Last Week’s homework<br /><ul><li>What is the purpose of the family? (Genesis 2:18—4:8)
Describe the modern family. Contrast our modern families with the biblical statements of Paul in Galatians 6:1-5 and Ephesians 5:1—6:4.
Where is the church getting it right in ministry to families? Where can we suggest some improvements, according to Scripture?</li></li></ul><li>Riverlakes Community Church<br />RiverWay Class<br />Week #3<br />What Happened <br />to Our Families?<br />Instructor: Ernie Zarra<br />
What Happened to Our Families?<br />The Biblical Model (Genesis 2:18-25)<br />Marriage designed by God (Genesis 1:26)<br />A divine institution that is pronoun specific<br />Where things went wrong (Genesis 3)<br />Children born after the Fall of Adam and Eve (Genesis 4)<br />Christ is the Bridegroom, the Church is the Bride<br />The Beginning<br />
“The Disintegration <br />of Traditional Family Structures <br />and the Rise of Partnership Contracts, Parenting Contracts and Soul Families”<br />by Celia Fenn<br />
Many of you today living on the planet are in great pain because of the stresses and angers present in your families. Archangel Michael asks me to share the following information with you so that you can better understand why this is so, and where you are heading for in the future. <br />The Traditional Family Unit<br />The traditional nuclear family unit belongs to the past of the Planet. It was a structure developed to serve the interests of humanity in the past. The needs then were for power and protection - and so a system was developed that gave the male the role as protector. In return for this task he held power over the members of his family. However, humans have evolved to a point where equality between male and female is being recognized, and where the equality of being of children will soon be accepted as well. <br />In this New Earth paradigm, the traditional nuclear family units with its hierarchical power structures has no place. It is disintegrating and falling away. <br />
In this process, many of you feel confused and bewildered as you experience anger and pain. You wonder what you are doing "wrong" or why you cannot "heal" the situation. We tell you, beloved ones, there is nothing to heal. Only new choices to be made. New choices that will help you to create families and communities that are loving and supportive. <br />Partnership Contracts and Parenting Contracts<br />In the New Earth when a person desires to parent children he or she will enter a "Parenting Contract". This will be distinct and different from a "Partnership Contract" which will replace Marriage as a system of support and cohabitation. A Partnership Contract will be negotiated between two people who feel drawn to each other on a soul level and wish to live their lives together. Generally, this will involve some shared growth or work. <br />A Partnership Contract may in turn lead to the negotiation of a Parenting Contract - but we wish you to understand that in the future parenting will not be limited to partnerships between male and female beings. Parenting will be open to any loving being who feels that giving physical expression or nurturing to an incarnating soul is a calling for them. <br />
A Parenting Contract is primarily between the Parent and the soul of the incoming Child. However, if two people have agreed to become biological parents they may enter into the contract as Co-Parents. The contract requires love and support and mutual respect and care. Also mutual recognition of the gifts each party brings to the creation of the child/parent unit. And the equality of these gifts. <br />A single person may also enter into a parenting contract as a single parent. In this case the contract is between the child and the single parent as sole caregiver and nurturer. <br />In Parenting contracts there is no hierarchy or power structures - only a mutual exchange of love and wisdom in which each party acknowledges a role to support the other. <br />
The parent provides physical nurturance and life skills for living on the planet in the present. The child brings advanced spiritual gifts and evolutionary impetus to the parents. Each gifts the other with their presence and their teachings. <br />Soul Families<br /> Soul Families will in turn create a new conception of community. While New Earth society will be based on the belief in the "One" and in planetary unity, people will still live on different "levels" of awareness for quite a while still.<br />http://starchildglobal.com/starchild/contracts.html<br />
Source of Study . . . <br /><ul><li>Marian F. Zeitlin, RatnaMegawangi, Ellen M. Kramer, Nancy D. Colletta, E.D. Babatunde, and David Garman</li></ul>The United Nations University is an organ of the United Nations established by the General Assembly in 1972 to be an international community of scholars engaged in research, advanced training, and the dissemination of knowledge related to the pressing global problems of human survival, development, and welfare. Its activities focus mainly on peace and conflict resolution, development in a changing world, and science and technology in relation to human welfare. The University operates through a world wide network of research and postgraduate training centres, with its planning and coordinating headquarters in Tokyo.<br />
Modern v. Post-Modern Families: Similarities<br />Similarities between post-modern and pre-modern families<br />http://www.unu.edu/unupress/unupbooks/uu13se/uu13se03.htm<br />
Modern v. Post-Modern Families: Differences<br />
Truth reminders . . .<br />James 1:19-20<br />This you know, my beloved. But let every one be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.<br />
James 5:19-20<br />My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth, and one turns his back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death, and will cover a multitude of sins.<br />
Issues Affecting Families: What About Christians struggling with homosexuality?<br />That is a very important question considering the related turmoil going on around us. I feel strongly that Christians have a scriptural mandate to love and care for all the people of the world. Everyone is entitled to be treated with respect and dignity, even those who are living in immoral circumstances. There is no place for hatred, hurtful jokes, or other forms of rejection toward those who are homosexual. We cannot hope to win others to Jesus Christ if we insult and wound them.<br />
Remember, too, that Jesus was more compassionate toward the adulterous woman caught in the very act of intercourse — a capital offense in those days — than He was to hypocrites in the church. That is our model for how to respond to a person living in sin. Indeed, we should be trying to reach out to those who don't know Jesus Christ, which is impossible in an atmosphere of hostility and fear.<br />
<ul><li>Also, it should be remembered that there are celibate homosexuals who are trying desperately to live godly lives. Many of them struggle every day to do what is right, fighting inner battles that rage like wildfires. These men and women need every ounce of compassion and support they can get from Christian people who know of their tendencies. Often, however, they are rejected and excluded from the church community because of fear and misunderstanding by those who find them repulsive. This is wrong! These individuals need the community of Christ and the fellowship it can provide. They must be embraced as fellow believers who are trying to please the Lord and conform to a standard of moral purity. How can we do less?</li></li></ul><li>He or she seems distant<br />
Married Couples?<br /><ul><li>The natural tendency of everything in the universe is to move from order to disorder.
