The Facts or Fiction Conference, held at Zeeland East High School in Zeeland, Michigan, was an interesting, fast-paced conference featuring four speakers. The last speaker of the morning was Doug Swink from Winning at Home, an organization based in Zeeland that offers help and support for building strong, Christ-centered marriages and families.
I have to admit that his presentation was not at all what I expected. I was expecting to hear about the problems facing the traditional family and how the current social trends point to the end of the family unit as it has stood for millennia. He did not even touch on the subject.
Doug Swink started his session off by quoting James 4:14, which speaks of our lives being but a vapor that is here today and gone tomorrow. He stated that the length of life does not equal quality of life, and that what we do with our lives does have an impact on the world. He went on to say that families are the foundation of society (as the family goes, so goes society), and that our family experiences play a part in shaping our worldview.
He told of the Roman Empire, that for the first 520 years marriage was held in such high regard that there was not one divorce recorded. However, in time the view of marriage changed and divorce became acceptable, and that was the beginning of the downfall of that civilization.
Some other points that Doug made were as follows:
How we see ourselves is derived from how those closest to us see us.
Loving God and loving people are intertwined. If we love God we will love people; and loving people shows that we love God.
We will make the greatest impact for eternity in our own homes, because our families are the ones we are generally closest to and have the most influence on.
A couple of things Doug suggested that we do to strengthen our families:
Slow down; take time to “smell the roses” and enjoy time with each other. Take the time to be still before God and listen to His voice; let Him guide you in your daily life so you don’t get overwhelmed with busyness and not have time to devote to your loved ones.
Show what you stand for. Be obedient to Him and do not be tolerant of sin. He is not, and neither should we be. Don’t allow political correctness to dissuade you from living out your faith and teaching your kids to live theirs out as well.
All in all, I thought the Facts or Fiction Conference was time well spent. There was a lot of information to digest, and it was very though-provoking. There was also opportunity for attendees to purchase DVDs and books on the subjects presented. I only wish that it had been a bit slower-paced, with time for questions for each speaker. Making it a full-day conference would not be a bad idea either, in my opinion. If this conference ever comes to your area, I recommend you take the time to go and listen to the information presented. It is an excellent event for students to attend as well.