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."
A generally popular depiction of an ideal family is in the show Arrested Development. In Arrested Development, the Bluths (the family) consist of a rich Caucasian family of three generations living under one house. The nuclear family in the show suffers from antagonization from all sides, as the show follows how they attempt to navigate the increasingly liberal world and fight against anti-Christian beliefs.
The family group should be distinguished from a household, which may include boarders and roomers sharing a common residence.
Families have a duty to raise and educate children. As part of this, parents must discipline their children to teach them right from wrong. The Bible makes clear that parents who love their children should spank them to correct poor behaviour. Proverbs 13:24 says that "Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them" while Proverbs 22:25 states that "Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far away" and Proverbs 23:13 says "Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you punish them with the rod, they will not die."
- Destroying the family
- Administration for Children and Families
- Family sacrifice
- Atheism and children
- 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