Making Your Family Study Fill the Need
1 Parents, would you like to see your children take more of an interest in the family Bible study? Children, would you like to look forward to each family study with anticipation? Much depends on the subject to be studied and how the family head views the study.
2 It would be good for the family head to ask himself: “Is the study material appropriate to the needs of my family?’ To be considered in conducting the family study are the ages and interests of the children. Consider these factors so that the children really take an interest. Or, perhaps some problem that has arisen in the family could become a topic for the study.
3 Some of the subjects that might be discussed at this time could be the holidays that are coming up. In the case of families with children in school, the study might be conducted so the principles having to do with the flag salute issue or the proper view toward sports and bad associations are made clear. It would be fine, too, to consider what the Bible says about respect for adults and how young Christians should conduct themselves in the school classrooms and the Kingdom Hall. Very helpful also would be to teach children to apply Scriptural principles concerning proper grooming and clothing styles. Parents could take advantage of the time to instill in their children the proper view toward dating and drugs.
4 In all cases it is the course of wisdom to have material planned for the study. Do not just put things off and think that all will work out as the studies progress. One brother said of his family study when young: “We used to take a chapter in a book, regardless of what the subject may have been. Dad didn’t put it into language that we could understand so we lost interest in the study because of not being able to grasp the information or understand the principles involved.” True, it will take forethought and considerable research on the part of the family head. He should ask himself what his family needs. Is it a situation that arises at school, recreational problems or direction needed in associations? Allow enough time to explain the material being considered. It is not necessary to cover a chapter or a full article each time.
5 It is not always possible to have every study apply directly to every individual. What is true of an eighteen-year-old may not be true of an eight-year-old, yet the principles can be applied to all young and old, so as to hold interest in the study. This can be done whether the subject be associations, appearance, recreation, conduct at school or at work. The family head should inform the family in advance what material from the Society’s publications will be considered. Perhaps several questions could be propounded to build up interest in the coming study. This will give all a chance to think about and prepare the subject for the next study.
6 Since the family study is based on the Bible, it is important to use the Bible freely during the study. Letting each member of the family have an opportunity to take part by looking up and reading aloud the texts will be a stimulus to them and will familiarize them with the use of the Bible. After scriptures have been read, make a thorough examination of them. Reason on the points outlined in the texts and apply them. This will make the study of real practical value to all the family. It is most satisfying to have the right answer when and where it is needed. In the field ministry, at school, at the local grocery store or on the job, if you know what to say and do at the right time it is very rewarding. Many are able to do so because they made certain that their study filled the needs of their family.
7 It is true that in many Christian homes one of the parents is not in the truth. If the father is a believer and the mother is not, it will be easier for the Christian man to take the lead in studying with his children. Where the mother is a believer and the father is not, there will be need for discretion. While the Christian woman has need of being in subjection to her husband, even though he may not be a fearer of God, yet this need not stifle the training of children in accord with Bible principles. If discretion is used, a mother can do much in the way of training her children in Jehovah’s laws during a time of the day that lends itself best for the family study. Whatever your family circumstances may be, it is imperative to have a family study, and to have one that will fill the need.