Torch, Fall 1984

amily Stres~- .... by Dr. Paul D. Entner P lease take a sheet of paper and, in your best Sunday printing, write three words that best describe your family's living patterns . Think about it and be honest. Your list will be held in strict confidentiality. Have you finished? It is likely that your list included such terms as hectic, fatigued, noisy, chaotic, non-involved, pressured, and even boring. How did I guess? Well, our fast paced culture has affected all of us in much the same way and our families cannot help but evidence some common symptoms of resulting stress. And, do not think that the Christian family is immune to these cultural stress factors. So whatever happened to the typical, nice, tranquil American family? There is no doubt about it. The 6 American family has changed. We no longer are an agrarian society where parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, and uncles live in the same community all their lives. In contrast we are a highly mobile, "liberated," technologically sophisticated society. Families can now move their housing every few years, divorce and remarry, restructure relationships, and send their children in a day's time across the country to visit Grandma. The "good old days" are indeed gone. Whether we like it or not , the evidence indicates that the stressors of today's society have to a remarkable degree shaped our life styles . The person whose traditional role has been most challenged in the last two decades is the homemaker. Today, she is typically better educated , older, and has