Scripture affirms the importance of the family and outlines the divine principles which govern family relationships. At creation, God instituted marriage-and with it the family (Gen 2:18-25) – as God’s primary setting for human development and nurturance. When Christ redeemed all human experience from the curse of sin, He redeemed marriage and family relationships. He calls family members to relate in ways that befit those who have responded to the gospel (Eph 5:21-6:4). Because the family is the primary place where the capacity for love and for intimacy with God and with other human beings is developed and where Christian values are passed from one generation to the next, the family is central to the disciplemaking process (John 8:31, 13:35). As Scripture magnifies last day events, the spotlight again falls upon the family. The Bible predicts that before the great day of the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, God will give a final call to this generation, turning hearts to Himself and family members toward one another (Mal 4:5,6).
The Department of Family Ministries recognizes the significance of family in the lives of believers and nonbelievers alike. It endeavors to strengthen the home as a disciplemaking center where family members through their interpersonal relationships are encouraged in their relationship with Jesus Christ and His church, and where the relational skills necessary for winsome witness are developed. The department endeavours to keep in perspective both God’s ideals for family living and an understanding of the brokenness experienced by individuals and families in a fallen world. Thus Family Ministries calls individuals, married couples and parents to stretch toward divine ideals, while at the same time extending the redemptive, healing ministry of Christ. Efforts on behalf of families are held to be urgent, vital, and integral to the message and mission of the Church.
Recognizing the mutual strength and support which the church must be to the home, and the home to the church, if the mission of the church is to become a reality, the Department of Family Ministries has adopted the following objectives. Some of which are:
- To proclaim the reviving and restorative message of the everlasting gospel within the context of family living. Christ is and must be acknowledged as the Savior and Head of every home. In Him, family members are at peace with God and at peace with each other. As they are drawn near to Him they are drawn nearer to each other, in love, forgiveness, reconciliation, restoration, and renewal.
- To affirm and strengthen every Seventh-day Adventist family as a primary discipling unit. Family Ministries seeks to deepen understanding of the relational dimension of being and making disciples and to strengthen family members as disciplemakers within the family. A married couple is viewed as the primary unit of the family. The department seeks to provide couples and families with access to educational, enrichment, and counseling opportunities to enhance the development of the relational skills necessary for the effective discipling of one another and growth toward optimal Christian marriage, parent-child and extended family relationships.