How Does God’s Kingdom Affect Your Family?
1 For centuries Christians have prayed, “Let your kingdom come. Let your will take place, as in heaven, also upon earth.” (Matt. 6:9, 10) We eagerly look forward to the many blessed changes God’s kingdom will bring following the “great tribulation.”
2 But even now, since the installing of Jesus as God’s heavenly King in 1914, millions of persons have made changes in their lives to conform with the Kingdom’s direction. As more people take their stand for God’s kingdom by conforming their lives to its laws, God’s will is being accomplished more and more on earth. Happily, the time will soon come when all the opposers of that kingdom are vanquished.
3 Does your family indicate by its actions and way of life that it recognizes the headship of Christ, our heavenly King? If so, how can one tell? Families may vary considerably in many respects; individual preferences may differ. But if God’s Kingdom rule really does affect your family, there is one common denominator. You will be making every effort to follow the lead that Jesus gave, his way of life, his teachings, his service to Jehovah.
IN YOUR FAMILY LIFE
4 Since Christ’s rule is one of peace, should not peace be reflected in our families? Surely bickering, faultfinding and displays of temper should be rare, if they exist at all. (Eph. 4:26, 31, 32) Husbands, do the ways that you deal with your wives give evidence that you are subjects of the King, who is “mild-tempered and lowly in heart”? (Matt. 11:28-30) You wives, are your actions toward your husbands and your children an evidence of submission to Christ, who is your husbands’ head? (1 Cor. 11:3; Eph. 5:22, 23) You children, do you honor your parents in a way that shows that you are imitating Christ, who always does the will of his Father? (John 8:29) The answers to these questions indicate the extent to which your family is responding to Kingdom rule.
5 It takes time and effort to break away from worldly attitudes and patterns of speech. If even one member of the family makes the effort, there will be a blessing. When the husband sets a fine example, this encourages the wife to respond. And a submissive attitude on the part of the wife may encourage the husband to imitate the example of Christ, the one who is his head. Even the good example of children has helped parents to become subjects of God’s kingdom.
6 But how can this be achieved? Spirituality on the part of family members is needed in order to make such changes. How is the spirituality of your family? Could there be improvement? The Kingdom rule provides the finest in practical education from the Scriptures. How may we benefit most fully from it? Really, it is by your family’s making an effort to read and study together, and to prepare for meetings and service. Parents need to encourage their children to pay close attention at meetings and to participate. When a family does these things, the beneficial results can soon be seen.
AS TO FIELD SERVICE
7 Just as Christ’s followers were commissioned to preach the good news of the Kingdom, so Christians in our time show they are loyal advocates of the Kingdom by preaching. Do the members of your family make an effort to help one another to serve in the field as disciples of Christ? How many in your family could be publishers? Appreciating the reality of the Kingdom, we want to help all, especially those close to us, to enjoy eternally the privilege of rendering Jehovah sacred service.—Rev. 7:14, 15.
8 Consider the example of the family of Philip mentioned in Acts 21:8, 9. Philip is here called “the evangelizer,” which indicates he must have been very active in sharing the good news with others. But Philip was not content to serve God by himself. He must have done much to build up the spirituality of his household and to encourage his family to share in honoring Jehovah, for the account tells us of his four virgin daughters who “prophesied.” So the question is, Are you fathers, like Philip, taking the lead in the service and helping others in your family to enjoy a share in this service?
9 Certainly if we accept Jehovah’s kingdom as a reality, we will want to speak about it to others. What a fine thing when we make it our goal, as a family, to accept the direction of the Kingdom in our lives. Not only does it bring blessings to us now in a happy, united way of life, but it also provides a wonderful and secure hope for the future. As we look forward to the yet future blessings that the rule of Christ will bring for our family, we can pray with confidence: “Let your kingdom come. Let your will take place, as in heaven, also upon earth.” And by Jehovah’s undeserved kindness we will have the assurance that not only our families but also others whom we help may live to see God’s will accomplished world wide.