The relevancy of God’s work at Oneida is more evident now than ever before. Oneida has been many things to many people, but one of our most important roles today is helping to restore families. Parents often bring their children to us and are desperate for help. Sometimes those families are broken, which leads to the child’s also being broken.
During World War II our country saw a shift in the structure of the American family. While our men were off fighting in the war, many of our mothers went into the work force because it was what our country needed at the time. I would contest that even our American homes that have both mom and dad together are somewhat challenged if both parents work outside the home.
The following was written by one of our teachers:
“Last night at the concert, I kept noticing the family in front of me. The entire time either the mother or father had their arms around the teenage daughter. There was such love in that family. Coming from a broken family, that image always brings up mixed emotions for me. Through the image of this family, the words spoken, and a memory, God did something in my heart.
“Earlier this year I graded essays for the academic team. The prompt was to argue whether the media should adjust their image of the modern family due to the large variety of family types. Most students argued that media should represent more broken, single-parent, or same-sex families, but one student argued that the media should portray a solid family with a mother, father, and kids because we shouldn’t portray something less than what God intended. I recognize that brokenness in families exists because of sin, but I think that student had a point to make in that God intended families to be a certain way.
“Toward the end of the concert, the band manager came to the stage and spoke of how he felt God leading him to pray for the families in the room who were breaking or hurting for one reason or another. As I prayed for the broken families at the concert, God began to shift my perspective just a bit on the ‘perfect’ family in front of me. The pain and jealousy eased, and I felt hope. Families that represent God’s plan still exist. Brokenness will still happen as long as sin still reigns in hearts, but there’s hope that God can produce and mend whole and perfect families.”
God designed the family and must be grieved when he sees what sin and current societal norms have done to families. Please pray the Lord will use Oneida in even more powerful ways to be a repairer of not only young lives but also broken familes.