Helping Youths to Ward Off Calamity
1 Jehovah wants us to enjoy his precious gift of life. To that end, he has allowed us a measure of personal freedom so that we may pursue the desires of our heart. But along with that freedom to act, Jehovah rightly holds us responsible for what we do.—Eccl. 11:9.
2 Imperfect and sinful as we are, how can we ward off calamity that could befall us as a result of the way we direct our life? (Eccl. 11:10) Is it possible even for inexperienced youths to avoid calamity? Happily for us, the answer is yes. Jehovah is well aware of our need for direction, and he has lovingly provided counsel and guidance to help both young and old alike pass safely through the mounting difficulties that mark these last days.—Ps. 19:7; 119:9; 2 Tim. 3:1.
RESPONSIBILITY OF PARENTS
3 When trouble strikes, youths need responsible parents who can ‘straighten up the hands that hang down so that what is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather that it may be healed.’ (Heb. 12:12, 13) To help their children keep on the pathway leading to life, parents must periodically readjust the thinking of their offspring. This calls for patience and skill, along with Jehovah’s rich blessing.
4 Parents cannot entirely shield their children from bad influences. But how can a child’s mind be fortified? By ‘bringing him up in the mental-regulating of Jehovah.’ (Eph. 6:4) Among other things, this involves family study, spiritual and moral guidance, healthful after-school activity, appropriate discipline, and good parental example.
5 The book Questions Young People Ask—Answers That Work, released at the “Godly Devotion” District Convention, is designed to help young people. It also helps parents reason with their children regarding right standards. If God’s laws are effectively instilled into a child’s mind and heart, these laws can act as a controlling, or regulating, influence. Family discussion of the material in this new publication will fortify youths to ward off calamity.
6 When the Young People Ask book was released last summer, the convention speaker directed his attention to the assembled youths and highlighted the value of the book. Parents were encouraged to use it as a basis for family discussion. At the conclusion of each chapter, there appears a feature called “Questions for Discussion.” These questions are not designed for paragraph-by-paragraph analysis of the material. Each question covers one or more subheadings. Some family heads may choose to consider the questions after reading an entire chapter. Others may ask the questions intermittently as the material under corresponding subheadings is read.
HELPING YOUTHS IN OUR TERRITORY
7 We may find many youths in our territory. Some questions they have are answered in this new book, and so during December we will be featuring the Young People Ask book in the field. Perhaps you have already developed a presentation you would like to use. Or you might want to say something like the following:
8 “Often, we think of youth as the happiest period of our lives. But, unfortunately, we see many unhappy young people today. Isn’t that so? [Allow response.] Changing standards have created a mixed-up world with many problems that affect young people and rob them of happiness. Where can they find reliable direction? [Allow for comment.] Notice what the Bible recommends at Psalm 119:9. [Read.] The Bible highlights parental responsibility in teaching what is right and then gives this instruction at Proverbs 1:8: [Read.] In harmony with this, the book Questions Young People Ask—Answers That Work is filled with practical guidance based on the Bible, and it has many real-life experiences that will help youths see how they can successfully face the future and be happy in doing so. [Point out several chapter titles to stimulate interest.] You may enjoy this helpful and beautifully illustrated book for a contribution of just $1.50.”
9 The Bible indicates that youths need to channel their energies toward wise, worthwhile goals. Certainly this new book will point many to the source of limitless wisdom—the Bible. What a valuable tool for directing youths to a full life now and to a secure future!—Eccl. 12:1.