Three themes for the theology for family living
Regardless of the structure of a family (two parent household, single parent household, or households headed by grandparents or other enduring forms of family.) All are in need of support from the wider environment. The church is one of the bodies called by scripture and tradition to provide support for families. i.e. It takes a village.
As a result, this perspective on family structure is undergirded by the three themes of the theology for family living articulated by Herbert Anderson in The Family and Pastoral Care.
1. Change and adaptability are indispensable aspects of all life and a sign that God is always making something new.
Families are adaptable. Families have endured through human history because of this adaptability.
This adaptability is a characteristic of each families history. Ex. Victory and growth through crisis.
The present diversity in family structure may be experienced as a crisis, but it may also be understood as an instance of God's constant re-creation. It may be understood , sometimes, as an example of God's faithfulness in working to bring good out of difficult situations for "those who love the Lord and are called according to God's purposes."
2. The commitment to interdependence is essential both for the family as an organism in the world and for each particular family unit.
Each family is it's own ecosystem, balancing mutuality and autonomy. It is complex and full of mystery. Regardless of structure, every family is interdependently linked to a larger environment in a parallel way.
3. The pluralism of family structure in our time is not so much an instance of decline as it is an extension of the diversity inherent in the creation that God has labeled good.
The diversity of family structures over history is not just an accommodation to necessity; it is the result of physical , social, and psychological changes that are built into the process of human growth toward maturity. The celebration of diversity within a family is finally for the sake of freedom and creativity.