What About Your Relatives?
1 Most of us have a number of relatives who are not in the truth. How we long for such loved ones to join us on the road to life! Our concern for their everlasting future may be greater when they are members of our own household. Although we have tried for years to interest them in the truth, we should not conclude that the situation is hopeless.
2 When Jesus did his preaching, “his brothers were, in fact, not exercising faith in him.” (John 7:5) At one point, his relatives thought he was insane. (Mark 3:21) Yet, Jesus did not give up on them. In time, his brothers accepted the truth. (Acts 1:14) His half brother James became a pillar in the Christian congregation. (Gal. 1:18, 19; 2:9) If you would like to have the joy of seeing your relatives embrace the truth, do not stop trying to reach them with the Kingdom good news.
3 Be Refreshing, Not Overwhelming: When Jesus preached to others, his listeners felt refreshed, not browbeaten. (Matt. 11:28, 29) He did not overwhelm them with teachings that they could not grasp. To refresh your relatives with the waters of truth, give them a cup at a time, not a bucketful! A traveling overseer observed: “The best results are achieved by those who awaken curiosity in their relatives by witnessing in measured doses.” In this way, even opposers may begin to ask questions and eventually develop a thirst for the truth.—1 Pet. 2:2; compare 1 Corinthians 3:1, 2.
4 Many married Christians have effectively witnessed to their unbelieving mates by leaving literature open to material that might interest them. One sister who did this also conducted a study with her children within the hearing of her husband, giving explanations that would benefit him. Sometimes she would ask him: “I learned such and such in my study today. What do you think about it?” Her husband finally accepted the truth.
5 Be Respectful, Not Impatient: One publisher commented that “even relatives have a right to their own views and opinions.” So we should show respect when they voice their thoughts or when they specifically ask us not to speak to them about the truth. (Eccl. 3:7; 1 Pet. 3:15) By being patient and loving and by being good listeners, we can look for appropriate opportunities to give a subtle witness. Such patience can be rewarding, as was seen in the case of a Christian husband who patiently endured his unbelieving wife’s mistreatment for 20 years. Once she began to change, he said: “How grateful I am to Jehovah that he helped me to cultivate long-suffering, because I can now see the result: My wife has started to walk on the path of life!”
6 What about your relatives? It may be that through your good Christian conduct and your prayers in their behalf, “you may win them to Jehovah.”—1 Pet. 3:1, 2, footnote.