MY NEW YEAR PRESENT ( The Greatest Insult Anyone Could Ever Get From A Love One )

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

It was in the late  hours of 31st night when my girl friend told me she was going to the church on the 31st night of 2014, her church location had changed to a nearby town which was a little far away from where she use to reside. I went through the stress of driving her to the destination even though it was with a lot of traffic on the way. All this to my own discomfort.

She had fun at the church and was heartily saying Amen to all the proclamations of the year 2015, I never went to church but went on my knees and prayed to the God i believed in. I was suppose to go back and pick her up from the church around 3am which i didn't  because i had a flat Tyre but wasn't totally flat but from my estimation the pressure in the Tyre won't be enough driving through and fro that distance.

A day before the 31st night i have promised her about $50 which was what i had for her to celebrate the New year with,  at least watch some cheap movies and have some snacks at the Cinemas.  After so many calls from her which i didn't answer  she asked if i could come pick her up honestly i said No becos the tyre was flat. She called me and said I WILL NEVER SEE ANYTHING GOOD THIS YEAR 2015  and i  should stop calling her. Then she told me to wait for her at the bus-stop and give her the $50 box which i bluntly refused because i was irate, so she walked pass me and went ahead though i was walking towards her trying to make her see her fault; she was walking way to fast. I  was left with no choice than to go drive the car, with the faulty tyre and try to pick her up but she refused and said she can never going to get into the car.

My heart was broken because when i went to drop her first she made declaration of her love to me, while she was coming down from the car. Now she sent me a text saying " U think I will die No, I hate a man that lie but watch me if i ever talk to you again let me die this New Year" .  I am so depressed and it not just good for a new year. That was what i got from my girl friend as a new year present. Please can someone advice me on what to do, am so confused this is the beginning of a new year. 

Dating Without Sex, Is it Possible?

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

It’s always wrong for two people who are dating to touch each other, under any circumstances.
□ True
□ False

A couple who refrain from sexual intercourse can still be guilty of fornication.
□ True
□ False

If a dating couple don’t take sexual liberties, they can’t really be in love.
□ True
□ False

NO DOUBT you’ve thought about this subject a lot. After all, if you’re dating someone, it can be difficult to know where to draw the line when expressing affection. Let’s address the three true-or-false statements above and see how God’s Word helps us to answer the question, “How far is too far?”

● It’s always wrong for two people who are dating to touch each other, under any circumstances.
False. The Bible doesn’t condemn legitimate, clean expressions of affection. For example, the Bible tells the story of a Shulammite girl and a shepherd boy who were in love. Their courtship was chaste. Yet, they evidently exchanged some displays of affection before they married. Today some couples who are seriously contemplating marriage may likewise feel that some chaste expressions of affection are appropriate.
However, a dating couple must exercise extreme caution. Kissing, embracing, or doing anything that causes arousal can lead to sexual misconduct. It’s all too easy, even for a couple with honorable intentions, to get carried away and engage in sexual immorality.

● A couple who refrain from sexual intercourse can still be guilty of fornication.
True. The original Greek word translated “fornication” (por·nei′a) has a broad meaning. It describes all forms of sexual relations outside of marriage and focuses on the misuse of the sexual organs. Thus, fornication includes not only intercourse but also acts such as masturbating another person, as well as engaging in oral sex or anal sex.
Furthermore, the Bible condemns more than just fornication. The apostle Paul wrote: “The works of the flesh are manifest, and they are fornication, uncleanness, loose conduct.” He added: “Those who practice such things will not inherit God’s kingdom.”
What is “uncleanness”? The Greek word covers impurity of any kind, in speech or action. Surely it would be unclean to allow one’s hands to stray under another person’s clothing, to remove another’s clothing, or to caress another’s intimate areas, such as the breasts. In the Bible the caressing of the breasts is associated with the pleasures reserved for married couples.
 Some youths brazenly defy godly standards. They deliberately go too far, or they greedily seek out numerous partners with whom they can practice sexual uncleanness. Such ones may be guilty of what the apostle Paul called “loose conduct.” The Greek word for “loose conduct” means ‘outrageous acts, excess, insolence, unbridled lust.’ Surely you want to avoid coming to be “past all moral sense” by giving yourself over to “loose conduct to work uncleanness of every sort with greediness.”

● If a dating couple don’t take sexual liberties, they can’t really be in love.
False. Contrary to what some may think, taking improper sexual liberties doesn’t deepen a relationship. Rather, it tears down mutual respect and trust. Consider Laura’s experience. “One day my boyfriend came over when my mother wasn’t home, supposedly just to watch TV,” she says. “At first he just held my hand. Then all of a sudden, his hands started to wander. I was afraid to tell him to stop; I thought he would get upset and want to leave.”
What do you think? Did Laura’s boyfriend really care for her, or was he just seeking selfish gratification? Is someone who tries to draw you into unclean behavior really showing that he loves you?
When a boy pressures a girl into violating her Christian training and conscience, he breaks God’s law and undermines any claim that he genuinely loves her. Furthermore, a girl who willingly gives in allows herself to be exploited. Worse yet, she has committed an unclean act—perhaps even fornication.

Set Clear Boundaries

If you’re dating, how can you avoid inappropriate displays of affection? The wise course is to set clear boundaries in advance. Proverbs 13:10 says: “With those consulting together there is wisdom.” So discuss with your partner what expressions of affection are appropriate. Waiting until you’re in some emotion-charged romantic setting before establishing ground rules is like waiting until your house is on fire before installing an alarm.
Granted, such a sensitive discussion can be difficult—even embarrassing—especially in the early stages of courtship. But establishing boundaries can do much to prevent serious problems from developing later on. Wise boundaries can be like smoke detectors that sound an alarm at the first hint of fire. Furthermore, your ability to communicate in these matters may also serve as an indicator of how much potential the relationship has. In fact, self-control, patience, and unselfishness are the foundation of a satisfying sexual relationship in marriage.—1 Corinthians 7:3, 4.
True, holding to godly standards isn’t easy. But you can trust Jehovah’s advice. After all, at Isaiah 48:17, he describes himself as “the One teaching you to benefit yourself, the One causing you to tread in the way in which you should walk.” Jehovah has your best interests at heart!

