Family ‘Three-folding’: a conciliatory and affirmative paradigm for human development in caring consciousness in society.

Siwella, Vimbainashe (2011-12)

Thesis (MTh)--Stellenbosch University, 2011.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This dissertation is a literary study with a qualitative component, provoked by family 'crises' and escalating single parenting, predominantly by mothers in default family structures beset by many childcare issues. It investigates- through tacit elimination of weak paradigms, a developmental mindset, empirical research and biblical consultation- a holistic family paradigm best suited for individual human development in care consciousness in society. The study assumes that, at grassroots levels of society, monogamy, faithfully practiced by morally responsible, natural, parental agencies, is ideal for holistic child care and is suitable for human development. It can also serve as a pre-emptive strategy against the following: delinquency, father absence, abuse, neglect, divorce, separation, indifference, family disintegration, relational poverty, pathological disorders, feminized poverty calling for government intervention, and general societal unrest. However, the monogamous family set up of the nuclear family variety requires relational adjustment. Through studies in ethics and theology, 'care' emerged as a fundamental concept of what it means to be human and is a potential entry point to relational conflicts and lack of development sustainability. Care can spread through inclusion, affirmation, participation and empowerment of the formerly marginalized sectors. Perlas‘ social three-folding strategy, engages the power of politics and economics to care for civil society‘s needs in tripartite partnerships. Similarly, family three-folding units can be effective, at grass root levels, in bringing about holistic child care. Appropriate interpretation, contextual and responsible application of biblical principles for family life from both the OT and NT is part of the interdisciplinary research process. Ephesians 5:21- 6:4; Genesis 1:27-28, 2:24; Deuteronomy 6:6-9 and other appropriate texts will be analyzed in this regard. Holistic child care should contribute significantly to improvement in quality of family life leading to sustainable societies where human rights are respected and caring attitudes promoted globally. The empirical research sought data triangulation, of outstanding family and child care issues, through a phenomenological design that engaged mothers as the units of analysis. Variables were, among others, mothers‘ sentiments and perspectives of men, fathers and husbands. Samples of 10 single mothers, using a mixed sampling methodology and 10 married mothers (the focus group), were selected. In-depth interviews using standardized open-ended questions were utilized. The projective technique was effective in eliciting hidden, negative and bitter sentiments on gender issues requiring urgent attention. Work-overloaded mothers perceived men as self-centered pleasure seekers who are disinterested in child care. Abusive, controlling and economically non-contributing husbands are a burden to their spouses. Spousal rape, enforcement of government restraining orders and 'ukhutwala' issues also surfaced. On the other hand, seasoned, respectful affirmations of men were voiced by a few mothers who have experienced the godly power of forgiveness. Consequently, a frame of reference for family three-folding was outlined in chapter 5, based on biblical teachings, participant mothers‘ conciliatory mindsets, Christian single mothers‘ experiences, human rights considerations, good parenting strategies and relevant generic literature contributions. Conclusions: By analogy, family three-folding indirectly reflects, the relational and functional aspects of the Triune God; reconciliation is a crucial part of the Christian calling; care consciousness is God consciousness and no family is ideal enough out of union/ fellowship [koinonia] with the Lord. Consequently, a believing single mother and her children also constitute a three-folding family, with God as Father to the fatherless. Single parent families deserve support and encouragement. Family three-folding recommends, through dialogues in communities, that: - Men learn to curb their domineering tendencies and practice service [diakonia] to others, guided by biblical principles of servanthood and the "One Man Can…"manual; - women welcome responsible male headship in families for peaceful co-existence and holistic child care; - decision-making be inclusive of family members on issues that concern them; - awareness campaigns on sound family three-folding principles, values and models be initiated through the media, formal education and dialogues at all levels of the society.