Home, the School of Love: A Seminar in Family Spiritual Enrichment

Abstract

Problem The families of the Seventh-day Adventist Church must develop deepening love relationships with God, with each other, and with people outside their own homes if they are to fulfill the will of Christ. Three factors may be hindering the development of love on these three levels : (1) a lack of understanding about what love really is, (2) a lack of understanding of how love develops in human and divine/human interrelationships, and (3) a lack of understanding that the home is the central focal point where this love is to be developed. Methods The methods used involved three phases: (1) preparation, (2) presentation, and (3) evaluation. The preparation phase involved a select survey of contemporary literature in the field of family enrichment; becoming involved as a learner in several marriage and/or family enrichment seminars; and the preparation of a questionnaire, evaluation sheet, and seminar materials. The presentation phase involved conducting two family spiritual enrichment seminars; one in Michigan and one in California. The evaluation phase involved the analysis of questionnaire results and evaluation sheets, with a goal toward improving the seminar content and procedures and the personal skill of the leader in leading a seminar. Results The majority of the seminar participants reported the seminar had been successful in meeting its objectives and in helping them to develop deeper love relationships on all three levels. Suggestions for improvement included having more time for the seminar and having some sort of follow-up meetings after the seminar was over. Conclusions The results of these two seminars suggest that since this family spiritual-enrichment seminar has been helpful in meeting the needs of some of the families in two Adventist churches, it might also be helpful in meeting the needs of some other Adventists elsewhere. Therefore, the following eight recommendations are made for the future: (1) at least one family seminar each year should be conducted by the leader in his home church, (2) regular follow-up meetings for seminar alumni should be provided, (3) these same materials should be used in marital and premarital counseling, (4) the leader should be available occasionally to conduct seminars away from his local church, if needed, (5) this format could be tried as a means of evangelism, (6) a family study group could be formed, (7) these materials should be offered for publication to permit other pastors or laymen to conduct these seminars, and (8) the leader should make family-life education a specialization in his ministry

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