Apart from the orphaned child, most people grow up in families in which, from birth onward, they learn a way of life that gives meaning to their very existence. For most of us, the word home carries more than just casual memories of a time and place where we spent our childhood; it was the first society from which we learned about life itself. It is within the confines of home that everyone first experiences the repertoire of human emotions and observes how others respond. We learn the meaning of sympathy, empathy, and caring. We absorb family and cultural values, and measure our commitment to those values by how others respond to them. The home is where love is first defined by the care and attention we receive, and becomes the place where security is gained, lost, or possibly, never obtained.
The word home is so laden with significance that one cannot begin a conversation about the nurturing of children, without first speaking to the persuasive influence that the home environment creates. Family relationships are multifaceted, requiring multiple layers of love and security. When all family relationships function as God designed, there is an infused sense of security that permeates the entire home environment, and children are the benefactors.
It is the multiple layers of love and security we wish to address. For we know in a general sense, how influential the home environment is on a child’s development. We also know how influential Mom and Dad are in the process. But there is another relationship that contributes to the “layer affect” of love and security; that being the husband-wife relationship. The marriage relationship provides the parent-child relationship a sustaining quality.