Family issues have always drawn national attention as people have realized the importance of the family. But in spite of all the dialogue and social programs that have been developed, many families are still dysfunctional.

If you take a look at the busy schedules of some families today, you'll notice how much things have changed over the years. Mom, Dad, and the kids are all running in separate directions, and the home is just a sleeping place where everyone says "hi" while passing one another like ships in the night.

Even in more so-called conservative families, it seems that money, cars, and houses have taken a more important role in people's lives than their children. But those materialistic possessions aren't worth much compared to the reward parents could enjoy through investing in their own children.

Thank God for material blessings and the opportunity to increase in goods and wealth. I am a parent and a grandparent, and I understand the desire of wanting to provide the best for your children. But you could give your children all the luxuries this world has to offer, and it still wouldn't be enough - because your kids would rather have you.

If you asked your children what they would desire most if they could have anything they wanted, their answer might surprise you. I've found that most kids would rather have your time and support instead of the latest toys and games. They would rather have your presence at one of their school functions or extra-curricular activities than all the gifts money could buy.

I will never forget one Tuesday afternoon years ago when doctors called me to a conference table and said, "Your son has a brain tumor almost the size of your fist." Stunned, I pushed back from the table and walked over to a corner of the room, where I stood for a moment in complete silence.

To be truthful, at the time of this crisis, I had almost gotten caught up into believing God for this thing and that thing. And thank God, we can believe God to have nice, material possessions according to the Word. I'm not against that, but I want you to understand - at that particular moment - those things meant nothing to me!

I remember I just put my head in the crevice of those two walls and began to pray. But I began to see something very important that day.

I realized that I could take every car I had purchased, every suit I had owned, every dollar bill I had saved - every material thing I ever possessed in life - and they still could never replace my son! Yet, sometimes as parents, we take these things for granted and put our focus on the wrong things.

Aside from God, nothing is more important than our families. I really believe that. The media can talk about restoring family values all they want, but it's not going to come through legislation or government programs. It will only come about as people make the decision to get back to doing what God said concerning their homes.

God didn't create dysfunctional families - people did. And if our home lives are out of order, we as parents have to point the finger right back at ourselves. It's our responsibility to make sure our homes are functioning the way that God intended. So let's stop, take a good look at our priorities, and start putting our focus back where it belongs - on the family!

Source: From a Pastor's Heart by Kenneth E. Hagin. Jr.
Excerpt permission granted by Faith Library Publications