Virginity doesn’t make you abnormal. On the contrary, it’s the wise course. Find out why.

In some parts of the world, public displays of affection between unmarried individuals are considered to be in poor taste and offensive. Christians take care not to behave in a way that could stumble others.
Of course, the issues raised in this paragraph apply to both genders.

KEY SCRIPTURE
“Love . . . does not behave indecently.”

TIP
Date in groups, or insist on having a chaperone. Avoid risky settings, such as being alone in a parked car or in a house or an apartment.
DID YOU KNOW . . . ?
If you’re engaged, you need to discuss some intimate matters. But explicit talk that’s intended to arouse sexual desire is a form of uncleanness—even if it’s carried on over the phone or via text messaging.
ACTION PLAN!
I can avoid being tempted to toy with immorality by ․․․․․
If the person I’m dating tries to pressure me into unclean conduct, I will ․․․․․
What I would like to ask my parent(s) about this subject is ․․․․․

WHAT DO YOU THINK?
● What limits would you set on physical contact with a member of the opposite sex?

● Explain how fornication, uncleanness, and loose conduct differ.

“My fiancĂ© and I have read together Bible-based articles on staying chaste. We appreciate the way they have helped us maintain a clean conscience.”
What if We’ve Gone Too Far?
  What if you’ve fallen into improper conduct? Don’t deceive yourself into thinking you can solve the problem alone. “I’d pray, ‘Help us not to do it again,’” confessed one youth. “Sometimes it would work, but a few times it didn’t.” Therefore, talk to your parents. The Bible also gives this good advice: “Call the older men of the congregation.”These Christian shepherds can give counsel, advice, and reproof so that you can get your relationship with God back on track.

A Mother’s Honored Role

Sunday, July 6, 2014

A MOTHER’S role has often been unappreciated and even belittled. A few decades ago, some people began to demean the role of caring for children. Their view was that it was less important than a career and was even a form of oppression. While most would find that attitude extreme, mothers are commonly made to feel that being a homemaker and caring for children is a second-class occupation. Some even feel that a woman needs a career outside the home in order to realize her full potential.

Yet, many husbands and children have come to appreciate the mother’s role in the family. Carlo, who serves at the branch office of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the Philippines, explains: “I am here today because of the training my mother gave me. My father was a disciplinarian and carried out punishment quickly, but Mother helped us by explaining and reasoning things out. I really appreciate her way of teaching.”

Peter, in South Africa, is one of six children who were raised by a mother with a limited education. His father had abandoned the family. Peter reflects: “As a maid and a janitor, Mother did not earn much. It was difficult for her to pay school fees for all of us. Often we went to bed hungry. It was a challenge for her just to keep a roof over our heads. In spite of all these difficulties, Mother never gave up. She taught us never to compare ourselves with others. Were it not for her courageous commitment, we would never have made it through life the way we did.”

A Nigerian husband, Ahmed, expresses how he feels about his wife’s assistance in raising their children: “I appreciate my wife’s role. When I am not at home, I have confidence that the children are well cared for. Instead of feeling challenged by my wife, I thank her and let the children know that they must respect her just as they respect me.”

A Palestinian man readily praises his wife’s success as a mother: “Lina has accomplished a lot with our daughter and contributes much to the spirituality of our family. From what I can see, her success is due to her religious beliefs.” Lina is one of Jehovah’s Witnesses and follows Bible principles in educating her daughter.

What are some of these principles? What can be said about the Bible’s view of mothers? How were mothers in early times accorded a position of dignity and respect as educators of their children?

A Balanced View of Mothers

At creation the woman was assigned an honorable role in the family arrangement. The opening book of the Bible says: “Jehovah God went on to say: ‘It is not good for the man to continue by himself. I am going to make a helper for him, as a complement of him.’” (Genesis 2:18) The first woman, Eve, was thus provided as Adam’s complement, or counterpart. She was fitted just perfectly to be a helper for him. She was to be a part of God’s purpose for them to produce children and care for them as well as to take care of the earth and its animals. She would provide the intellectual stimulus and support of a true companion. How happy Adam was for receiving this beautiful gift from the Creator!—Genesis 1:26-28; 2:23.

Later, God established guidelines as to how women were to be treated. For example, Israelite mothers were to be shown honor and not to be treated with contempt. If a son ‘called down evil upon his father and his mother,’ he would be subject to the death penalty. Christian youths were urged to be “obedient to [their] parents.”—Leviticus 19:3; 20:9; Ephesians 6:1; Deuteronomy 5:16; 27:16; Proverbs 30:17.

Under the husband’s direction, the mother was to be the educator of both daughters and sons. A son was commanded ‘not to forsake the law of his mother.’ (Proverbs 6:20) Also, Proverbs chapter 31 provides “the weighty message that [King Lemuel’s] mother gave to him in correction.” She wisely directed her son to avoid improper use of alcoholic beverages, saying: “It is not for kings to drink wine or for high officials to say: ‘Where is intoxicating liquor?’ that one may not drink and forget what is decreed and pervert the cause of any of the sons of affliction.”—Proverbs 31:1, 4, 5.
Further, every young man contemplating marriage would be wise to consider the description of “a capable wife” that was given by King Lemuel’s mother, who said: “Her value is far more than that of corals.” Then, after describing the important contribution that such a wife makes to a household, the king’s mother said: “Charm may be false, and prettiness may be vain; but the woman that fears Jehovah is the one that procures praise for herself.” (Proverbs 31:10-31) Clearly, our Creator made women to occupy a position of honor and responsibility in the family.

