Families come in all shapes and sizes. There are small families. There are large families. There are close families. There are disconnected families. Mostly, families are in between the extremes.
Families don’t get user guides. Two people get married and most have children, by choice and otherwise. Often, how we make parenting decisions come from memories of what our parents did. We do what we liked and try to do something else of what we didn’t like. “When I am a parent, I’m never going to do that to my children.” We remember those words when we do the very thing that we vowed not to do. Some of us might even buy parenting books or go to classes. We become better informed, but only with what “is in” at the time. Remember Dr. Spock?
But more and more, families are becoming very non-traditional. More and more couples are living together without the benefit of marriage and children are the result of these liaisons. Most of these relationships don’t last five years. Any children that result from these unions then live in single parent households. And this is still a family. They may struggle more than most, but they make a go of it.
Same-sex couples are raising children. Studies show that these children turn out the same as children in traditional families.
With very few exceptions, families try to do the very best for all members of the family. A place to call home, food on the table, and clothing are provided for family members. Beyond this, families provide even more.
The most important thing families provide is love. We may disagree in families. We may get angry in families. But in spite of everything, love is still there. The love that families have for one another gives us an insight into what God’s love is for us. Even in the most loving family, God’s love is much greater.
For all the things that families provide to one another, the greatest of these is love. For this we are very grateful.