By Casey Peacock: PNT staff writer
Portales native Joe Brumfield was raised on a farm and says he learned the value of hard work and family through his experiences growing up in the community. Today, Brumfield passes that knowledge on to others, as a Christian family/marriage counselor, at Harding University, in Searcy, Ark. Brumfield has been married for 27 years and is the father of two children, ages 18 and 21. This weekend he returned to Portales to present a seminar titled “Answers for Struggling Families.” The PNT conducted this interview with him Friday.
Q. Why have you chosen this field of work?
A. “A lot of families are hurting. A lot of people need help.”
Q. How long have you been working in this specialty?
A. “I’ve been giving seminars for the last 15 years or so.”
Q. What are some experiences that have enriched your career?
A. “Growing up in a family of nine kids is very enriching. Really, family experiences are a learning.”
Q. What words of advice can you give families to help succeed and be strong together as a unit?
A. “Well, for parents, they need to parent from the heart, not the externals. Years ago, parenting was putting a roof over their head, clothes on their backs and food on the table. If they are providing spiritual guidance, love and security, they are way ahead.”
Q. What do you see yourself accomplishing through your career and seminars?
A. “I’d like to help families get back to what really matters, eternal purposes. People who get eternal purposes right first, tend to do better with matters of internal purposes. Truth, love, honesty, integrity and faithfulness.”
Q. What is the greatest enemy facing families today?
A. “Unfiltered media, our families are overwhelmed with pornography. Media itself is not evil, it tends to be used that way. The greatest enemy of family growth is lack of time. The more hours that parents work, the less the family will do together. The number one American value is to have a good family, too much time is spent working, etc.”
“Growing up in Portales, living out in the country, my biggest curse, was we were stuck with two parents, all day long, everyday. That is something that is a dinosaur in America’s culture.
“What I thought was my biggest curse was my biggest blessing. We prayed with (the family) and read the Bible everyday.
“The American family is no longer the primary influence of our next generation.”
(Brumfield went on to explain that many of today’s children are influenced by what is seen and heard on television and through music. Children are learning from other genre’s versus what can be taught to them by their parents, as was done in generations past.)
Q. What do you feel your greatest accomplishment is in your life?
A. “My wife and my kids, and trying to get them to heaven. Helping people find God.
“I am not perfect, I’m a sinner, have lot’s of flaws and I make mistakes.”