For years sociologists and anthropologists have devoted intensive study to that peculiar institution, the family. It has been examined in our society as well as in primitive cultures. The roles of husband and wife, mother and child, child and father have been systematically analyzed. The question is invariably asked, “How important is the family unit to the inward stability of a nation?”
At the beginning of the 1970’s, Time magazine culminated this investigation by running a feature article entitled, “The American Family: Future Uncertain.” After developing its exposition on the demise of the family and the possible resulting negative influences on our culture, the writer devoted space to explaining the concept of the “nuclear family”—a unit containing one set of parents and their offspring.
This was contrasted to the family unit of earlier and less complicated days, the “extended family,” where parents and their children were influenced by relatives who either lived in the same home or nearby. Here grandparents, great-grandparents, brothers, sisters, aunts, great-uncles, as well as a conglomerate gathering of their friends, lent great varieties of support—psychological, financial and emotional—to each other.
The nuclear family is a product of our mobile society where the average relocation occurs once in every three years. This new familial form is probably here to stay, but it will continue to endure great strain without the benefit of those important traditional supports.
The husband and wife of today are forced to assume the total responsibility for what was once a group effort, and the pressures of these multiple roles are credited by the writer of the article as being partially the source for the high rates of divorce, alcoholism, and use of tranquilizers.
Karen Mains has long had an interest in Christian hospitality and is the author of the best-selling book, Open Heart, Open Home.
An award-winning author of several other books, Karen continues to write content for her Christian blog, “Thoughts-by-Karen-Mains.” In so doing, she desires to touch the lives of Christian women and men and help them find ways to walk closer with the Lord Jesus Christ. In addition, through silent retreats, spiritual teaching, women’s retreats, Christian vacation opportunities, and other ministry activities, Karen helps each Christian woman and man receive vital spiritual food.
For decades, Karen Mains and her husband, David, have served God through religious communications—radio, television, and print publication. The are the co-authors of the Kingdom Tales Trilogy: Tales of the Kingdom, Tales of the Resistance, and Tales of the Restoration. To find many valuable resources for pastors and churches at the Mainstay Ministries main website, please click here.
In addition, pastors will find special resources to help them create effective, life-transforming Sunday sermons by visiting David Mains’ website by clicking here.
Through her Hungry Souls ministry, Karen serves as a spiritual coach to many Christian women and men, and teaches a mentor-writing class. And, through the Global Bag Project, she is working to develop a network of African women who sew exquisite cloth reusable shopping bags. This micro-finance women opportunity helps provide a much-needed sustainable income for struggling African families. For more information on this critically important project, please click here.