Church Teachers Stress Tradition Family and Values

Wednesday, November 24th 1999, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

A day before Thanksgiving, a study is released that shows traditional families are falling by the wayside. The University of Chicago found three-fourths of all American homes with children are missing a married couple.

Norman Rockwell used art to portray his vision of the traditional American family. But studies show the traditional family is becoming much harder to find. “The traditional family is changing, no question about it, said Charlene Giles. "They get tired of their old spouse and they want to throw him or her away and get a new one."

That's why Rod and Charlene Giles are dedicated to keeping the marriage tradition alive. They teach a Sunday school class at Asbury United Methodist Church called “Marriage Builders.” "The opportunity to grow through the tough times really helps the marriage grow closer together," said teacher Rod Giles. The Giles’ should know. Their family has been through counseling, and Charlene is a family therapist. "You need some outside input sometimes. For us, it was very helpful to get good ideas," said Mrs. Giles.

The Giles’ don't think our culture teaches children the priorities they used to receive. At the same church, Chuck and Beth Dennis, both divorcees, teach families to focus on the kids when going through divorce. They think their divorces make their children work harder on their marriages. "I don't think it will make them think that it is all right,” said Mrs. Dennis. “I think it will make them more cautious."

Another couple at the church named Anderson want people to know there are still a lot of great traditional families. And they know what they are talking about. They have eight kids and try to follow the values seen in Rockwell's famous pictures.