Presiding in a Fine Manner
1 In outlining the qualifications for an overseer, the Bible says that one way he is to be exemplary is in “presiding over his own household in a fine manner.” That is reasonable, for if he “does not know how to preside over his own household, how will he take care of God’s congregation?” (1 Tim. 3:4, 5) Of course, all Christian fathers, whether overseers or not, should sense the need to preside over their families in a fine manner. What is involved?
2 With regard to his wife, it certainly would mean being a kind and loving husband. (Eph. 5:25, 28, 33) When dealt with in that manner, a wife—even an unbeliever—likely will respond with cooperation and affection. Yet, in certain households, a wife may oppose her husband or follow an immoral course. (Matt. 10:36) Does that mean that he is failing to preside in a fine manner? If the husband genuinely is applying to the best of his ability God’s counsel for husbands, his wife’s choosing a course of badness need not be understood as a failure on his part. (Jer. 3:20; Ezek. 16:8, 20) For any husband, though, to be presiding in a fine manner, it should be evident that he is doing his best to apply God’s counsel.
3 We can appreciate that a father who is presiding in a fine manner exerts himself to guide and care for his children. Much time and attention are involved in properly instructing them, aiding them both to love and fear Jehovah and to conduct themselves in an upright way. (Ps. 78:5-7; 34:11; Eph. 6:4) He cannot be neglecting them because he is more interested in working with or helping other people, or because he feels that his children will automatically “come out all right.”
4 But what if, despite his fine efforts, a son or a daughter commits a wrong act or goes completely wayward? It does not necessarily mean that the father is at fault. Some of Jehovah’s spirit sons rebelled and so did his first two children on earth. And we definitely know that Jehovah was not negligent. So if a family member of an overseer does take a bad course, the question is, To what extent does the father bear responsibility? Perhaps, when the parents learned the truth, the youngster was already a teen-ager and never did become a believer. Has the ‘father done all that reasonably could be expected of a Christian family head? If so, the delinquency of one or more members would not necessarily disqualify him from being an overseer.
5 What praise goes to Jehovah when Christian family heads have success in presiding in a fine manner, resulting in “having believing children that [are] not under a charge of debauchery nor unruly”! (Titus 1:6) These sons and daughters are a blessing from Jehovah and they contribute to blessing Him.—Ps. 127:3-5.