FACT: The average 2 bedroom apartment in Regina rents for $1,018. (Leader Post December 12, 2013)
QUESTION: How does a small family with one wage earner make ends meet? You can check my math but at Saskatchewan’s minimum wage rate of $10 per hour, and if using a 40 hour week, things just don’t seem to add up!
FACT: The average price for a standard home in Regina is $370,250. (Leader Post January 10, 2014)
QUESTION: Who can afford to own a home? Today a $350,000 mortgage with one of the Charters, over a 25 year period, means a monthly mortgage payment of $1,638.62. Is that realistic for most people?
FACT: The rich get richer and the poor become poorer! “Since 1995, the after-tax income of the top income group rose much more than the income of other income groups. Consequently, income disparities increased in Canada between 1995 and 2011.” (Employment and Social Development Canada, www.hrsdc.gc.ca)
QUESTION: At what point did we stop caring for each other?
FACT: Fatherlessness is one of the greatest social problems in Canada. Did you know that children who grew up fatherless are: 1) Eight times more likely to go to prison. 2) Five times more likely to commit suicide. 3) 20 times more likely to have behavioral problems. 4) 20 times more likely to become rapists. 5) 32 times more likely to become runaways. 6) 10 times more likely to abuse chemical substances. 7) Nine times more likely to drop out of high school, and 8) One-tenth as likely to get A’s in school. (Statistics courtesy of the Canadian Children Right’s Council website)
QUESTION: Where’s my Dad? I wonder how many kids have asked that question.
FACT: The Saskatchewan Ministry of Social Services says that 484 children, while in close connection to the ministry, have died over the past two decades. In addition to this, the number of First Nation’s deaths were not reported accurately and the number could be higher. To quote Saskatchewan’s Children’s Advocate Bob Pringle; “they cannot tell the public that children are safe in foster homes.” (Regina CBC January 20, 2014)
QUESTION: What has happened to the family and the home?
What is happening to my city, my province, my country? There is something terribly wrong here. That is clearly evident! This shouldn’t be. I don’t understand what has happened with our families, and to the idea of having a safe home for them to live in; it’s almost as if the ‘family’ has become an animal on an endangered species list. We can’t allow this!
I’m constantly seeing women with numerous children coming into our women’s addiction program. Some days it’s hard not to think that they’re the ones who are always left trying to clean up the mess of a broken family. I often find myself asking where are the deadbeat dads who think that being a man is about their sexuality and fathering a child. They have no concept of what it means to raise a child and to be a father, and then they run away like boys and do it all again!
Somehow it’s become ok to live like this. It’s so easy to point the finger. We’ve become very good at making this a societal or governmental problem. One of my favorite quotes is from the American President John F Kennedy. “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.” Ultimately the state of the family comes down to us as individuals.
There are a lot of ways that we can build family. We can spend time together, sacrifice our personal desires, and forgive each other, and so on. We can help other families by getting to know them as neighbors, lending a hand if need be, bringing a bag of groceries to the family down the street who’s struggling to make ends meet, join Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada, and so on. In the end it’s all up to us!
Anyway, I’ve said my piece and I’ll get off my soapbox now. The scriptures say it this way:
“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful.” Psalm 139:13-14
“Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.” Psalm 127:3-5
“For I hate divorce, says the Lord, the God of Israel.” Malachi 2:16
“Let marriage be held in honor among all.” Hebrews 13:4
“A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.” Psalm 68:5
“Then our sons in their youth will be like well-nurtured plants, and our daughters will be like pillars carved to adorn a palace.”
“Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.” Psalm 37:3
“Love your neighbor as yourself.” Mark 12:31
“If anyone has no care for his family and those in his house, he is false to the faith” 1 Timothy 5:8
“He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the LORD.” Proverbs 18:22
“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32
“Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed. Rescue the weak and needy.” Psalm 82:3-4
“He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.” Proverbs 14:31