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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Second of the 8 F's - Family

When I searched the word family on the Merriam-Webster site, the first definition that popped up was the following:
1. a group of individuals living under one roof and usually under one head
This is a very vague definition of what a family is supposed to represent. In fact, I would say that is why we have such a confused youth growing up. As I read through the eight definitions of family, I finally came to the definition that I would deem as the best for what a family is supposed to represent. That definition was the fifth on the list. Here is that definition:
5. a : the basic unit in society traditionally consisting of two parents rearing their children; also : any of various social units differing from but regarded as equivalent to the traditional family <a single-parent family>
 b : spouse and children <want to spend more time with my family>
This definition is what is lacking in America! Too many children are growing up without two parents raising them. Most of these children live with a mother or a grandparent. Not that this is wrong or bad, but there is a reason that God created man and woman to produce a child. It is important for the child to be raised by two individuals. Each parent brings different things to the raising of the child. One might demonstrate more of the nurturing side while the other demonstrates discipline. Both are needed to be positive examples of what a good relationship looks like.

Now this is not the end to family. Extended family needs to be spoken about here also. With the technology today, travel has become easily accessible. Families are spread out all over the country. Our closest family live about 20 minutes away. Not bad with today's technology, but the rest of our family live more than 50 minutes away. A majority of those family members live more than 4 hours away! Family units are no longer what they used to be. Quite often families would live within a couple miles of each other. Often as neighbors or on the same property. Parents did not have to raise their children on their own. They had a lot of family to help them.

Since families have started spreading out more, we have seen more and more couples struggle to stay married (The number of divorced people in the population more than quadrupled from 4.3 million in 1970 to 18.3 million in 1996, according to a Census Bureau report on Marital Status and Living Arrangments). We have seen parents struggle to raise their children. We have seen our society fall apart. I believe it is time to once again emphasize the importance of a family unit. Not just the immediate family, but the extended family coming together to help raise a strong family. Doing so will only positively impact our country. God bless!