Thursday, November 27, 2008

"APOLOGIES are powerful. They resolve conflicts without violence, repair schisms between nations, allow governments to acknowledge the suffering of their citizens, and restore equilibrium to personal relationships." So wrote Deborah Tannen, a best-selling author and sociolinguist at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

The Bible confirms that a sincere apology is often an effective way to repair a damaged relationship. For example, in Jesus' parable of the prodigal son, when the son returned home and offered a heartfelt apology, the father was more than ready to receive him back into the household. (Luke 15:17-24) Yes, a person should never be too proud to swallow his pride, apologize, and seek forgiveness. Of course, for sincerely humble individuals, apologies are not so difficult to make.
The Power of an Apology

Abigail, a wise woman in ancient Israel, provides an example of the power of an apology, although her apology was for a wrong that her husband had committed. While dwelling in the wilderness, David, who later became king of Israel, together with his men protected the flock that belonged to Abigail's husband, Nabal. Yet, when David's young men asked for bread and water, Nabal sent them away with very insulting remarks. Provoked, David led about 400 men to go up against Nabal and his household. Upon learning of the situation, Abigail set out to meet David. When she saw him, she fell upon her face at his feet. Then she said: "Upon me myself, O my lord, be the error; and, please, let your slave girl speak in your ears, and listen to the words of your slave girl." Abigail then explained the situation and gave David a gift of food and drink. At that, he said: "Go up in peace to your house. See, I have listened to your voice that I may have consideration for your person."—1 Samuel 25:2-35.

Abigail's humble attitude along with her words of apology for her husband's rude behavior spared her household. David even thanked her for restraining him from entering into bloodguilt. Although it was not Abigail who had mistreated David and his men, she accepted the blame for her family and made peace with David.

Another example of someone who knew when to apologize is the apostle Paul. Once, he had to defend himself before the Sanhedrin, the Jewish high court. Infuriated by Paul's honest words, the high priest Ananias ordered those standing by Paul to strike him on the mouth. At that, Paul said to him: "God is going to strike you, you whitewashed wall. Do you at one and the same time sit to judge me in accord with the Law and, transgressing the Law, command me to be struck?" When onlookers accused Paul of reviling the high priest, the apostle immediately admitted his error, saying: "Brothers, I did not know he was high priest. For it is written, 'You must not speak injuriously of a ruler of your people.'"—Acts 23:1-5.

What can we learn from
Paul's example?
Apostle Paul

What Paul had said—that the one appointed as judge should not resort to violence—was valid. Still, he apologized for unknowingly speaking to the high priest in a manner that could be viewed as being disrespectful.* Paul's apology paved the way for the Sanhedrin to listen to what he had to say. Since Paul was aware of the controversy among the members of the court, he told them that he was being tried for his belief in the resurrection. Consequently, much dissension arose, with the Pharisees siding with Paul.—Acts 23:6-10.

What can we learn from these two Biblical examples? In both instances, honest expressions of regret opened the way for further communication. So words of apology can help us to make peace. Yes, admitting our mistakes and apologizing for damage done can open up opportunities for constructive discussions.
'But I Have Not Done Anything Wrong'

When we find out that someone was offended by what we said or did, we may feel that the person is being unreasonable or too sensitive. Yet, Jesus Christ advised his disciples: "If, then, you are bringing your gift to the altar and you there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar, and go away; first make your peace with your brother, and then, when you have come back, offer up your gift."—Matthew 5:23, 24.

For example, a brother may feel that you have sinned against him. In such a situation, Jesus says that you are to go and "make your peace with your brother," whether you feel you have done him wrong or not. According to the Greek text, the word Jesus here used 'denotes mutual concession after mutual hostility.' (Vine's Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words) Indeed, when two humans are at odds, there may be a measure of blame on both sides, since both are imperfect and prone to err. This usually calls for mutual concessions.

The issue is, not so much who is right and who is wrong, but who will take the initiative to make peace. When the apostle Paul noticed that the Christians in Corinth were taking fellow servants of God to secular courts over such personal differences as financial disagreements, he corrected them: "Why do you not rather let yourselves be wronged? Why do you not rather let yourselves be defrauded?" (1 Corinthians 6:7) Although Paul said this to discourage fellow Christians from airing their personal differences in secular courts, the principle is clear: Peace among fellow believers is more important than proving who is right and who is wrong. Keeping this principle in mind makes it easier to apologize for a wrong that someone thinks we have committed against him or her.
Sincerity Needed

Some people, though, overuse the words that are meant to express apology. For instance, in Japan, the word sumimasen, a typical expression used in apologizing, is heard thousands of times. It can even be used to express gratitude, implying an uneasy feeling of not being able to reciprocate the favor shown. Because of its versatility, some may feel that the word is used too often and may wonder if those saying it are really sincere. Forms of apology may seem to be overused in other cultures too.

In any language, it is important to be sincere when extending an apology. The wording and the tone of voice should convey the genuineness of sorrow. Jesus Christ taught his disciples in the Sermon on the Mount: "Just let your word Yes mean Yes, your No, No; for what is in excess of these is from the wicked one." (Matthew 5:37) If you apologize, mean it! To illustrate: A man in line at an airport check-in counter apologized when his luggage nudged the woman waiting next in line. A few minutes later, when the line moved, the suitcase again touched the woman. Once more, the man courteously apologized. When the same thing happened yet another time, the woman's traveling companion told him that if he really meant what he had said, he should make sure that the baggage did not touch the woman again. Yes, a sincere apology should be accompanied by the determination not to repeat the mistake.

If we are sincere, our apology will include an admission of any wrong, a seeking of forgiveness, and an effort to undo damage to the extent possible. In turn, the one who was offended should readily forgive the repentant wrongdoer. (Matthew 18:21, 22; Mark 11:25; Ephesians 4:32; Colossians 3:13) Since both parties are imperfect, peacemaking may not always proceed smoothly. Still, words of apology are a strong force toward making peace.
When an Apology Is Inappropriate

Although expressions of regret and sorrow have a soothing effect and contribute to peace, a wise person avoids using such expressions when it is not appropriate to do so. Suppose, for example, that the issue involves integrity to God. When Jesus Christ was on earth, "he humbled himself and became obedient as far as death, yes, death on a torture stake." (Philippians 2:8) He did not, however, apologize for his beliefs in order to alleviate his suffering. And Jesus did not offer an apology when the high priest demanded: "By the living God I put you under oath to tell us whether you are the Christ the Son of God!" Instead of sheepishly apologizing, Jesus courageously replied: "You yourself said it. Yet I say to you men, From henceforth you will see the Son of man sitting at the right hand of power and coming on the clouds of heaven." (Matthew 26:63, 64) The thought of keeping peace with the high priest at the cost of his integrity to his Father, Jehovah God, never occurred to Jesus.

Christians show respect and honor to people in authority. Still, they have no need to apologize for their obedience to God and for their love for their brothers.—Matthew 28:19, 20; Romans 13:5-7.
No Obstacle to Peace

Today, we make mistakes because we inherited imperfection and sin from our ancestor Adam. (Romans 5:12; 1 John 1:10) Adam's sinful condition was a result of his rebellion against the Creator. Originally, though, Adam and Eve were perfect and sinless, and God has promised to restore humans to this state of perfection. He will wipe away sin and all its effects.—1 Corinthians 15:56, 57.

Just think what that will mean! In his counsel on the use of the tongue, Jesus' half brother James said: "If anyone does not stumble in word, this one is a perfect man, able to bridle also his whole body." (James 3:2) A perfect man can control his tongue so that he does not have to apologize for its misuse. He is 'able to bridle his whole body.' How wonderful it will be when we become perfect! Then, there will no longer be obstacles to peace between individuals. In the meantime, though, offering a sincere and appropriate apology for a wrong committed will go a long way toward making peace.

