The aim of this study is: To critically correlate insights from the normative Christian sources and other disciplines so as to formulate a pastoral counsel on building strong families for Christian men in Singapore as they live out their faith and interact with others in a success-oriented society. This study is important in that it attempts to: - Expose the false belief that homemaking should not be a masculine responsibility, and to challenge Christian men in Singapore to lead their families as God-honouring husbands and fathers in a materialistic and success-oriented society. - Help the Church in Singapore in the ministry of building strong Christian families so that a good witness can be presented before a highly secularised society. - Nurture professionalism in the ministry by formulating a pastoral guide with which those in Christian full-time vocation or voluntary work can use to effectively care and counsel Christian men with troubled family lives. To accomplish these tasks, the four aspects – descriptive, historical, systematic and strategic – advocated by Don S Browning in his book, A Fundamental Practical Theology, were considered. An opinion poll was also done to augment the library research. Additionally, qualitative interviews in the form of conversational partnerships were conducyted to better hear and understand the work-family complexities faced by some Christian men. The findings in terms of some features that give a preliminary profile of the average Christian man in Singapore as a basis for further research are: i. He accepts competition as inevitable in a meritocratic society. ii. He works hard so as to develop; to his best potential and to provide well for his family materially. iii. He often has little time to bond with his family relationally unless he makes a deliberate effort to do so. iv. He does not equate male headship with sole leadership at home. Hence, he shares or delegates family responsibilities, including that of breadwinning, housekeeping and parenting. v. He discusses rather than dictates decisions related to major family concerns. Hence, he is pragmatic enough to seek and adopt alternatives that are most beneficial to the family. These include choosing options like dual-income, child care centre, maid and grandparent to meet the breadwinning, child caring and housekeeping needs of the home. Finally, to help Christian men and the Church in Singapore to be actively pro-family in perspective and action, the study concludes by proposing five suggestions: i. Work hard so as to earn enough to turn limited time and energy into actual pro-family events. ii. Adopt an extended family member into one’s own home. iii. Enhance pro-family facilities and services by establishing, giving and volunteering more. iv. Emphasise family life education in the Christian faith in order to advance it in the Church, home, workplace and society at large. v. Be prepared to do that which honours Christ even if it means losing 'face', beginning at home.
Thesis (PhD (Practical Theology: Pastoral Family Care))--University of Pretoria, 2006.