In the Christian congregation, wives and mothers are also honored and appreciated. Ephesians 5:25 says: “Husbands, continue loving your wives.” To the young man Timothy, whose mother and grandmother raised him to respect “the holy writings,” this inspired counsel was given: “Entreat . . . older women as mothers.” (2 Timothy 3:15; 1 Timothy 5:1, 2) Thus, a man should have respect for an older woman as if she were his mother. Truly, God values women and accords them a dignified place.

Express Your Appreciation

A man raised in a culture in which women were viewed as inferior relates: “I received an education centered on the man, and I have observed the mistreatment of and lack of respect for women. So I have had to struggle to view women as the Creator views them—as a complement, or helpmate, in the home and as part of a team in the education of children. Although it is difficult for me to express words of praise to my wife, I recognize that what is good in my children is due to her labor.”

Indeed, mothers who assume their responsibility as educators can feel proud of their role. It is a worthwhile career. They rightfully deserve commendation and heartfelt expressions of appreciation. We learn so much from mothers—habits that stand us in good stead throughout life, good manners so essential for good relationships, and in many cases a moral and spiritual upbringing that keeps youths on course. Have you recently expressed your appreciation to your mother for what she has done for you?

How to Be a Good Father

“Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.”—Colossians 3:21, The Holy Bible—New International Version.

HOW can a father avoid making his children feel bitter? It is vital that he recognize the importance of his role as a father. “Fatherhood turns out to be a complex and unique phenomenon with huge consequences for the emotional and intellectual growth of children,” says one journal on mental health.
What is the role of a father? In many families the father is seen primarily as the one who dispenses discipline. Many a mother has told a misbehaving child, ‘Just wait till your father gets home!’ To be sure, children need balanced discipline and a measure of firmness if they are to become well-adjusted adults. More, though, is involved in being a good father.

Sadly, not every father had a good example to help him. Some men were raised without a father in the home. But in other cases, men who were brought up by a rigid, austere father may tend to treat their children the same way. How can such a father break that mold and improve his parenting skills?
There is a source of practical and trustworthy advice on how to be a good father. The Bible contains the best advice on family life. Its counsel is not mere theory; nor does its guidance ever work to our harm. The Bible’s counsel reflects the wisdom of its Author, Jehovah God, who is the Originator of family life. (Ephesians 3:14, 15) If you are a father, you would do well to consider what the Bible has to say about parenting. Although the Scriptural counsel considered in this article focuses primarily on the father’s role, many of the principles are applicable to mothers as well.


Being a good father is important not only for the physical and emotional welfare of your children but also for their spiritual well-being. A child who has a very loving and close relationship with his father may even find it easier to develop a close and intimate relationship with God. After all, the Bible shows that, in a sense, Jehovah, our Creator, is a Father to us. (Isaiah 64:8) Let us now consider six things that children need from their father. In each case, we will examine how applying Bible principles can help a father to fill those needs.

1 Children Need Their Father’s Love

Jehovah sets the perfect example as a Father. Describing how God feels about Jesus, his firstborn Son, the Bible says: “The Father loves the Son.” (John 3:35; Colossians 1:15) On more than one occasion, Jehovah expressed love for his Son and approval of him. When Jesus was baptized, Jehovah spoke from the heavens, saying: “You are my Son, the beloved; I have approved you.” (Luke 3:22) Jesus never doubted his Father’s love for him. What can a human father learn from God’s example?

Never be reluctant to tell your children that you love them. Kelvin, a father of five, says: “I have always tried to express my love for my children not only by telling them that I love them but also by showing a personal interest in each one of them. I shared in changing their diapers and in bathing them.” In addition, your children need to know that they have your approval. So do not be overly critical, constantly correcting them. Rather, be generous with praise. Donizete, who has two teenage girls, recommends, “A father should make a point of looking for opportunities to commend his children.” Knowing that they have your approval can help your children to have a healthy sense of self-worth. That, in turn, can help them to draw closer to God.

2 Children Need a Positive Example
Jesus can do “only what he beholds the Father doing,” says John 5:19. Notice that the text says that Jesus saw and practiced what his Father was “doing.” Children will often do the same. For example, if the father treats his wife with respect and dignity, his son may well grow up to treat women with dignity and respect. Not only are boys’ attitudes affected by their father’s example but girls’ views of men may be influenced by their father’s example.

Do your children find it difficult to apologize? Here again, example is important. Kelvin remembers an occasion when two of his boys broke an expensive camera. He got so angry that he pounded a wooden table and it split in two. Kelvin felt very bad afterward and apologized to all, including his wife, for having lost his temper. He feels that his apology had a positive effect on his children; they do not have any difficulty in saying that they are sorry.

3 Children Need a Happy Environment

Jehovah is a “happy God.” (1 Timothy 1:11) Not surprisingly, his Son, Jesus, found great joy in being with his Father. Proverbs 8:30 sheds light on the relationship between Jesus and his Father: “I came to be beside him [the Father] as a master worker, . . . I being glad [“rejoicing,” NIV] before him all the time.” What a warm relationship existed between Father and Son!
Your children need a happy environment. Taking the time to play with your children can help to create such an environment. Playing together helps parent and child to bond. Felix agrees with that. He has a teenage son and says: “Setting aside time for recreation with my son has been very important to our relationship. We play games together, associate with friends, and visit enjoyable places. This has strengthened our sense of family togetherness.”

