Do You Follow Instructions?
A LOVING father will instruct his children so that they may be successful in life and happy when they become adults. And children who love and respect their parents will accept such instruction because they know it is for their own good. Likewise, our loving heavenly Father, Jehovah, supplies his servants with guidance that brings them success and joy in their lives. Therefore, it is important that we follow the instructions God gives us through his Word, the Bible, and his earthly organization.
Within the Family
There are various areas for which we are given instructions. One is within the family circle. Marriage and family are of divine origin. The Bible says that God married the first human couple and told them to have children. (Genesis 1:27, 28; 2:22-24) The Creator has provided instructions for all members of the family as to their respective duties. For example, the husband and father is the head of the household, which means he has the responsibility for providing instruction, food, clothing, shelter, protection, and discipline. He also makes important family decisions. As husband, he should show consideration for his wife and assign her honor as to a weaker vessel. (Ephesians 5:22, 23; 1 Timothy 5:8; 1 Peter 3:7) The wife should be in subjection to her husband, show him deep respect, and be his helper and complement. And the Scriptures point out that children must be obedient to their parents.—Genesis 2:18; Ephesians 6:1-3; 1 Peter 3:1, 2.
What happens if these instructions are overlooked? Disagreements and disputes occur when husbands lack consideration for their wives, and wives show little respect for the husband’s headship. In fact, such things have caused the breakup of many marriages. The disobedience and the rebelliousness of children have brought great sorrow to many parents. Often, parents are much to blame for not bringing up their children according to the proper discipline, thus irritating them.—Ephesians 6:4.
Although social workers, psychologists, and others have offered a wide variety of suggestions on how to deal with family problems, no counsel is more effective than the instructions provided in the Bible by the Creator of the family. Following these brings true happiness and satisfaction.—Psalm 19:7-9.
In the Congregation
We should follow the instructions that the Head of the Christian congregation, Jesus Christ, gives through “the faithful and discreet slave,” the appointed channel of God’s organization here on earth. (Matthew 24:45-47; Ephesians 5:23) In order to have peace and unity in the congregation, all its members must act in harmony with the guidance given. For instance, those taking the lead in teaching the congregation and in helping other people need to stick to the directions they receive from Jehovah’s organization. This will contribute to the effectiveness of their work. The instructions may be on how to share in the preaching activity, how to deal with problems in the congregation, how to give counsel and encouragement, how to comfort afflicted ones, and so forth. There are also directives on how to prepare instructive and upbuilding meetings for all who associate with the Christian congregation.—Acts 20:20; Romans 12:6-8; Galatians 6:1; 1 Thessalonians 3:1-3.
Congregation elders, or overseers, especially should set a good example in this regard. The Governing Body sends out instructions that the elders should follow carefully and faithfully. They should adapt and apply the instructions to local circumstances. We must keep in mind that the one who directs the Christian congregation is Jesus Christ. He discerns perfectly the needs of all the congregations around the world, and he provides the needed encouragement and assistance. Therefore, elders should not hesitate to apply any directions they receive from God’s theocratic organization. This will serve as a fine example for all in each congregation and will help them to be united among themselves and with the rest of the Christian brotherhood around the earth.—Acts 15:1-31; Hebrews 13:7; Revelation 5:6.
When a builder erects a large building, he carefully follows the plans of the architects so that what he builds will last. In the violent days before the Flood, Noah was commissioned to build an ark. He was told how to construct it and which humans and animals to bring into it for survival through the coming Flood. How did Noah respond? The Bible says: “Noah proceeded to do according to all that God had commanded him. He did just so.” Only Noah and those who were with him in the ark survived the Flood. (Genesis 6:5, 13-22; 7:23) Today, we are living in times that are very similar to Noah’s day, and for this reason God will wipe out all the wicked people. The Bible tells us what steps we must take if we want to be among the survivors.—Matthew 24:37-39; 2 Peter 3:5-7, 11.
Therefore, let us receive with appreciation and put into practice the instructions Jehovah gives through his written Word and his earthly organization. Doing this will bring us success and joy and will also save our lives.