A family is a group of persons united by the ties of marriage, blood, or adoption. More broadly it can be defined as those who have common ancestry. In normal usage, the term refers to the typical nuclear family, that consists of a mother (wife), a father (husband), and children. An extended family includes grandparents, aunts, uncles nephew, nieces, and grandchildren. A single-parent family is one in which only one parent raises the children, often less effectively than in a nuclear family. The Bible defines the family as the basic unit of society, established by God to glorify God. The duty of a household is to bring up their children to serve the Lord.
Children without families are known as orphans. They may reside in foster homes, and they generally want to be adopted by loving parents. However, children living in such conditions are still blessed by God. He promises himself to be "a father to the fatherless."
The family group should be distinguished from a household, which may include boarders and roomers sharing a common residence.
- Mackay, Ross (2005) "The impact of family structure and family change on child outcomes: a personal reading of the research literature" (Social Policy Journal of New Zealand)
- Psalms 68:5