Transcendent Matters: Family Relationships Associated with ...

Transcendent Matters: Family Relationships Associated with ...

Transcendent Matters: Family Relationships Associated with How One Experiences God Hilary Dalton, David C. Dollahite, & Loren D. Marks Brigham Young University UTCFR Annual Conference Salt Lake City, UT, March 31, 2017 AFF Overview 198 Christian, Jewish, and Muslim families Over half (51%) are from various ethnic minorities From 17 states in all 8 major regions of the United States Intro Need to explore religionrelationships links (relational spirituality) (Mahoney, 2013) How perceptions of ones experiences with God are related to family life Attachment theory - horizontal relationships Authority theory - vertical

Intro Directive transcendence Experiencing God mostly as an authority figure (e.g. King, Judge, Ruler, Lawgiver, source of absolute Truth) Intimate transcendence Experience God mostly as close confidant (e.g. Healer, Companion, Guide, Comforter, Friend) Authoritative transcendence Experiencing God as both authority Research Questions 1. How do religious families experience/perceive God? 2. How do these perceptions influence family relationships? Methods Concept Theme 1: God as authority figure Number of most salient accounts Percent of most salient accounts

Total Male Female Total Male Female 102 66 36 100 65 35 40 65 64

33 A) God gives commandments 34 33 B) Submit will to God 30 29 C) God has a plan 23 23 Theme 2: God as close confidant 88 35 57 100

A) One can trust God 30 34 B) God is available at any time 24 27 C) God heals or provides support 20 23 D) God is personally interested and blesses 19 22 Theme 3: God as authority figure and close confidant 33 21

11 100 A) One can trust God 24 73 B) God as guide 11 33 C) One can converse with God 11 33 Examples of Directive Transcendence God gives commandments: Obeying his [Gods] laws, or his commands, or his teachings, is very important to have a successful life and a family. (Baptist father)

Submit my will to God: The more I submit to God, the better husband I become. (Episcopalian father) God has a plan: But wasnt this actually, without our knowing it, all part of Hashems plan? . . . We didnt like it. . . . obviously this was how it was intended to work itself out, so that instead of you and me going divergent roads over it, we had to work together and find a place where we could be comfortable with each other and build a Jewish home together (Jewish mother) Examples of Intimate Transcendence One can trust God: It provides . . . a security blanket. . . no matter whats going on around you, there is some constant thats there, and thats God. . . . we can bring all of our problems and cares to Him. And there is that foundation that . . . its unmovable. (Missionary Alliance father) God is available at any time: God is there. As much as you get wrapped up in society and work and school and your friends, and this, and that . . . you know God is there. God is there. . . . You are never alone, and no matter what happens, if you have faith, it will work out for you. (Catholic father) Examples of Intimate Transcendence

God heals and provides support: In the course of . . . trying to raise children . . . your faith has to be a significant factor in that. . . . To fulfill your responsibility, to pass along faith in God, and in understanding that God loves you, and keeps you. [You teach your children that God] takes care of you, and provides for you, and is there when even I am not there, and [that He] will sustain you and make you whole. (Muslim mother) God is personally interested in and blesses us: We believe that our Heavenly father is willing, able, and desires to help us in every decision we have to make in life. Not just the big decisions. . . . We believe he [also] wants to help us to give us the guidance in . . . the little daily activities of our lives that require inspiration . . . we believe that our Heavenly Father is more than happy to . . . put impressions in our heart [and] in our minds to give us direction. (Mormon father) Examples of Authoritative Transcendence One can trust God: Last year, we wanted to move again. When we prayed to God, we asked Gods will, If you want us [to] stay at Baton Rouge, please prepare a job for us. It was wonderful to find this job. So whenever we have something, we pray to God [and] ask for Gods will. (Chinese Christian mother) God as a guide: [God is] a guide definitely . . . [to] where youre going to live, how to bring your children up. [He] gives us direction; helps us