4 Children Need to Be Taught Spiritual Values

Jesus was taught by his Father. Jesus could therefore say: “The very things I heard from him [the Father] I am speaking in the world.” (John 8:26) In God’s eyes, a father is responsible for educating his children morally and spiritually. One of your responsibilities as a father is to inculcate right principles into the hearts of your children. Such training should start from an early age. (2 Timothy 3:14, 15) Felix began to read Bible stories to his son when he was still small. Felix used colorful, interesting stories, including those found in My Book of Bible Stories.* As his son grew older, Felix chose other Bible-based publications that were appropriate for his son’s age.
Donizete says: “It is a real challenge to make family Bible study enjoyable. It is important that parents show that they appreciate spiritual matters, since children are quick to note inconsistencies.” Carlos, who has three sons, comments: “We hold a weekly meeting to consider the family’s needs. Each member of the family has the opportunity to choose what will be discussed.” Kelvin always sought to talk to his children about God wherever they were and whatever they were doing. That reminds us of Moses’ words: “These words that I am commanding you today must prove to be on your heart; and you must inculcate them in your son and speak of them when you sit in your house and when you walk on the road and when you lie down and when you get up.”—Deuteronomy 6:6, 7.

5 Children Need Discipline
Children need discipline so that they can grow up to be productive and responsible adults. Some parents seem to think that disciplining their children involves severe treatment, including harsh threats or belittling insults. The Bible, however, does not associate parental discipline with harshness. On the contrary, parents should discipline in love, just as Jehovah does. (Hebrews 12:4-11) The Bible says: “Fathers, do not be irritating your children, but go on bringing them up in the discipline and mental-regulating of Jehovah.”—Ephesians 6:4.

Occasionally, punishment may be necessary. A child, though, should understand why he is being punished. Parental discipline should never leave a child feeling rejected. The Bible does not endorse severe beatings, which may even injure a child. (Proverbs 16:32) Kelvin comments, “When I needed to correct my children about serious matters, I always tried to make it clear that my motive for correcting them was my love for them.”

6 Children Need to Be Protected

Children need to be protected from unwholesome influences and potentially harmful associates. Sadly, there are “wicked men” in this world who are bent on exploiting innocent children. (2 Timothy 3:1-5, 13) How can you protect your children? The Bible offers this wise advice: “Shrewd is the one that has seen the calamity and proceeds to conceal himself, but the inexperienced have passed along and must suffer the penalty.” (Proverbs 22:3) To shield your children from calamity, you must be alert to dangers. Anticipate situations that could lead to problems, and take due precautions. For example, if you allow your children access to the Internet, be sure that they know how to use it safely. It may be best to keep the computer in an open area where you can easily monitor its use.

A father needs to prepare and train his children for the dangers they may face in this abusive world. Do your children know what to do in case someone tries to take advantage of them when you are not present?* Your children need to know the proper and improper use of their private body parts. Kelvin comments: “I never left this training to others, not even their teachers. I felt that it was my personal responsibility to teach my children about sex and the danger of child molesters.” All his children safely reached adulthood and are now happily married.

Seek God’s Help

The greatest gift a father can give to his children is that of helping them to develop a solid personal relationship with God. The father’s example is of utmost importance. Donizete says: “Fathers need to show how much they treasure their own relationship with God. This should become especially clear when they face personal problems or difficulties. On such occasions, the father shows how deeply he trusts in Jehovah. Family prayer, with repeated expressions of appreciation to God for His goodness, will teach children the importance of having God as their Friend.”
What, then, is the key to being a good father? Seek the advice of the one who knows best how to raise children—Jehovah God. If you train your children according to the guidance of God’s Word, you may well see the results described at Proverbs 22:6: “Even when he grows old he will not turn aside from it.”

How to Be a Good Father

“Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.”—Colossians 3:21, The Holy Bible—New International Version.

HOW can a father avoid making his children feel bitter? It is vital that he recognize the importance of his role as a father. “Fatherhood turns out to be a complex and unique phenomenon with huge consequences for the emotional and intellectual growth of children,” says one journal on mental health.
What is the role of a father? In many families the father is seen primarily as the one who dispenses discipline. Many a mother has told a misbehaving child, ‘Just wait till your father gets home!’ To be sure, children need balanced discipline and a measure of firmness if they are to become well-adjusted adults. More, though, is involved in being a good father.

Sadly, not every father had a good example to help him. Some men were raised without a father in the home. But in other cases, men who were brought up by a rigid, austere father may tend to treat their children the same way. How can such a father break that mold and improve his parenting skills?
There is a source of practical and trustworthy advice on how to be a good father. The Bible contains the best advice on family life. Its counsel is not mere theory; nor does its guidance ever work to our harm. The Bible’s counsel reflects the wisdom of its Author, Jehovah God, who is the Originator of family life. (Ephesians 3:14, 15) If you are a father, you would do well to consider what the Bible has to say about parenting. Although the Scriptural counsel considered in this article focuses primarily on the father’s role, many of the principles are applicable to mothers as well.


Being a good father is important not only for the physical and emotional welfare of your children but also for their spiritual well-being. A child who has a very loving and close relationship with his father may even find it easier to develop a close and intimate relationship with God. After all, the Bible shows that, in a sense, Jehovah, our Creator, is a Father to us. (Isaiah 64:8) Let us now consider six things that children need from their father. In each case, we will examine how applying Bible principles can help a father to fill those needs.

1 Children Need Their Father’s Love

Jehovah sets the perfect example as a Father. Describing how God feels about Jesus, his firstborn Son, the Bible says: “The Father loves the Son.” (John 3:35; Colossians 1:15) On more than one occasion, Jehovah expressed love for his Son and approval of him. When Jesus was baptized, Jehovah spoke from the heavens, saying: “You are my Son, the beloved; I have approved you.” (Luke 3:22) Jesus never doubted his Father’s love for him. What can a human father learn from God’s example?

Never be reluctant to tell your children that you love them. Kelvin, a father of five, says: “I have always tried to express my love for my children not only by telling them that I love them but also by showing a personal interest in each one of them. I shared in changing their diapers and in bathing them.” In addition, your children need to know that they have your approval. So do not be overly critical, constantly correcting them. Rather, be generous with praise. Donizete, who has two teenage girls, recommends, “A father should make a point of looking for opportunities to commend his children.” Knowing that they have your approval can help your children to have a healthy sense of self-worth. That, in turn, can help them to draw closer to God.

