Strengthening the family

No institution is more vital to the stability of society than the family. It is therefore heartening that the many serious problems facing families have become the focus of increased public attention. As the series "A time for families" concluding in today's Monitor shows, interest in the state of the family has reached national proportions. With compassionate concern, church leaders, social scientists, family counselors, politicians, government officials , industry leaders, and families themselves are seeking to understand what is happening and exploring ways of invigorating family life.

Is the family in crisis? Judging by the conclusions of those who study family trends in an historical context, the word is inaccurate and overused. Through the centuries the family has always experienced cycles of change, and change brings new problems and stresses. These are grave and must not be minimized. But the mass media often fail to convey the underlying durability and resilience of the institution. There is more continuity than discontinuity. The remarkable thing, perhaps, is that despite the social turbulence of recent decades, families are holding together as well as they are.

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