* It might well have been because of Paul's poor eyesight that he did not recognize the high priest.


IN July 2000, the California State Legislature in the United States passed a bill designed to relieve people of liability if they express sympathy to an individual who was injured in an accident in which they themselves were involved. Why the legislation? It was noted that when an accident causes injury or damage, people often hesitate to extend an apology lest it be construed in court as an admission of guilt. On the other hand, those who feel that they should be given a prompt apology may get upset, and a minor accident may turn into a major dispute.

Of course, it is not necessary to apologize for an accident that is not your fault. And there may be times when the wise course is to be careful about what you say. An old proverb says: "In the abundance of words there does not fail to be transgression, but the one keeping his lips in check is acting discreetly." (Proverbs 10:19; 27:12) Still, you can be courteous and helpful.

Is it not true, though, that many people have stopped apologizing, even when lawsuits are not involved? At home a wife may lament, 'My husband never apologizes for anything.' At work a foreman may complain, 'My men do not admit their mistakes, and they hardly ever say that they are sorry.' At school a teacher may report, 'Children are not trained to say excuse me.'

"Children are not trained
to say excuse me"
Misbehaving school children

"My men do not
admit their mistakes"
Careless workers

"My husband never
Upset husband and wife

One reason why a person hesitates to apologize may be the fear of rejection. Troubled by the thought of being given the cold shoulder, he may not express how he really feels. Why, the person who was hurt might totally avoid the offender, making reconciliation very difficult.

A lack of concern for other people's feelings may be another reason why some hesitate to apologize. They may reason, 'Apologizing will not undo the blunder I have already made.' Still others hesitate to say that they are sorry because of the possible consequences. They wonder, 'Will I be held responsible and be asked to make compensation?' However, the biggest hurdle to admitting a mistake is pride. A person who is too proud to say "I am sorry" may in essence conclude, 'I don't want to lose face by admitting my blunder. That would weaken my position.'

For whatever reason, many find words of apology hard to utter. But is it really necessary to apologize?

Satisfying Our Hunger for Friendship

Satisfying Our Hunger for Friendship

“LONELINESS is not an illness,” states the book In Search of Intimacy. “Loneliness is a healthy hunger . . . , a natural sign that we are lacking companionship.” Just as hunger moves us to take in nourishing food, feelings of loneliness should move us to seek out good friends.

Yet, as Yaël, a young woman in France, observes, “some people avoid all contact with others.” But isolating ourselves, for whatever reason, solves nothing and inevitably makes us feel lonelier than ever. A Bible proverb says: “One isolating himself will seek his own selfish longing; against all practical wisdom he will break forth.” (Proverbs 18:1) So first we need to recognize our need for friendship and then resolve to do something about it.
Take Practical Steps Toward Friendship

Instead of feeling sorry for yourself or envying those who seem to have more or better friendships, why not adopt a positive attitude, as did Manuela, from Italy? She says: “Particularly as a teen, I felt that I was being left out. To overcome this, I studied people who had good friends. Then I tried to develop the good qualities they had, to make myself a more pleasant person.”

One practical step is to take care of yourself physically and otherwise. A healthful diet, proper rest, and adequate exercise all help you to look and feel your best. Being neat, clean, and well-groomed not only makes you more desirable to be around but also gives you a healthy measure of self-respect. However, do not fall into the trap of becoming overly concerned about outward appearances. “Wearing fashionable clothing doesn’t make any difference in finding real friends,” notes Gaëlle, from France. “What good people are looking for is the inner person.”
A young man 1. exercising, 2. shaving, and 3. reading the Bible

Caring for your body and mind makes you more attractive

After all, our innermost thoughts and feelings affect what we talk about and even how we look. Do you have a confident outlook on life? This will help you to have a happy expression on your face. A genuine smile is the most attractive thing you can wear and, explains body-language expert Roger E. Axtell, “it is absolutely universal” and “is rarely misunderstood.”* Add to that a good sense of humor, and people will be naturally drawn to you.

Remember, such good qualities come from the inside. So actively fill your mind and heart with wholesome, positive thoughts and feelings. Read about interesting and meaningful subjects—current events, different cultures, natural phenomena. Listen to uplifting music. But avoid passively allowing TV, movies, and novels to clog your mind and emotions with fantasy. The relationships usually portrayed on the screen are not real life, not real friendships, but the product of someone’s imagination.

Two women talking

Friends open up to each other

Open Your Heart!

Zuleica, who lives in Italy, recalls: “When I was younger, I was shy, and I found it hard to make friends. But I knew that if we want to have friends, we have to take the initiative, make ourselves known, and get to know others.” Yes, to have real friends, we must open up to others—let them get to know who we really are. Such communication and sharing are far more important to true friendship than having good looks and a charismatic personality. “People with deep and lasting friendships may be introverts, extroverts, young, old, dull, intelligent, homely, good-looking; but the one characteristic they always have in common is openness,” observes counselor Dr. Alan Loy McGinnis. “They have a certain transparency, allowing people to see what is in their hearts.”

This doesn’t mean wearing your heart on your sleeve or revealing your innermost secrets to people you don’t feel comfortable with. But it does mean selectively and progressively revealing your true thoughts and feelings to others. Michela, from Italy, says: “At first, I had the problem of concealing my feelings. I had to make changes, to try to manifest my feelings more, in order for my friends to understand what I was feeling and to feel closer to me.”

Even if you are naturally gregarious, however, it still takes time and shared experiences for mutual trust to develop between friends. In the meantime, try not to be overly anxious about what others may think of you. Elisa, in Italy, recalls: “My problem was that every time I wanted to say something, I was afraid it wasn’t going to come out right. Then I thought, ‘If people really are my friends, they will understand.’ So if something came out wrong, I just laughed at myself, and everyone laughed with me.”

Therefore, relax! Just be yourself. Putting on an act doesn’t help. “No one can be more attractive than by being his or her sincere, best self,” wrote family counselor F. Alexander Magoun. People who are truly happy don’t have to fake it or try to impress others. Only by being genuine can we enjoy genuine friendship. Likewise, we need to let others be themselves. Happy people accept others as they are, not fretting over minor foibles. They don’t feel the need to remake their friends to conform to their own preconceived ideas. Work to be that type of happy, noncritical person.
To Have a Friend, Be a Friend

There is an even more important factor—the most fundamental one. Nearly 2,000 years ago, Jesus showed that the key to success in all human relations is unselfish love. He taught: “Just as you want men to do to you, do the same way to them.” (Luke 6:31) This teaching has come to be known as the Golden Rule. Yes, the only way to have real friends is to be an unselfish, giving friend yourself. In other words, to have a friend, be a friend. To be successful, friendship must be more about giving than about getting. We must be prepared to put our friend’s needs ahead of our own preferences and convenience.

Manuela, quoted previously, notes: “Just as Jesus said it would, true happiness comes from giving. The person receiving is happy, but the giver is even happier. We can give simply by sincerely asking how our friends are, by trying to understand their problems, and by doing all we can without waiting for them to ask.” So reach out to others, including the friends you already have. Strengthen your relationships. Do not sacrifice friendship for less-noble and less-fulfilling pursuits. Friends deserve time and attention. Ruben, in Italy, comments: “Taking time is fundamental to finding and keeping friends. First of all, it takes time to be a good listener. We can all improve in listening and in showing our interest in what others say by not interrupting.”
Show Respect for Others

Another key element of happy, long-term friendships is mutual respect. This includes showing consideration for others’ feelings. You want your friends to be tactful and discreet when their tastes or opinions differ from yours, don’t you? Shouldn’t you treat them the same?—Romans 12:10.

