The Core Unit Which Determines the Strength of Any Society is the Family; Therefore, the Government Should Foster and Protect Its Integrity.
"There is certainly no country in the world where the tie of marriage is more respected than in America, or where conjugal happiness is more highly or worthily appreciated. In Europe almost all of the disturbances of society arise from the irregularities of domestic life. To despise the natural bonds and legitimate pleasure of home is to contract a taste for excesses, a restlessness of heart, and fluctuating desires. Agitated by the tumultuous passions that frequently disturb his dwelling, the European is galled by the obedience which the legislative powers of the state exact. But when the American retires from the turmoil of public life to the bosom of his family, he finds it the image of order and peace. There his pleasures are simple and natural, his joys are innocent and calm; and as he finds that an orderly life is the surest path to happiness, he accustoms himself to easily moderate his opinions as well as his tastes. While the European endeavors to forget his domestic troubles be agitating society, the American derives from his own home that love of order which he afterwards carries with him into public affairs." De Tocqueville
The American Founders felt that the legal, moral and social relationships between husband and wife were clearly established by Bible law under what has been described as "differential" equality. That they each have their specific rights appropriate to their role in life and otherwise share all rights in common. The role of the man is to 'Protect and Provide" while the woman's is to strengthen the family solidarity in the home and provide a wholesome environment for her husband and children. In theory, God's law made man first in governing his family, but as between himself and his wife he was merely first among equals. The Apostle Paul pointed this out in 1 Cor 11:11.
John Locke also pointed out that the mother and father have equal responsibility in rearing the children, he referred to this as 'paternal authority'. And he gives several Biblical references to this truth; Exodus 20:12, Lev 20:9, Lev. 19:3, Eph 6:1 and stated that this equality was the style of the Old Testament. The early New England families contributed to the success of our nation. There are records of men giving women part of the household to manage and that these husbands and wife shared the mutual bond of bringing about the Kingdom of God on Earth.
Benjamin Franklin emphasized the interdependence of a man and a woman for their mutual happiness. He states: " Marriage is the proper remedy. it is the most natural state of man, and therefore the state in which you are most likely to find solid happiness." he goes on to say, "It is the man and woman united that make the complete human being. Separate, she wants his force of body and strength of reason; he, her softness, sensibility. and acute discernment. Together, they are more likely to succeed in the world. A single man has not nearly the value he would have in that state of union. He is an incomplete animal. He resembles the odd half of a pair of scissors. If you get a prudent, healthy wife, your industry in your profession, with her good economy, will be fortune sufficient."
The next logical question is where do children and parents fit into this equation? Locke stated that the authority of the parents over children is based on natural law: "arises from that duty which is incumbent on them, to take care of their offspring during the imperfect state of childhood. To inform the mind, and to govern the actions of their yet ignorant nonage, till reason shall take its place and ease them of that trouble, is what the children want, and the parents are bound to provide." Locke also goes on to say that once someone has reached mature adulthood, that they should be able to apply the revealed laws of God to their daily life. He also goes on to affirm that the State must not interfere with legitimate family relations. And that any action taken by government to debilitate or dislocate the normal trilateral structure of the family is not only a threat to the family involved, but is a menace to the very foundations of society itself.