This father was talking to his children- the bride, his daughter and her groom, on their wedding reception- where the couple receives society, in the form of family and friends, for the first time as a married couple;
“John, you are now a part of this family. I give you my daughter with my whole heart. She is all what I have. She is beautiful- you can see, educated, God fearing, good nurtured and most importantly she is of good heart. She has been the source of my joy since the demise of her mother fifteen years ago. She has been a constant reminder of a woman I truly loved with my heart. And so, since I know the same food not cooked in the same pot, will differ in taste, so too you two will experience differences in your stay-together. I am sure my daughter will make mistakes, so don’t blame her but me and the culture of my people. Here we do not blame the tasteless food but the cook who made it.
“And to you Luciana, you have been a good girl. You heard when I corrected you like your father and you were always after making sure you didn’t annoy me. Thank you for that my daughter. When I told you the good and priceless things are those which are concealed, you have never walked half naked like what I see nowadays in the streets. And now, remember you will no longer be that girl I am talking about but somebody’s wife. You will make mistakes but when corrected genuinely accept and change. It is not yet too late to learn new ideas. Do not paint a bad picture of your community out there because you will not be doing me good.
“I give you my blessings.”
In Kenya, family is one of the most endangered institution of the society. The way the young generation is brought up, their growing environment and their relationship with their parents immensely contribute to the pricks the family experiences. I find the above story very inspirational, it is a prototype of a good nurtured girl child who is loved by her father. And though she was single handedly brought up by her father after her mother’s death, she is happy and most likely to have a successful family of her own.
I believe a good parents-children relationship directly translate to the nature of the family the children will have once they grow up. They will re-create and will want to re-live the life their parents lived.
Think of a girl who was once sexually abused by her father, to her men are beasts and can never be trusted. Do you expect her to successfully enjoy her marriage life? It will be very hard for her to be at peace with her husband once she gets married.
The relationship between the parents (husband and wife) to the eyes of the children, has a lot of influence to the future life of the children. For example a girl brought up in a family where the father keeps abusing the mother, she will grow up fearing men in general and as a result it will be hard for her to stay in marriage. She will always see a man as an oppressor and thus a being to avoid completely. A boy, whose mother keeps mistreating the father might end up hating or developing a negative attitude towards women and as a result might end up becoming a gay (and the people will be like, ‘what’s the hell! You mean he is a gay- that he couldn’t get a girl he could marry na vile ni wengi?’ A human being is like a house- the way you would wish your house to look; it’s the same way you will build it. Let us not create our own problems and for the future generation and then we start accusing one another.
Therefore before we start looking for the new definition for the word family to fit in our current society apart from the conventional George Peter Murdock’s definition in 1949, who defined it as “a social group characterized by common residence, economic cooperation, and reproduction, that includes adults of both sexes , at least two of whom maintain a socially approved sexual relationship, and one or more children.”, we need to redefine and reconstruct our current families, parents need to create a good relationship with their children, they need to get time to spend with their children advising them and on top of that, they need to be good role models.
The young generation are blamed for misbehaving but I don’t believe it should be the case- ‘you should not complain about the dirtiness of the running water but instead the source and the stream.’
For you who are already grown-ups, if your past cannot be used as good examples, its the high time you learn from those who failed. Making mistake is not a bad thing but it becomes a problem when you re-do what you did wrong before. What your parents did wrong you need not to replicate but instead do better. I wish to see good families now and in future because a good family means a good society.