“My Help Is From Jehovah”
Families Fortified by the Knowledge of God
THE “Berlin Wall.” That is what a married couple in Argentina called an actual wall that they had built to divide their house in two! They had irreconcilable differences; they simply could not stand each other.
Sadly, the situation of that couple is not unique. Many families are plagued by strife, infidelity, and outright hostility. This is regrettable, since the family is an institution established by God himself. (Genesis 1:27, 28; 2:23, 24) This divine gift is an ideal setting for showing deep love. (Ruth 1:9) By meeting their God-given obligations, family members can honor Jehovah and be a blessing to one another.*
Inasmuch as God instituted the family arrangement, we need to let his perspective shape our understanding of how families should function. His Word provides much practical counsel designed to help families succeed, especially when challenges arise. As to the role of husbands, the Bible says: “Husbands ought to be loving their wives as their own bodies.” When the husband fulfills this requirement, it is a pleasure for his wife to have “deep respect for her husband.”—Ephesians 5:25-29, 33.
Concerning the relationship between parents and their children, the apostle Paul wrote: “Fathers, do not be irritating your children, but go on bringing them up in the discipline and mental-regulating of Jehovah.” (Ephesians 6:4) This, in turn, creates a warm family atmosphere, which makes it easier for children to obey their parents.—Ephesians 6:1.
The foregoing points illustrate the Bible’s sound advice on family life. By applying divine principles, many enjoy happiness in the home. Take, for example, the couple in Argentina mentioned at the outset. After they studied the Bible with Jehovah’s Witnesses for three months, they both began to apply its wise counsel on marriage. They worked hard to improve communication, to be sympathetic to the needs of each other, and to become forgiving. (Proverbs 15:22; 1 Peter 3:7; 4:8) They learned to control their anger and to turn to God for help when things seemed to be getting out of control. (Colossians 3:19) Soon, the “Berlin Wall” came down!
God Can Build a Family
Knowledge and application of God’s standards can fortify a family to withstand pressures. This is vital, for it was prophesied that the family arrangement would experience a vicious attack in our day. Paul foretold the current breakdown of morality and human society. He said that “the last days” would be characterized by disloyalty, the absence of “natural affection,” and disobedience to parents, even among those “having a form of godly devotion.”—2 Timothy 3:1-5.
Trying to please God can help counteract such detrimental effects on the family. Many families have found that a spiritual solution is required to help them meet many of the challenges they face. If family members desire to maintain a good relationship with God, they above all need to apply Bible principles and realize that “unless Jehovah himself builds the house, it is to no avail that its builders have worked hard on it.” (Psalm 127:1) The greatest success in promoting domestic happiness comes from putting God first in family life.—Ephesians 3:14, 15.
In Hawaii a man named Dennis discovered how true that is. Although he was a professed Christian, abusive speech and fights became a way of life for him. After serving in the army, he became even more aggressive and hateful. “I was always in conflict,” he recalls. “I didn’t care what happened to me, and I wasn’t afraid to die. The profanity and fighting continued. My wife, who was one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, encouraged me to study the Bible.”
Dennis resisted his wife’s efforts. However, her Christian conduct softened his negative attitude. Dennis eventually went to a Christian meeting with his wife and children. Thereafter, a Bible study was started with Dennis, and he made fine progress. He gave up a 28-year-long smoking habit and stopped associating with friends who engaged in all the things he was trying to overcome. Thankful to Jehovah, Dennis commented: “My family life got better. We went to the meetings and in the ministry as a family. My two children were no longer afraid of me, for I learned to control my temper and stopped using abusive speech. We could talk and enjoy having Bible discussions. If it were not for Bible truth, I wouldn’t be here today; I was so temperamental.”
Families can attain happiness when they work hard to do Jehovah’s will. Experience has shown that even if one member of a family applies Bible principles, things are better than if no one does. Building a Christian household is hard work, requiring skill and time. But members of such families have the assurance that Jehovah will crown their building efforts with success. They can echo the psalmist’s words: “My help is from Jehovah.”—Psalm 121:2.
See 2005 Calendar of Jehovah’s Witnesses, May/June.
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To God “every family in heaven and on earth owes its name.”—EPHESIANS 3:15
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JEHOVAH CHERISHES THE FAMILY ARRANGEMENT
“God blessed them and God said to them: ‘Be fruitful and become many and fill the earth.’”—Genesis 1:28.