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Importance of the Family

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Importance of the Family

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There has been a great deal of emphasis lately on leadership training for all age groups within the Church. Our youth constitute one of those groups. We have many teens who have come through our camp programs and have continued on in the Church to become outstanding leaders.

Notice the mission of the United Youth Camps: “The mission of the United Youth Camps program is to support parents and the Church in teaching youth to develop their full godly potential—which is their calling into the Body of Jesus Christ and the work of the Church—while learning that God’s spiritual laws are practical ways of living (Deuteronomy 6:6-9 Deuteronomy 6:6-9 [6] And these words, which I command you this day, shall be in your heart: [7] And you shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise up. [8] And you shall bind them for a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. [9] And you shall write them on the posts of your house, and on your gates.
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, Deuteronomy 11:19-20 Deuteronomy 11:19-20 [19] And you shall teach them your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. [20] And you shall write them on the door posts of your house, and on your gates:
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; Psalms 34:11 Psalms 34:11Come, you children, listen to me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD.
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; Proverbs 22:6 Proverbs 22:6Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
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; Ephesians 6:4 Ephesians 6:4And, you fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
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).” Within our mission are contained camper goals, staff objectives, biblical standards and a positive message to our teens that God’s ways work!

Who has the most influence in the life of our youth today—their peers or their family?

The apostle Paul clearly states in 1 Corinthians 15:33 1 Corinthians 15:33Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.
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that “evil company corrupts good habits.” Notice the Good News Bible on this verse: “Do not be fooled. Bad companions ruin good character.” Our youth need to be taught to be careful in picking their friends, particularly as texting and online access through Skype and other technologies continues to expand.

The basis for proper relationship development begins with the family. This is the reason that Satan is attacking the family today and trying to destroy the very fabric of society. The strength of a nation depends upon the stability of the family.

Deuteronomy 6:4-10 Deuteronomy 6:4-10 [4] Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: [5] And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. [6] And these words, which I command you this day, shall be in your heart: [7] And you shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise up. [8] And you shall bind them for a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. [9] And you shall write them on the posts of your house, and on your gates. [10] And it shall be, when the LORD your God shall have brought you into the land which he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give you great and goodly cities, which you built not,
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has been called the “Magna Carta of the home.” The most important models children have are their parents. The biggest enemy is the lack of time spent together as a family. Today family members go off into their individual cubicles. Thus their residence is a house but not a home. Society is always making inroads into the family unit and even into our families in God’s Church. God will make the family strong if we draw close to Him. If we show indifference to our children, we can be assured that Satan will not.

Each father and mother needs to create a God-centered family culture in their home. Every decision we make as parents should revolve around the question “Will this increase or decrease the likelihood that my child will grow up in God’s image?”  

Programs alone will not solve the problem here. Parents can. But the Church—you and I—can assist the parents. We can build relationships with everyone in our local congregations. Historian Edward Gibbon wrote that what destroyed Rome was not the power of the enemy at the gate, but the disintegration of family lifewithin the Roman home.

God established the family to be the primary influence in the life of young people. Children learn a lot about developing a relationship with God through developing a healthy relationship with their parents and siblings. A young person’s relationship with his parents influences his relationships with God and future spouse. The family was established to help young people to have a concept of what the Family of God is like. It was established to give stability and a loving environment for growth.

Numerous studies have shown that most youth have made a commitment to God’s way by their early teen years. It is vitally important for parents to focus on living God’s way (example) and effectively teaching God’s way. The camp program is there to support parents with these responsibilities. Sometimes the value of the pre-teen camps is overlooked, but it is during this period of life that commitments to God and the Church are formed. As our sons and daughters proceed through the camp program, they become increasingly energized and desire to be involved. Many of the graduates of the camp program come back as counselors and staff. They want to share what they have learned.

Working with our youth is one of the biggest investments that we can make in the future of the Church.

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