These relationships develop within the ever-widening circles of the nuclear family, the normal extended family, the larger extended family of blood relationships, the clan and the ethnic group. When two young Africans are married, then, the marriage is not just a contract between two individuals, but is rather a bond or covenant between two large extended families.

The term "family" is often used by African Christians to describe the Church. All people in the world are sons and daughters of God. They are bound together in a worldwide family of past, present, and future generations. A family that includes all races and all ethnic groups. In this great extended family of God, God the Father is the "Chief Ancestor," Jesus Christ is the "Eldest Brother," and Christian ancestors are the saints.

Dan Griffin, Once Upon A Time in Africa by Joseph G. Healey