Community As Family

In their book, “The Family,” Dr. Jack and Judy Balswick provide a key foundation for healthy, well-balanced families.  They state, “We propose a theology of family relationships which involves four sequential, but nonlinear, stages:  covenant, grace, empowering, and intimacy.”

Using scripture and Christ as the model of such relationships, they then break down each component, to show how we are to commune with one another:

Covenant: To Love and Be Loved

Grace: To Forgive and Be Forgiven

Empowering: To Serve and Be Served

Intimacy: To Know and Be Known

They further explain these four cores by writing:

Examining biblical themes which have a bearing on the nature of family relationships, we have suggested that 1) commitment is based upon a mature (unconditional, bilateral) covenant, 2) family life is to be established and maintained within an atmosphere of grace which embraces acceptance and forgiveness, 3) the resources of family members are to be used to empower rather than control one another, 4) intimacy is based on a knowing that leads to caring, understanding, communication, and communion with others.

Yet imagine running with this family theme within your church family.  Can you see the progression it would take in developing deeper community?  What steps are needed within your biblical community to ensure balance and progression?

Jack and Judy go on to write:

These four elements of Christian family relationships are a continual process:  intimacy can lead to deeper covenant love, commitment fortifies the atmosphere of freely offered grace, this climate of acceptance and forgiveness encourages serving and empowering others, and the resultant sense of esteem leads to the ability to be intimate without fear.  The end product of this process is deep levels of communication and knowing.

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~ by Dave Smith on July 5, 2009.

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