Time for Love: The Place of Marriage and Children in the Thought of Stanley Hauerwas

Journal of Religious Ethics; Volume 40, Issue 2, pages 250–261

By Gilbert Meilaender

In essays written throughout his career, Stanley Hauerwas has unfolded a Christian vision of the marriage bond and the presence of children that seeks insistently to place these seemingly natural bonds within the new family of God that is the church. I examine his understanding, aiming to appreciate the Christian vision displayed while also suggesting that his emphasis on the new thing God does in the church is sometimes allowed to absorb and thereby lose the distinctive significance of the created bonds of marriage and family.

Children, Father God, give us children. Give us those balls of energy that mess up and confuse our lives. Give us the unrelenting need children are, so that we are pulled into a world of love otherwise unimagined. Give us the story time children require, so that we might be restored by their love of us. Help us love these strange creatures in a manner that our love of this child does not tempt us to kill other children so that the children we love be safe. Help us remember that you would not have us love even our children with a love undisciplined by the love you have shown us in the crucifixion of your Son. So cared for, may the sheer exuberance of children make us joyful just to the extent that we learn that the patience children teach us is your Kingdom.

    —Hauerwas (2004, 125)

THIS PRAYER, among the sermons and prayers written by Stanley Hauerwas, presents in miniature much of the essential substance of his thought about marriage and family, while simultaneously inviting us to reflect upon a central unresolved problem in his approach to Christian ethics. We can unfold some of the substance and, in so doing, give the problem time to emerge.

(Something interesting I found)Posted: Friday, June 8, 2012 by agomberg
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