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This proven resource for studying the most established of human institutions is well known among college and seminary faculty, pastors, and Christian counselors. The fourth edition has been updated to address current family-related issues and refined to reflect teaching practices for the contemporary classroom.
Praise for Previous Editions
"An excellent resource for marriage and family studies in the church and in academia. Few texts come close to this one in blending the biblical ideal with the contemporary scene."
"This is a rare book in its synthesis of rich sources in family scientific theory with a theological vision of the meaning and purpose of the family. I consider this book an excellent resource for preachers and teachers and an obvious choice for a text in family studies in a Christian college."
—Calvin Theological Journal
"Every sociologist who teaches courses on marriage and the family or who engages in personal or family counseling ought to read this stimulating book. Many will conclude that it is the best textbook for college, seminary, and marriage preparation courses."
—Christian Sociological Society Newsletter
"As a consequence of [the Balswicks'] theological foundation, presentation of major sociological perspectives of the family, and integrating visualizations, The Family is a most helpful resource for understanding the modern family."
—Review and Expositor
"No other book has been written [on family living] from a Christian perspective with as much care as this one by the Balswicks. . . . Christian workers anxious to update their libraries with one readable yet pertinent book on family concerns will want to add this book and refer to it frequently."
"This Christian perspective on the contemporary home . . . is skillfully written and extremely insightful. Almost everything a person would like to know about the family and its many stages, functions, and problems is included."
"An excellent text . . . from a distinctively Christian perspective, integrating the very best of theology, ethics, and biblical studies with the social sciences and clinical perspectives."
—Southwestern Journal of Theology
Part 1: Theological and Social Perspectives on Family Life
1. A Theological Foundation for Family Relationships: Developing a Theology of the Family
2. The Family as a Developing Biosocial System
Part 2: Marriage: The Foundation of Family Life
3. Mate Selection and Cohabitation: Romance and Reality
4. Establishing Marriage: Moving Toward Differentiated Unity
5. A Model for Biblical Marriage
Part 3: The Expansion of Family Life: Parenting and Beyond
6. Parenting: The Process of Relationship Empowerment
7. Developing a Mature, Reciprocating Self
8. Family Spirituality: Nurturing Christian Beliefs, Morals, and Values
9. Adolescence and Midlife: Challenging Changes
10. The Joys and Challenges of Family in Later Life
Part 4: Gender and Sexuality: Identity in Family Life
11. Changing Gender Roles and Relations: The Impact on Family Life
12. Becoming an Authentic Sexual Self
Part 5: Communication: The Heart of Family Life
13. Expressing Love—Achieving Intimacy
14. Expressing Anger—Negotiating the Inevitable Conflicts
Part 6: The Social Dynamics of Family Life
15. Becoming Powerful through Empowerment
16. Through the Stress and Strain of Family Life
17. Divorce and Single-Parent Families
18. Complex Families in Contemporary Society
Part 7: Family Life in Postmodern Society
19. The Erosion of Biblical Truth in a Modern World
20. Creating a Family-Friendly Society