Petition 81256

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The Importance of Families (81256-C2-R9999)

Add new resolution:
Affirming the Importance of Families
WHEREAS, God created the human family as centrally based around husband, wife, and their children (Genesis 1:27-28, 2:18-25); and
WHEREAS, God designed marriage—defined as a lifelong holy covenant of love, steadfast fidelity and mutual support between one man and one woman—as the foundation for families; and
WHEREAS, God designed such families as the ideal environment for the raising and nurturing of children; and
WHEREAS, the United Methodist Social Principles affirm the family as “the basic human community through which persons are nurtured and sustained in mutual love, responsibility, respect, and fidelity” (¶161A); and
WHEREAS, Scripture highlights the importance of the family as a place for children’s faith instruction (Exodus 10:1-2, 12:26-27, Deuteronomy 4:9-14, 6:1-7, 11:18-21, 31:12-13, 32:45-46, Joshua 4:5-7, Psalm 78:1-8, Isaiah 38:19, Joel 1:3, Ephesians 6:4, 1 Thessalonians 2:11-12, Titus 1:5-6); and
WHEREAS, God made men and women to be quite different from each other but also complementary to each other, together creating a harmony in God’s creation, and with each equally bearing God’s image; and
WHEREAS, our United Methodist Social Principles also “affirm the importance of both fathers and mothers for all children” (¶161A); and
WHEREAS, mothers and fathers are needed to model expectations for healthy and holy manhood and womanhood for children of both genders; and
WHEREAS, one of the Ten Commandments is to “Honor your father and mother” (Exodus 20:12); and
WHEREAS, the communities surrounding our churches, and indeed, our churches themselves have suffered greatly from such assaults on God’s design for the family as:

Physical and emotional domestic abuse;

  • Parents and spouses, whether by choice or by economic necessity, not being sufficiently attentive to their families;
  • High divorce rates and the commoditization of marriage;
  • Infidelity;
  • Social acceptance and even encouragement of premarital and extramarital sex;
  • Cohabitation as an attempted substitute for marriage;
  • Diseases (particularly HIV/AIDS), famines, and upheavals that have left many children orphans; and
            WHEREAS, God’s design for the family is intended for our own joy, that we might better serve and glorify God; and
    WHEREAS, many children of United Methodist parents abandon any church attendance after leaving their homes;
    Therefore, be it resolved, that the 2008 General Conference affirms its strong support for upholding God’s design for the human family; and
    Be it further resolved, that we affirm the natural complementarity of male and female humanity as central to God’s order of creation; and
    Be it further resolved, that The United Methodist Church must further challenged social attitudes and practices that deny the divinely created equality of male and female; and
    Be it further resolved, that we call on every United Methodist congregation to proclaim the universal truths of lifelong marriage, chastity, parental responsibility, and the honoring of parents; and
    Be it further resolved, that single parents must not be condemned but rather vigorously offered the Church’s loving embrace and supportive ministry; and
    Be it further resolved, that our congregations should prioritize ministries of marital, pre-marital, parental, and family counseling for persons both in and outside the church; and
    Be it further resolved, that we encourage husbands and wives to pray, worship and study the Bible together; and
    Be it further resolved, that we call on all United Methodist fathers and mothers to assume their God-given responsibility for providing a solid foundation of Christian discipleship training for their children, through modeling Christian faithfulness in their family life through family devotions and service to others in the name of Christ; and
    Be it further resolved, that we call on every United Methodist congregation intentionally to model healthy families for the surrounding culture and explicitly to promote in the public square the biblical principles for nurturing healthy family life; and
    Be it further resolved, that we declare our support for government policies that help uphold God’s design for marriage and the family; and we affirm our support for the reform of public policies that impose undue burdens on families.