Building a Life-Affirming Family

Guest Post by Georgette Forney

In a culture that denies the sacredness of human beings made in Gods image, the family must teach these foundational truths by modeling and teaching respect and love for people of all ages. At the Anglican Family Symposium, I led a workshop on this topic, titled "Building a Life-Affirming Family." This workshop discussed ways to accomplish this goal and also acknowledged common issues that can undermine family stability.

The family environment in today’s culture has a variety of ‘new’ norms: working parents, blended families and intergenerational raising of children to name a few. While families now come in all shapes and sizes, basic Biblical principles rooted in Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and adopted as a priority for the parents can help raise up responsible caring members of society. Basics include:

  • Valuing Children as a gift from God
  • Teaching Sacredness of Human Beings made in God’s image
  • Modeling respect, honor and love for all people
  • Condemning bullying, judging, name-calling, discrimination

We discussed how these principles are conveyed through Behavior/Actions/Expression of Love, Relationships/Connections, God’s Word, Videos/DVDs/Websites/Books and finally acknowledged the cultural/community behavior that undermines this message.

We identified some of the common life issues faced in today’s families such as: 

  • Teen Pregnancy
  • Mental Health Issues/Addictions
  • Fertility/Pregnancy Problems
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Aging & Dying Issues
  • Adoption Issues
  • Medical Issues
  • Abortion Issues
  • Sexual Issues/Same-sex attraction/Gender Confusion/Adultery
  • Euthanasia
  • Socio-economic Issues/loss of home or job

We reviewed resources Anglicans for Life has to help families such as lists of great ministries, websites, books and resources that can be helpful in navigating the above issues. Finally, we acknowledged the role the Church could play in helping families facing these life issues. Specifically: 

  • Offer connection and encouragement 
  • Discourage judgement
  • Highlight application of God’s Word to life’s challenges
  • Be practical with help 
  • Model Vulnerability

The greatest thing God’s people can do to honor our Creator is build life-affirming families, celebrating the gift of life. 

 

Georgette Forney is in her 18th year as President of Anglicans for Life, the only global Anglican ministry dedicated to inspiring the Anglican Church to fulfill Scripture’s mandate to protect the vulnerable, defend the fatherless and plead for the widow. Georgette lives in Sewickley, Pennsylvania, with her husband of over 30 years; their daughter Rebekah designs accessories in Brooklyn, NY. She was ordained June 29, 2014 as a Permanent Vocational Deacon in the Jurisdiction of the Armed Forces and Chaplaincy of the Anglican Church in North America.