Another way we show respect is by not smothering our friends. Real friendship is neither jealous nor possessive. At 1 Corinthians 13:4, the Bible states: “Love is not jealous.” So guard against the tendency to want your friends all to yourself. If they confide in others, do not take offense and perhaps even shun them. Learn that we all need to widen out in our friendships. Allow your friends to develop other friendships too.

Consider also your friends’ need for privacy. Individuals, as well as married couples, need time for themselves. While you should not hesitate to reach out to others, be balanced and thoughtful, and do not wear out your welcome with your friends. The Bible cautions: “Make your foot rare at the house of your fellowman, that he may not have his sufficiency of you.”—Proverbs 25:17.
Do Not Demand Perfection

Of course, when people get to know each other, they become more aware of the other’s weaknesses as well as strengths. Still, we should not let this hold us back from making friends. “Some expect a bit too much from potential friends,” comments Pacôme, in France. “They want them to have only good qualities, but that’s not possible.” Not one of us has perfection to offer, and we do not have the right to demand it of others. We hope our friends will accept us despite our imperfections and make allowances for us. Shouldn’t we try to overlook our friends’ shortcomings too, by not imagining or overemphasizing them? Author Dennis Prager reminds us: “Flawless friends (i.e., those who never complain, are always loving, never have moods, are fixated on us, and never disappoint us) are known as pets.” If we don’t want to end up with pets as our closest friends, we need to heed the apostle Peter’s advice to let ‘love cover a multitude of sins.’—1 Peter 4:8.

It has been said that friendship doubles our joys and halves our sorrows. However, to be realistic, we cannot expect our friends to fill all our needs or solve all our problems. That is a selfish view of friendship.
Loyal Friends Through Thick and Thin

Once we have made a friend, we should never take his or her friendship for granted. When separated by time and distance, friends think about each other, pray for each other. Even if they can get together only rarely, they can quickly catch up on each other’s lives. Especially in times of difficulty or need, it is vital to be there for our friends. For the most part, we must not withdraw when friends have problems. That may be when they need us most. “A true companion is loving all the time, and is a brother that is born for when there is distress.” (Proverbs 17:17) And when true friends have misunderstandings, they are quick to make amends and forgive each other. Real friends do not abandon their friends just because the road gets bumpy.

By having unselfish motives and by approaching others with a positive attitude, you can gain friends. But the kind of friends you have is also important. How can you select good friends? The next article will discuss that question.

* See also the article “Smile—It’s Good for You!” in the July 8, 2000, issue of Awake!

A young woman A young man
Can Men and Women Be “Just Friends”?

Can men and women who are not married to each other be friends? That depends on what we mean by the word “friend.” Jesus was a close friend of Mary and Martha of Bethany—both single women. (John 11:1, 5) The apostle Paul was a friend of Priscilla and her husband, Aquila. (Acts 18:2, 3) We can be sure that these individuals shared warm affection. At the same time, we cannot imagine that either Jesus or Paul ever allowed these relationships to drift in the direction of romance.

Modern society thrusts men and women into each other’s worlds more than ever before, and it is becoming increasingly necessary for people of both genders to know how to have appropriate, friendly relationships with each other. Couples too benefit from wholesome friendships with other couples and with single people.

“Distinguishing between romantic, sexual and friendly feelings, however, can be exceedingly difficult,” cautions Psychology Today magazine. “The reality that sexual attraction could suddenly enter the equation of a cross-sex friendship uninvited is always lurking in the background. A simple, platonic hug could instantaneously take on a more amorous meaning.”

For married couples, being realistic and practical is especially important. “All forms of intimacy with others can threaten a marriage,” writes author Dennis Prager in his book Happiness Is a Serious Problem. “It is not sex alone that makes for an intimate relationship, and your spouse has the right to expect to be your one truly intimate friend of the opposite sex.” Jesus pointed out that maintaining moral chastity is a matter of the heart. (Matthew 5:28) Therefore, be friendly, but guard your heart and scrupulously avoid situations that could lead to improper thoughts, feelings, or actions toward anyone of the opposite sex.


We All Need Friends

“A friend is someone you can talk to freely about anything, someone you can call any time of the day.” —Yaël, France

“A friend understands when you’re hurt and feels the same things inside that you do.” —Gaëlle, France

“THERE exists a friend sticking closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24) Since the time those words were written in the Bible some 3,000 years ago, human nature has not changed. Friendship is still as vital to the human spirit as food and water are to the human body. Yet, for many, satisfying this basic need for friendship is difficult. Loneliness is common. “We don’t have to look far to see some of the causes,” state Carin Rubenstein and Phillip Shaver in their book In Search of Intimacy. They cite such factors as “widespread mobility”—people changing residence frequently—“impersonal, crime-ridden cities,” and “the substitution of television and home videotape-viewing for face-to-face community life.”

Modern life also spreads our time and energy thin. “Today’s city dweller comes into contact with more people in a week than the seventeenth-century villager did in a year or even a lifetime,” writes Letty Pogrebin in her book Among Friends. With potentially hundreds of acquaintances crowding our lives, it can be difficult to focus on individuals long enough to develop and sustain deep friendships.

Even in places where not long ago the pace of life was less hectic, social conditions are changing rapidly. “We used to feel very, very close to our friends,” says Ulla, who lives in Eastern Europe. “But now many immerse themselves in their jobs or in personal pursuits. Everyone is busy all the time, and we sense our old friendships slowly coming apart.” In the haste of the times, friendships can get relegated to a lower priority.

But our need for friends remains acute. Young people in particular feel this need. As Yaël, quoted above, explains, “when you are young, you need to feel accepted and to belong, to feel close to someone.” Young or old, we all need happy and meaningful friendships. And despite the challenges, there is much we can do to make and keep real friends. The following articles will discuss this.

5 Thing you should consider before Getting into a New Relationship

Monday, November 17, 2008

After any long-term relationship it may be tough to find the inner strength or desire to open your heart to love again. When a love interest comes knocking at your door, how do you know that old battle wounds and scars have been healed enough to let love in? Seeing as each person is completely individual, there really isn't a way to know exactly when the right time to begin a new relationship is. What may work for one person, may not work for another. Fortunately, there are a few key attributes that successful relationships have in common. If you find that you meet these, then it may be time to let love in. When you're ready to analyze your heart's state of affairs, take an honest look at the questions below to determine how ready you really are.

1 - How stable is your life?
How can you possibly hope to keep a relationship together if your life isn't put together properly? I think many of us use relationships as a way to help fix ourselves, when actually; we should be trying to do that before we find someone else. Isn't it true that a good many of our love interests result from someone who was there to give us a stable hand? How do you think your next relationship will benefit if you were already stable?

2 - Have you learned something about yourself from every past relationship?
On our path through life we encounter many different obstacles, people and experiences. This is what makes us unique. Everyone has a different life experience. The people who create happy lives take each experience and make it work for them, especially if it is a negative one. If you haven't learned something about the way you interact with another person from your past relationships, you're living in cycle that won't get broken until you take the time to find out. You can't possibly expect to break negative habits if you're not aware of them.

3 - Have you narrowed down your specific desires as to what type of person you want to meet?
Each relationship offers us an opportunity to review our master list of qualities of our ideal mate. Sometimes, what we thought we wanted didn't even come close to what we really needed. After a long-term relationship it is especially prudent to revise your list of desirable traits. Were there things about your past partner that hindered you from being really you? What traits would help you feel the most comfortable with being yourself?

