Course Summary

The formation of a wholesome marriage and a strong happy family

The key to a healthy marriage and contented family lies in the foundation on which the marriage rests. Since a spiritual relationship with God is the only basis for meaning, the marriage must reflect the ideals God established for marriage and family life. The course assumes a Christian perspective and demonstrates how that perspective can contribute to a sense of contentment and fulfillment. The course is divided into five modules, each of which follows a similar pattern: cultural expectations, Christian expectations, and practical considerations. 5 semester undergraduate credits.

Module 1 The Marriage Ideal

1. The expectations for a family within a given culture

2. How a family functions within society

3. Expectations of a family from a Christian perspective

4. The relationship of a Christian to secular institutions

5. How the Christian family relates to non-Christian friends

Module 2 The Husband

1. How the husband functions within a strong patriarchal society

2. How the family functions within a matriarchal society

3. How the husband is expected to function within an open secular society

4. The expectant Christian behavior as a husband, man, and father

Module 3 The Wife

1. The expectations of the wife in a non-Christian environment

2. The character of a Christian wife

3. The wife in relation to the husband's extended family

4. The function of the wife as a mother

Module 4 The Children

1, The expectations of the culture toward children

2. The culture's religious expectations for children in a secular environment

3. The child's expectant relationship and responsibility for parents and civic affairs

4. The Christian parents' expectations for their children

Module 5 Freedom and Fulfillment

1. Cultural expectations for women

2. Christian expectations for women

3. The genuine meaning of freedom


1. Integrate family values from a Christian perspective.

2. Determine if Christian family values differ from secular family values.

3. Appraise the meaning of “freedom” according to the Christian perspective.

4. Differentiate the different family roles.

5. Recognize the need for balance between freedom and responsible Christian behavior

6. Demonstrate a willingness to share personal opinions/stories and interact with peers.

7. Develop undergraduate level writing skills.

8. Show a willingness to consider adopting Christian family values within their family. (Non-Christian student)

9. Show a willingness to commit to strengthening Christian family values within their family (Christian student)

Credit. Credit for the course requires a score of 70% or greater on each of three multiple choice examinations, a seven-part report that covers various types of research activity, and the submission of a 1,000 word book review over one of the resource books.  Each grading element is valued at 20% of the final grade.  Exam problems are taken from the course syllabus. A sample problem on the examinations follows.

A person who experiences no discipline in childhood will likely (A) become disciplined in adulthood, (B) enjoy a full life unimpeded by restrictions, (C) never learn the art of self-control, (D) over-discipline his/her children.


Two texts have been selected for widening the student's perspective. One of these become the basis for the book review.

Balswick, Jack O. and Judith K. Balswick.  The Family: A Christian Perspective on the Christian Home3rd ed. Baker Academics, 2007. 400 pages. $18.49. ISBN: 978-0801032493

Witte, John, Jr. and Eliza Ellison. Covenant Marriage in Comparative Perspective. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2005. 356 pages. $37. ISBN: 978-0310242826