If you buy a new car, it will steadily deteriorate from the day you drive it home. Your body is slowly aging and dying. Your house has to be repainted and repaired every few summers. A business that is not managed carefully will unravel and collapse. A brick that is placed on a vacant lot and left there long enough will eventually turn to dust. Indeed, even the sun and all the stars are slowly burning themselves out. We are, in a manner of speaking, in a dying universe where everything that is not specifically being protected and upgraded is in a downward spiral.</li></li></ul><li>The principle that governs this drift from order to disorder might be called "the law of disintegration." (Engineers and scientists sometimes call it "the law of entropy.") The only way to postpone or temporarily combat its influence is to invest creative energy and intelligent design into that which is to be preserved.<br />
<ul><li>Not so surprisingly, human relationships also conform to the principle of disintegration. The natural tendency is for husbands and wives to drift away from each other unless they work at staying together. To provide another analogy, it is as though they were sitting in separate rowboats on a choppy lake. If they don't paddle vigorously to stay in the same neighborhood, one will drift to the north of the lake and the other to the south. That is exactly what happens when marital partners get too busy or distracted to maintain their love. If they don't take the time for romantic activities and experiences that draw them together, something precious begins to slip away. It doesn't have to be that way, of course, but the currents of life will separate them unless efforts are made to remain together.</li></li></ul><li>Help! My Kids Are Having Sex<br /><ul><li>One significant study, authored by Stephen Small from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Tom Luster of Michigan State and published in the Journal of Marriage and the Family, demonstrated rather conclusively that parental involvement and the transmitting of the parents' values were significant factors in preventing early sexual activity. In a direct and refreshingly sensible way, Small and Luster put parents back in the driver's seat (or the hot seat) when they said, "Permissive parental values regarding adolescent sexual behavior emerged as a strong risk factor for both males and females. Not surprisingly, adolescents who perceived their parents as accepting of premarital adolescent sexual activity were more likely to be sexually experienced." The acorn never falls far from the tree.</li></li></ul><li>Another important study, conducted by Drs. Sharon White and Richard De Blassie (published in Adolescence), found that parents who set the most moderate and reasonable rules for their teens in the areas of dating and interaction with the opposite sex actually got the best results — in contrast to those who were overly strict (who experienced a lesser degree of success) and those who provided no guidelines whatsoever (whose position was least efficacious of all).<br />
<ul><li>From these studies and others, we can conclude that the people who are most effective in steering their children away from the precipice of premarital sex are those who understand that parenting adolescents is a delicate art. They are the parents who are present and involved, who communicate and exemplify their own values and attitudes, who ask questions, who carefully supervise their kids' choice of escorts and points of destination, and who insist on a reasonable curfew. But they also keep a light touch as far as it's possible to do so, because they know that the rod of iron comes with problems of its own. The bottom line? There is no sex-education program, no curriculum, no school or institution in the world that can match the power and influence of this kind of parental involvement.</li></li></ul><li><ul><li>It's worth adding that kids from intact, two-parent homes are less likely to engage in sexual experimentation than their counterparts from single-parent families or less stable backgrounds. And teens who have strong religious convictions and participate actively in church are, as a group, far more likely to practice abstinence than their peers. It's difficult to avoid the conclusion that faith and fidelity in the older generation are the best insurance against promiscuity in the younger.</li></ul>~Dr. Stephen A. Small, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1992.<br />~Sharon D. White and Richard R. De Blassie, "Adolescent Sexual Behavior," Adolescence 27 (1992): 183-191.<br />http://www.focusonthefamily.com/<br />
Roles in the Church<br /><ul><li>Qualifications for ministry are in synch with the biblical model for morality, marriage, running a household, and Godly living.
1 Timothy 3:1-13</li></li></ul><li>What Christian Families Are Doing Well!<br />How is the Church assisting families?<br />In divorce healing?<br />With remarriages and blended families?<br />In the areas of addictions?<br />Abuse recovery<br />In Christian education<br />In modeling a biblical world view<br />Modeling forgiveness and restoration<br />
Restoration: Galatians 6:1<br />Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted. (NASB)<br />Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. (NIV)<br />