4 - Are you really over your past?
I know, you're probably thinking it's a misprint? You may be thinking "Don't you mean past love?" Sometimes, I find we identify our past with our past loves. Our life may have included something that was special that we may be feeling is missing now. Somehow that gets wrapped up in our emotions with our past love. So, instead of trying to find new ways to make our life more complete, we think we need to have our past love to feel complete. Make sure you identify your real sources of desire before beginning a new relationship.

5 - Have you talked about your feelings with someone else?
It is often easier to deal with the real issues of the heart privately. However, this isn't always the best option. Talking about what's really going on in your mind and your heart gives you the opportunity to release any painful or negative emotions you didn't know you had bottled up. Trust me, there are almost always bottled up emotions you're unaware of. If you don't have anyone you feel you can trust to talk to, try talking to a group of people online. A great place to start would be our anonymous advice forums. Use them as a sounding board to get inspiration or just to get everything off your chest. Whoever you talk to, you'll be glad you did.

Is Living Together a Good Foundation for Marriage?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A man and a woman who were viewed as husband and wife were used to fighting right in front of their children, and this has gone a long way to affect the life of their children who were just growing, so the fighting has called for attention of the public, because they always fight has people who were just forced to marry each other. All these was caused because they had fail to heed to the bible counsel of getting married before a man and a woman of can live together has husband and wife.

Two people of the opposite sex living together without the benefit of marriage has become a common phenomenon in industrialized societies across the world and about half of cohabiting individual view living together as away to assess compatibility prior to marriage, seemingly, then this arrangement should eliminate poor matches and make subsequent marriages more stable.Among married individuals, premarital co-habitation is related to lower marital satisfaction, less time spent together in shared activities, higher levels of marital disagreement, less supportive behavior, less positive problem solving, and more reports of marital problems, Furthermore compared with couples who enter directly into marriage, couples who cohabit first have higher risk of marital dissolution {Divorce}.As this study demonstrates, what might seem prudent from human standpoint may in reality be very unwise. This fact underscores the truth of the word at Jeremiah 10:23. "It does not belong to man......even to direct his step." How much wiser it is to look to God's word, the bible, which provides much fine counsel on the subject of marriage.

For example regarding the marital relationship, the bible says: " A man will leave his father and mother and he must stick to his wife and they must become one flesh, heeding to the bible Devinne directives will help us have a successful relation and marriage instead of following flawed and often fickle human reasoning, greatly improves prospect for a truly happy and lasting marriage.

Why not let the bible control you way of life, so that you will not even think of living with any member of the opposite sex without marriage, because this will be really bad and can cause marital resolution in you marriage life, and these will go a long way to affect your family life and the way things are done in your home.

So what you should do if you find out that you and your mate are not legally married is for you to separate or get legally married. So that they will be a Devinne blessing in your family, and you will be blessed by the creator of mankind by heeding to his counsel.

How you can help the Elderly

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

We are living in the last days, and now things are just going all in opposite ways human were created from the beginning of creation on ward, the more humans live into the state of imperfection the more respect for the elderly deteriorate, and these has made many older ones often feel they are been left behind in our modern fast-paced world, and this has lead to a lot of depression among the elderly, and this is not a part of normal aging process.
The following are ways you can help the elderly :-
(1) Preserve Their Dignity: Do not sharply rebuke an older man, but be appealing to him as a father, to older woman as a mother.
(2) Listen Carefully. Be swift about hearing, slow about speaking, slow about speaking, slow about wrath. Put your legs in the shoes, that is assume you were the older person, how will you feel if your grand child should talk to you harshly and make you feel unwanted, definitely you feel bad and unhappy, so think and improve in your manner of talking to the elderly ways one that is if you have a conscience, and what to rip a good reward.
(3) Show Empathy: God’s word urge us to like-minded, showing fellow feelings, having brotherly affection, tenderly compassionate, humble in mind, not paying back injury for injury or reviling for reviling, applying this will help us a lot in our way of treating the elderly ones.
(4) Discern when encouragement is Needed: As apples of gold in silver carvings is a word spoken at the right time for it, so try to encourage any older person that they is still hope of been young again under God’s messianic kingdom, tell them never to see their old age as the end to their life, because humans were not created by God to live for a short while and die, so they is hope for them to be young again in the future. (Job 33:25).
(5) Include them in your activities: If you are doing any thing that is wholesome try to include them in your activity, by doing so you will be encouraging them and making them feel accepted and needed, that along will help prolong their life span and you will always learn from them, ways you can include them in your activities may include sport or going out for tourism and other wholesome activities. “Fellow the course of hospitality.”-Romans 12:13
(6) Offer Practical Assistance. Whoever has this world’s means for supporting life and behold his brother having need and yet shuts the door of his tender compassions upon him, in what way does the love of God remain in him? Little children, lets us love, neither in word nor tongue, but in deed and truth. So offer practical help to the elderly ones, like helping them wash their cloths, cleaning their apartments and other ways you think they need your assistance.
(7) Be long-suffering. “clothes yourselves with the tender affection of compassion, kindness, lowliness of mind, mildness and long-suffering.”
By caring for the elderly, we show respect for God’s own standards because his word states: “You must show consideration for an old man or woman. Leviticus 19: 32, by so doing you will be blessed by God and will live plenty days on earth, and when you grow older no one is going to treat you in a bad way, because you will be ripping the reward of what you sow when you were young.

