Christmas, the Birth Anniversary of Christ, is lovingly remembered and endearingly portrayed by the Belen that is the representation of the affectionate tripod of Jesus, Mary and Joseph who in turn are the devoted composite of the Holy Family. So it is that in a parallel perspective, the family has a key significance and a central relevance with reference to every human person. And it is standard reality that the family is the cradle of life and love wherefrom individuals are born wherein human individuals in general are thus nurtured and cared for.
It is not a secret that the Church has emphasized across the ages and will continue doing so in the ages yet to come, that marriage between a man and a woman is not simply meant to express the affirmation of their mutual love. Marriage is also meant for the proper bringing about plus the right upbringing of children, whose presence is what precisely makes the couple a family or a domestic community. So it is that from a broken family usually come broken children as well – in the sense of their being effectively torn precisely by no other than their own father and mother.
Question: When a man and a woman simply live together and eventually have children – without getting married—don’t they after all, still compose a family? Answer: In a way they do as long as long as they stay together and together as well raise their children to be good, honest, and upright individuals and eventually as trustworthy, beneficial, and dependable members of society. But when a man and woman simply live together and have children, how would these in turn eventually look at relate with men and women? If example is said to be the best teacher, bad parental example is the worst teacher for the children concerned.
So it is that there is a whale of objective difference between a married couple with children and an unmarried couple with children as well. This: While the former are bound by law and morals to be together for life, the latter are altogether at liberty to stay together or live separate lives. And the ones directly affected by such a positive or negative factor are their children.
The central importance of the family for the Church and her ethical as well as moral teaching is premised on the inherent dignity of the individual human person-members thereof that constitute the family, which in turn is a unit of society. Thus it is that the more stable and harmonious families are, the better it is for the society they are constituent members of.
The attribute or liabilities of every human person cannot have its origin one way or another in the positive or negative features of the family he/she was born from and raised in. While there are exceptions, there is much truth in saying: “Tell me what your family is and I will tell you who you are.” So it is that discordant families bring about a discordant society.