Whether we like it or not families must be together. It is a divine order. It is love that binds them together. Once there is love and unity nobody can attempt to break that love. In love, there is understanding and openness to each other. When a husband and wife really knows each other, no outsider can do anything to hurt their marriage. Their main concern is the love that binds them together. They try every time to build up this love. Money is not love in family. The father’s image is changing today especially when he is no longer materially productive. The rich who is self-made can ruin his children who had been born with silver spoons in their mouths. These children may not see life as a struggle. Families who devote all their time to making money at the expense of their children pay dearly for it. Industrialization and technology have brought many changes in families today.
We see the emergence of the working class women. When a woman spends a lot of time in her work place, there is no energy to cope with family affairs. All problems are solved in a hasty manner. What will be the future of such a family especially the children who will need directions? Family script shows itself in public life. How a person talks and behaves in the public raises eyebrows to people around. The way he thinks and reacts to social reality is determined by his family’s script. Everywhere he goes, he does so with an unfinished business of his childhood which dominates his whole life. He may come from a family of busy working class parents. It is bad when husband and wife cannot sit down and analyze the problems of their family. They devote themselves to making money. They dump the children in the Nursery School and in the evening they come to pick them up. It is now a daily routine. The false concepts of man contribute to the family crisis when man feels he has all the answers to family problems. Decision-making is not one person’s affair. Joint decision is very important in the family including children. Today, Nigeria is becoming a mobile society. We change our addresses every time because of house rents. People move from highly expensive areas to low cost areas. This affects the children when they lose their old friends to new ones all the time.
There is not enough space for children and husbands to interact. It is only those who have made it in the rat race that can boast of privacy and space. Poor families are on the move every time. There is little togetherness in families especially when there landlords eject them with the help of law-enforcement agents who may throw their property out of the house. Here the father may stay with a friend, the wife with the mother and the rest of the children may be distributed to friends who may not bear their presence for a long time. Unplanned life affects families. Letting the wife and children go to the village does not make the matter better. Husband and wife should work hard and see their marriage as a source of joy not as hell due to lack of planning. Refocusing is very important to enable them catch up with the time wasted in blaming each other for being the cause of their financial downfall. Communities should be caring communities to help ease out tensions in their fellow human beings.
• Very Rev. Msgr. Livinus Ukah is a Catholic Priest, Author of many books and a social Justice and Peace Advocate.