Posted by: the warrioress | June 24, 2013

Alternative Families

Families

Families (Photo credit: normalityrelief)

We are living in a societal culture that has changed drastically within the last thirty years. When we look around us, it’s clear that the definition of family is something quite different than it used to be. The “traditional” family was something back in the fifties and sixties; it consisted of a mother & father, children, and the family pet.

These days there are all kinds of models of what “family” looks like. Now there are same sex partners at the helm guiding the homestead, instead of the traditional male and female  “Mother & Father.”

Family

Family (Photo credit: Kaptain Kobold)

Now there are single parent families that consist of men or women struggling to raise their children, many managing to do a wonderful job. There are blended families, and families being raised by older siblings. There are even couplings of two mothers and a father, (sister wives), and their children.

It seems easiest to refer to this redefinition of family as “alternative” families. There is no longer a set stereotype for what a family will look like. The alternative family is the new reality within society, like it or not.

Because of this fact, the church needs to be ready to discuss the needs of alternative families in all their unusual, untraditional glory. Churches who are not accepting, stuffy, prejudiced, and self-righteous in their antiquated expectations of days gone by, are going to fall by the wayside because they refuse to minister effectively to these new members of their congregations.

Nuclear Lesbian Family

Nuclear Lesbian Family (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

No one says that we have to approve of the new alternative family, the same-sex adoptive couple and their brood of children, etc., — but should they receive less ministering to and compassion than the rest of the families that come through a church’s doors? We can accept in love those who are seeking God, who are looking for the way to salvation, to Jesus Christ our Lord. We don’t need to hastily judge and criticize, taking moral inventory of a family’s sins before they’ve even accepted the need for a savior.

There are those who are so caught up in their own hyper-vigilance over other people’s sins, that they’ve lost sight of what the Good News actually is and who it is for!

Traditional family unit

Traditional family unit (Photo credit: mjtmail (tiggy))

Jesus died for the sinful, the sick, and the lost! He came to bring a physician to those who need doctoring. Instead of condemning and judging those different from ourselves harshly, why not open up our hearts and pulpit to these alternative families who are seeking truth, counseling, compassion, and most of all biblical hope that there is someone out here who loves them, who cares enough to tell them about the way to Jesus Christ.

Allow the Holy Spirit to minister to their hearts as God would have Him in regard to their personal sins, as we do the rest of sinful society. When someone accepts Jesus Christ and becomes a new creature in Christ, they are altered forever in God’s time, not ours.  We are their support system. We encourage and teach them how to read the bible and understand it. We allow God to reach them through our own loving Christ-like treatment of them.

Trust in the love of Jesus Christ and put the condemnation and righteous anger on the back burner. Open your hearts to all of those who come seeking God. The days of the traditional family are passed and our churches need to move forward and deal with the reality of what the new “family” consists of.

http://christianfamilylawassociation.org/alternative_families

http://www.compellingtruth.org/gay-marriage.html

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Responses

  1. Interesting that you use phrases like ‘We don’t need to hastily judge and criticize, taking moral inventory of a family’s sins before they’ve even accepted the need for a savior.’

    Aren’t you judging them yourself by determining that they need a savior? Maybe they don’t.

    Have you studied your bible? What does it say is the traditional marriage? What does it say is a traditional family? You don’t write as if you have studied it. Does it say there is only a traditional arrangement or does it already allow for what you describe as non-traditional? How many wives did David have? Who did Cain and Able have children with? What about Lot’s grandchildren? Where in all of that is ‘traditional’ marriage or family? If my brother dies, do I HAVE to marry his widow? Wasn’t Paul pretty much against marriage completely unless you were forced into it? The NT is fairly clear, women should be seen and not heard. They should not be teaching.

    How do you reconcile all this?

  2. The Bible tells us we are not to judge others for what we judge against others we judge against ourself. When you begin to remember that the church resides inside our hearts, you also realize God lives within us seven days a week 24 hours a day and not just on Sunday. The building we go to is for fellowship and lessons with fellow church members. Skin color, sexual orientation, single parent or co- exist partners makes no difference to God when it comes to sin and the forgiveness of sin. God works in mysterious ways and only in His time. Maybe we all need to open our day with a prayer thanking God for being God.

