“Families are made in Heaven”. It is not only an ordinary word missing from the dense pages of a wide binding dictionary. Family is an enduring emotion. Even the very mention of the word family evokes the strongest emotions of human loving, caring and bonding. Love and belonging are obviously a true family definition.
Everyone, even the solitary soul has to have someone they can rely on and who they can count on in times of need. The bond between parents and their children is unlike anything else in this world. You may say it is like a love marriage or a mother and daughter kind of relationship, but it is no less than that. And that is what makes it even more special and meaningful for those who love them. Even though they may seem distant to you at times, the day you realize you’re your parents or your child’s father is enough to make you appreciate all the hard work you did together.
In order to define a family, it is first important to understand what a family actually is. It is a definition that encompasses individuals living together, regardless of culture or nationalities. It also includes relatives living together and blood relatives. Although traditionally two parents are considered to be the primary definition of a family, two people living together with the same parents is also a definition of what a family consists of. It also means siblings living together as well, which in some families extends up to extended family members like cousins.
In our modern society, however, the definition of what a family consists of has changed. It was once considered improper and unaccepted for a man to live with his wife and their child under one roof. In most developed and relatively modern societies, however, the live arrangement described above is now considered common and acceptable. This change in societal context makes defining family ties quite difficult in these societies.
The most accurate way to define a family is through the use of both parents and their biological relatives. If biological parents are deceased, the next best alternative is to choose a parent who still has legal rights and a living offspring. This second alternative is usually preferable, especially if one of the parents has remarried and is considered the true blood relative to the surviving parent. If, however, that parent is not alive or is considered a non-blood relative, then a new familial relationship must be established to define the true meaning of family.
For many people, the traditional family structures referred to above are the most meaningful and stable. This definition has proven to be most useful for generations of parents and their children who come from the same cultural and economic background. Often times, however, new arrivals to a community are not familiar with these traditional family structures. As a result, newcomers often need to find other ways to define themselves and develop meaningful relationships. The definition of family can vary from one culture and/or society to another.