What We Learn From Jesus
About Family Life
What view of marriage makes families happy?
Marriage is a sacred bond. When asked if divorce was permissible, Jesus said: “Did you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and his mother and will stick to his wife, and the two will be one flesh’? So that they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has yoked together let no man put apart. . . . Whoever divorces his wife, except on the ground of fornication, and marries another commits adultery.” (Matthew 19:4-6, 9) When a married couple follow Jesus’ counsel and are faithful to each other, all in the family feel secure and happy.
Why does love for God make families happy?
Jesus said: “‘You must love Jehovah your God with your whole heart and with your whole soul and with your whole mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment.” What is the second greatest commandment? Jesus said: “You must love your neighbor [including those living closest to you—your family] as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37-39) So the key to family happiness is having a good relationship with God because love for him moves us to love one another.
How can husbands and wives make each other happy?
Husbands make their wives happy when they follow Jesus’ example. He was self-sacrificing in his love for his figurative wife, the congregation. (Ephesians 5:25) Jesus said: “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve.” (Matthew 20:28, The Holy Bible—New International Version) Jesus was never dictatorial or harsh with those under his care but was refreshing to them. (Matthew 11:28) Husbands, therefore, should exercise their authority in a kind way that benefits all in the family.
Wives can also benefit from Jesus’ example. “The head of the Christ is God,” says the Bible. It also states that “the head of a woman is the man.” (1 Corinthians 11:3) Jesus did not consider it beneath him to be in subjection to God. He had deep respect for his Father. “I always do the things pleasing to him,” said Jesus. (John 8:29) A wife who submits to her husband’s headship out of love and respect for God does much to make her family life happy.
What can parents learn from Jesus’ view of children?
Jesus spent time with children and was interested in their thoughts and feelings. The Bible says: “Jesus called the infants to him, saying: ‘Let the young children come to me.’” (Luke 18:15, 16) On one occasion, people criticized some boys who spoke up about their faith in Jesus. But Jesus commended the youngsters, saying to their critics: “Did you never read this, ‘Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings you have furnished praise’?”—Matthew 21:15, 16.
What can children learn from Jesus?
Jesus provided children with a fine example of interest in spiritual things. When he was 12 years old, he was found “in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers and listening to them and questioning them.” With what effect? “All those listening to him were in constant amazement at his understanding and his answers.” (Luke 2:42, 46, 47) Yet, Jesus’ knowledge did not make him haughty. Rather, it made him respect his parents. The Bible says: “He continued subject to them.”—Luke 2:51.
For more information, see chapter 14 of the book What Does the Bible Really Teach?*
Published by Jehovah’s Witnesses.