The ideal of great African families!
“Welcome strangers, respect them, and treat them well, because they may return the favour in the future. The good you do for someone else will eventually be paid back to you.” This is the song that never fails to emanate from typical African households, and this has formed the basis upon which my narrative about love and it being the thread that holds the family together has been formed. From far back, I have always been aware of the stringent nature of love that comes with being African and upholding African values (Christian, 2006)of love and harmony among family members and communities at large.
I have always known that, in the presence of visitors and elderly members of society, I cannot eat before they do, nor can I utter a word before my opinion is sought. I have always been aware that a mother’s love supersedes any other kind of love. More importantly, that punishment and reprimand are a sign of pure love and concern of the wellbeing of the children in teaching them the critical values of integrity and responsibility. Indiscriminately, and where deep African culture is observed, children are the ‘property’ of the society in that they are protected, corrected and brought up by the society as a unit such that there would be no claim of offense instituted against a right-thinking member of society who reprimands a child for misbehaviour. This, of course, is in line with moulding the family for a stronger society
St Josemaria Escriva holds the ideal that Christian couples ought to be aware that they are called to sanctify themselves and to sanctify others, that they are called to be apostles and that their first apostolate is in the home. They should understand that founding a family, educating their children, and exercising a Christian influence in society are supernatural tasks. The effectiveness and the success of their life—their happiness—depends to a great extent on their awareness of their specific mission.” He emphasises the religious aspect of family which brings forth the ideal of a family as a place of spiritual upbringing and nourishment.
Family is a circle of strength founded on faith, joined in love and kept together by God forever. This is further put forward by St Josemaria Escriva who points out that the mission of bringing people one by one to Christ is the task of each Christian in his or her own environment, beginning with the family. He alludes to the reasoning that family was knit together by God to be the foundation upon which Christianity ought to bear fruit and welcome others to its ideal to build a strong society. Without the unit of the family where each member plays a role in the unity, there would be a gap that would arise in the Christian community because God put the family in place to fulfil the duty of bringing other families to Him to reunite the people back to Him. As such, the family is the foundation of so many good virtues and an icon of a strong society, and ought therefore to be protected at all costs.
Christian, L. G. (2006). Understanding Families: Applying Family Systems Theory to Early Childhood Practice. Young Children, 61(1), 12-20. Retrieved 9 25, 2018, from https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ej729645
Philosophy of Love. (n.d.). Retrieved 9 25, 2018, from http://www.iep.utm.edu/love/
St. Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer – Saints & Angels … (n.d.). Retrieved 9 25, 2018, from Catholic Online: http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=5603
This article was written by Magdaline Muhiu a second year law student.
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