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Woman is the highest, holiest, most precious gift to man. Her mission and throne is the family, and if anything is withheld that would make her more efficient, useful, or happy in that sphere, she is wronged, and has not her rights.

JOHN TODD, Woman's Rights

He that loves not his wife and children feeds a lioness at home and broods a nest of sorrows.

JEREMY TAYLOR, Twenty-Seven Sermons

The number one need in all people is the need for acceptance, the need to experience a sense of belonging to something and someone. The need for acceptance is more powerful in your family than anywhere else.... If that need is not met by your family, trust me, your kids will go elsewhere to seek it in order to find approval and acceptance.

PHIL MCGRAW, Family First

The striking point about our model family is not simply the compete-compete, consume-consume style of life it urges us to follow.... The striking point, in the face of all the propaganda, is how few Americans actually live this way.

LOUISE KAPP HOWE, The Future of the Family

Marriage is the agreement to let a family happen.

BETTY JANE WYLIE, Family: An Exploration

One of the oddest features of western Christianized culture is its ready acceptance of the myth of the stable family and the happy marriage. We have been taught to accept the myth not as an heroic ideal, something good, brave, and nearly impossible to fulfil, but as the very fibre of normal life. Given most families and most marriages, the belief seems admirable but foolhardy.

JONATHAN RABAN, For Love and Money

Every family had its own peculiar cult, to which no stranger was ever admitted, and which alone could appease and satisfy the gods of that family. The cult was handed down from father to son, from generation to generation, and could not be lost without condemning the whole series of ancestors to eternal misery.


Raising a family wasn't something I put on my resumé, but I have to ask myself, would I apply for the same job again?

ERMA BOMBECK, Family: The Ties that Bind--and Gag!

In one family, every little plan or question is discussed amid bickering and irritation. In another, without the least effort, every discussion goes on amid perfect peace. This is just as easy, and infinitely more agreeable: only, in many homes it does not happen to be the family habit.

CHARLES BUXTON, Notes of Thought

The most socially subversisve institution of our time is the one-parent family.

PAUL JOHNSON, Sunday Correspondent Magazine, Dec. 24, 1989

The family indeed is dead, if what we mean by it is the modern family system in which units comprised of male breadwinner and female homemaker, married couples, and their offspring dominate the land. But its ghost, the ideology of the family, survives to haunt the consciousness of all those who refuse to confront it. It is time to perform a social autopsy on the corpse of the modern family system so that we may try to lay its troublesome spirit to rest.

JUDITH STACEY, In the Name of the Family

Children keep a family together, especially when one can't get a babysitter.

FREDERICK SHEPPERD, Electricity on the Farm

Of all our social institutions, the family is perhaps the one with which we are most familiar. As we proceed through our lives, our experiences within the family give rise to some of our strongest and most intense feelings. Within the family context lies a paradox, however: although most of us hope for love and support within the family--a haven in a heartless world, so to speak--the family can also be a place of violence and abuse.

MARILYN POOLE, Family: Changing Families, Changing Times

The family is the test of freedom; because the family is the only thing that the free man makes for himself and by himself.

G. K. CHESTERTON, Fancies Versus Fads

Governments and politicians use the family as an indicator of the health and strength of social life. Politicians fear that any weakening of family life will in some way sap the vitality of national life.... The family is also important to businessmen. It is one of the major purchasing groups of our consumer society.


He that hath wife and children hath given hostages to fortune; for they are impediments to great enterprises, either of virtue or mischief.

FRANCIS BACON, "Of Marriage and Single Life"

As to the family, I have never understood how that fits in with the other ideals--or indeed, why it should be an ideal at all. A group of closely related persons living under one roof; it is a convenience, often a necessity, sometimes a pleasure, sometimes the reverse; but who first exalted it as admirable, an almost religious ideal?

ROSE MACAULAY, The World My Wilderness

A large family party is rather too much like a flight of tomtits; everlasting twitter, but no conversation; gregariousness without companionship.

CHARLES BUXTON, Notes of Thought

Growing up human is uniquely a matter of social relations rather than biology. What we learn from connections within the family takes the place of instincts that program the behavior of animals; which raises the question, how good are these connections?


I can't help detesting my relations. I suppose it comes from the fact that none of us can stand other people having the same faults as ourselves.

OSCAR WILDE, The Picture of Dorian Gray

The family spirit has rendered man carnivorous.

FRANCIS PICABIA, "Pithecomorphes"

If we could know as intimately as we know our more immediate parents the long line of ancestors through whom the family spirit has passed on its way to us, we should probably become fatalists in face of the apparently overwhelming evidence that there is nothing in us that has not come to us from, or at least through, the Family. Family portrait galleries are a striking confirmation of the persistence of characteristics which ultimately govern the fortunes of successive generations.


As a single dried tree, if fired, sets a whole forest on fire, so does a bad son destroy a whole family.

CHANAKYA, Vridda-Chanakya

Family jokes, though rightly cursed by strangers, are the bond that keeps most families alive.

STELLA BENSON, Pipers and a Dancer

I wanted to go to a place where you were important and people listened to what you had to say. Mothering hadn't done that ... and yet ... wouldn't it be ironic if my turf yielded the most important commodity being grown today? A family? A crop of children, seeded by two people, nourished by love, watered by tears, and in eighteen or twenty years harvested into worthwhile human beings to go through the process again.

ERMA BOMBECK, Family: The Ties that Bind--and Gag!

Break up the institution of the family, deny the inviolability of its relations, and in a little while there would not be any humanity.

E. H. CHAPIN, Living Words

The family is an absolute monarchy in miniature.

ABRAHAM MILLER, Unmoral Maxims

In the family, happiness is in the ratio in which each is serving the others, seeking one another's good, and bearing one another's burdens.

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit

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