The Focal Theological Issues
According to the Bible and the Tradition of the Church, marriage and the family are ordered to the good of the spouses and to the procreation and formation of children. Family is an institution instituted by God. A man and a woman united in marriage, together with their children, form a family.
The foundational theological understanding of the family and parenting can be titled in the following ways:
Family- A Reflection of Holy Trinity
An ideal family, like the blessed Trinity, is a unity in trinity and a trinity in unity. There is neither selfishness nor jealousy in any member of a perfect home as all live for others and all resources are shared for the common benefit and the benefit of each other. “The Triune God is a sharing God. When sharing is perfect, it leads to unity.”
Trinitarian theology says that Father is perfect love, the Son is perfect love and the Holy Spirit is perfect love and yet there are no three loves, but only one love. So perfection is when every family on earth are brought to the family of the Heavenly Father by the sharing infinite love. Human beings, male and female, are made in the image and likeness of God, the Holy Trinity. Human nature mirrors divine nature. A family is made to reflect not only the unity of the trinity but also the union of the three persons. “Microdiakonia of a family is the best example of Trinitarian diakonia”. The father and the mother serve each without any sense of superiority or inferiority. Both serve and minister to the need of the child without any payment.
The nature and being of God is love. “Love is the self-communication of the good.” It is the power of good to go out of itself, to enter into the being, to participate in other being, and to give itself for the other being. Love wants to live and to give life. It wants to open up the freedom to live. That is why love is self-communication of the good without self-renunciation, and the self-giving of the good without self-dissolution. The loving person enters entirely into the other who he or she loves, but in that other he or she is entirely himself or herself. In this way, the perfection of love is more deeply experienced in the best family. Our heavenly Father’s perfection is in Himself as He has the Son to love and to be loved and the Holy Spirit to share the love of the Father and the Son as the bond of love. The perfection of His Love is also in the Trinitarian existence. In a happy family there is happiness in totality and in each of the three units (i.e. Father, Mother and Child).
The absence of the parents in the family damages the Trinitarian aspect of love and sharing and that damages the parent-child relationship.
Procreation:Participation in God’s Creativity
The purpose and meaning of the union of man and woman is not limited to the reciprocal and mutual completion. The aim of their bond goes beyond this. It is to bring forth children like themselves and so carry the flow of life on further. God blessed the first man and woman saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.” Here the purpose of man and woman is expressed, to be fruitful and to multiply, which is given as a blessing not a command. The words express a mandate and a blessing. God charges man and woman to multiply, for by this means the plan of the Creator is to be continued and the work of the creation unfolded.
The word ‘parenthood’ implies its heavy obligations as well as its rich joys because it involves their participation in the continuing creative work of God. The couple by using God-given powers of creation brings a child into the world.