2 Children Need a Positive Example
Jesus can do “only what he beholds the Father doing,” says John 5:19. Notice that the text says that Jesus saw and practiced what his Father was “doing.” Children will often do the same. For example, if the father treats his wife with respect and dignity, his son may well grow up to treat women with dignity and respect. Not only are boys’ attitudes affected by their father’s example but girls’ views of men may be influenced by their father’s example.

Do your children find it difficult to apologize? Here again, example is important. Kelvin remembers an occasion when two of his boys broke an expensive camera. He got so angry that he pounded a wooden table and it split in two. Kelvin felt very bad afterward and apologized to all, including his wife, for having lost his temper. He feels that his apology had a positive effect on his children; they do not have any difficulty in saying that they are sorry.

3 Children Need a Happy Environment

Jehovah is a “happy God.” (1 Timothy 1:11) Not surprisingly, his Son, Jesus, found great joy in being with his Father. Proverbs 8:30 sheds light on the relationship between Jesus and his Father: “I came to be beside him [the Father] as a master worker, . . . I being glad [“rejoicing,” NIV] before him all the time.” What a warm relationship existed between Father and Son!
Your children need a happy environment. Taking the time to play with your children can help to create such an environment. Playing together helps parent and child to bond. Felix agrees with that. He has a teenage son and says: “Setting aside time for recreation with my son has been very important to our relationship. We play games together, associate with friends, and visit enjoyable places. This has strengthened our sense of family togetherness.”

4 Children Need to Be Taught Spiritual Values

Jesus was taught by his Father. Jesus could therefore say: “The very things I heard from him [the Father] I am speaking in the world.” (John 8:26) In God’s eyes, a father is responsible for educating his children morally and spiritually. One of your responsibilities as a father is to inculcate right principles into the hearts of your children. Such training should start from an early age. (2 Timothy 3:14, 15) Felix began to read Bible stories to his son when he was still small. Felix used colorful, interesting stories, including those found in My Book of Bible Stories.* As his son grew older, Felix chose other Bible-based publications that were appropriate for his son’s age.
Donizete says: “It is a real challenge to make family Bible study enjoyable. It is important that parents show that they appreciate spiritual matters, since children are quick to note inconsistencies.” Carlos, who has three sons, comments: “We hold a weekly meeting to consider the family’s needs. Each member of the family has the opportunity to choose what will be discussed.” Kelvin always sought to talk to his children about God wherever they were and whatever they were doing. That reminds us of Moses’ words: “These words that I am commanding you today must prove to be on your heart; and you must inculcate them in your son and speak of them when you sit in your house and when you walk on the road and when you lie down and when you get up.”—Deuteronomy 6:6, 7.

5 Children Need Discipline
Children need discipline so that they can grow up to be productive and responsible adults. Some parents seem to think that disciplining their children involves severe treatment, including harsh threats or belittling insults. The Bible, however, does not associate parental discipline with harshness. On the contrary, parents should discipline in love, just as Jehovah does. (Hebrews 12:4-11) The Bible says: “Fathers, do not be irritating your children, but go on bringing them up in the discipline and mental-regulating of Jehovah.”—Ephesians 6:4.

Occasionally, punishment may be necessary. A child, though, should understand why he is being punished. Parental discipline should never leave a child feeling rejected. The Bible does not endorse severe beatings, which may even injure a child. (Proverbs 16:32) Kelvin comments, “When I needed to correct my children about serious matters, I always tried to make it clear that my motive for correcting them was my love for them.”

6 Children Need to Be Protected

Children need to be protected from unwholesome influences and potentially harmful associates. Sadly, there are “wicked men” in this world who are bent on exploiting innocent children. (2 Timothy 3:1-5, 13) How can you protect your children? The Bible offers this wise advice: “Shrewd is the one that has seen the calamity and proceeds to conceal himself, but the inexperienced have passed along and must suffer the penalty.” (Proverbs 22:3) To shield your children from calamity, you must be alert to dangers. Anticipate situations that could lead to problems, and take due precautions. For example, if you allow your children access to the Internet, be sure that they know how to use it safely. It may be best to keep the computer in an open area where you can easily monitor its use.

A father needs to prepare and train his children for the dangers they may face in this abusive world. Do your children know what to do in case someone tries to take advantage of them when you are not present?* Your children need to know the proper and improper use of their private body parts. Kelvin comments: “I never left this training to others, not even their teachers. I felt that it was my personal responsibility to teach my children about sex and the danger of child molesters.” All his children safely reached adulthood and are now happily married.

Seek God’s Help

The greatest gift a father can give to his children is that of helping them to develop a solid personal relationship with God. The father’s example is of utmost importance. Donizete says: “Fathers need to show how much they treasure their own relationship with God. This should become especially clear when they face personal problems or difficulties. On such occasions, the father shows how deeply he trusts in Jehovah. Family prayer, with repeated expressions of appreciation to God for His goodness, will teach children the importance of having God as their Friend.”
What, then, is the key to being a good father? Seek the advice of the one who knows best how to raise children—Jehovah God. If you train your children according to the guidance of God’s Word, you may well see the results described at Proverbs 22:6: “Even when he grows old he will not turn aside from it.”

Four Factors That Makes A Good Friend?

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Like most people, you probably agree that good friends are important. You may also recognize that there is more to being a friend than simply clicking links on a computer screen or a smartphone. What do you look for in a friend? How can you be a good friend? What does it take to forge a lasting friendship?

Consider the following four guiding principles, and note how the Bible’s practical advice can help you to be the kind of person others would want as a friend.

 1. Show That You Really Care
True friendship involves commitment. In other words, a good friend feels a responsibility toward you, and he really cares about you. Of course, such commitment is two-way, and it requires hard work and sacrifice on both sides. But the rewards are worth the effort. Ask yourself, ‘Am I willing to give of myself, my time, and my resources for my friend?’ Remember, to have a good friend, you first need to be a good friend.

