DOES RELIGION SUPPORTS FAMILY RELATIONSHIP? DISCUSS THE TYPE OF RELIGION THAT SUPPORTS FAMILY RELATIONSHIP
An article in the Journal of Family Psychology examined 94 different studies about family and religion, all conducted since 2013. The article found that as a general rule, religion had a small but distinct positive influence in helping couples avoid divorce. It also found that conservative Christian parents were slightly more likely to use corporal punishment when disciplining their children, but some of the studies cited also indicated that children from religious families may be better adjusted.
Religion is defined by Hanalanbos, et al 1980 in his book titled sociology. Themes and perspectives religion is the belief in the supernatural which have a governing effort on life. However Miglford S. Sprio adopts a similar definition when he stated that religion is based on “belief in supernatural beings and in their power to assist or harm man”.
Definition of Family: The family is most basic institution in the society because it is the primary agent of procreation and socialization. This means that it is the primary agent ensuring that new generation of members are reproduced cared for and trained in the society ways.
The family may be defined as a low social adults of opposite sex with or without children who and are in constitutionalized relationship it is made of man and woman who are unrelated by blood and children (if any) cualturalized relationship members of the family are co-residential, offer each other economic social and security assistance. Sexual behaviour are also regulated here.
The family originates from the coming together of a man a woman usually through marriage and continues through the human circle.
TYPE OF FAMILY
We have different types of family such as:
Nuclear Family: This type of marriage consists of a husband and wife and their children living together in a single dwelling. A nuclear family is made of fever generations who live together, and it most after includes husband a wife and their dependent children (if any).
Extended Family: This consist of several related person such as husband and wife and their children, at lest one of their set of parents, as well as aunts uncles and nephews all living together in a single dwelling.
Patriarchal Family: This is refers to family patterns in many societies where man and heads of the families and they are to dominate the family decision making.
Matriarchal Family: in this type of family patterns it is the right of woman in the society to dominate family decision-making, living with their husband not withstanding e.g tehamduli tribe.
Egalitandan Family: In this family which has developed in modern societies especially among working class spouses, responsibilities and power or decision making are shared equally between husband and wives.
RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN RELIGION AND FAMILY
There exists a connection or relationship between religion and the family, which I strongly agree to. Eberstadt (2014) studied the relationship between family and religious practice and describes their inter-dependence in her new book How the West Really Lost God. Eberstadt explains their relationship as “the double helix of society, each dependent on the strength of the other for successful reproduction.” Eberstadt’s research suggests that family strengthens religious practice, and likewise, religious practice strengthen the family. Marriages tend to be stronger when the spouses attend weekly service. Likewise, parents—especially fathers—are more involved in the lives of their children when they frequent religious services. As previous Heritage research has pointed out, religious practice contributes to the well-being of individuals, families, and the community.
However, Eberstadt also emphasizes that the opposite is true. Where there is a breakdown of the family—particularly as marriage rates decline and the welfare state grows to fill the void left by broken or never-formed families—religious observance likewise slumps
Traditionally, religious institutions have been educating people on family life. They emphasise the significance of family through life cycle rituals. Stages related to ‘hatching matching and dispatching’, that is, from birth of an infant to the wedding to funeral, are components in the life of a family as well as that of individuals.
These various periods have religious ceremonies associated with them. At the time of setting up family, religious institution provide a location for the wedding to happen. After the birth of a child, the religious institution gets involved. The next stages facilitating the child’s individuation process also witness religious rituals called rites de passage. Later, religious institutions facilitate mate selection and marriage of children, and provide support to parents when children leave home.
So, many family education programmes can be initiated in the arena of religion. Religion also preaches about duties, obligations and modes of behaviour among various members of the family-older and younger, between husband and wife, parents and children and intra-members of the extended family.
Religious institutions can propose programmes with themes on family life. For instance, in the West, the early 1960s saw the beginning of ‘marriage enrichment programmes’ With the support of Church. The participants in the programme were married couples who wanted to improve their own marriages and help others.
There were also programmes for those who had faced difficulty in family situations such as sexual harassment and domestic violence. At times, those who face such disturbing situations within the pristine sheltered environment of family find it difficult to let off. Along with the spiritual need to be able to forgive, there is a greater need to make the offenders realise their action and let them suffer. Parenting education is also receiving a lot of attention in various family life education programmes in religious settings. Programmes such as Systematic Training for Effective Parents (STEP) or Parent Effectiveness Training (PET) have begun. We know very well that religious doctrines influence family matters like marriage and child rearing, including eating habits. Guidelines related to abortion, birth control, role of women etc, give direction to people’s behaviour.
Therefore, education of sexuality can be organised in a religious setting. These programmes are meant for children and youth of various ages, and parents to discuss sexuality and other issues. Religious groups act as communities of care by strengthening bonds among people. The practice of counselling by the clergy, the purohits and the pundits continues despite there being ‘many mental health professionals.
Moreover, any moment of crisis acts as a ‘teachable moment’ during which religious institutions strengthen the bond they share with people. Such instances also prove to be the learning ground for others who might face similar situations in their lives. For instance, a family, which has a member addicted to substance abuse, can share with the community its own experience so that they can learn from it. Similarly, religious community can spread awareness on HIV and AIDS and its transmission and mobilise resources to support people suffering from HIV and AIDS.
Educators should look for religious leaders as resource persons who are able to support the goals of family life education. It is imperative to t take into account the religious concerns of people before designing any family life education programme. Also relevant dimensions from family life education must be incorporated in designing religious education programmes. Family life education has something to offer to religious education and vice versa. Thus, a mutual and integrated approach must be followed keeping in mind that religion and family life education share a symbiotic relationship.
THE TYPE OF RELIGION THAT SUPPORTS FAMILY RELATIONSHIP
While many studies have asserted that there is an increase in family cohesion among those with a religion, others have found conflicting results or challenged the qualities that hold these families together. Some studies have also asserted that for individual family members who fall outside the religious norms of the family, such as those who challenge the faith or who are homosexual, this rule of family cohesion no longer applies. Thus all religious groups and affiliations supports family relationships but the Christian sect supports it the most due to its teaching, practice and doctrinal views on family.
There is indeed a close ties between religion and family. When the issues of the connection between religion and the family are enlarged to include a historical perspective, even more caution is warranted in drawing conclusions. It is common to point to the Amish family (Olshan, 1988) as the example of a religious group that has successfully withstood change from the larger social order for centuries. But as Olshan argues in his chapter (1988), the Amish, according to what they write, are not that separate from the larger social order. Even the Amish exhibit a modern mentality in their daily struggle to live the Amish way. Hynes’s discussion (1988) of religious and familial change in mid-nineteenth-century Ireland is a sobering reminder of the necessity to take into account local conditions in order to better understand how both the church and family change when confronting a catastrophe of such enormous proportions as the Great Hunger of 1845–49. An increase in attendance at Mass from about 30 percent in 1830 to over 90 percent in 1870 is remarkable, but, as Hynes reminds us, that change was only brought about because of the way the stem family functioned. Likewise, the religion that flourished during the devotional revolution was Catholicism of a particular type—an extremely puritanical variety that meshed with the needs of the times.
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