Solutions to Drug Abuse!!!!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

"EVERYONE takes drugs." That sweeping statement may be used to induce the naive to experiment with illicit drugs. But depending on how we define "drugs," those words contain an element of truth. The term "drug" is defined as: "Any chemical substance, whether of natural or synthetic origin, which can be used to alter perception, mood or other psychological states." That is a useful, broad description of what are called psychoactive drugs, although it does not cover many medicinal drugs used for physical ailments. According to that definition, alcohol is a drug. The danger lies in its immoderate use, which is evidently increasing. A survey of colleges and universities in a Western country found that "binge drinking is the most serious drug problem on college campuses." The survey revealed that 44 percent of students were binge drinkers.* Like alcohol, tobacco is legally available, although it contains a powerful poison, nicotine. According to the World Health Organization, smoking kills about four million people a year. Yet, tobacco barons are wealthy, honored members of society. Cigarette smoking is also highly addictive, perhaps more so than the use of many of the illegal drugs. In recent years numerous countries have curbed tobacco advertising and imposed other restrictions. Nevertheless, many people still see smoking as an acceptable social activity. Smoking continues to be glamorized by the film industry. A University of California at San Francisco survey of top money-making films between the years 1991 and 1996 found that 80 percent of the leading men portrayed characters who smoked. Young people overdrinking Binge drinking is a major problem on many college campuses What About "Safe" Drugs? Medicinal drugs have certainly benefited many, but they can be abused. Doctors may at times prescribe drugs too easily, or they are pressured by patients to prescribe drugs that are not necessary. One physician commented: "Doctors don't always take time to sit with the patient to work out the cause of his symptoms. It's easier to say, 'Take this pill.' But the primary problem is not addressed." Even nonprescription drugs, such as aspirin and paracetamol (Tylenol, Panadol), if abused can lead to serious health problems. Over 2,000 people worldwide die each year as a result of misusing paracetamol. According to our earlier definition, the caffeine in tea and coffee is also a drug, although we hardly regard it as such when drinking our favorite breakfast brew. And it would be absurd to view socially acceptable drinks like tea or coffee in the same light as hard drugs like heroin. That would be like comparing a domestic kitten to a fierce lion. Nevertheless, according to some health experts, if you habitually drink more than five cups of coffee or nine cups of tea a day, it could do you harm. Furthermore, if you were to cut a very high intake drastically, you could undergo withdrawal symptoms similar to those of one tea drinker who experienced vomiting, severe headaches, and sensitivity to light. Man smoking a cigarette Many view cigarettes and "recreational" drugs as harmless What About the Illicit Use of Drugs? A more controversial issue is the use of drugs in sports. This was highlighted at the 1998 Tour de France when the nine cyclists of the top team were expelled for using performance-enhancing drugs. Athletes have devised various ways to counter drug tests. Time magazine reports that some have even gone so far as to have "'urine transplants,' meaning [that] someone else's 'clean' urine is inserted into their bladder via a catheter, an often painful procedure." We have yet to deal with the bewildering array of illicit drugs used for "recreational" purposes. These include marijuana, ecstasy (methylenedioxy-methamphetamine, or MDMA), LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide), uppers (stimulants like cocaine and amphetamines), downers (depressants like tranquilizers), and heroin. Not to be forgotten are the various inhalants, such as glue and gasoline, that are popular among the young. Of course, these inhalants are not banned substances and are readily available. The common notion of an emaciated drug addict shooting up in a dingy room can be deceptive. Many on drugs are still able to function relatively normally in everyday life, although their addiction must affect the quality of their life to a greater or lesser degree. Nevertheless, we cannot minimize the dark side of the drug scene. One writer describes how some cocaine users "are capable of 'shooting up' dozens of times in a single session, converting their bodies into needle-pricked, bloody, and bruised messes." After an apparent decline in the late 1980's, illegal drug use is on the rise again worldwide. Newsweek magazine observed: "Authorities are overwhelmed by an onslaught of drug smuggling, a rise in drug use of almost every kind and a dearth of funds—and information—needed to fight it." The Star newspaper of Johannesburg, South Africa, stated that according to government statistics, "one in four people living in South Africa are addicted to alcohol or drugs." The UN Research Institute for Social Development pointed out that "drug producers and traffickers . . . have organized themselves on a global scale and put a significant proportion of their drug profits in financial centres offering secrecy and attractive investment returns. . . . Drug traffickers are now able to launder illicit profits by moving money around the world electronically with few national controls." It appears that many Americans may handle cocaine daily, albeit unknowingly. An article in Discover magazine explained that most American bank notes bear traces of the drug. The fact is that today the use of drugs, including illicit drugs, has become acceptable to many, viewed as a part of everyday life. Considering the widely publicized damage caused by illicit drugs as well as tobacco and alcohol, the obvious question is, Why do people abuse them? As we ponder this question, it is a good time to reflect on our own views about drugs.

Binge drinking is it really harmful?

BINGE DRINKING. Some define it as simply drinking to get drunk. A report by the U.S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism tried to be more specific. It said that binge drinking is “typically defined as consuming five or more drinks in a row for men, and four or more drinks in a row for women.” Health officials in the United States call binge drinking “a major public health problem.” According to a study of secondary-school children in England, Scotland, and Wales, “up to a quarter of 13 and 14-year-olds claimed to have ‘downed’ at least five alcoholic drinks in a single session.” About half of all 15- and 16-year-olds surveyed said they had done the same. In one U.S. study, 2 out of 5 college students had engaged in binge drinking at least once during the two weeks prior to the survey. According to the U.S. Department of Health, “about 10.4 million adolescents ages 12 to 20 reported using alcohol. Of those, 5.1 million were binge drinkers and included 2.3 million heavy drinkers who binged at least five times a month.” A study done in Australia revealed that more girls than boys in that land binge drink—consuming between 13 and 30 drinks a session! Much of this drinking takes place at the urging of other youths. Reports researcher Carol Falkowski: “New and daring drinking games flourish: group activities with the goal of drinking alcohol to intoxication. Some, for example, require all players to drink a shot of distilled spirits at a specified moment of a TV show or group conversation.” Binge Drinking—The Dangers While heavy drinking may be considered a game to some, it is a very dangerous game! Excessive amounts of alcohol deprive the brain of oxygen; vital bodily functions can begin to shut down. Symptoms may include vomiting, unconsciousness, and slow or irregular breathing. In some cases death can result. About a month after graduating from high school, 17-year-old Kim went to an “all-you-can-drink” party. Kim consumed 17 drinks before passing out. Her older sister then came and took Kim home. The next morning, Kim’s mother found her dead. Overdrinking may rarely cause death directly, but it still poses a health threat. “Alcohol can raise havoc with any organ in your body,” says mental-health expert Jerome Levin. “Alcohol’s favorite targets are the nervous system, the liver, and the heart.” Says an article in Discover magazine: “New research suggests that young drinkers are courting danger. Because their brains are still developing well into their twenties, teens who drink excessively may be destroying significant amounts of mental capacity.” Chronic alcohol consumption is also associated with increased acne, premature wrinkling of the skin, weight gain, damage to internal organs, alcohol dependency, and drug addiction. There are other dangers associated with overdrinking. If you become drunk, you may be vulnerable to mistreatment. You can become the victim of physical assault or even rape. At the same time, you might well be a danger to others, engaging in out-of-control forms of behavior that you would not even consider if sober. The Bible thus warns that if you overdrink, “your own eyes will see strange things, and your own heart will speak perverse things.” (Proverbs 23:33) Painful consequences can include ruined friendships, poor performance at school and work, a criminal record, and poverty.#—Proverbs 23:21. Binge Drinking—Tragic Statistics Young man passed out from overdrinking The following statistics reveal the sad consequences of binge drinking among college students in the United States: Death: Each year 1,400 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die from alcohol-related unintentional injuries, including motor vehicle crashes Injury: 500,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are unintentionally injured when under the influence of alcohol Assault: More than 600,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are assaulted by another student who has been drinking Sexual Abuse: More than 70,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are victims of alcohol-related sexual assault or date rape Source: The U.S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism The Pressure to Drink Despite such dangers, alcohol is heavily promoted and readily available in many lands. In fact, drinking alcohol is glamorized in TV and magazine advertisements. More often, though, young people succumb to binge drinking as a result of peer pressure. In an alcohol awareness survey taken in Australia, 36 percent of the young ones questioned said that they drank primarily “to fit in at social activities.” In the chaotic atmosphere of a “beer bash,” an otherwise shy person can become the life of the party as his peers urge him to down drink after drink. Young Katie was brought home in a coma after doing so. Her “friend” had given her alcohol, saying: “Come on, Katie, you’re a big girl now. You should learn to chug it.” The desire to have a good time and to fit in with others is so powerful that despite compelling evidence that binge drinking is dangerous, it continues to be popular. What Choice Will You Make? The questions arise: What choices will you make when it comes to drinking? Will you simply follow your peers? Remember what the Bible says at Romans 6:16: “Do you not know that if you keep presenting yourselves to anyone as slaves to obey him, you are slaves of him because you obey him?” If you let your peers control your every move, you become nothing more than a slave to them. The Bible urges you to think for yourself. (Proverbs 1:4) It contains advice that can help you to avoid making serious mistakes. Consider what it has to say about alcohol. Actually, the Bible does not condemn drinking alcohol, nor is it against young people having a good time. However, it does warn against overdrinking. “Wine is a ridiculer, intoxicating liquor is boisterous, and everyone going astray by it is not wise,” says Proverbs 20:1. Yes, alcohol can make one act in a ridiculous and loud way! True, it may momentarily bring you pleasure, but if you overindulge, it “bites just like a serpent,” leaving you with a host of physical and emotional injuries.—Proverbs 23:32. Something else to consider is that in many countries there is a minimum age for drinking alcohol. Christians obey such laws. (Titus 3:1) They are there to protect you. Finally, and most important, consider the spiritual damage over drinking can cause. Jehovah God wants you to serve him with “your whole mind”—not a mind needlessly damaged by overindulgence in alcohol! (Matthew 22:37) God’s Word condemns not only “excesses with wine” but also “drinking matches.” (1 Peter 4:3) Engaging in binge drinking is therefore counter to the will of our Creator. Such excess can prevent one from enjoying a close relationship with God. What should you do if binge drinking has caught you in its snare? Get help immediately by speaking to a parent or a mature Christian.% Go to Jehovah God in prayer and beg for his help. After all, he is “a help that is readily to be found during distresses.” (Psalm 46:1) Since binge drinking and underage drinking often result from peer pressure, you may need to make substantial changes in your choice of friends and entertainment. Making such changes will not be easy, but with Jehovah’s help you can succeed.