    Father, not in our time but in Yours. I thank you for another Glorious day with beautiful sunshine and the sounds of birds singing your praises. I thank you for the blessings You present to me everyday and the opportunities You challenge me with. Help me to teach others of Your Grace and Glory through the blessings and challenges you give me. In Your Glory. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

    Have a blessed day,

    Ed

  3. My Atheist Life said:

    Interesting that you use phrases like ‘We don’t need to hastily judge and criticize, taking moral inventory of a family’s sins before they’ve even accepted the need for a savior.’

    Aren’t you judging them yourself by determining that they need a savior? Maybe they don’t.

    Hi Atheist life,

    The word of God, the Holy Bible, says that we all need a savior, AL. I’m basing my posting upon that.

    Have you studied your bible?

    Oh, yes, indeed I have.

    What does it say is the traditional marriage?

    Jesus Christ, within the bible, states that one man & one woman join together and leave their mother and father in order to become one. This creates the traditional family. This is the traditional family of the past, (not talking biblical history if you didn’t glean that from the posting).

    What does it say is a traditional family? You don’t write as if you have studied it. Does it say there is only a traditional arrangement or does it already allow for what you describe as non-traditional? How many wives did David have? Who did Cain and Able have children with? What about Lot’s grandchildren? Where in all of that is ‘traditional’ marriage or family? If my brother dies, do I HAVE to marry his widow? Wasn’t Paul pretty much against marriage completely unless you were forced into it? The NT is fairly clear, women should be seen and not heard. They should not be teaching.

    How do you reconcile all this?

    You sound like you want to fight, AL. I’m not interested in debating you on the existence of God, the accuracy of the bible, or the interpretation of the same. I appreciate your thoughts and comments and thank you for sharing. I’ll just say that after the death of Jesus Christ on the cross, the Good News was offered by the followers of Jesus Christ, based upon the teachings of Jesus Christ. It is based upon these teachings in the current reality that I post. I am not posting based upon Old Testament Law that guided those who had no savior, no forgiveness of sins, and whose reasonings for the things that they did were based upon a covenant with God during that time frame, not this one.

  4. Efchristi
    Hi Ed,

    You said this perfectly, Ed. Your day sounds as if it is starting beautifully! I hope it will be blessed, and appreciate your comment. (hugging).

  5. There is sufficient evidence on both sides, but my concern is that the Body of Christ, especially here in America, has become lukewarm and weak in fear of appearing too judgmental. When we lovingly share the truth of God’s Word, and allow Him to do the changing then we can KNOW that we did our part instead of sitting back in hopes that God will ‘do all the work.’ (Ezekiel 33:1-9

  6. I really admire the voice of your post which will perhaps move people within your brand of Christianity to a more compassionate and less reactive thinking style. But I see so much more further you could move in your thinking:

    “their brood of children”

    — Really? That is not a welcoming phrase. How would you expect to “minister” to these folks with such bigotted language exposing your disapproval?

    “ministering”

    — You still persist in thinking of people as objects to change, instead of people to MUTUALLY relate to and benefit from and they benefit from you. You slip into the bad conservative Christian habit of looking at people as soteriological projects. To use your language, this is a sin in itself.

    “looking for the way to salvation”

    — I haven’t visited your site in a while but see you still embrace a flavor of Christianity that is salvation centered instead of “Kingdom here and now” centered. I see you are changing, but hope you don’t freeze up in old comfortable styles.

    BTW, blog suggestions:

    (1) I saw somewhere you recently wrote of drifting away from your original “Bible WARRIOR” mentality — that is great. So why not get rid of it in your blog title (you can keep the URL and still change the title of the blog in your WordPress dashboard – under “General”, I think). Maybe something like:
    “Life of a Female Christian Sojourner”

    (2) I suggest getting rid of the fake picture of the girl praying in the right corner — I think I remember reading that you said it was not a picture of you. Either put a pic of yourself up, or to continue protecting privacy, just put an image up.

    (3) And lose the “The Warrioress” title to that widget — very military Christianity, something you are now more comfortable leaving behind. How about “The Sojourner”,

    Just some thoughts. Best wishes on your alternative family week ! (you are still a single mom, right?)

