How Is Your Household?
1 “A devout man and one fearing God together with all his household.” Is that not a desirable situation? Does it describe your household as well? Interestingly, this is not a Christian household being spoken about. Yet it was one in which daily prayers were offered to God, and sincere efforts were made to serve the Most High. Thus God sent an angel who told this man to send for Peter in order to learn about salvation.—Acts 10:2; 11:13, 14.
2 You probably recognize the man—the Italian army officer, Cornelius. He and his household were the first uncircumcised Gentiles to become Christians. But the Bible speaks of other households, and tells of the necessary steps these took to win God’s favor.
3 Regarding a royal attendant, evidently of King Herod Antipas, the Bible says: “He and his whole household believed.” Of Lydia and those living with her, we are told: “She and her household got baptized.” Similarly, of a Philippian jailer the Bible says: “He and his were baptized without delay. . . . and he rejoiced greatly with all his household now that he had believed God.”—John 4:53; Acts 16:15, 33, 34.
4 Does your household, too, believe? Are they convinced in mind and heart as to the real identity of Jesus—that he is actually God’s Son from heaven who gave his life in a sacrificial death here on earth so that we might gain eternal life? Of course, something needs to precede believing. What? Knowledge, for how can you really believe in something if you do not know about it? Are there provisions for your household to grow in knowledge of God? There really need to be.
5 What are mealtimes like in your household? Some of us, in conversation recently, said that we remember so well our whole family gathering around the meal table together. These were good times of fellowship, and for us who were in the truth, it was a fine time for discussing and reviewing spiritual things. Mealtimes are such enjoyable and beneficial times at Bethel today. Is this true in your home? If not, could you arrange for them to be? This can play an important part in developing a truly believing household.
6 Note what one father who raised 18 children in the truth observed: “Eating together has definitely contributed toward our unity, affording us, for example, the opportunity to pray together. And it has enabled me to inculcate in my children the sayings of God ‘when sitting in my house,’ in harmony with His will that I do so. (Deut. 6:6, 7) It has also helped me to keep my finger on the pulse of the family, to observe attitudes or trends, and to apply whatever I perceived to be the remedy according to the spiritual needs of all of us.”—The Watchtower, June 1, 1976.
7 Having family meals together may involve making some adjustments in schedules for the household, but it truly can be worth the effort or expense. A father who successfully raised three boys in the truth writes: “Although I was working more than fifteen miles (25 kilometers) away from home, I came back for lunch. I felt that the cost was more than outweighed by the advantages of a family meal. What a lot of problems were solved around the family table!”—The Watchtower, November 15, 1977.
8 Jesus, too, used mealtimes to discuss spiritual matters and apparently the disciples did too. (John 21:15-17; Acts 2:42, 46) But it is also good when other times can be set aside for Bible reading and discussion. Why not, for instance, take segments of the life of Jesus and read at one session portions of the Bible that relate only to that particular part of Jesus’ life. For example, many enjoyable sessions of Bible reading and discussion can revolve around just the few days between Nisan 8 to 16, 33 C.E.—See Aid, page 930.
9 How is your household? This is a question that each of us should ask ourselves often, and then take whatever steps we can to make it one that is spiritually healthy. For really, what benefit is it if we gain the whole world, but our family dies spiritually?