A 2014 University of Nairobi study by the Department of Sociology found that only 9.2 per cent of urban families ever have a family meal together in a week — fathers are the worse culprits for missing the family dinner, followed by their teenage children.
Women, though fairing better, were found to often miss out on important family times as they were faraway attending to corporate duty or, if in town, stuck in evening classes.
Modern life means more and more Kenyans, especially in urban centres, are leading really busy lives that are largely transactional, and that means they are failing to develop deep connections and relationships.
This unfortunate consequence of having hectic social and work lives, as well as children having school and sporting commitments, has made it difficult for families to be truly families. (Daily Nation, 28 Sept 2015)
In a key feature article in the current issue of Conversation Magazine, Mungai Macharia dissects this huge contemporary problem and points towards gospel solutions. You need to read it in full but here’s the outline of the article:
- Causes of the current situation:
- The 2010 National Constitution
- Socio-economic factors
- The Church
- Too busy in programmes
- Lacks champions and role models of godly, committed marriages
- Weak theology, preaching and biblical counselling re. the family
- Separation of generations during corporate worship
- Lack of clear stand on controversial issues
- Contemporary cultural trends
- ICT and multimedia
- Single parent families
- The return of ATR and archaic traditions
- What can we do?
- Serious reflection on the biblical model of gospel-shaped marriage and family
- Sound pre-marital counselling
- Integrated teaching of the church on marriage, singleness and Christian identity
- Family-friendly corporate worship
- Eternal vigilance