Christian Home and
Christian Marriage Day
on Sabbath, February 11
Christian Home Day
on Sabbath, February 18.
Family Togetherness Week of Prayer
Day of prayer
(for Marriages, Families
on Sabbath, September 9.
The psalmist declares in Psalm 42:1: “As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God.”
What a remarkable representation of a thirst-crazed deer desperately searching the desert for a stream of water. With the same intensity as the animal is looking for the living water the psalmist is looking for the living God from whom life, strength, courage, and hope come. The text does not indicate the precise reason or nature of the psalmist’s anguish, yet, whatever he is dealing with takes him to a place of profound depression and at the same time the realization that real hope for his condition is only found in the person of the living God.
Emotional Health experts suggest that stressfull life situations such as the death of a loved one, marriage and family problems, or divorce, may cause harm to a person’s mental health. Also, chronic illness, brain damage as a result of a serious injury (causing traumatic brain injury), the loss of a job, military combat or assault, all contribute to the likelihood of mental illness.
Communities around the world are at present filled with masses of people experiencing anguish, despair, and worry every day. The COVID-19 pandemic, which has not totally been conquered—increasing stress in many families through job loss and escalating family tension—added to serious ongoing military conflict in many parts of the world, are seriously jeopardizing the mental wellbeing of families and of individuals everywhere.
This is where Family Ministries can assist and support families with tools to help them communicate more effectively, deepen commitment in marriage, become better parents, and develop greater trust in God—the primary and leading source of mental health. After all, it is God who admonishes in Philippians 4:6, 7: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
It is our prayer that the 2023 Family Ministries Resource Book—emphasizing Family and Mental Health—will serve as a valuable resource for pastors, Family Ministries leaders, and members who are dedicated to supporting families, not only with their emotional health issues, but also their spiritual wellbeing, and be able to live out our vision of I Will Go with My Family.
Willie and Elaine Oliver, Directors
Adventist Family Ministries
Seventh-day Adventist Church