How you can help your children when they are in crisis

SHOCKING incidents like these are not isolated events. They cannot be brushed off as mere aberrations. “Youth violence is a major problem in our society,” says an article in Professional School Counseling. Statistics back this claim.

The U.S. National Center for Education Statistics notes that while there has been some decline in reported school violence in that country, “students ages 12-18 were victims of about 2 million nonfatal crimes of violence or theft at school in 2001.” There has also been an increase in reports of school bullying.

But not all youth violence in the United States is directed at other students. “Over the 5-year period from 1997 through 2001,” the same source reports, “teachers were victims of approximately 1.3 million nonfatal crimes at school, including 817,000 thefts and 473,000 violence crimes.” Furthermore, “9 percent of all elementary and secondary school teachers were threatened with injury by a student, and 4 percent were physically attacked by a student.”

The picture in other lands? “China arrested 69,780 juvenile delinquents in 2003,” reports one news agency, “an increase of 12.7 percent over 2002.” The news item notes that “gang crimes accounted for 70 percent of juvenile delinquency.” A report from Japan in 2003 similarly said that youths were responsible for half the crimes committed in the preceding ten years.
Drugs—An Assault on Young Bodies
A teenage boy smoking marijuana

Further evidence of trouble involves the assault that many young ones are making against their own bodies. A report by the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse states that about half of all teenagers in that land have tried an illicit drug before finishing high school. The report adds: “Alcohol use remains extremely widespread among today’s teenagers. Nearly four out of every five students (77%) have consumed alcohol (more than just a few sips) by the end of high school; and nearly half (46%) have done so by 8th grade.”
Promiscuous Sex

In this age of AIDS, promiscuous sex is unquestionably dangerous. Yet, many youths seem to view sex as little more than a harmless game. Some American youths, for example, blithely speak of “hooking up”—a harmless-sounding euphemism for casual sex. They talk about having “a friend with benefits”—a sexual partner who makes no emotional demands.

Author Scott Walter describes the orgylike parties some suburban youths throw while their parents are at work. At one such party, a young girl announced that “she was going to have sex with all the boys there. . . . Children as young as 12 were involved in the parties.”

Shocking? Not to experts who have studied teenage sexual behavior. “Over the past 20 years,” writes Dr. Andrea Pennington, “we have seen the average age for teenagers engaging in sexual activity grow younger and younger. It is no longer unusual to find boys and girls starting out as young as 12 years of age.”

Particularly distressing was a report in the newspaper USA Today: “Increasing numbers of the country’s youngest teens . . . are having oral sex. . . . Kids have convinced themselves that ‘this is not really sex.’” According to one survey of 10,000 girls, “eighty percent said they are virgins, but 25% had had oral sex. And 27% described that act as ‘something you do with a guy for fun.’”

Such views on sex have made inroads elsewhere. “Asia’s youth are becoming increasingly susceptible to HIV through heterosexual relationships with many becoming sexually active at a younger age,” reports UNESCO, adding: “Teenagers are increasingly shirking their parents’ ‘Asian values’ by having premarital sex, often with multiple partners.”

Further signs of youthful distress? Canada’s Women’s Health Weekly reports: “Twenty-five percent of females between ages 16 and 19 will experience an episode of major depression.” However, depression is an illness that afflicts both sexes. According to U.S.News & World Report, every year up to five thousand young people kill themselves. For some reason, the report notes, “boys kill themselves six times more often than do girls.”

Can families really be happy? How is it possible?

Interestingly, many believe that the family arrangement had no Originator. The Encyclopedia Americana says: "Some scholars are inclined to trace the origin of marriage to pairing arrangements of animals below man." Yet, Jesus Christ spoke of the creation of man and woman. He quoted as authority the early Bible record and said: "What God has yoked together let no man put apart."—Matthew 19:4-6. Do you know any families that are as united and happy as those seen in this tract? Families everywhere are coming apart at the seams. Divorce, lack of job security, single-parent dilemmas, frustration—all of these contribute to the crisis. An expert on family life lamented: "By now, predictions of the demise of the family are familiar to everyone." Why are families today bombarded with such serious problems? How can we enjoy family life? How the Family Originated A happy familyTo answer these questions, we need to know the origin of marriage and the family. For if these had an Originator—a Creator—family members should look to him for guidance, since he would surely know best how we can enjoy family life to the full. So Jesus Christ is right. An intelligent God created the first humans and arranged for happy family life. God brought the first couple together in marriage and said that the man "must stick to his wife and they must become one flesh." (Genesis 2:22-24) Could it be, then, that today's family problems are due to the pursuit of life-styles that violate standards set by the Creator in his Word, the Bible? Which Way to Success? Couple with a baby girlAs you are no doubt aware, the modern world promotes self-interest and self-fulfillment. "Greed is healthy," a financier told a college graduating class in the United States. "You can be greedy and still feel good about yourself." But pursuing material possessions doesn't lead to success. Materialism, in fact, is one of the greatest single threats to family life because it gets in the way of human relationships and drains people of time and money. In contrast, consider how just two Bible proverbs help us to see what is important to happiness. "Better to eat vegetables with people you love than to eat the finest meat where there is hate." "Better to eat a dry crust of bread with peace of mind than have a banquet in a house full of trouble." Proverbs 15:17; 17:1, "Today's English Version." Powerful, aren't they? Just think how different the world would be if every family held to these priorities! The Bible also provides valuable guidance on how family members should treat one another. Consider just a few directives it gives. Husbands: 'Be loving your wife as your own body.'—Ephesians 5:28-30. Simple, but very practical! The Bible also directs a husband to 'assign his wife honor.' (1 Peter 3:7) He does this by giving her special attention, including tenderness, understanding, and reassurance. He also values her opinions and listens to her. (Compare Genesis 21:12.) Don't you agree that any family will benefit if the husband treats his wife with concern, as he himself would want to be treated?—Matthew 7:12. Wives: "Have deep respect for [your] husband."—Ephesians 5:33. A wife contributes to family happiness by assisting her husband to fulfill his heavy responsibilities. This is what was intended, since God provided a wife to be "a helper for him, as a complement of him." (Genesis 2:18) Can you appreciate the blessing to family life when a wife shows her husband respect by supporting his decisions and cooperating with him to achieve family goals? Marriage Mates: "Husbands and wives must be faithful to each other."—Hebrews 13:4, TEV. When they are, family life is certain to benefit. Adultery often devastates a family. (Proverbs 6:27-29, 32) Wisely, therefore, the Bible urges: "Be happy with your wife and find your joy with the girl you married . . . Why should you give your love to another woman?"—Proverbs 5:18-20, TEV. Parents: "Train up [your children] according to the way for [them]."—Proverbs 22:6. When parents give time and attention to children, family life is sure to improve. Thus, the Bible urges parents to teach their children right principles 'when they sit in their house and when they walk on the road and when they lie down and when they get up.' (Deuteronomy 11:19) The Bible also says parents should show they love their children by disciplining them.—Ephesians 6:4. Children: "Children, be obedient to your parents in union with the Lord."—Ephesians 6:1. True, in this lawless world, it is not always easy to obey your parents. Yet, don't you agree that it is wise to do what the Originator of the family tells us? He knows what is best to make our family life happier. So try hard to obey your parents. Be determined to avoid the many temptations of the world to do what is bad.—Proverbs 1:10-19. To the extent that each family member applies the Bible's counsel, family life will benefit. Not only will the family enjoy a better life now but it will have the prospect of a wonderful future in the new world promised by God. (2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:3, 4) So make it a family habit to study the Bible together! Millions of families earth wide have found the guidance provided in the book The Secret of Family Happiness to be a real benefit.


