Original Research

Resilience of Christian marriages in contemporary society as viewed through the lens of spirituality

Chantal Ferreira, Hannelie Yates, Alfred R. Brunsdon
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 56, No 1 | a2820 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v56i1.2820 | © 2022 Chantal Ferreira, Hannelie Yates, Alfred R. Brunsdon | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 16 November 2021 | Published: 06 June 2022

About the author(s)

Chantal Ferreira, Unit for Reformational Theology and the Development of the South African Society, Faculty of Theology, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa
Hannelie Yates, Unit for Reformational Theology and the Development of the South African Society, Faculty of Theology, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa
Alfred R. Brunsdon, Unit for Reformational Theology and the Development of the South African Society, Faculty of Theology, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa


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Abstract

The complex context of contemporary society with the dynamic element of digital technologies, challenges Christian marriages in several ways. This article aimed to identify theological resources that can help Christian marriages flourish in the given context. The objective of this study was to identify theological resources, that can be used to encourage Christian marriages to flourish amid the challenges brought by the context of the digital age. This article followed the method of a literature study. The discussion started with an overview of the context of the digital age, and the relevant challenges that it poses to Christian marriages. This was followed by a pastoral perspective that was presented on the concept of spirituality. The article concluded by exploring the construct of resilience, through the lens of spirituality as it relates to Christian marriages. It was discovered that relational resilience is needed for Christian marriages, to meet the challenges of this context. Oneness was identified as a crucial element in the resilience of Christian marriages, when it is viewed through the lens of spirituality. The prominent connection between resilience and spirituality, stimulated reflection on a relational view on the Trinity as well as a marital spirituality, which informed the understanding of oneness, that can exist in Christian marriage relationships. Two overarching theological resources were identified, that can be applied in pastoral care to encourage the resilience of Christian marriages in a digital age. The first resource relates to the oneness of the Trinity, which spouses can imitate in their marriage relationship in order to increase intimacy. Secondly, marital spirituality was explained as a shared path of faith to which spouses commit, in order to intentionally practise an awareness for God’s presence, to honour closeness to the church and to be devoted to one another in daily life.

Contribution: The challenges that Christian marriages face in a digital age, are placed in the context of spirituality and trinitarian theology, making an innovative theological contribution, by identifying theological resources that can enable Christian marriages to flourish.


Keywords

Christian marriages; digital technologies; pastoral care; resilience; Trinity; oneness in Christian marriage; marital spirituality

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