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Family matters


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A landscape of the Family in the 21 century.

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Family matters

  1. 1. A Social Lanscape of Families in America in the 21 st century Rev. Dr. Huberto Pimentel
  2. 2. Resulting changes in Family Styles <ul><li>The traditional family -intact marriage, father employed outside the home, mother not, at least two children - has shrunk to about 10% of all families. </li></ul><ul><li>Persons who marry have a lesser chance that they will stay married till death. Divorce will end the relationship. </li></ul><ul><li>An increasing number of persons raise children as single parents </li></ul>
  3. 3. Resulting changes in Family Styles <ul><li>Divorced partners are more likely to hear the court assign joint custody of children. </li></ul><ul><li>A large proportion of those who divorce marry new partners and enter into stepfamilies. </li></ul><ul><li>In the vast mayority of couples, both partners are employed. Skills are needed in negotiating the use of those scarcest of family resources, energy, and time. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Resulting changes in Family Styles <ul><li>Domestic violence is a silent reality in the life of many families. </li></ul><ul><li>Two adults of the same sex living together permanently. </li></ul><ul><li>Raising children without a marital partner is some of the hardest work there is! They need a safety net of a support network. </li></ul><ul><li>People of opposite sex sharing living quarters. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Resulting changes in Family Styles <ul><li>A significant number of couples marry partners from other religious, ethnic groups, or nations, thus adding still other dimensions to their marriages. </li></ul><ul><li>Many couples delay having children, have fewer children, or decide against having any at all. </li></ul><ul><li>Some people elect singleness as a choice. Others, single or married, admit other people’s children into their families, permanently or temporarily </li></ul>
  6. 6. Social environment affects family <ul><li>Inflation raises havoc with family financial planning. </li></ul><ul><li>Explotation of sexuality in advertising and in the media undercuts the dignity of the human body and teaches false values to youth who are struggling to accept their own bodies and sexual feelings. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Social environment affects family <ul><li>Unemployment undermines parental self-esteem and authority, alienates youth from family and society, and condemns older persons to dependence. </li></ul><ul><li>High costs of energy and health care jeopardize the healthy development of children and force families to choose between utilities and adequate medical care. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Social environment affects family <ul><li>Public resentment of subsidy programs for poor families, often exploited by ambitious politicians, prevents clear thinking about and intelligent public policy toward families left out of the economic mainstream. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Biblical Support for Diversity of Families <ul><li>The Bible contains no single definition of family. Rather, the term is used to describe a variety of configurations. </li></ul><ul><li>These include both persons who have some kinship ties and persons who do not. Sometimes the term family includes the entire household - male servant, female servant, sojourner in the gate, the Levite, the fatherless, and the widow (Ex. 20:10; Deut. 24:20). </li></ul>
  10. 10. Biblical Support for Diversity of Families <ul><li>In Jesus own experience there was quite a diversity of familiy styles: </li></ul><ul><li>There was an unmarried pregnant teenager, with threats of “divorce” of the betrothal in Matthew 1:19 </li></ul><ul><li>A transient couple, a refugee family; </li></ul><ul><li>A nuclear family, about which the only recorded story is of family conflict with an adolescent in Luke 2:41-50. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Biblical foundation for all styles of families <ul><li>The Bible holds basic authority for us. It is a dynamic authority. The Bible is the word of God; contains the word of God, and becomes the word of God. </li></ul><ul><li>The Holy Spirit was active in the writing of the Bible and is active in the reading, exploring, and interpreting of the Bible. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Biblical foundation for all styles of families <ul><li>We discover that there is development, growth, and transformation from one passage of the Bible to another. (Bible open to us) </li></ul><ul><li>There is a path of growing, revelation, insight, and obedience. (Bible to us) </li></ul><ul><li>The Bible is good to us in that it answers those questions of pain and suffering with a word of hope and affirmation. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Biblical foundation for all styles of families <ul><li>In Jesus ministry we found two focal points: </li></ul><ul><li>Jesus proclaims “The absolute love of God; or the redemptive intent of God. </li></ul><ul><li>The Absolute love of God who creates institutions for humans beings, not vice versa. He proclaims God’s love for God’s little and weak ones, when he parties with the outcast of that society, when he freely forgives, he is expressing a lavish divine love. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Implications for ministry to all kind of families <ul><li>Our church should hold high the covenant of marriage and family to equip people to marry healthily and permanently. </li></ul><ul><li>At the same time, the church should be ready to offer care when married folk experience crisis, either in terminating a marriage or in struggling to build a good new one. </li></ul><ul><li>Our church needs to offer support, care, and aid to divorcing, single, and remarriage persons. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Implications for ministry to all kind of families <ul><li>The variety of ways that families work together, play together, enforce discipline, offer upbuilding and support, and claim their family history defies classification. </li></ul><ul><li>Not all families styles arise out of happiness. Some come out of suffering, grief, alienation, abandonment, and tragedy. </li></ul><ul><li>It is at this point that God’s most powerful act of surprise and redemption applies. </li></ul><ul><li>This is where resurrection, rebirth and new beginnings are possible with God in Jesus Christ. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Implications for ministry to all kind of families <ul><li>Family ministry is not an option but a necessity. The church must move to become a Family of Families. </li></ul><ul><li>The church must create a place where the individual is held up to be the end result of all ministry and the happiness and wholeness of that individual the end result of all programs. </li></ul><ul><li>The prophetic mission of the church is to challenge the spirit of the age, to do what is right and what is best, not necessarily what the mayority want. </li></ul>
  17. 17. The Church as family <ul><li>Members of the early church apparently regarded themselves as Christ’s family. (Ephesians 2:19, 3:6) </li></ul><ul><li>Even a slave is to be considered a “beloved brother” to his master. (Philemon 16) </li></ul>
  18. 18. The Church as family <ul><li>On the day of Pentecost this equality within the family of God was demonstrated in a dramatic way. (Acts 2:17-18) </li></ul><ul><li>God’s favor rests on all kind of peoples – regardless of sex, age, or social status. (Gal 3:28) </li></ul>
  19. 19. The Church as family <ul><li>All Christians are adopted into the family of God, and thus we all address God as “Abba! Farther!” (Gal 4:5-6) </li></ul><ul><li>Paul used other analogies to describe the oneness of Christians – branches on a tree (Rom 11:17-24), organs of a body (1 Cor 12:12-31), and his favorite adelphoi – brothers and sisters. </li></ul>
  20. 20. The Church as family <ul><li>Paul referred to Timothy as “my beloved child” (2 Timothy 1:2) </li></ul><ul><li>Paul told young Timothy that he was loved, wanted, and needed. </li></ul><ul><li>The words warmly reflect a sense of belonging to a supportive family, the extended family of God. </li></ul>
  21. 21. Implications from the N.T. view of family <ul><li>We will not assume that all families are of positive value, either to their own members or to society as a whole. </li></ul><ul><li>We will regard single individuals, childless couples, and children of broken homes as of equal worth to those who constitute “families”. </li></ul>
  22. 22. Implications from the N.T. view of family <ul><li>We will not glorify “the family pew”, but instead seek to form the congregation into an extended family for all its members. </li></ul>