Original Research

Promoting family well-being: A practical and eco-theological engagement

Fazel E. Freeks
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 45, No 1 | a3135 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v45i1.3135 | © 2024 Fazel E. Freeks | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 27 February 2024 | Published: 30 May 2024

About the author(s)

Fazel E. Freeks, Unit for Reformational Theology and Development of the South African Society, Faculty of Theology, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa

Abstract

The importance of family well-being relates to the eco-theological discourse, ecology and family. Father absence, gender-based violence (GBV), and moral and values quandaries are social ills in society and are linked with eco-theology by shared values. Ecological issues are pressing concerns in the modern world. This article asserts that eco-theology, a form of constructive theology, focuses on the intricate connections among religion, nature, society, the church, and, notably, the ‘family’ as a vital social unit. From a theological perspective, human beings and the relationships in which they function, are grounded in the very Being of God. However, societal perspectives often depict families as afflicted, fractured entities marred by violence. Disruptions in family life reverberate throughout society, undermining its foundational moral fabric. Amid significant shifts in family structures, South Africa is observing a growing prevalence of fractured relationships, further exacerbating societal challenges. Scriptural teachings, part of the intervention, offer guidance for navigating life’s complexities, including within the family, faith communities and broader society (2 Tim 3:16). Thus, this article aims to contribute insights to this critical discourse.

Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: This article underscores the role of pastoral care within practical theology, particularly in addressing prevalent social challenges encountered by families. These challenges encompass issues such as father absence, divorce, erosion of values and immoral behaviour. The imperative for developing pastoral care strategies to tackle these issues is evident. These strategies may involve equipping families with necessary skills and support.


Keywords

eco-theology; practical theology; family; wellbeing; fatherhood; father absence; gender-based violence; moral values

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 3: Good health and well-being

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