The family is the basic social unit

According to a recent study by an American research center Pew, a majority of Indians completely or mostly agree with the idea that a wife should always obey her husband. The new report released on Wednesday examines how Indians perceive gender roles at home and in society at large. The report is based on a face-to-face survey of 29,999 Indian adults in the field between late 2019 and early 2020 before the Covid-19 pandemic broke out.

A house is the place where a man, his wife and their children normally live, which constitutes a family. Thus, a family is an intimately closed group of people and they live together in a house where each member must perform the duties entrusted to him for his own well-being and that of his family.

In managing such a family, one has to assume the role of guardian, and this responsibility often falls on the head of the family, that is, the father. Here we see the responsibility transferred to the head of the family, who is a man (father). So, traditionally, an elderly man in a house is respected and often obeyed. On the contrary, an older woman in a house while an older man is alive is taken for granted.

At the same time, for the proper functioning of a family, there should be harmonious, unanimous and synchronous work among family members. Otherwise, it will break down and not work successfully, making it a stain on the society. The family is an essential and indispensable part of society. And the family, being the basic factor (of course the individual is the ultimate basic member) which makes society, must be led by a man at the helm.

Husband and wife are the primary members of a family, and their children, born out of wedlock later, also make the family more vibrant and meaningful. An ideal couple must be the basis of an ideal society. In order to maintain a happy family life, a wife is required to submit to her own husband.

This is well illustrated in the Bible in Ephesians 5:22-23 (KJV) – “Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ is the head of the church : and he is the savior of the body.” Such submission is a sine qua non for maintaining a peaceful and happy family. But at the same time, the husband is not spared without a rider.

In the same chapter 5:28, it is written: “So men should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. Christ also loved the Church and gave himself for her.”

TK Nandanan, Kochi

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