There was a better time

There was a time when families gathered around the dinner table to discuss the events of the day. A home cooked meal, lovingly prepared, awaited them. The talk was light and easy, free of any rancor. It was a time to relax from the trials of the day, a time to downplay, and laugh, at any mistakes made earlier. Perhaps things were not so bad after all, for the pleasant table chatter included suggestions to help withstand or better the situation offered by loving family members. Yes, discussions around the family dinner table made trials and stress manageable, for support was rendered there.
Morality prevailed in those days. The father presided in the home, supported by the mother. Nursing homes, and homes for the aged, were little known then. Grandparents were honored, and theirs was a special place at the table. From such positions of honor, they dispensed words of wisdom. Not to be forgotten were their tales of a past generation, and incidents so humorous as to cause their eager listeners to revel in mirth. If you didn’t hear the story the first time, it would eventually be repeated.
The father was protector and provider for his family and home. Under no circumstance did he put his wife to work. The family made do on what his hard work brought in, or did without. Hand me down clothing and frugality were facts of life. The mother stayed home. Who can forget the days of coming home from school as a child, and calling out, “mom!” and hearing her comforting response?
The father’s role and influence as provider, and protector and family head, is diminishing. Mothers, and oft times other agencies, are taking his place, and, as is already plain to see, chaos is the result. That sacred institution, the family, is in danger. The forces arrayed against it are growing in strength. As goes the family, and the reassurance and comfort found around the family table, so goes the nation, for no nation can survive the failure of its families.
There is much going on around us that is plainly wrong. The world, and a press increasingly leaning towards depravity, would tell us that what has ever been evil is now good. Ought we not see, that that which the world now accepts, in no way changes evil from what it is and has ever been? No matter how it is colored and portrayed, evil shall ever be evil.
It was General of the Army, Douglas MacArthur who made this observation, “Military alliance, balances of power, League of Nations all in turn failed. We have had our last chance. If we do not now devise some greater and more equitable system, Armageddon will be at our door. The problem basically is theological and involves … improvement of human character. It must be of the spirit if we are to save the flesh.”
If that was true on September 2, 1945, when General MacArthur gave his speech from on board the USS Missouri, it is ever so more true today. Indeed, it is time to seek after the better, to put away those things which are crude and debilitating to the spirit. Where the balm of repentance is needed, let us apply it. It is time to get back to the dinner table, where families loved, and laughed, and learned of that which is good and uplifting. It is time to go back to the values once so common, for we must, if we are to survive as a nation.
“Teach me, my God and King,
In all things Thee to see,
And what I do in any thing,
To do it as for Thee…”
(George Herbert)

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