WHAT PEOPLE LOOK FOR IN A FRIEND
Irene: “Like cultivating a beautiful garden, building a friendship requires a lot of time and care. Start by wanting to be a good friend yourself. Be generous in showing affection and personal interest. And be willing to sacrifice your time when you are needed.”
Luis Alfonso: “Modern-day society encourages egotism rather than altruism. So it means a lot when someone takes a sincere interest in you without necessarily expecting anything in return.”
WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY?
“Just as you want men to do to you, do the same way to them. Practice giving, and people will give to you.” (Luke 6:31, 38) Here Jesus recommends true unselfishness and generosity. Such generosity nurtures good friendships. If you expend yourself in behalf of your friends without expecting anything in return, they will naturally feel drawn to you.

2. Be a Good Communicator
A true friendship cannot flourish without regular communication. So talk together about the interests you share. Listen to what your friend has to say, and respect his opinions. Whenever possible, commend and encourage him. At times, a friend may need advice or even correction, and that may not always be easy to give. However, a loyal friend will have the courage to point out a serious fault and offer tactful guidance.

WHAT PEOPLE LOOK FOR IN A FRIEND
Juan: “A true friend should be able to express his opinions freely but not get upset if you don’t agree.”
Eunice: “What I value most are friends who are willing to spend time with me and listen to me, especially when I have problems.”
Silvina: “True friends will tell you the truth—even if they know it will hurt—because they have your best interests at heart.”
WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY?
“Everyone must be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger.” (James 1:19) Good friends always appreciate a listening ear. Monopolizing the conversation, however, conveys the message that we feel our opinions are more important than theirs. So be attentive when a friend wishes to share his innermost thoughts and concerns. And do not get offended if he is honest with you. “The wounds inflicted by a friend are faithful,” says Proverbs 27:6.

 3. Have Realistic Expectations
The closer we get to a friend, the more likely we are to see his flaws. Our friends are not perfect, but neither are we. Therefore, we should never expect or demand perfection from the people we befriend. Rather, it is good to cherish their virtues and to make allowances for their mistakes.

WHAT PEOPLE LOOK FOR IN A FRIEND
Samuel: “We often have higher expectations of others than we have of ourselves. If we recognize our own mistakes and our own need for forgiveness, then we’re more willing to forgive others.”
Daniel: “Accept the fact that your friends will make mistakes. When problems arise, we do well to resolve them quickly and try hard to forget.”
WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY?
A woman asking another woman for forgiveness
Are you willing to forgive?—Colossians 3:13, 14

“We all stumble many times. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able to bridle also his whole body.” (James 3:2) Recognizing this simple truth can help us to be understanding toward our friends. That, in turn, will allow us to overlook minor faults and shortcomings that may irritate us. The Bible says: “Continue putting up with one another and forgiving one another freely even if anyone has a cause for complaint against another. . . . But besides all these things, clothe yourselves with love, for it is a perfect bond of union.”—Colossians 3:13, 14.

 4. Widen Your Circle of Friends
True, we need to be selective about the people we befriend. But that does not mean narrowing our choice of friends to those of a certain age or upbringing. Taking an interest in people of all ages, cultural backgrounds, and nationalities can truly enrich our lives.

WHAT PEOPLE LOOK FOR IN A FRIEND
Unai: “Making friends with only those who are your age and have the same tastes as you is like wearing clothing in your favorite color all the time. No matter how much you like that color, at some point you may end up getting bored with it.”
Funke: “Widening my circle of friends has given me the opportunity to mature as a person. I’ve learned to get along with people of all ages and backgrounds, and that has made me more outgoing and adaptable. And my friends really appreciate that.”
Friends of all ages and backgrounds at a social gathering
Are you reaching out to people of all kinds?—2 Corinthians 6:13

WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY?
“So in response—I speak as to my children—you too open your hearts wide.” (2 Corinthians 6:13) The Bible encourages us to reach out to people of all kinds. This inclusive, impartial view of friendship can add variety to your life, as well as endear you to others.

HOW TO FIND A TRUE FRIEND:

1.  Take the initiative. When it comes to finding a true friend, you can't afford to be lazy. A real friend won't just magically materialize on your doorstep, so you need to be willing to put some work in. Take matters into your own hands and start socializing.
Stop waiting for other people to do the work for you. Call people up and ask if you can hang out with them, or organize an event yourself.
Don't worry about seeming desperate or needy. Focus on you and your goal. If it all works out in the end, then who cares?

2. Meet new people. You won't make friends by sitting at home alone every night. You need to be proactive, so force yourself out of the house and meet as many people as possible. It might be intimidating at first, but it'll be worth it in the end.
One of the easiest ways to meet people is through friends you already have. Tag along to a party or social event and get your friend to make the introductions.

Meet people through hobbies or classes. Friends are generally people that you share a common interest with, so the people you meet through hobbies or classes are excellent potential friend material.

Meet people through work. You might have a work colleague who you feel a connection with, but you've never hung out socially. Now is the time.
Meet people online. Sometimes there's a stigma attached to meeting people online, but it can be a genuinely great way to meet people. Blogging, social networking and posting on online forums are all perfectly viable ways of socializing.

Don't be oversensitive. Meeting people for the first time can be tough. They may seem disinterested or unwilling to make an effort. Or else you might hit it off instantly, but you never hear from them again. Don't be disheartened. Finding a true friend takes time.

4. Don't be picky. Keep an open mind about who you hang out with. When you're trying to make friends, being picky is not a good strategy. Your initial goal is to meet as many people as possible, so talk to everybody and keep an open mind.
Even if you meet someone who looks or seems like someone you'd have nothing in common with, talk to them and give them a chance.
You're not going to know a true friend at first sight - you'll have to get to know them first - so consider every possibility!

