The foundation of a relationship between a man arid a woman needs to be based on solid values such as long-term commitment. responsibility and maturity. It is then upon this solid foundation that families can stand firm and weather the storms that life brings. Infatuation, romance and ‘a good time’ in themselves are not strong enough bases on which to build a family. Marriage and families connect people to each other and anchor them in a life- long commitment. It is hard for short-sighted and selfish people to look beyond immediate pleasure, and so they engage themselves in fulfilling their desire for mere physical satisfaction. Even if they do form families they are rarely successful since the solid foundation is missing. A healthy. balanced family life gives rise to healthy and balanced individuals and the reverse is also true. Frustrated young people raised in unhappy families may sooner or later vent that frustration and anger against society and thus society suffers the consequences. Dysfunctional families rob children of their happiness. On the contrary, a happy family is the reservoir of positive parenting. It brings a sense of belonging, anchor and roots that build balanced personalities within children, who then contribute positively to society. Children growing up in blessed families are equipped with the tools to create blessed societies. The following are the major ingredients of blessed families, but the list is by no means exhaustive.
Love is power and as such has the capacity to build or burn human societies. Love emanates from the core of the heart. Hearts join and create fountains of love between two people, the father and mother. The arrival of a child in the family makes this love intense. As such, ‘Father And Mother, I Love You’ is an excellent acronym of FAMILY.
Love for one’s own children is natural, as they are a blessed product of physical love between a man and a woman. Obviously, love between a husband and wife, two adults people with two distinct personalities, needs careful nurturing from both. Pure physical attraction cannot create love or maintain it for long, although that is not to say that it is not an important ingredient in marriage. People looking for family life over physical attraction have the rewards of permanent love on their side and the best chance of success. The Islamic vision of life in the family makes love exceptionally rewarding. In any situation, the ‘joining’ of hearts is due to Allah’s special blessing. Wealth and beauty are not to be despised, but they cannot buy love.
Love between parents is a reservoir where children find their sanctuary, if that love results from a higher love of Allah and His Messenger (PBUH). Parental love transmits naturally to children. Lack of even the basic level of love between parents may be the cause of emotional disturbance in children. Mechanical or loveless parenting results in children that lack the necessary emotional skills to cope with the emptiness in their lives. Love has external manifestations and that is a natural part of the expression of love. However, the love between a husband and wife should not be so ostentatious that it becomes indecent and provocative in the public eye.
Page 24 - Ingredients of a Blessed Family, Mercy