Restoring communication in problematic interpersonal relationships in the family system : a pastoral study
Fourie, Omar Greyling Daniel
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In this study the interpersonal relationships and especially problematic communication within the family context is of paramount concern. The focus on communication, specifically in the family system, with a view to Biblically restoring communication in problematic interpersonal relationships gives the present study validity and value; this is especially true in the context of family systems in SOllth Africa. The family system in South Africa is under pressure and the. pastoral care giver is, subsequently, also under pressure to provide accurate counselling and intercession when needed to the family as a whole. This study aims to satisfY that need in focusing on restoring communication in problematic interpersonal relationships in the family system from a Bible-centred (Christian) perspective. The areas that the researcher investigated centred on communication in problematic interpersonal family relationships and the way in which communication problems in a particular family system may contribute to the potential problems that the family as a unit may have to cope with. The researcher worked with the hypothesis that problematic communiCation in interfamilial relationships may severely impede the family system in functioning as an allied unit against the pressures of life (for instance fmancial challenges, work stress). If family communication patterns were healthy or at least functional, the hypothesis is that all other problems that a family might face could be handled more easily by a family as an allied unit. The research question of this study is: How can families, with problematic interpersonal familial relationships, be counselled from a Biblical perspective with the primary objective of restoring communication in the family system? Can effective Bible-centred counselling guidelines be set down and developed from a study of family systems as depicted in Scripture, the human sciences and an empirical study in order to restore communication in problematic interpersonal relationships in the family system? This study shows that problematic communication in interfamilial relationships does impede the family system from functioning effectively. Interpersonal relationships in the family system is often complex and communication is only one element present in those relationships which can have a detrimental effect on good family relationships if communication is strained. The overarching research aim of the study was to obtain, develop and put forth Bible-centered praxis-theoretical guidelines on restoring communication in family systems caught up in problematic interpersonal relationships. The conclusion of this study is that families with problematic interpersonal familial relationships can be effectively counselled from a Biblical perspective with the aid of material from the human sciences with the primary objective of restoring communication in the family system.
- Theology