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Marriage and Family

Is motherhood a big enough vocation? Seriously? Is this question a joke? Motherhood is a huge vocation, so perhaps a better question might be, “Has motherhood become an all-consuming vocation?” What is vocation? The central idea of vocation is that each person has been created by God with gifts and abilities that are to be used for the sake of God’s kingdom. The Latin root of the word vocation is “calling” and the implication is that our gifts and abilities are not just for our own purpose, but are to be invested in furthering God’s kingdom. Vocation includes a particular individual application for each of us and a general call on all followers of Jesus. Individually, we honor and glorify God by fully living out the abilities he has given us, fo... Read more
As always in the traditional view of Scriptures, themes are created around the husband and father leading wife and children together according to his insights and wisdom. Lately there have been an influx of comp articles and books of fathers as shepherds. Yet, Scripture clearly speaks of both parents guiding their children. Children are admonished to obey both father and mother. The fifth commandment given by God to Moses was to honor both father and mother “that our days may be long”. Mother and father are to raise up and instruct their children in the admonition of the Lord God. We are to diligently instruct our children together. Throughout the Psalms we are told to obey our father and not forget the instructions of our mothers. Proverbs 31 is the instructions King Lemuel... Read more
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The statistics on domestic violence in the United States alone is staggering: one in four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime; each year, 3 to 4 million women will be the victim of assault by an intimate partner; 70 to 80% of intimate partner perpetrators also abuse their children; more than three women are killed every day by an intimate partner. In 2007, The Family Violence Prevention Fund surveyed 1,020 men in the Father’s Day Poll. The researchers found that the majority (56%) of men have had reason to believe that a member of their immediate or extended family, a close friend, or an acquaintance has been in a domestic violence or sexual assault situation. Eighty-eight percent (88%) of men think that our socie... Read more
Whenever I talk about androgyny in class, many of my students are surprised to learn what the term encompasses. They have often seen it presented in an unattractive light, believing it to say something about a person’s lack of femininity or masculinity, kind of an elimination of anything that defines an individual as male or female. This is a misunderstanding of the term, however, and I’d like to do my part to clarify its meaning. First of all, androgyny is not an eradication of being female or male. It has nothing to do with your sexuality. It does not dictate the way you dress, or whether or not you wear make-up or have a beard. Being androgynous, rather, means that you have characteristics commonly associated with the female gender as well as those commonly associated wit... Read more
Over recent years we have observed what we consider an alarming trend among young couples as they make the huge step of making vows in the wedding ceremony before their family and friends. These young people so sincerely are promising to “lovingly lead” (the guy) and “willingly submit” (the girl) Do they think through what these words mean in real life, everyday situations ? The very phrases sound alarm bells for us after 35+ years of talking with couples whose marriages are in trouble. The whole concept of one person leading (however lovingly) and the other submitting (however willingly) gives occasion for huge disappointment for both or either person. How can a  husband know he is leading in love and not just doing/saying what he considers is best for h... Read more
Margaret Mowczko
On the 25th of August, the Sydney Morning Herald reported that, “BRIDES will be promising to submit to their husbands under a new marriage vow the Anglican diocese of Sydney is expected to approve at its synod in October.” That this report, which features a video of a married couple from the Sydney Anglican Church, should make front page news is surprising. That this report should generate debate and insulting comments from the public who see equality as the social ideal—rather than male primacy and authority—is not surprising at all. Has the cause of the gospel been furthered by this video and report with its message of wifely submission? I think the opposite is the case. Then to have the Sydney Anglican Archbishop, Peter Jensen, c... Read more
Whenever I talk about androgyny in class, many of my students are surprised to learn what the term encompasses. They have often seen it presented in an unattractive light, believing it to say something about a person’s lack of femininity or masculinity, kind of an elimination of anything that defines an individual as male or female.  This is a misunderstanding of the term, however, and I’d like to do my part to clarify its meaning. First of all, androgyny is not an eradication of being female or male. It has nothing to do with your sexuality. It does not dictate the way you dress, or whether or not you wear make-up or have a beard. Being androgynous, rather, means that you have characteristics commonly associated with the female gender as well as those commonly associat... Read more
I grew up in a traditional home and church where the ideal was that the mother nurtured and raised the children as well as took care of the home, and the father made all the decisions and financially supported the family. I was taught early on that the most godly life purpose for a woman was to get married and raise children, having no outside occupation or aspirations. When my mother did return to work full-time, due to financial challenges, adjustments in other roles were not made. She continued to assume primary responsibility of caring for me, cooking all meals (from scratch) and keeping the house spotless. My father continued to work and take care of smaller outside duties, like mowing the lawn. My husband and I met in college and married one year after graduation. His background a... Read more
I was recently handed a worksheet being used by a well respected marriage counselor in our area. It identified 5 types of troubled marriages and listed characteristics of each as talking points to help couples in crisis identify and address specific failings in their own marriages. The first 4 types dealt with communication, physical intimacy, conflicting values, and finances. The 5th type of troubled marriage addressed was called “the misaligned marriage.” Here is the list couples were to use for a misaligned marriage: Failure of the husband: 1. to be a spiritual leader 2. to be financially responsible 3. to make wise decisions 4. to seek to solve 5. to be attentive to his wife Failure of the wife: 1. by not having a gentle spirit 2. by trying to control... Read more
I sat in a sociology class listening to the professor talk about the discrimination women in other cultures experience, how they are often deprived of the same privileges as men at home and in the world of work. She spoke of gendered expectations that lead women and men down different paths toward different goals. She spoke of inequality in pay and in time devoted to childcare. Next week, she said, we would discuss the status of gender in the United States. Oh, good, I couldn’t wait! It would be nice to focus on how we Americans have overcome gender barriers, how we have risen above discrimination, how males and females are treated equally and therefore share equally in occupational and household activities. I enthusiastically read the assigned chapter for the following week.... Read more

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