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Divorce is not an unforgivable act. In some contexts divorce may be a creative, positive and affirmative response, ethically justified as that option which best approximates fulfilling the Great Commandment in the midst of limited alternatives.
We need to be honest about the effects of divorce on kids, and knowing more about what children are living through, perhaps we can do more to help.
Those human relationships that promise the greatest joy also hold the potential for the deepest hurt. In the searing pain of human brokenness there is redemption, forgiveness, hope and the opportunity to seek a new fulfillment along a new path.
Ministries that have assumed a two-parent, intact family structure may not work well for people who did not grow up in such families. In order to welcome young adults -- to teach, counsel and comfort them -- the church must do a better job of understanding and including their distinctive experience and perspective.
If mainline churches want to thrive and remain true to their deepest theological commitments, they must reach out to Americaís growing ranks of unconventional families.
(ENTIRE BOOK) The Clinebells bring reassurance and professional guidance to parents trying to help their children grow--especially as they deal with personal and family crisis.
Joining forces with child-care professionals the churches can help protect both the best interests of children and the rights of parents against profiteers who are concerned for neither.
The author believes that the church's greatest contribution to marital stability and growth will come from living a conviction that flies in the face of American individualism -- namely (in the words of the Heidelberg Catechism) "that we are not our own, but belong body and soul, in life and death to our faithful Savior Jesus Christ."
A review of From Culture Wars to Common Ground: Religion and the American Family Debate. Families are in crisis and there is an urgent need for church and society to respond.
The question to ask if we want to improve the quality of family life is this: Why are families changing? They arenít changing as much as we might think, for the good old days were not as isolated from many of the modern problems of our technological age as we like to think.
A review of two books on the family which emphasize the need for a more compassionate, gender-conscious and tradition-aware understanding of marriage and the family.
Review of a book on the child. Jesusí vision of compassion, blessing and service of the poor is simultaneously a vision of compassion, blessing and service of children.
How American Protestantism shapes the behavior of modern husbands and fathers.
Augustine reminds us that loved ones are mortal and that they are not ours. One of the essential characteristics of all idolatry is the notion of possession: we possess our idols as objects.
With Huckís Raft, Steven Mintz indicates that children are extremely vulnerable to the fates of their parents, and he understands with clarity the history of families in this country.
Wall reviews a book on postmodern marriage. Marriage and the family are valuable social institutions, especially important for children, but they need to be newly understood in nonpatriarchal and egalitarian ways.
The profound pressures which marriage faces are a spiritual and not a psychosocial matter. The gospel provides few answers about how we should live or what decisions we should make. It is not a recipe for right living. The gospel transcends the law only to name a more difficult law -- that of love, first of God and then of each other, even ourselves.
The author reviews a book on marriage. Marriage as an institution entails public commitments not only between the husband and wife but also between them and their friends, extended families, the state and the church.
We elders may well have to face the millennium on our knees, because we surely didn’t teach our kids how to get down on theirs.
The author reviews three books on motherhood, and comments that through a holy blend of social criticism and spiritual fortitude, women with children might be able to resist the guilt and perfectionism that, if these authors are correct, are now the signatures of motherhood.
There may be the necessity of a divorce, but thereís no such thing as a good divorce.
A review of The War Against Parents: What We Can Do for America's Beleaguered Moms and Dads,by Sylvia Ann Hewlett and Cornel West. Against liberal claims that it is only economic factors and not fluid family forms that predict child out-comes, they come down firmly against the culture of narcissism and sexual freedom.
We need a national vision that unifies the many and complex issues facing families, that understands that human need always exists in the context of relationship.
The author reviews how three different authors, each with a different perspective on the hold that the consumer society has over kids.
Lawyers help people negotiate divorces. Can they be equally effective in shoring up support for marriage? ). This article is adapted from the essay "Is the Genie Out of the Bottle?" in the newly published book Marriage, Health, and the Professions, edited by John Wall, Don Browning, William J. Doherty and Stephen Post.(Eerdmans Publishing Co.)
Research shows that none of the alternatives to the intact nuclear family (first marriages) performs well the task of rearing children. Neither the state nor the church can be a substitute. If the church is interested in helping society raise strong, healthy and self-directed children, it must help produce as many intact first marriages as possible.
Child care -- provided to preschool children outside of their homes -- once was considered to be remedial care for children of pathological or needy families. Today it is America’s way of raising its children. The church’s close association with so many providers (70% are held in church buildings) gives it a unique opportunity to stimulate a long and much-needed national dialogue about child care.
The author of the book reviewed here believes that the institution of marriage is about to collapse and thereís little that can be done about it. Dr. Browning refutes this and proclaims that both society and the church need to be more supportive of marriage.
Mainline churches need to say something relevant to the family debate. Before speaking up, however, they need to face squarely the disturbing trends in family life that are fueling the debate.
The church has failed to recognize that adoption is a paradigm for the church -- a "family of faith" made up of people who are not biologically related.
If marriage involves a creative, courageous, demanding and risky act, then it also contains the possibility of failure. Our word to divorced persons must be that the failure and evil inherent in divorce (or any other human separation) would destroy us were it not for the fact that God keeps his promises and continues his love even when we break our promises and our love fails. The past cannot be erased, but it can be forgiven.
The authors identify the characteristics of an optimal family in terms of control, power and intimacy.
A survey on teens challenges us to stop defining adolescence as a social problem involving strange and menacing beings, and instead understand adolescence as responses that reflect our own adult problems.