Happenings

Family ‘an important unit in the church’

Nov 2008    

FAMILY LIFE CONFERENCE

THE family is an important unit in the church, and that unity in the family is important. In this age of choices, the people are encouraged to be less committed to any particular brand or choice, but this cannot be said to be true of the marriage relationship.

Stating this, Bishop Dr Robert Solomon added: “We are constantly bombarded with ‘choices’ of friends and contacts, but this does not mean we become less committed to our spouses.”

He was addressing more than 200 people of all ages at a Family Life Conference at Bedok Methodist Church on Aug 23.

Family relationships could end up being the most painful, he said, for it is in families that we are most intimate and vulnerable to each other, and that is where we need the Lord the most.

Advertisements on television constantly urge us to “just do it” or “obey your thirst” to focus on yourselves, and to seek instant happiness. The Bishop said that such self- centred attitudes erode family values. He reminded us of the nature of sin;

that Eve did not just take one bite of the fruit, but she took some fruit (more than one fruit!) and gave some to Adam; and there were a lot of seeds and piths lying around as evidence of their disobedience. He encouraged everyone to “re-frame” their family photographs, that is, to imagine their family photographs, with Jesus in the picture. This is because redemption is promised to us through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. Jesus must be in the family portrait for it to be complete.

After the plenary, the participants attended Workshops for Men led by the Rev Barnabas Chong, for Women by Mrs Joyce Chow, for Singles by Mrs Ting Seok Ai, and for Married Couples by the Rev and Mrs Peter Koh.

The children attended a workshop prepared and conducted by the Children’s Ministry of Bedok Methodist Church, and the youth were taken through a course on Life, Love and Sex conducted by Focus on the Family.

The Rev Chong encouraged the men to take on the headship and leadership role in the home and the church, and spoke of the importance of the desire to seek the Lord as a foundational requirement. The biblical portrait of a Christian man was painted artfully for those present.

Mrs Chow held the women enthralled with her workshop where she challenged them to leave behind the traditional roles of women, and to embrace a more biblical role. The women were tickled by her portrayal of how easily the Bible could be understood, even for an Ah Beng.

Mrs Ting spoke to the singles, while the Rev and Mrs Koh spoke to the married couples on the importance of maintaining and remembering their marriage vows. The role and place for intimacy and sex were also discussed candidly.

At the close of the conference, the participants reconvened for a time of family prayer, and it was heartening to see families coming up to the altar rail to rededicate themselves to the Lord.

Dr Anthony Goh, a member of Bedok Methodist Church, is a member of the Council on Communications.

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