After a quiet season, Growing Faith is back! As a ministry of Youthworks Media, with fresh energy and some new contributors, we’re on a mission to encourage and equip Christian parents and carers through our online magazine and monthly e-newsletter.
So why is Growing Faith committed to families? What are families for?
Families in God’s plan
Families are God’s idea. Since the beginning of creation, God has ordained the human family to be the primary institution for raising up the next generation to maturity; for handing down wisdom, faith, tradition, property and livelihood; and for reaching out to the elderly and those with no immediate family of their own.
Parents are their children’s primary carers, providers, role models, teachers and trainers; likewise children are their parents’ primary apprentices as they grow towards adulthood and eventually become carers and providers to their parents as they age. Paul makes the confronting claim that: ‘Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.’ (1 Tim 5:8)
Human families also paint a picture of God’s relationship with his people. The marriage between a man and a woman is designed to tell us about Christ’s loving union with his Bride, the Church. The relationship between human parents and their children is meant to teach us something about God, our perfect heavenly Father, and how we can relate to him as spiritual children. Other family relationships—such as those between brothers and sisters or between adult children and their parents—show us how to relate to one another in the spiritual family of God.
Families after the Fall
At Growing Faith we also recognise that family life is not immune from the effects of the Fall. Sometimes, sin and death make it impossible for a family to function as God intended; abuse or abandonment can leave both adults and children vulnerable. In these cases, our imperfect human families will depend all the more on the love and support that is found in the family of God, the only perfect Father. We are here for all kinds of families.
Families under pressure
Families are God’s idea and yet today, they face pressure on many sides. Our modern society has outsourced many of the family’s traditional functions to schools, childcare centres, nursing homes, government agencies … and even churches; this can weaken a family’s sense of unity, purpose and agency in the world. Many families also feel overwhelmed by the busyness of juggling the demands of work, school and home life; they face financial pressure from the rising cost of living and housing; they feel isolated from their extended family and support networks.
Under such strain, many family relationships—between husbands and wives, parents and children—are stretched to breaking point.
Growing Faith is for families
That’s why Growing Faith is here for families. We want to help your family to understand and embrace your God-given mission of raising up children who know, love and follow Jesus, of handing down everything they need for life and faith, and of reaching out to those who need to hear of and experience the love of God in Christ. We want to encourage strong relationships between husbands and wives, and between parents and children so that the world and the church can see a reflection of God, however imperfect, here on earth.
Growing Faith is for churches
At the same time, we recognise that the best kind of support a human family can find is in their local church—the spiritual family of God. No family can or should be spiritually self-sufficient. Growing Faith is a ministry of Youthworks Media and together, we want to see churches and families thriving in a mutually-beneficial partnership for the glory of God and the spread of the gospel. Our resources are not just for individuals, but for churches to use as they encourage families to take up their God-given purpose in the world.
Why subscribe? (It's free!)
In this age of information overload, many voices compete for our attention. Parents feel especially overwhelmed by an excess of conflicting and guilt-inducing advice about child-raising. Growing Faith is worth your attention because our articles are:
- Consistent and coherent, being grounded in a Christian world view
- Aware of good advice from secular experts
- Gracious about our human imperfections
- Helpful for growing your faith, and your understanding and motivation for parenting
- Short and easy to grasp
We plan to publish one new article every Friday; the month’s articles will then be collated and delivered to your inbox on the first Friday of every month.
For your weekly dose of encouragement you can ‘like’ our Facebook page and subscribe to our monthly e-newsletter at https://growingfaith.com.au
Harriet Connor is the Content Editor for Growing Faith and the author of ‘Big Picture Parents: Ancient Wisdom for Modern Life’ (Wipf and Stock, 2017). She lives on the Central Coast of NSW with her husband and three sons.
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