Sovereignty, hierarchy, laws, sanctions, and succession characterize all forms of government including the family. We will look at how these five characteristics apply to the family government which is established through the binding vows the parents take when they get married. These vows become the source of the family’s sovereignty.
Sovereignty: “Who’s in charge?”
When it comes to family government the husband and wife are in charge of the family, they are the final court of appeal, they settle the children’s disputes. The parents also have the right to exclude other governments from interfering with their children.
Hierarchy:”To whom do I report?”
In a family the children are under the authority of the parents, they must obey their parents. There is also authority among the children. The younger children must obey the older children, unless the older children are contradicting the parents. The family hierarchy is parents, older children and younger children.
Laws:”What are the rules?”
The rules in the family are set by the parents, their word is law. If they say you have to clean your room every day than that becomes a rule and so on.
Sanctions:”What do I get if I obey or disobey?”
The right to impose sanctions in the family belong to the parents. If a child does clean his room everyday at the end of the week the parents can reward the child for his obedience. However if a child does not clean his room, the parents discipline the child for disobeying the rule they set down.
Succession:”Does this outfit have a future?”
In the family, when the children become adults they get married thus starting their own family. Family government is the longest lasting form of government from the beginning of the world to the present day. The family has always had a future.
Having looked at the five characteristics of government, we see how these apply perfectly to the family, the longest and most ancient form of government.