Parenting By Analogy

From our “opening reflections” in Family Therapy:

Human parents stand in a relation to their children in a way analogous to the way in which God is related to his people, as Father. The seniority of parents over their cihldren is relative, not absolute. Also, both parents, the mother and father, equally bear the resopnsibilty of fulfilling, by analogy, that which is represented by the Fatherhood of God. That is, it is impossible, from a theological perspective, to equate the male role in parenting with the concept of God as Father. Whatever distinctive aspects belong to the male role in parenting, they must be established on other grounds. God’s fatherhood includes all the nuances of parenting represented by analogy in human parents. For example, both nurture and discipline, both compassion and chastisement are exemplifiied by the Fatherhood of God, as generally portrayed in the Old Testmaent. (p. 61)

Again, these are theological reflections on the family drawn from On Being Family: A Social Theology of Family by Ray Anderson and Dennis Guernsey.

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