Christian family life education is a term denoting a program of service to child, youth, and adult which helps to better equip them for living in the Christian family. It aims to enrich the spiritual life of the home, to give parents a better understanding of their children and the skills for their Christian nurture, to make personal and family worship increasingly effective, to supply counsel in problems of family relationships, and to help life the entire spirit and purpose of the home.
The aim of Christian family life educ. is that every family by the grace of God become a spiritually growing, responsible, Christian family unit. It is an intensification of the ministry of pastor to people, and families to each other, to help families fulfill their God-given mission. It embraces: helping parents in the Christian nurture of their children; helping families est. and maintain meaningful family devotions; guiding and inspiring families to be Christian households, living by Christian standards; helping child, youth, and adult develop a Christian view of sex: preparing youth and adults for marriage as a godly vocation. It also includes winning, assimilating, conserving families for Christ; serving the founding, expanding, shrinking, and aging family throughout life; helping incomplete families, single adults, and couples. It is both preventive and remedial, nursing sick marriages back to health and referring problem cases to the best resources in the community. It involves restudy from the Biblical view of such areas as mate selection, engagement and marriage, divorce and remarriage, family structure and authority, sexual ethics, and birth control. More than a program of services, it is a concern, emphasis, and family-conscious dimension of the modern ministry.
God made the home the center of worship and religious training. It not only conveys physical life but is God's primary institution to insert the life in Christ into each generation (Gn 18:19; Dt. 6:67; Eph 6:14). The home is the cradle of personality, the most potent teaching agency, the chief unit in evangelism, the best barrier against evil, the keeper of culture, the bulwark of the ch., and the cornerstone of the nation. Correlation bet. consistent Christianity and successful marriage is very high. New strains and stresses have been placed on the family by world-shattering changes in society. Modern life has greatly increased the incidence of separation, divorce, broken homes, and child delinquency. Home and ch. need each other more than ever before. Research by psychologists, sociologists, and welfare workers has cast new light on family relations. It is logical that the ch. should take the lead. because it alone has the regenerating power of the Gospel of Christ, the love and concern of the Good Shepherd, and the teaching facilities and agencies to carry out a balanced program of family life guidance. OEF
See also Parish Education, H 3.
Helping Families Through the Church, ed. O. E. Feucht (St. Louis, 1957); O. E. Feucht, Ministry to Families (St. Louis, 1963); Sex and the Church, ed. O. E. Feucht et al. (St. Louis, 1961); Engagement and Marriage, ed. O. E. Feucht et al. (St. Louis, 1959); R. W. Fairchild and J. C. Wynn, Families in the Church (New York, 1961); W. H. Lazareth, Luther on the Christian Home (Philadelphia, 1960); W. E. Hulme. The Pastoral Care of Families (Nashville, 1962): E. R. Duvall and R. L. Hill, Being Married (New York, 1960).
Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
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