5 Be persistent. Even if your first attempt at putting yourself out there isn't as successful as you had hoped, don't despair! People can take a little while to warm up, so the second or third time meeting someone might go a lot better than the first.
If you invite someone to hang out, don't be upset if they can't make it. Chances are they have a genuine excuse, it's not because they don't like you. Give it a week or two, then ask again.

Be patient. It takes time to really get to know someone, especially when you're looking for true friendship. If you continue to put yourself out there and make an effort to hang out with as many people as possible, eventually you'll find someone you genuinely connect with.
Be realistic about how much time it'll take to really get to know someone. Sure, you might hit it off and feel like you've known someone for ten years rather than ten minutes, but usually it'll take much longer, depending on how often you hang out.
In the right situations, you can make new friends very quickly - like when you start college, move to a new city, or join a sports teams.

True Words

Monday, May 26, 2014


3 Ways you can get your mind off sex?

Uncountable times you had sexual urge due to the situation you find yourself, for some it could be due to what they fed their eyes with and for others it could be things they heard. In most men it natural to wake up in the morning with an erection and  for some women their nipples stands erect those are response that shows the sexual organs in the body are working perfectly, hence what can you do to get your mind off sex.

What you can do
Choose your associates carefully. If your friends and classmates start to talk about immoral sex, joining in will only make it more difficult for you to control your thoughts. Often, you can find a way to leave such conversations without appearing self-righteous and inviting ridicule.

A teenage boy funneling trash into his mind
Would you allow viruses to invade your computer? Then why invite immoral thoughts into your mind?

Shun immoral entertainment. Much of today’s entertainment is designed to arouse improper sexual feelings. The Bible’s counsel? “Let us cleanse ourselves of every defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in God’s fear.” (2 Corinthians 7:1) Steer clear of entertainment that stimulates sexual desires.

Remember this: Sexual feelings aren't evil in themselves. After all, God created man and woman to have a strong attraction for each other, and satisfying sexual desire is proper within marriage. So if you experience intense sexual urges, don’t think that you’re inherently bad or that you’re just not cut out for moral cleanness.

The bottom line: You can choose what you will let your mind dwell on. Both in your thinking and in your conduct, you can be chaste if you choose to!

Strengthen Your Marriage Through Good Communication

Friday, February 7, 2014

A BROTHER in Canada said, “I would rather spend time with my wife than with anyone else.” This brother added that being with his wife makes the happy moments in life happier and the difficult moments easier to endure. A husband in Australia wrote, “In our 11 years together, not one day has passed when I have not spoken with my wife.” He said that good communication has helped them to trust each other completely and to have a strong marriage. A sister in Costa Rica wrote that good communication has helped her and her husband to have a happy marriage. She said, “It has drawn us closer to Jehovah, protected us from temptations, united us as a couple, and made our love grow.”




2 Is there good communication in your marriage? Of course, there will be communication problems sometimes. You are both imperfect, and you have different personalities. (Romans 3:23) You may come from different cultures or you may not have been raised in the same way. So you may have different ways of communicating. For these reasons, marriage researchers John M. Gottman and Nan Silver wrote that couples must be willing to work very hard if they want to communicate well and make their marriage last.

3 A strong marriage takes hard work, but it will make a husband and a wife very happy. (Ecclesiastes 9:9) Think of the loving marriage of Isaac and Rebekah. (Genesis 24:67) The Bible shows that they kept their love for each other strong even after they had been married for a long time. Many couples today have also been able to keep their marriage strong. What has helped them? They have learned to talk about their thoughts and feelings in an honest but kind way. They show the qualities of insight, love, respect, and humility. We will now see how these qualities can help a couple to communicate well.

SHOW INSIGHT

4 Proverbs 16:20 says: “He that is showing insight in a matter will find good.” God’s Word gives us the insight and wisdom we need to have a happy marriage. (Read Proverbs 24:3.) For example, Genesis 2:18 tells us that God made the woman as a complement to the man. This means that a man and a woman are different from each other so that they can complete each other. That is why women communicate in a different way than men. Most women like to talk about their feelings, people, and relationships. Loving and honest communication helps women feel loved. Many men, though, may not like to talk about their feelings but may prefer to talk about activities, problems, and solutions. Men also like to feel respected.

5 A sister in Britain said, “My husband wants to solve problems quickly rather than hear me out.” She explained that this can be frustrating because all she really wants is for him to listen to her and try to understand her feelings. A husband wrote, “When my wife and I were first married, my tendency was to find a quick solution to whatever problem she had.” But he soon learned that all she really wanted was for him to listen to her. (Proverbs 18:13; James 1:19) A husband who shows insight knows his wife’s feelings and treats her in a way that will make her feel loved. He makes it clear to her that her thoughts and feelings are important to him. (1 Peter 3:7) Also, a wife who shows insight tries to understand the way her husband thinks. When both husband and wife do what God expects of them, they can have a happy marriage and can work together to make wise decisions.

6 A couple should also know that there is “a time to keep quiet and a time to speak.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 7) A sister who has been married for ten years wrote that she has learned when to talk to her husband about certain things. If he is overwhelmed with work or other responsibilities, she waits for a better time to talk to him. As a result, their communication is much better. When a wife speaks in a kind way and “at the right time,” her husband will likely be happy to listen to her.—Read Proverbs 25:11.

7 A Christian husband not only listens to what his wife says but also makes an effort to tell his wife about his own feelings. An elder who has been married for 27 years said: “I have to work at telling my wife what is deep in my heart.” A brother who has been married for 24 years said that he usually does not like to talk about problems. He feels that if he does not talk about them, they will go away. But he added: “I have come to realize that it is not a sign of weakness to show my feelings. When I struggle to express myself, I pray for the right words to say and the right way to say them. Then I take a deep breath and start talking.” It is important for a couple to choose the right time to talk, perhaps when they are alone discussing the daily text or reading the Bible together.

