love, and a safe place to grow -- is one of life's greatest and most generous gifts.  Through adoption, both domestic and international, Americans from across our country have provided secure environments for children who need them, and these families have benefited from the joy an adopted child can bring.  
 
We agree with the President that a strong foundation of home, family love and a safe place to grow is one of life’s greatest gifts. And we would add to that the gift of a Christian home, where children can learn about the love of God.
 
We appreciate this opportunity to thank adoptive and foster families and parents for the sacrifices they make to welcome, love and nurture children. You carry the burden of caring for and raising some of our most precious treasures: the orphans, the fatherless, the homeless, the young, vulnerable members of our society. May God bless your loving efforts to help them.
 
What can you do to raise awareness of adoption and adoptive families? Look around in your own church. You probably have several adoptive or step families in your church. Often, those families are hurting or struggling more than you know. It takes a lot of courage to raise a family like that, with different histories, different parents. It’s as easy as reaching out to those families when you see an opportunity to do so. Have them over for dinner, go to the park together, and offer to babysit so the mother and father can go on a date. Be creative!
 
Strengthen and advance the family, underscore the importance of marriage and protect the very institutions from which society perpetuates. That’s our message here at Wisconsin Family Council. National Adoption Month and National Family Week are great opportunities for you to advance that same message in your church and community.
 
This is Amy Lewis for Julaine Appling at Wisconsin Family Council reminding you the Prophet Hosea said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”