DESPITE well-known risks, people continue to abuse drugs, and such abuse continues to destroy lives. Drug abuse costs the United States an estimated 100 billion dollars a year in health care, reduced job productivity, lost earnings, and crime. But perhaps it is young ones—children—who pay the highest price. According to a Brazilian study reported on in Jornal da Tarde, 24.7 percent of youths between 10 and 17 years of age have already tried some kind of drug.

While teenage drug use in the United States may have declined somewhat in recent years, alarming numbers of young ones there are addicted. Consider seniors in high school. According to one study, 37 percent had at least tried marijuana in the previous year. One out of 5 had used it in the past month. Almost 1 out of 10 had tried the drug ecstasy in the past year. Over 6 percent had tried LSD.

"Drugs are tearing apart our societies, spawning crime, spreading diseases such as AIDS, and killing our youth and our future."—KOFI ANNAN, UN SECRETARY-GENERAL
Young man using drugs

Reports from all over the world are grim. The British Office for National Statistics reports that "12 per cent of pupils aged 11-15 had used drugs in the last year . . . Cannabis [marijuana] was by far the most likely drug to have been used." Particularly alarming was the fact that "more than one third (35 per cent) had been offered one or more drugs."

A report sponsored by the European Union likewise reveals that among young people, "drinking to inebriation has become increasingly common." The report also says that such "alcohol abuse is associated with various short term adverse effects such as accidents, violence and poisoning, as well as with developmental and social problems." From Japan comes a report that "the drugs most often used by teenagers in Japan are organic solvents, which can lead to other drug use."

Little wonder, then, that UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said: "Drugs are tearing apart our societies, spawning crime, spreading diseases such as AIDS, and killing our youth and our future." Often, people involved with drugs are responsible for crimes such as drug trafficking and drug-related homicides. In addition, because of abusing drugs, many people become victims of violence, are injured, or engage in risky, unplanned sex. And if you think that your family is immune, think again! One U.S. government report said: "Drugs are not a problem solely of the poor, minorities, or inner-city residents. . . . Drug users come from all walks of life and from all parts of the country. The drug problem affects everyone."

Yet, parents often do not sense the danger until it is too late. Consider the case of one young Brazilian girl. "She was drinking alcoholic beverages," explains her sister Regina.* "The family thought it was cute. But this led to her experimenting with drugs with her boyfriends. Since my parents always treated her as if the problems she caused were of no consequence, her condition got out of control. Several times she disappeared. And every time a young woman was found dead, the police called my father to see if she was the one! This caused my family great distress."

The World Health Organization presents five basic reasons why young ones might be drawn to drugs:

(1) They want to feel grown-up and make their own decisions

(2) They want to fit in

(3) They want to relax and feel good

(4) They want to take risks and rebel

(5) They want to satisfy their curiosity

Drug availability and peer pressure also increase the likelihood that a youth will begin this self-destructive course. "My parents never said anything about drugs. In school the teachers mentioned the problem but without going into detail," explains Luiz Antonio, a Brazilian youth. Spurred on by schoolmates, he began abusing drugs when he was 14 years old. Later, when he tried to quit, his drug-supplying "friends" pressured him at knifepoint to continue his habit!

Have you faced up to the fact that your own children could be in danger? What have you done to protect them from drug abuse? The following article will discuss some ways in which parents can protect their children.

ways can you control your emotions.

EMOTIONS are powerful. They affect the way you think and act. They can motivate you for both good and bad. At times, they may even seem to overwhelm you. “I hardly ever feel that I’m good enough,” says 20-year-old Jacob. “Often, I fail to meet my own expectations. Sometimes I just cry, or I get so angry that I take it out on those around me. It’s hard to control what I’m feeling.”
Part of becoming a mature, responsible adult, however, is learning to control one’s emotions. Some experts now feel that the ability to manage emotions and to deal with people is more valuable than intelligence. In any event, the Bible places a high value on controlling one’s feelings. For example, Proverbs 25:28 says: “If you cannot control your anger, you are as helpless as a city without walls, open to attack.” (Today’s English Version) What makes it so hard to control one’s feelings?
A Challenge for Youths
People of all ages and backgrounds struggle with controlling their emotions. However, the struggle can be particularly challenging during one’s transition from adolescence to adulthood. Says the book Changing Bodies, Changing Lives by Ruth Bell: “Most teenagers feel a jumble of crazy, beautiful, frightening, mixed-up emotions. A lot of people have several different feelings at the same time about the same things. . . . One minute you may feel a particular way, and then a minute later you may find yourself feeling the opposite way.”

As a young person, you are also inexperienced. (Proverbs 1:4) So, as you encounter new situations and challenges for the first time, it is only natural to feel a bit insecure and perhaps overwhelmed. Fortunately, your Creator well understands your feelings. He knows even your “disquieting thoughts.” (Psalm 139:23) In his Word he has set forth some principles that can help.
A Key to Controlling Emotions

One key to controlling your emotions is learning to control your thoughts. Negative thoughts can sap you of the energy you need to take action. (Proverbs 24:10) But how can you learn to think positively and thus be helped to control your emotions?

One way is to refuse to dwell on negative things that make you feel depressed or insecure. By following the Bible advice to focus on things that are “serious” and “righteous,” you can replace negative thoughts with positive ones. (Philippians 4:8) Doing this may not be easy, but with effort it can be done.

Consider a young woman named Jasmine. “I feel so overwhelmed by all that I’m faced with,” she once lamented. “New job, new responsibilities. My emotions are spent. I find it difficult to breathe.” It is not surprising for a youth to feel that way on occasion, and it can cause one to feel insecure, unsure of oneself. The Bible tells us about a young man named Timothy, who was superbly qualified for the responsibilities he was given. Yet, it appears that he battled feelings of inadequacy.—1 Timothy 4:11-16; 2 Timothy 1:6, 7.

It may well be that you feel insecure when you are confronted with a new or unfamiliar task. ‘I’ll never be able to do this,’ you may tell yourself. But you can control such feelings of insecurity by refusing to dwell on negative thoughts. Focus on learning to do the task competently. Ask questions, and follow instructions.—Proverbs 1:5, 7.

One key to controlling your emotions is learning to control your thoughts

The more competent you become at a task, the less insecure you will feel. Do not dwell on your weaknesses, allowing them to paralyze you and prevent you from applying yourself to making improvement. One time when the apostle Paul was criticized, he replied: “Even if I am unskilled in speech, I certainly am not in knowledge.” (2 Corinthians 10:10; 11:6) Similarly, you can build your confidence by acknowledging your strengths and turning to God for help to cope with your weaknesses. God really can help you, as he did people in the past.—Exodus 4:10.

