Buddha’s Guide To A Happy Family:
To have happiness in a family and to get along well together, the Dhamma of Buddha teaches husband and wife to conduct themselves according to the following four principles:
#1 To have the same belief in the religion and moral standard: they must be a good match. They should not contradict each other in their belief. Husband and wife, who do not believe in the same fundamental things, do not stay together very long.
They will argue a lot. When the family has arguments all the time, it cannot be at peace. It is a good idea to adjust their beliefs to match each other to live in harmony.
#2 To have the same behavior or conduct, such as the same Sila or standard of conduct: they must have the same set of rules of livings and the same customs.
It is common knowledge that Caucasian ladies, who married Orientals, such as Thai men, had changed their opinions, beliefs, and customs in order to get along well with the husband and their relatives. That is the correct way and it also made the husbands love and respect them more.
#3 To have the same knowledge: even though it does not reach the level of an academic degree like another person, they should be able to talk to each other.
When the husband says something, the wife understands. When the wife says something, the husband also understands. They will be able to travel together on their long journey.
#4 To be a good match in generosity: this means being agreeable and approving when either one of them wants to make merit or donations to charity. They do not contradict each other to the point of having an argument, which may bring conflicts to the family.
When both sides have the same thoughts and beliefs, it can be called the same mould. The lid and the pot fit well together. They serve the purpose well. The family will live in peace and happiness. There is no conflicts or friction of any kind.
The next step is for the husband and the wife to refrain from all vices, which are the causes of countless ruinous lives, such as:
- Refrain from consuming alcoholic drinks and all kinds of narcotics and dangerous drugs.
- Never go out at night to places where it can bring unhappiness to yourself and your family.
- Refrain from being indulged in play, which brings too much fun to the point of forgetting who and what you are.
- Never gamble in any kind of games, whether they are legalized or illegal. They are all sins.
- Refrain from associating with bad persons to the point of being friends.
- Refrain from being lazy to perform work because it is not a way to get rich. Husband and wife who refrain from entering the cave of ruin as mentioned above have enough reason to believe that they already have a good foundation to become good, wholesome people. It is actually an improvement according to the principle of good household life.
Ordinary people who have defilement and craving in their minds will still be having some problems once in a while for sure. Especially those with a family will easily have some conflicts.
So they must be particularly careful and should have the following four Dhamma as insurance in their lives.
The four Dhamma are called Gharavasadhamma (Virtue for good household life).
Husband and wife must be honest with each other. They must live together openly. Both of them should be open to each other all the way. There should be no secret between them. This point is very important.
They both must learn to control their emotion. Never do anything impulsively. Think twice before taking any action or saying anything.
When they received any news, they must review the information first. Do not allow yourself to comply with your own wishes and desires too much because they may cause trouble in the family.
They must be tolerant of any situation, which occurred in the family. Your mind must not be weakened by any circumstances. Patience is a virtue and it usually takes a long time to do things. Happiness will come to those with patience always.
To be generous in giving away things to the people in need. Do not be narrow-minded. Build a fence around your house with the love of your neighbors by always sharing food with them.
Any family with this good behavior will have a good foundation for having good descendants to carry on the family name.
When both persons have good souls, another good soul will be attracted to come to the womb of the housewife as they wish. You will have good children because you are good. So be good from the day you get married and try to preserve the goodness to the end.
Source: Panyananda Bhikkhu’s book – Love your children the right way