Bestselling author Dr. Michael Youssef offers a timely reminder for Father's Day. In his latest book, Hope for This Present Crisis, Youssef warns parents not to fall for the old African proverb that says it takes a village to raise a child.
"The modern-day 'village' in this proverb is all society, including schools, houses of worship, doctors and businesses, but most of all, government programs. Some have used this idea to advocate for various laws, regulations, welfare state programs and taxpayer support of 'family planning' organizations (such as Planned Parenthood)," Youssef says.
Instead, Youssef offers the words of wise King Solomon in Psalm 127:3 (NIV), which form the basis for the solution, even for parents in the 21st century: "Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him."
"The psalmist tells us that unless God is at the center of the family, the family is adrift," Youssef says. "Unless God is at the center of our family life, our children will be unsafe, insecure and in danger."
The reason is that the "village" of today surrounding our families is a godless village.
"Prayer has been banned from schools, so the schools cannot help families put God at the center," Youssef says. "Welfare state programs cannot help families put God at the center. Planned Parenthood is certainly not going to help families put God at the center. Doctors and businesses are not equipped to help families put God at the center."
"So, the 'village' is essentially godless and useless. A godless village can only produce godless children.
"I submit that it does not take a village to raise a child," he adds. "God already designed the perfect nurturing environment for a child. It's called the family. It is pointless to talk about caring for the needs of children while we do nothing to strengthen the family."
In his book, Youssef points out four wonderful results that occur when God is at the center of the family:
- God grows the family: When God builds the house, when God is at the center of the home, the family will grow in faith, character and maturity.
- God blesses the family: Children who are blessed—and children who are a blessing—are brought up to know the Lord. Only when we raise children to love God, to honor their father and mother, and to obey God's Word are they blessed to be a blessing to others.
- God guides the family: As we grow in our understanding of God's parenting of us [throughout Scripture], we gain parenting wisdom directly from God. We will never achieve God-like perfection as parents, but we will have the best guidance a parent could have.
- God protects the family: We have an even greater guardian than the police or the fire department. That guardian's name is Jesus. He sends his angels to minister to our families. Unless He is watching over us, all other guardians are in vain.
Youssef says, "To revitalize the family, keep God at the center."
Dr. Michael Youssef was born in Egypt and lived in Lebanon and Australia before coming to the United States and fulfilling a childhood dream of becoming an American citizen. He holds degrees from Moore College in Sydney, Australia, and Fuller Theological Seminary in California, with a Ph.D. in social anthropology from Emory University. He founded The Church of The Apostles, which was the launching pad for Leading The Way's international ministry. Youssef has authored more than 40 books, including popular titles like Jesus, Jihad and Peace and Saving Christianity?
Youssef is the host of the popular TV and radio broadcast Leading The Way with Dr. Michael Youssef, which airs more than 13,000 times every week across six continents in 26 languages—reaching audiences in nearly every major city in the world. His programs attract tens of millions of viewers weekly in the U.S. on major TV networks, including TBN, Daystar, Fox Business, Lifetime, GOD TV, CTN, NRB TV and more.
Equipped with a keen understanding of the Bible, the Middle East, sociological trends in the Western world, and popular Christian worldview issues, Youssef is a sought-after voice whose expertise is regularly requested on both secular and Christian media, including Huckabee, Fox & Friends, Eric Metaxas, The Hugh Hewitt Show, The Christian Post, Fox News, Hannity, Glenn Beck, The 700 Club and more. He and his wife reside in Atlanta and have four grown children and 10 grandchildren.
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