Another way you can help to control your emotions is to set modest, realistic goals and accept your limitations. Also avoid unfairly comparing yourself with others. At Galatians 6:4, the Bible gives good advice when it says: “Let each one prove what his own work is, and then he will have cause for exultation in regard to himself alone, and not in comparison with the other person.”
Slowing Down Anger

Managing anger can be another difficult challenge. Like Kate, mentioned at the outset, anger prompts many young ones to say and do things that are hurtful or destructive.

Granted, it is normal to feel anger at times. But remember the first murderer, Cain. When he became “hot with great anger,” God warned him that such anger could lead to his committing serious sin. He asked Cain: “Will you, for your part, get the mastery over [sin]?” (Genesis 4:5-7) Cain failed to heed this divine advice, but with God’s help you can control your anger and avoid sinning!

Again it comes down to controlling your thoughts. At Proverbs 19:11, the Bible says: “The insight of a man certainly slows down his anger, and it is beauty on his part to pass over transgression.” When someone upsets you, try to understand why he or she behaved that way. Was that person deliberately trying to hurt you? Could it be that he or she was acting impulsively or out of ignorance? Making allowances for the mistakes of others reflects God’s own mercy, and it can help slow down your feelings of anger.

What, though, if anger is justified? The Scriptures say: “Be wrathful, and yet do not sin.” (Ephesians 4:26) If necessary, talk the matter out with the individual. (Matthew 5:23, 24) Or perhaps the best thing to do is simply to let the matter drop—let go of the anger and move on with your life.

Interestingly, your friends can have an influence on how you deal with anger. The Bible thus directs: “Do not have companionship with anyone given to anger; and with a man having fits of rage you must not enter in, that you may not get familiar with his paths and certainly take a snare for your soul.”—Proverbs 22:24, 25.

Being around people who make an effort to control their anger can help you to develop self-control yourself. The Christian congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses are full of such mature individuals, many of whom are older and more experienced than you. Get to know some of them. Watch how they cope with problems. They may also be able to give you “skillful direction” when you face difficulties. (Proverbs 24:6) Jacob, quoted earlier, relates: “A mature friend who can remind me of God’s Word is priceless. When I remember that Jehovah loves me despite my insecurities, I’m able to feel in control and remain calm.”
Other Practical Steps

A popular exercise book says: “Countless studies have proven that how you move your body influences your mood through your biochemistry. Hormone and oxygen levels all change with the kind of movements you make.” There is no question about it, physical exercise is beneficial. The Bible tells us: “Physical exercise has some value.” (1 Timothy 4:8, Today’s English Version) Why not establish a modest routine of regular exercise? It can have a good effect on the way you feel. Maintaining a healthful diet can likewise bring benefits.

Consider, too, your choices of music and entertainment. A study published in The Harvard Mental Health Letter said: “Viewing violence . . . tends to stir angry and aggressive feelings. . . . People watching violent films thought more aggressive thoughts and showed a rise in blood pressure.” So make wise decisions when it comes to what you listen to and watch.—Psalm 1:1-3; 1 Corinthians 15:33.

Ultimately, the best way to learn to control your emotions is to develop a close friendship with your Creator. He invites each of us to speak to him in prayer, to pour out our feelings and emotions. “Do not be anxious over anything,” encouraged the apostle Paul. “Let your petitions be made known to God; and the peace of God that excels all thought will guard your hearts and your mental powers.” Yes, you can develop the inner strength to face any situation in life. The apostle Paul added: “For all things I have the strength by virtue of him who imparts power to me.”—Philippians 4:6, 7, 13.

Young Jessy says: “I’ve learned to pray, pray, and pray. Knowing Jehovah cares helps me to feel calm and more in control of my emotions.” With God’s help, you too can learn to control your emotions.

Does romantic love justify premarital sex?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

In one survey almost 90 percent of teenagers polled felt that premarital sex is not wrong when the two parties love each other. This thinking is reflected and often condoned by the media. Television and films routinely portray sexual activity as a normal result of a romantic relationship.
Those who are willing to please God do not look to the world for guidance, recognizing that it reflect he thinking of it ruler the devil, they also take care not to be governed purely by their feelings, knowing that " the heart is more treacherous than any thing else and is desperate"(Jeremiah 17:9) rather,those who are truly wise look to the creator of mankind and his inspire word the bible for direction in their way of life.
Is Sex a Divine Gift?
"Every good gift and perfect present is from above, for it comes down the father of celestial lights," says James 1:17. Sexual intimacy within the marriage arrangement is one of those precious gifts. It enables human to procreate, and it also helps a husband and wife to bond physically and emotionally in with tender and pleasurable way. The bible says enjoy with the wife of your youth says the inspired book of the universe, and let her own breast intoxicate you at all time.
Naturally the creator of mankind wants us to benefit from and rejoice in his gifts. To that end, he has also given us the very best laws, and principles to live by, since God is the one teaching us to benefit ourselves and causing us to tread in the way in which we should work, so having this in ind do you thin your heavenly father the very personification of love deprive us of something that is truly good?
Sex before marriage is Unloving.
When a man and a woman unite in wedlock, they become one flesh as it were when two unmarried people have sexual relations, also called fornication, they too form one body but one that is unclean in the God's eye. The Greek word translate "fornication" applies to all sexual activities with another person outside marriage that involves the use of the sex organs, including oral sex. What is more, such unions are unloving. How so? For one thing, fornication is sex without genuine commitment. And besides under self-respect, it can result in disease, unwanted pregnancy in which any youths are victims, and emotional pain which has lead many people to suicide, Above all, it involve violation of God's righteous standards, hence, fornication reflects little or no regards for the present and the future welfare and happiness of the other person.
For people of Godly devotion, Fornication is also an encroachment upon the right of his her spiritual brother or sister, for example a professed servant who was indulge in sex outside marriage bring uncleanness into the christian congregation. Also they deprive the one with whom they commit fornication of a clean moral standing and if the other person is single, of entering into the possible future marriage morally chaste. They also stain the good record of their own family, as well as wrong the family of their sexual partner. Finally, they show a disregard for God, whom they hurt by violating his righteous laws and principles. God himself will exact punishment for all such bad turn, will exact punishment for all such bad deeds committed by unrepentant individuals. Is it any wonder then that the inspired word of God tells us to flee from fornication? Are you in love and planning to marry? then why not use your courtship to build a solid foundation of mutual trust and respect? Think: how can a woman fully trust who has shown himself lacking in self control? And how easy is it for a man to cherish and honor a woman who disregard God's law in order to satisfy her romantic feelings or please the man?
I want you to have at the back of your mind that those who reject God's word will always reap the reward of they sow. The bible also say: "He that practices fornication is sinning against his own body." True, if a couple who engaged in premarital sex truly repent, work hard to restore their relationship with God, and strengthen their trust in each another, negative feelings may eventually abate. Still, their past conduct usually leaves a scar. One young couple, who are now married, bitterly regret having committed fornication. "Are our marital disagreement some how a result of this unclean foundation? the husband asks himself.
True Love is Unselfish
While it may be accompanied by romantic feelings, true love "does not behave indecently" or look for its own interests, instead it work towards the welfare and everlasting happiness. Such love impels a man and a woman to honor each other and to accord sexual intimacies their proper, God-given place-the marital bad.
The feelings of trust and security that a make for a truly happy marriage are especially important when babies arrive, for God purposed that children grow up in a loving, stable, and secured environment. Only marriage do two people truly commit to each other. In their heart, and often orally as well, they vow to care for and support each other through good times and bad for the rest of their lives. Sexual intimacies between a husband and wife can strengthen their bond. In a happy marriage, partners also find sexual intimacy more pleasurable and meaningful - and with out cheapening the union, troubling the conscience, or disobeying the creator.

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