Family and Competence

In Family Therapy this spring, I have been starting class with “opening reflections.” These are readings on family from a Christian perspective that students can reflect upon and which we can all discuss for a few minutes. I am currently sharing sections from On Being Family: A Social Theology of Family by Ray Anderson and Dennis Guernsey. Here’s a section we will be discussing this next week:


A…mark of the covenant upon the family is the fact that faithfulness outlasts and overcomes faithlessness. Throughout its description of Israel’s tragic unfaithfulness and betrayal of covenant love, the Old Testament portrays God as a faithful spouse who will not abandon his beloved. In parable and in pronouncement the prophets summon Israel to consider the faithfulness of Yahweh who is espoused to Israel his bride. Unconditional love is the very core of the covenant relation between God and his people. Covenant partnership is God’s determination that such unconditional love be experienced. As a sign of this covenant partnership, marriage and the family participate in the same unconditional character of love.

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