The saying goes, “Ring out the old; ring in the new.” However, in spite of this saying, family issues often follow us into the new year, whether it be divorce, the absence of a spouse, illness, working two or three jobs to make ends meet, etc. These issues that follow us from year to year can have a negative impact on our attempts to maintain a stable family atmosphere in which to raise children.
In addition, maintaining a stable family has become difficult because our broken society is falling further away from God every year. We live in a time when the traditional family structure is constantly under attack by the social media and entertainment industry. Simply being together as a family is difficult in this day and age. Families are so overloaded with activities that finding just a short amount of time to eat dinner together can be challenging. Most problematically, because of hectic schedules, families are tempted to spend less time together learning about God and His word.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 states, “There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens.” Ecclesiastes 8:6 additionally tells us, “For there is a proper time and procedure for every delight, though a man’s trouble is heavy upon him.” These verses should give us great encouragement and comfort. Even when the new year that we at first greeted with such excitement ends up seeming too much like the old year, we can rest in the knowledge that God will provide for all our needs. We do not need to rely on ourselves to get everything done. Nor do we need to be overwhelmed with worry about a pending divorce or illness. We can trust in the Lord God and in His sovereignty.
When you face times of distress this year, gather together as a family and pray together. By praying, you not only show God that you trust Him, but you show your children that you trust Him. With the beginning of the new year, start a resolution not to carry the worries of the past year with you, but instead to rest in the knowledge that God loves you more than you can ever comprehend. When the new year brings times of distress or anguish with it, be a living example to your children of having faith. Gather together as a family, even as a broken family—for we are all broken in our own ways—and praise God always. Ecclesiastes 4:12 says, “A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” Jesus, you, and your child are a three-cord bond. This new year, resolve to strengthen your family’s structure with this three-cord bond.