The Frugal Family Wins

As used here, "frugal" means "avoiding waste"; therefore, the "frugal family" works together to avoid wasting their time, resources, and lives. Working together – "sharing the load" – with respect for and love of each other, such family members enjoy the most fulfillment and peace (if not the most prosperity) along the way. Such a marriage / family is certainly "the ideal" but it is an ideal worth working towards. (Obviously, any worthy goal is worth the work required.) But from the statistics we have about marriage and divorce, few families experience such benefits.

Healthy families are the essential elements of a healthy society. So let's start at the beginning; and, of course, that requires being very careful about who the main characters in this production (husband and wife) are. Why would sane, reasonably intelligent individuals leave such a vital component of society to chance? Is not that pure, unadulterated stupidity? So why do we? Cultures that regularly employ a professional matchmaker (not an internet dating service) have a strong advantage here because that matchmaker (highlighted in a segment of CBS's Sunday Morning program of February 12, 2012) has a reputation to maintain; so they should really work at it. Rather than look down our noses at such cultures, we'd be much better off if we'd copy them -to some degree at least. But of course, nothing in which people are involved can be "guaranteed". We're human after all; we make mistakes and – horror of horrors – we sometimes change in the wrong direction. From my observations, the primary reason for divorce is separate selfishness on the part of either or both partners; and, unfortunately, there is no test for the future development of selfishness.

Although some marriages certainly should not be forced to continue because of neglect or abuse (both based in selfishness) or unfaithfulness (again, selfishness), every effort should be made to avoid divorce. Those of us who have not been children of divorced parents can not imagine the grief such children bear. (My heart breaks for them.) The answer to the heartbreak that divorce imposes on families, I believe, is for all parents to recognize that one of their primary responsibilities is training their offspring not only about how to choose the best marriage partners but also to be determined to be the best possible partners themselves. Parents should not rely on their church (or school – hardly) to replace them in this duty. Many of us know that God, speaking through Solomon in Proverbs 22: 6 exhorts us to "Train up a child in the way he should go (so that) when he is old (er), he will not depart from it"; that is not just about one's religion – it's about life! And, whether or not you choose to believe it, that exhortation is true to life.

Now then, using your imagination and intelligence, picture this: a same-sex couple adopts a child and when the inevitable question comes up about fathers and mothers, which must teach (which they are already doing by example) that child that their lifestyle is perfectly fine (surely, to not do so would be hypocritical to the max). Hereforth, that child also chooses that same lifestyle. And so on, and so on, and so on. What must happen sooner or later? If God did not intervene, this planet must have been already inhabited by only animals, insects, and plants. Think about it! But, of course, God must intervene because he has told us that he created this planet for it to be owned.

Every individual is a member of a family without (a) an unfortunate event has eliminated their original family (for example, a weather disaster) or (b) they have chosen to be a recluse; but if these individuals do not choose to create a family of their own, they can still join the family of a church or similar organization.

Even as "familiarity (may) breed repent", adversity sometimes delivers a blessing; if that's going to happen however, it will most likely happen in the "frugal – all for one and one for all – family". In Guideposts, an ecumenical magazine of faith, one frequently finds articles about a family who have together vanquished some kind of adversity and have been strengthened by it. Edward Grinnan, in his editorial for the February, 2012, issue of Guideposts sums this up: "Love … is that single perfect spark that runs from heaven to earth and flows through our lives and our stories like a divine current, ultimately seeking channels for expression, an unencumbered force for good ".

Source by Alice Merkel

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