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die studie is 'n verduidelikende argument met 'n kwalitatiewe komponent, aangespoor deur gesinskrisisse, stygende enkel ouerskap, hoofsaaklik van moeders in gebroke gesinstrukture en gekenmerk deur baie kindersorgprobleme. Deur eliminasie van nie-holistiese situasies word 'n ontwikkelende houding, empiriese navorsing en Bybelse verwysings gebruik om 'n holistiese gesinsparadigma daar te stel vir die optimale menslike ontwikkeling en gemeenskapsbewuste sorg. Die studie veronderstel dat holistiese kindersorg deur 'n moreel verantwoordelike en natuurlike ouerlike agentskap ideaal is vir menslike ontwikkeling en dien as'n voorkomende strategie teen sosio-ekonomiese onrus, veroorsaak deur familie disintegrasie, verarmde verhoudings, misdaad, psigies-sosiale versteurings, mishandeling, verwaarlosing, egskeiding, skeiding, afwesige vaders, onverskilligheid, selfgesentreerde moeders, veramde vroue, wat tussenkoms van die regering noodsaak. Deur 'n studie van etiek en teologie het 'sorg' na vore gekom as 'n fundamentele konsep van wat dit beteken om menslik te wees en is 'n potensiale toegangspunt tot konflik in verhoudings en volgehoue ontwikkeling. Sorg kan deur insluiting, bevestiging, deelname en bemagtiging van die voorheen verstotenes bevorder word. Perlas se sosiale driepunt strategie kombineer die tussenkoms van politiese en ekonomiese invloed om in 'n driebeengenootskap na die burgerlike gemeenskap se behoeftes om te sien. Op dieselfde manier kan drievoudige gesinsverhoudings effektief wees op grondvlak om holistiese kindersorg te weeg te bring. Toepaslike interpretasie en kontekstuele en verantwoordelike toepassing van Bybelse beginsels vir gesinslewe uit beide die OT en NT is noodsaaklik. Efesiërs 5:21-6:4; Genesis 1:27-28 en 2:24 Deuteronomium 6:6-9 en ander toepaslike teksverwysings sal in hierdie verband geanaliseer word. Holistiese kindersorg behoort grootliks by te dra om die kwaliteit van gesinslewe te verbeter en te lei tot standhoudende gemeenskappe, waar menseregte gerespekteer word en omgee-verhoudings globaal bevorder word. Die empiriese navorsing het driebeen data van uitstaande gesins- en kindersorg situasies gesoek, deur 'n fenomenologiese ontwerp wat moeders betrek as analiseringseenhede. Veranderlikes was, onder andere, moeders se houdings en perspektief van mans, vaders en eggenote. 'n Steekproef van 10 enkel moeders, deur 'n gemengde steekproef metodologie, en 10 getroude moeders (die fokus groep), is gekies. Die projektiewe tegniek was effektief in die verkryging van die verborge, negatiewe en bitter sentimente omtrent gesalgskwessies wat dringende aandag vereis. Werk-oorlaaide moeders het mans beskou as selfgesentreerde plesiernajaers sonder enige belang in kindersorg. Mishandelende, oorheersende en ekonomiese nie-bydraende mans is 'n las vir hul gades. Eggenootverkragting, die afdwing van beperkingsbevele deur die regering en 'ukhutwla' sake het ook na vore gekom. Aan die ander kant is tydige, respekvolle ondersteuning van mans, wat die goddelike krag van vergifnis ondervind het, deur 'n paar moeders genoem. 'n Verwysingsraamwerk vir drievoudige gesinsverhoudings is gevolglik uiteengesit in hoofstuk 5, gebaseer op Bybelse lering, deelnemende moeders se versoenende ingesteldheid, Christelike enkel moeders se ondervindings, mense regtelike oorwegings, goeie strategieë vir kinderopvoeding en toepaslike generiese literatuur bydraes. Die gevolgtrekkings is: driebeen-gesinsverhoudings is kontekssensitief, holisties en weerspieël indirek die beeld van ons relasionele, funksionele, liefdevolle Drie-enige God; versoening is 'n belangrike deel van die Christelike roeping; sorgbewustheid is God bewussyn en geen gesin is ideaal genoeg buite die vereniging / gemeenskap [Koinonia] met die Here nie. Gevolglik behels 'n gelowige enkelmoeder met haar kinders ook 'n driebeenverhouding, met God as Vader vir die Vaderlose. Enkel-ouer gesinne verdien ondersteuning en aanmoediging. Gesin drie-vou beveel aan dat deur dialoog in gemeenskappe: - mans hulle dominerende tendense leer bekamp en diens aan ander leer lewer [diakonia], met Bybelse beginsels van diens en die "One Man Can…" handleiding as riglyn; - vroue verantwoordelik manlike hoofskap verwelkom in gesinne vir vredevolle saambestaan en holistiese kindersorg - besluitneming ingesluit word by gesinslede omtrent sake wat op hulle van betrekking is - bewusmakingveldtogte oor gesonde, versoendende driebeen gesinsverhoudings, waardes en modelle deur die media, formele onderrig en dialoog bekendgestel word aan alle vlakke van die samelewing.

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