Ethics of Queer Holiness Final Quesiton 2

As a theologian of your community, in what ways would you teach the subject “Christian family values”? Provide a brief teaching plan outline and write your statement/teaching contents. (Read and utilize any chapter(s) from Ruether’s book) (15 points)

What are Christian Family Values? This would change from congregation to congregation and denomination to denomination. These values would also seem to change over time, however are they really changing?

Tasked with teaching Christian family values in any setting, I would teach about the value of relationships and love and how the unit of the family is a structure that moves faith forward in our lives. The Greek word στοργος means familial love and while it never appears in the New Testament its opposite, αστοργος, does. We need to understand στοργος in order to define Christian Family Values. “The Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon defines storge love as ‘cherishing one’s kindred, especially parents or children; the mutual love of parents and children and wives and husbands; loving affection; prone to love; loving tenderly; chiefly of the reciprocal tenderness of parents and children.’”[1] This is the model and basis of Christian Family Values.

The basis of the family are the parent(s). When there are 2 parents as a couple, they are equal. In the case of divorce (which does not go against Christian Family Values) multiple parents are all equal. No one person should dominate as the parent over any other person. Men are not better suited to be head of household. This may be a biblical interpretation of Ephesians 5:25 but it’s taken out of context and it contradicts our understanding that all people are created in the image of God and are equal in the eyes of God. This equality in leadership can be seen in the roles of all people prior to the Reformation and placement of women into a family role of care giver, as Rosemary Radford Ruether discussed in chapter 3 of Christianity and the Making of the Modern Family.

Teaching outline:

  1. Scripture on Husbands and Wives
    1. Ephesians 5:25 – Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her
    1. Ephesians 5:33 – However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
    1. Genesis 2:18 – Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”
      1. Discuss how man here is Adam and should probably be translated as human and pronouns are not used but are implied by the gender of the word
  2. Parents
    1. Are to raise children in a faithful setting and keep the promises made in the service of baptism.
      1. to live with them among God’s faithful people,
      1. to bring them to the word of God and the holy supper,
      1. to teach them the Lord’s Prayer, the Creed, and the Ten Commandments,
      1. to place in their hands the holy scriptures, and nurture them in faith and prayer, so that your children may learn to trust God, proclaim Christ through word and deed, care for others and the world God made, and work for justice and peace.
  3. Talk about how the Reformation started to push women into the home
    1. Before the Reformation if women didn’t want to be a mother they could join a monastery. This became something that was shameful because women were supposed to be mothers.
    1. Women were beaten more by husbands because divorce was not really allowed.
      1. Luther’s thoughts on Divorce:
        1. Inability to carry out marital duties and rupture of primary bonds.
          1. Husbands’ impotence
          1. Wife’s refusal to have sex, adultery.
    1. Females were taken from leadership roles and forced to be subservient to men.
  4. All families are Christian families.
    1. A Christian Family is not:
      1. 1 dad, 1 mom, and children
    1. A Christian Family is:
      1. Any loving parent with children
      1. Any loving couple with or without children.
    1. We can not say what defines a Christian marriage other than love for those in the relational unit.
      1. Constant love, regardless of faults, just as God loves us.

I believe we need to hear and see more Christian leaders speak out and say that family love is based upon the love we see in the Trinitarian Relationship and not based upon society norms of heterosexual understanding of coupling.


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