Healthy and established families are the strength of a nation and the backbone of the prosperity of a society. But the question arises: What makes a family healthy, and how we can strengthen our families?
This is a very important question that comes across to mind while discussing the issue of families. To find the answer to this question the United Nations has dedicated a day the 15th of May as the “International Day of Families”.
This dedication of a day for families by the United Nations reflects the importance and beauty of families, and alone bears witness to the greatness of our families and societies. The International Day provides an opportunity to promote awareness of issues relating to families and increases the knowledge of the social, economic and demographic processes affecting families; to find solutions to strengthen the bonds of families; and to improve the position and well-being of our families.
I believe that strong and stable families lead to social and national consolidation and economical stability. And when there will be economical stability in the country, there will be peace in the country and that finally will lead to economical progress. In brief, for a prosperous society, strengthened families are very crucial and inevitable.
The first very important point in this regard is to try to maintain genuine peace at home, because as I have already mentioned families make a society, and families leave great effects on the life of a nation. And if the homes of a nation are in an uncertain situation, their streets also cannot be at peace and serene. Thus, it is very important to make our homes a haven of peace so that the whole country and nation at large can be at peace.
Another factor which is very important for establishing strong families is to understand that both husband and wife are equal, no one is superior or inferior to the other, they possess the same and equal rights, their feelings and emotions are the same, and both should respect the sentiments of each other. Difference of obligations and duties does not mean good or better, but it only means that with the pure sense of equality two persons are carrying and performing different duties.
The sense of commitment, tolerance, patience and forgiveness are extremely important characteristics of a valuable family life. These qualities should be exhibited by both the husband and wife. There is no doubt, that while living together in a house, on many occasions different arguments and problems crop up, and that is a part of daily life. But the best way is to respect each other’s point view, as difference of opinion also helps to build strong relations. However, feelings of respect should always prevail.
A happy family life requires that the both partners should show great morals and good values at home. They should create an atmosphere of smiling. They should not become harsh to each other. They must spend time with each other, watch TV or any programme together, join each other at the dining table, share their daily works, share some jokes and light moments, share their good and bad, and go for outings together.
A husband should help his wife at home in household chores – in cooking, cleaning and washing etc. And a wife should also try to help her husband. Some people find it strange working at home and helping in cooking and cleaning etc. But there is no harm in helping at home; it will establish a better atmosphere of love and respect at home.
Once, I came to know that a child went to his uncle’s home and found him washing plates. He was astonished and asked his mother, why uncle was washing plates, wasn’t that the job of women? This question that came in the mind of the child was because in his surroundings, he always saw women working in the kitchen, and men distancing themselves from work in kitchen or at home, and secondly because his parents did not teach him how to help at home.
Marriage and family life is an agreement of give and take and acceptance. Thus, one should not consider himself or herself always right, but, rather should admit when one at fault. And both should try to avoid those matters that are not common between them, and always try to focus on the commonalities rather than differences. And we should try to avoid those issues which may bring scratches to our relationship.
Rising social and economic disparities are also one of the factors weakening the bonds of families. There is no doubt it is a difficult time for the families to meet their ends and to manage their daily needs, but the commitment of self-sacrifice from both sides can help to overcome these hardships.
On this International Day of Families, let us renew our commitment to efforts that guarantee the prosperity of our nation, society and country at large. And let us dedicate this day really as a day for our families, a unique opportunity to renew our pledge to strengthen our families and let us spread the message far and wide as prosperous societies depend on healthy families.
(By: Laiq Ahmed Atif, president Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat, Malta. Photo: Google images)