Proverbs: Better is a dinner of herbs where love is than a fatted ox and hatred with it.
I love reading the Proverbs. Whether you believe in a Judeo-Christian worldview or not, it is beneficial to review the writings that arose from Solomon's experiences in the Jewish and African cultures. You remember, Solomon's mother was African. Though some of the Proverbs are accredited to others, Solomon is the one we credit with the vast majority of wisdom.
As a Realtor, I have opportunity to interact with families in fairly deep, or even intimate, ways. I see families in many emotional states and varying levels of stress. When times get hard, a family's strengths and weaknesses can become maginified and exaggerated. There is nothing more uncomfortable than standing in the middle of a family in severe conflict and dysfunction.
On the other hand, few things are more inspiring and comforting that standing in the middle of a family full of love and self-control. This family is not rattled easily. The members of the family do not overreact or attack each other. Problems are dealt with as problems to be solved rather than reasons to berate each other.
In my experience, families that display this healthy, functional way have a few ongoing processes in common:
1. Active faith
2. Involvement in the Community
3. Good sense of boundaries and privacy within the family and outside the family
4. Ability to laugh together
5. Sense of real belonging and acceptance
I am sure that there are more. A wonderful book by Dolores Curran titled "Traits of a Healthy Family" offers a much wider view of this issue.
More than wealth or fame or power, I want to be a part of a loving family. It is a hyper-treasure, priceless, a gift.