Answer: It is certainly true the number and type of families and households existing today is far greater than 30 years ago. Our culture contains Read more a challenging diversity of family types. Today's society is comprised of dozens of household scenarios, caused by a countless personal and family situations. The Church must learn to understand, accept and work with all types of adults, teens, and children from these complex households.
Major types of family households include:
- Nuclear - Original husband, wife and their biological children
- Single - parent -A never married, divorced, or widowed parent with children
- Stepparent -A biological parent and children married to another adult
- Blended -Two adults and their biological children from two previous families
- Grandparent - One or more grandparents rearing their children's children
- Separated - One parent, separated from his/her spouse, and his/her biological children
- Single Adult - One or more adults of either gender living together
- Cohabiting - One male & one female living in a romantic relationship with/without children
- Homosexual -Two adults living a homosexual lifestyle rearing children (biological, adopted, step, foster, expanded etc.).
- Homosexual/heterosexual -Usually one male and one female with children
- Expanded - Any of these family types with a child for a period of time (from court, relative etc.)
- Non family - Adults, and possibly children, living together who may/may not be related
- Combination - Many other household types formed from a combination of any of these
How can a church minister to these diverse family types and the dozens of household combinations they form?
- Answer questions like, "Will my daddy come back?" sensitively and non-judgmentally.
- Understand reasons for absences. Be sure children of divorce are not excluded from church activities because of visitation schedules.
- Affirm children with a phone call or birthday card.
- Provide for single - parent children to attend events when finances prohibit.
- Learn as much as possible about the child and his/her family.
- Teach and show God heals the hurts of divorce.
- Accept all parents, non - judgmentally, from all family units.
- Accept all children, non - judgmentally, from all family units.
- Realize you don't know both sides of the stories behind children's situations.
- Realize you don't know both sides of the stories behind adult situations.
The combinations and complexities of today's families demand Godly wisdom (James 1:5). Without it we will not become the family God intended us to be...the family of God!