Can families really be happy? How is it possible?

Saturday, November 8, 2008

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.

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