GIVEN THE PIVOTAL ROLE the family plays in the well-being of the community, a stronger family unit makes for a better and more caring society. Likewise, a strong family is for the best interest of parents and children alike.
However, the family remains a vulnerable institution. It faces unprecedented pressures and challenges: broken families, marital conflicts, juvenile delinquency, domestic disputes, child and drug abuse are constantly undermining it. In addition, there is a sharp rise in the number of unmarried couples living together, in children that are born out of wedlock, and in the number of divorced couples. Needless to say, a weak and dysfunctional family can take its toll not only on its members but on society as well.
Strengthening the family
In His plan, God has not intended the family to be in such sad and dismal state of affairs. Thus, the concern of many people to strengthen and protect the family is also an urgent concern of the Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church Of Christ). It truly believes that this noble concern can be accomplished by upholding biblical teachings.
When God’s holy commandments—such as obedience to and faith in God (Ps. 128:1-4; Josh. 24:15), respect for parents (Eph.6:1-3), proper marriage and married life (Deut. 7:3-4; Heb. 13:4; Col. 3:18; I Tim.5:8), caring and disciplining children (Prov. 23:13-14; Prov.13:24), among others—guide and direct members of the family, then the family will become strong and resilient, a blessed family we all greatly desire.
And so, parents must put a high premium on the spiritual maturity of their own households—with the words of God as their guide—to keep at bay the things that try to weaken and destabilize them. They should be firm in their resolve that the spiritual development of the family takes precedence over worldly or material concerns. Hence, enhancement of their family’s spiritual life should be given top priority (Deut. 4:10; Eph. 4:12-13; Eph.6:4).
Indeed, protecting the threatened institution of family and making it strong and secure entail commitment to and faithfulness to God and His commandments.
CFO, CWS, and CBI sacred duties
Believing that the family’s decline and disintegration will adversely affect not only society but also our relationship with God, the Iglesia Ni Cristo promotes good family values and various activities to strengthen family relationships.
Through its Christian Family Organizations (CFO), namely, the Buklod, KADIWA, and Binhi, it undertakes programs to edify the family and to guide non-married members or the youth in right living and proper conduct. The Buklod (bond) is the organization of married members, the KADIWA (acronym of a Filipino phrase meaning “Youth with a noble intent”) is for the single members 18 years and older, and the Binhi (seed) is composed of 13 to 17-year-old members.
There is also the Children’s Worship Service (CWS), which, as the name implies, is for children members 4 to 11 years old. CWS officers under the Church Administration’s supervision carry out programs that edify the faith of the children under their care.
The Christian Brotherhood International (CBI), meanwhile, helps the youths of the Church who are still studying, preparing them for the future—to overcome life’s challenges, become responsible citizens of the nation, and most importantly, become strong and faithful youths of the Church (I John 2:13-14) who never depart from the commandments of God (Prov. 22:6).
Brother Angelo V. Manalo, Coordinator of the CFO, with his vision and inspired leadership continues to lead the various organizations in fulfilling their God-given tasks which, without a doubt, will greatly redound to a strong and stable family, for the benefit of its own members. Helping him in this noble endeavor are the CFO, CWS, CBI leadership in every district and congregation—and many other Church officers around the globe—who exemplify unwavering dedication to their sacred calling. Indeed, however varied and diverse the offices they are holding and the Church family organization they belong to, they remain united in their concern to safeguard the spiritual welfare of members of the family.
Through the different CFO activities and projects, such as Buklod Night, This is Kadiwa, Unity Games, Tagisan ng Talino, the Family Hour, livelihood programs, group prayer meetings, and the like, organization officers never lose sight of their holy objective in helping the Church Administration in “… edifying of the body of Christ” (Eph. 4:12 King James Version).
Indeed, Church family organizations are God’s instruments for the growth, preservation, and edification of the family toward perfection—a condition worthy of salvation on the day of Christ’s return (Eph. 5:27).