  7. While I do agree with most of what you wrote. I am on the fence with this: “The days of the traditional family are passed,” are we not to defend/uphold the biblical principles that refer to family and marriage within our society?

    “You don’t have to compromise convictions to be compassionate.” – Unknown

    Much love,

    Jan


    I recommend reading this:

    http://accordingtojan.com/2012/05/17/marriage/

  8. Hi Valeriemock2, 🙂

    I have been very concerned in the past about the body of Christ becoming lukewarm and weak, to the point that I became very rigid, unyielding, fearful, paranoid, and judgmental to the max. I think we have to strive for balance in our daily walk, and it’s not an easy thing to be balanced. There’s a fine line we have to walk.

    What I sense inwardly and what I’ve felt God telling me very strongly for a long while now is that if we’re not actively exhibiting the fruits of the spirit through our witnessing/witness, then we’re off the track somehow. We have to be able to exhibit those fruits but still stand by the bible and what it tells us. We must stand by it gently but firmly at the same time. We must love our fellow man completely, despite whatever his sins are, but still be able to tell him what the bible says… anyways, I agree with you. The key is to LOVINGLY share God’s word. (nodnodnod)

    Thanks so much for commenting here.

  9. Sabio said:

    I really admire the voice of your post which will perhaps move people within your brand of Christianity to a more compassionate and less reactive thinking style. But I see so much more further you could move in your thinking:

    “their brood of children”

    – Really? That is not a welcoming phrase. How would you expect to “minister” to these folks with such bigotted language exposing your disapproval?

    I didn’t mean “their brood of children” negatively. It means a lot of children, adopted, stepchildren, or otherwise.

    “ministering”

    – You still persist in thinking of people as objects to change, instead of people to MUTUALLY relate to and benefit from and they benefit from you. You slip into the bad conservative Christian habit of looking at people as soteriological projects. To use your language, this is a sin in itself.

    “looking for the way to salvation”

    Hmm. I will always consider those who do not believe in Jesus Christ to be absent of something that it is better for them to have, in my own personal opinion on the thing. Certainly I can acccept and love them no matter what they believe, but I will be saddened for them on some level, no matter what, due to what the bible says that I believe.

    This doesn’t mean that I see them as a project or that I must force them into my beliefs. I understand and fully believe that they must make up their own mind about what they believe. It’s not my business or place to take that over. All I can do is share what I believe, and I feel very led to do that with most people that I feel close to and sincerely care about. Heck, I feel that way even about those whom I don’t like; still I know I have to respect their rights to their own choices in this area.

    – I haven’t visited your site in a while but see you still embrace a flavor of Christianity that is salvation centered instead of “Kingdom here and now” centered. I see you are changing, but hope you don’t freeze up in old comfortable styles.

    Certain things are absolutely not going to change, Sabio, because they can’t. They cannot change and still allow myself to call myself a believer/follower of Jesus Christ.

    BTW, blog suggestions:

    (1) I saw somewhere you recently wrote of drifting away from your original “Bible WARRIOR” mentality — that is great. So why not get rid of it in your blog title (you can keep the URL and still change the title of the blog in your WordPress dashboard – under “General”, I think). Maybe something like:
    “Life of a Female Christian Sojourner”

    (2) I suggest getting rid of the fake picture of the girl praying in the right corner — I think I remember reading that you said it was not a picture of you. Either put a pic of yourself up, or to continue protecting privacy, just put an image up.

    (3) And lose the “The Warrioress” title to that widget — very military Christianity, something you are now more comfortable leaving behind. How about “The Sojourner”,

    Just some thoughts. Best wishes on your alternative family week ! (you are still a single mom, right?)

    Yes, Sabio, still a single mom. And I’ll meditate on your suggestions, but I’m not quite ready to part with the name of this blog, etc., just yet. Thanks for the suggestions though; I will keep them in mind.

  10. AccordingtoJan said:

    While I do agree with most of what you wrote. I am on the fence with this: “The days of the traditional family are passed,” are we not to defend/uphold the biblical principles that refer to family and marriage within our society?

