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Societal strength from firm-ilies

The Oxford Dictionary offers numerous definitions for a family, but I have picked this definition. ‘A family is a group of people related by blood or by marriage’. A family, as known by many, is mostly made up of parent(s) and children, at times, and when the scope is widened there is the presence of the extended family, which includes grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, nieces, nephews, in-laws, and even the step-families in unique cases. It would thus be true to say that to most people the word family mostly conjures up the term ‘blood-relation’ in their heads. The family is the basic cell of society; This means that the family is the core of society, that is, the family is the smallest and most important unit in society, for without a family a society cannot exist. To me, a family is a group of people with a certain type of correlation that makes them united. For example, at home the correlation between me and those people is blood, thus we are a family; and in my class the correlation between me and the people in my class is seeking an education thus we are a family united by education.

Saint Josemaria Escrivá was known to emphasize the importance of family. To him a family is the nuclear family which constitutes a mother and father united through holy matrimony, and children. Saint Josemaria grew up in a complete family and from his experiences arose his teachings that spoke of advice to parents to raise bright and cheerful homes. Saint Josemaria mainly taught with the aim of giving guidance to parents; He said that matrimony is a calling that gives birth to duties – the first and important duty is raising a family, as parents are to sanctify themselves and others starting from their own homestead. Saint Josemaria said “Parents should understand that founding a family, educating their children, and exercising a Christian influence in society, is a supernatural task. The effectiveness and the success of their life — their happiness — depend to a great extent on their awareness of their specific mission.” Saint Josemaria said all this knowing the hardships people may face; but he also knew that a well-brought up family would be good as it would help build strong people who would be ready to face society.

The world is made of societies that are made of many families. The world needs strong families, as families are the basic units in the society for they help shape the world. A world that is made of strong families is a world that will be ready for anything, and even in tough times they will have fortitude to help them go through hardships. For me, looking at a family as a group of people who are united by a similar interest helps me build small families everywhere; This gives me a chance to teach more people, and form them and prepare them for what they may face. Just as Josemaria taught, it is important for parents to raise their children in faith and educate them, preparing them for whatever comes their way in the future. This is how people grow to be strong. From these families, people interact with the society, and the people of those families can share their teachings in mission, and offer up that work to God. If parents have taught the children well then the world will have people who are well formed and who will hold the world in place.

This article was written by Sharon Mundia, a second year law student at Strathmore Law School.

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