What is a family? This is a term tossed about but little understood. Yet we apply this concept, and the principles of this term we call the family, in our everyday lives. Without such governing principles we would live in total chaos.
Family is defined by Webster as…
1. The collective body of persons who live in one house and under one head or manager; a household, including parents, children and servants, and as the case may be, lodgers or boarders.
2. Those who descend from one common progenitor; a tribe or race; kindred; lineage. Thus the Israelites were a branch of the family of Abraham; and the descendants of Reuben, of Manasseh, &c., were called their families. The whole human race are the family of Adam, the human family.
3. Course of descent; genealogy; line of ancestors.
We know, from previously defining what a parent is, what a father is, and what a mother is, that terms are important. We understand from our previous look at the term parent, that those in a family, according to the 1st definition given to us by Webster, are not by default the unit of individuals created by a giver and receiver of seed, though they may jointly be part of the same family and though the progenitors have right of first refusal to be a family, family by Webster’s first definition is an act of the will not an act of nature.
For a family is the collective body of persons living under one head (one manager) which may include the progenitors and their seed and others under that same roof such as their mother or father or other descendants in line with Webster’s second definition of family including but not limited to servant, lodgers, boarders.
Yes, this may seem a tedious and laborious process, defining terms with the same accuracy a surgeon uses when saving a persons heart, but we ought not apologize for taking such pains, for the heart of our families, the heart of our communities, and the heart of our nation is on the table. When we fail to protect the liberty of a free-will there is neither liberty nor justice for all.
Family by definition is the act of one’s will. Progenitors in-acting their wills bring life into this world. Those children by default, are the property of those individuals who in-acted their will. Children are the property of their progenitors while they are children, so long as those individuals do not exercise their right of refusal through death, departure, divorce, or other terms one might use when an individual leaves the covering of a household.
Under the light of these accurate terms we see in the strictest sense family is the act of the will encompassing individuals who find provision under the same roof, headed by one, bringing order to the unit. We see the need for this order though out our society, it’s reflected in nearly all that we do, in our workplace, in our churches, in our schools, in our government. All of these units have ordered structure, maintained by individuals subjecting their free-will to the will of a governing authority. When we fail to honor the definition of family and the order of operation that term affords us, we forfeit our liberties and allow injustice to rule. It is through the covering of a household that individuals are nourished and cared for individually. When the largest portion of that care is thrust upon another individual and their household, without order, having not the structure of a single head, disorder arises and injustice abounds. Yes, collectively we are to care for our family in the largest sense of the word as pointed to by Webster’s third definition. But that care is to be inclusive of all, done for the benefit of all, and done in order with liberty and justice in mind.
Here we are, wanting to dissect this term family and the implications of misusing it, and misunderstanding this term, yet I find the implications of such so far reaching that a single post will not do justice. Webster succinctly summed up the term family for us but the pitfalls of misapplying this term would taken him volumes. I suppose knowing the proper use of family is enough light, if we allow it to shine, to guide us and keep us from the evils of misapplication. So the liberty found in the term family is a reflection of the Wisdom of our Creator. His Wisdom protects the liberty of the individual while guarding the innocent. May we apply His wisdom and may His light guard our families.