Strong Family Values
Our third, of the four RISE principles, focuses on the Family. The “S” in R.I.S.E. is for Strong family values. From the beginning of creation, marriage and family have been an important institution established by God. In Genesis 1:26-30, there is an emphasis on humanity created in the image and likeness of God to fulfill His divine plan and purposes. Our understanding of family also extends to Genesis 2:20-24 where the emphasis is finding a helper, a companion suitable for Adam, an integral partnership intended to complete Adam, but also a reflection of the triune nature of God. Marriage and family are a sacred bond, and Jesus tells us in Matthew 19:4-6 that the husband and wife become “one flesh” and that what God has joined together should not be separated.
The Epistles elaborate on the family dynamic giving instructions for husbands, wives, and children found in I Peter 3:1-7, Ephesians 3:1-7, and Colossians 3:18-19. Further warnings for parents and children are found in Colossians 3:20-21 and Eph. 6:1-4, as Paul encourages the children to honor their parents and parents not to frustrate their children, but to bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
Frederick Douglass understood the ramifications of unhealthy families and lack of values when he said,
‘It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.’ The RISE principle of Strong family values, echoes these sentiments.
Strong Family Values includes our belief that:
Marriage is intended to be a permanent relationship between one man and one woman and is the foundation for healthy and stable families. Marriage functions to satisfy the longings of the human heart: to give and receive unconditional love, to welcome and ensure the full physical and emotional development of children, and to reinforce and perpetuate the installation of moral principles and values.
Strong family values must be preserved and impressed upon each generation. The “natural” family is the foundation of society; therefore, the state should promote its formation while interfering in its function as little as possible. Family unity and interdependency are necessary to foster and encourage culture, learning, and long-term national stability. Therefore, two-parent households should be encouraged; and fatherhood honored as a means of diminishing the development of delinquency in children and young adults.
Our earnest conviction is that many of the Black community’s problems, as well as other communities, could be solved if we gave more attention to building strong & healthy families.
We believe that to minimize confrontations with the police, eliminate visits to the abortion clinics, school dropouts, and delinquency, incarcerations, as well as the illicit use of drugs and drug suppliers, we must focus on combating the underlying problem–the dysfunction and disintegration of the Black Family.
Education begins at home and is the first classroom children have. The family thus serves as the center for social, educational, economic, and spiritual life to build strong bonds among the generations, and to pass on a way of life that has transcendent meaning. Since education begins at home, it should remain the prerogative of parents to “choose” where to send their children for further instruction.
Human life is sacred and inviolable from conception to natural death. Protection for the unborn and elderly, and compassion for the sick and infirm, are essential elements of a culture of life; as well as necessary for the health of citizens in a God-fearing society.
The free exercise of religious faith is paramount to the health and well-being of a free society. Government is prohibited in the establishment of any religion but also banned from interfering in the practice thereof. Citizens, therefore, should be free to worship and practice their faith as they choose without fear of governmental interference, coercion, or manipulation.
The Church is the extension of the family and the instrument for the work of God to impact societal values. Duty, honor, self-sacrifice, love of neighbor, and country are some of those values, but equally important are the pursuit of justice and equality before the law. It is the Church where the disenfranchised and marginalized find redemption, restoration, forgiveness, and reconciliation before God and man.
Let me take a moment to quote a few well-known people who agree with our assessment of the family:
“The only rock I know that stays steady, the only institution I know that works, is the family.”Lee Iacocca
“There is no doubt that it is around the family and the home that all the greatest virtues, the most dominating virtues of humans are created, strengthened and maintained.”Winston S. Churchill
“The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.”Eleanor Roosevelt
“At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a friend, a child, or a parent.”Barbara Bush
“Of all the rocks upon which we build our lives, we are reminded today that family is the most important.”Then U.S. Senator Barack Obama
Strong Family Values are inevitably a reflection of the strength, courage, and power of its people.
The preamble to R.I.S.E.
Strong family values