have love, the kind of love He has. (Missionary Alliance mother) One can converse with God: I would consider God fatherly and parental. . . . since He has communicated to us in those relational terms . . . I trust that thats probably the best way to deal with Him, cause thats the way Hes talked to us. (Baptist husband) Conclusion Type of transcendent relationship a parent experiences with God may impact the ways that parents relate to their children When parents experience an authoritative transcendent relationship with God, they may be better equipped to relate to and with their children. They may be better able to balance being an authority figure to, and a close confidant for their children Could increase the likelihood of a healthy, highattachment relationship. PDFs of publications available at: http:// For slides/handouts from this presentation email me at: [email protected]

Thanks to the 138 BYU & LSU Students Who Have Worked on The American Families of Faith Project BYU GRAD STUDENTS Hilary Dalton Emily Layton Toshi Shichida Michael Goodman Jennifer Y. Thatcher Heather Howell Joe Chelladurai BYU UNDERGRADS Jessica Finnigan Camille Brown Patricia Flores Cara Graybill Anna Ridley Jennifer Spooner Anthony Walker Nathaniel Lambert Jennifer Yorgason Hannah Hill Lydia Polakoff Sarah Sheley Kiera Staples Sarah Call Heidi Emett

Alison Holdaway Jordan Kennard Tiffany Lindsey Marie Olsen Sarah Solomon Allison Barnes Genevieve Bruno Laura Turner Megan Stokes Elisse Weinert Amy White Esther Young Margaret Jacob Julie Malloy Courtney Andersen Jennifer Bowman Jason Burningham Aubrianna Critchfield Rachael Moore Tiffany Larson Taleah Kear Megan Sheldon JC Brugger Heather Eaton James Jensen Jessica Krewson Janelle Martin Ellise Mulcock David Parks

Rachael Raben Eliza Sallstrom Joseph Simonson Amy Steflik Megan Stokes Melissa Tenneson Kelsie Christiansen Stephanie Seaborn Veda Weinert Thanks to the 138 BYU & LSU Students Who Have Worked on The American Families of Faith Project Aubrey Dalton Rebekah deBoer Naomi Winters Jordan Kohl JilliAnne Jensen Heather Garbe Cloee Colohan Annemarie Hale Natasha Ovuoba Madison Raymond Kristal Woods Kate Patterson Summer Saunders Makayla Foley Jillian Cannaday Dayeong (Amy) An Lindsey Feil

Jennifer Hamula Katelyn Ray Julia Norman Kaity Pearl Ashley Tuft Logan Dicus Kate Handy Michele Griggs Jordyn Carter Jeanine Bell Madison Stillwell Brooke Z. Patterson Nic Suder Sherrie Goaslind Essen Skabelund Cody Gunnels Anna Finneran Ethan Jones Candace Judd Treana Johnson Betsy Hughes Emily Turner MacRorie Hewitt Kelsie Gleason Amanda Cottle Joshua Powner Lenore Mulford Elisabeth Kirchner

Tiffany Alexander Mallory Elder Kara Fluckiger Savannah Fonseca Kelsey Jeppson Lauren Miller Kalani Purcell Sara Stinnett Justin Torrance Jaimie Trottier Erika Zeiner BYU Total: 116 Thanks to the 138 BYU & LSU Students Who Have Worked on The American Families of Faith Project LSU GRAD STUDENTS LSU UNDERGRADS Olena Nesteruk Mandy Swanson Katrina Hopkins Trevan Hatch Yaxin Lu Antonius Skipper Loredana Apavaloaie Teri Brown Zahra Alghafli Katie Barker

Allison Berry Rayburn Courtney Pitts Gloria Thompson Carol Leblanc Tanya Davis Mindi Batson Whitney Lain Emily Fuller Pamela Owens Justin Wax Tim Benedetto Melissa Navarra LSU Total: 22 Grand Total: 138

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