Rapid changes in social structures, values, norms and behaviour patterns are affecting long-held perspectives and patterns of marriage and family. This is further complicated by the development of assisted reproductive technologies that push the limits of socially accepted familial identity and relationships. There is a growing concern that family life, as traditionally understood, and the view that the family is the basic building block of a healthy society are being steadily dismantled by significant and overpowering forces that impinge on the daily life of individual families struggling to cope in a fast-changing world.
This booklet will seek to assist reflection by individuals, families, churches, and society at large on what the challenges are and how they can be addressed. It will explore what the Bible teaches about marriage and family and how this has been understood and applied by Christians in centuries past. The Bible provides a formative framework, recognising the effects of sinfulness in family life, and showing how divine grace can transform marriages and families. The recognition of our sinfulness as well as the presence and power of God’s grace will significantly form and inform us as we try to find anchors in the swirling waters of prevailing social changes. This will bring wisdom and hope, healing and transformation as families turn to God and His Word, and churches guide families and minister to them so that family life can be blessed and celebrated under God’s rule.