Salt & Light: A Guide to Loving Northwest Indiana

Page 67

FOCUS ESSAY

HEALTHY FAMILIES )` 1HZVU ;VWW

CWT EP[dT ^U 5P\X[XTb The Bible begins with the marriage of a man and a woman (Genesis 1) and ends with the marriage between Christ and his church (Revelation 19).1 In between, we see the imagery of marriage and families woven throughout :JYPW[\YL HZ .VK HMĂ„YTZ [OL PTWVYtance of family for the human race.2 Since the beginning, God designed the family as a way for people to glorify and honor him through strong and healthy relationships. It is within the family that children are taught the value of manhood, womanhood, and morality.3

But the God of grace offers restoration and renewal for broken homes, and we believe the church should be the foremost champion for family reconciliation. CWT 0SeP]cPVTb ^U 7TP[cWh 5P\X[XTb A healthy family structure does not guarantee a problem-free society. A home that has a mother and father present, yet harbors abusive relationships, can indelibly harm individuals

and communities. But strong families and stable marriages woven throughout the fabric of a city are the bedrock of a thriving region. According to the Institute for American Values, communities that foster healthy families are more likely to have citizens who are physically Ă„[ LTV[PVUHSS` OLHS[O` HUK OPNOS` educated.4 Neighborhoods where healthy families live notice a decrease 7OV[V I` ^^^ PZ[VJRWOV[V JVT RL]PUY\ZZ

Unfortunately, it did not take long MVY [OL Ă„YZ[ MHTPS` [V JVYY\W[ .VKÂťZ model, resulting in the collapse of this family unit. When sin entered the picture in Genesis 2, the devastating effects that marred relationships have on society became evident. Today, mistrust, divorce, and abuse are all too common. Strong families and stable marriages are the bedrock of a thriving region.

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