    “You don’t have to compromise convictions to be compassionate.” – Unknown

    Much love,

    Jan


    I recommend reading this:

    http://accordingtojan.com/2012/05/17/marriage/

    Hey Jan,

    When I say that the days of traditional marriage have passed, I mean that there is not going to be purely the traditional family living on this earth anymore. I don’t honestly know what there will be when Jesus Christ returns, but in terms of this current reality, we are now sharing the definition of “family” with a host of alternative styles of family; this is just the reality; I guess I’m not putting a value judgment on it, personally.

    Biblically-speaking, marriage is exactly as you and the bible have defined it, but the current reality is not a bible-based one and I doubt it will ever be because of what Revelation tells us the future is going to look like. Ideally, it would be nice if we all followed the bible, but I don’t think we have the right to force people to follow the bible, do you? Perhaps we can try and persuade them from our own take on the matter…

    In terms of upholding biblical principles that refer to marriage and family within our society, you’re talking politically-speaking, aren’t you? I can’t control these kinds of things because I have to choose between the lessor of two evils when I vote Democratic or Republican, and both parties are evil, in my opinion. I see both parties as extremely evil. When I vote for a president, I vote for who is the most loving/caring/and Christ-like in behavior in the bigger picture of the thing.

    The Republican party is supposedly “the Christian” party, but it is anything but Christian acting. It is pure hypocrisy. This question you’ve asked is complicated to answer and probably deserves its own post. I’m not sure what more to say at this particular moment, but I’m thinking on it. Thanks for making me think, Jan. (hugging) Adrienne

  11. I get what you are saying now. Things have changed, indeed. What was right is now wrong, and what was wrong is now right. [ inserting non-humorous remark now: Opposite day is now everyday. 😛 ]

    No, no one can be forced to follow anything. Not even Jesus Christ forces us to follow Him. It comes down to the individual to choose.

    I gave up on the political system. That’s why I completely avoid extreme politics on my site now. Both parties have fallen into a pit of self-gratification. Like you said, “I see both parties as extremely evil.” In regards to upholding, I was referring to advocating. I have seen that when people are lovingly educated over a topic they start to think, and come to realize what is true. However, the idea of having peaceful dialogue is a thing of the past it seems.

    I agree. The Republican party can go take a hike, in my opinion. My government is the Kingdom of God; God is my only leader. All else is vanity.

    No, thank you! I always enjoy your comments.

  12. “Sabio”: “Brooding” as “such bigoted language” maybe rather shows a tendency to choose the negative interpretation instead of the equally valid better meaning. That is a prejudice itself.

    Using your own language, you are treating Warrioress as an “object to change” instead of trying to MUTUALLY relate to and benefit from her and letting her benefit from you. You want to change her.

    We have good news for you, it’s the good news of the gospel.

    This discussion inspired a post of my own:
    http://truebook.wordpress.com/2013/07/10/biblical-warring-the-natural-family/

  13. If the psychology doesn’t match the physiology…

  14. @ -erator
    I find the title of your blog and the avatar name you use here to be very telling. Truth is yours — you own it. Great job.

    You may not know, but I was once a Christian: fervently thankful to God for his son’s sacrifice and the gift of love and acceptance — and like you, happy to have “the truth” living in me. I spoke with God, listened and rested in God and treasured HIS word, reading it over and over.

    But now I not a Christian. So you may not have good news for me. I deny that a spook talked to me, that God controls the world and that believing anything (like a Jesus story) offers anyone a wonderful life after they die. And thus, by many Christian theologies, I continually commit the “unforgivable sin”.

    II could easily befriend someone like Adrianne without any objective to change her beliefs except for one — that is, to relate to me as a soterological project. If you can’t understand that difference, then your “Truth” is shutting your mind.

  15. Trutherator,

    Thanks for offering your opinion here on this matter. I appreciated it very much and agree on the “object to change” aspect of what you’re saying. Sabio is a pot calling a kettle black in this regard, but I don’t think he sees it this way. I’m heading over to view your post now.

    I really enjoyed your posting and it was well said.

    You get exactly what I’m trying to do with my blog here via the title and the moniker I’m using, along with the picture of the girl praying. It represents a spiritual metaphor, not a literal warring physically. This battle is being fought in the spirit.


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