8 It can be hard for a couple to change the way they communicate. Both husband and wife need to pray for God’s spirit and have a strong desire to improve their communication. They will have that desire if they love Jehovah, want to please him, and view their marriage as something sacred. A sister who has been married for 26 years wrote: “My husband and I take Jehovah’s view of marriage seriously, so we do not even consider separation. This makes us work harder to resolve problems by discussing them together.” A couple who are loyal to God in this way will make him happy and have his blessing.—Psalm 127:1.

MAKE YOUR LOVE GROW

9 Love is the most important quality in a marriage. The Bible says that love is “a perfect bond of union.” (Colossians 3:14) True love grows as time passes and as a husband and a wife go through good times and bad times together. They become even closer friends and enjoy being together. They make their marriage stronger, not by doing a few great things for each other, as we see in movies or on television, but by doing many small things for each other. These things could be a hug, a kind comment, a thoughtful act, a warm smile, or a sincere “how was your day?” These little things can make a big difference in a marriage. One couple who have been happily married for 19 years say that they phone or text each other during the day “just to see how things are going.”

10 When a husband and a wife love each other, they try to keep learning about each other. (Philippians 2:4) The more they learn, the stronger their love grows, even though they both have weaknesses. A happy marriage becomes stronger with time. So if you are married, ask yourself: ‘How well do I know my husband or wife? Do I understand his or her feelings and thoughts on matters? Do I often think about the qualities that first attracted me to my husband or wife?’

HAVE RESPECT FOR EACH OTHER

11 Even the happiest marriages are not perfect marriages. A couple may sometimes disagree. Abraham and Sarah did not always agree with each other. (Genesis 21:9-11) But this did not make their marriage weak. Why not? They treated each other with respect. For example, Abraham said “please” to Sarah. (Genesis 12:11, 13) And Sarah obeyed Abraham and thought of him as her “lord.” (Genesis 18:12) In contrast, a couple who speak harshly to each other show that they do not respect each other. (Proverbs 12:18) And if there is no respect, their marriage is in danger.—Read James 3:7-10, 17, 18.

12 When a couple first get married, they should work especially hard to speak kindly and respectfully to each other. This will make it much easier for them to communicate honestly. One husband explained that during the first years of their marriage, he and his wife did not understand each other’s feelings, habits, and needs. This was sometimes frustrating for them. But they were able to have a good relationship by being reasonable and having a good sense of humor. He says that it was also important to show humility, to have patience, and to trust in Jehovah. This is good advice for all of us!

SHOW TRUE HUMILITY

13 A couple can communicate in a kind and peaceful way only if they are both “humble in mind.” (1 Peter 3:8) One brother who has been married for 11 years said that humility helps a couple solve problems because it moves them to say “I’m sorry.” An elder who has been happily married for 20 years said, “Sometimes the words ‘I’m sorry’ are more important than ‘I love you.’” He explained how prayer helps him and his wife to show humility. He said, “When my wife and I approach Jehovah together, we are reminded of our imperfection and God’s undeserved kindness.” This helps them to have the right view of themselves and of the problem.

14 Pride, on the contrary, makes it very hard for a husband and a wife to communicate and solve problems. A proud person does not have the desire or the courage to say, “I’m sorry, please forgive me.” He makes excuses for what he did, or he blames the other person instead of admitting his mistake. When a proud person is offended, he does not try to make peace. He speaks harshly or refuses to talk at all. (Ecclesiastes 7:9) Yes, pride can destroy a marriage. It is good to remember that “God opposes the haughty ones, but he gives undeserved kindness to the humble ones.”—James 4:6.

15 When husband and wife disagree, they should work to solve the problem quickly instead of being proud. Paul told Christians: “Let the sun not set with you in a provoked state, neither allow place for the Devil.” (Ephesians 4:26, 27) What may happen when a couple do not follow this advice from God’s Word? One sister explained: “The result has been some of the worst nights’ sleep I’ve ever had!” It is much better to try to solve the problem immediately and in a peaceful way. Of course, a husband and a wife may need to give each other some time to calm down before speaking about a matter. They should also pray to Jehovah to help them to be humble. This will help each of them, not to think only of his or her own feelings, but to focus on solving the problem.—Read Colossians 3:12, 13.

16 Humility can help a couple to value each other’s good qualities and abilities. For example, a wife may have a special ability that she uses to benefit the family. A humble husband would not feel that he has to be better than his wife at everything but would encourage her to continue using her ability. By doing so, he shows that he loves and values her. (Proverbs 31:10, 28; Ephesians 5:28, 29) Also, a humble wife would not brag about herself or make fun of her husband for not having the same ability. Because the two of them are “one flesh,” showing pride in these ways hurts both of them.—Matthew 19:4, 5.

17 You certainly want to have a marriage like that of Abraham and Sarah or Isaac and Rebekah. You want your marriage to be happy, to be lasting, and to honor Jehovah. So view marriage the same way God does. Look for insight in his Word. Value each other’s good qualities so that your love for each other will grow. (Song of Solomon 8:6) Work hard to show humility. Treat each other with respect. If you do these things, your marriage will bring joy both to you and to your heavenly Father. (Proverbs 27:11) One brother who has been married for 27 years said: “I cannot imagine life without my wife. Our marriage continues to grow stronger every day. This is because of our love for Jehovah and our regular communication with each other.” Your marriage can be just as strong as theirs is!

SOME EXPRESSIONS EXPLAINED

Good communication: There is good communication in a marriage when a husband and a wife speak to each other honestly but kindly about their thoughts and feelings

To show insight: To treat someone in a way that shows that you truly understand how he or she thinks or feels

QUESTIONS THAT CAN IMPROVE YOUR MARRIAGE

Principle: “Let each one of you individually so love his wife as he does himself; on the other hand, the wife should have deep respect for her husband.”—Ephesians 5:33.

Some questions to ask yourself

▪ What are my mate’s good qualities, and how can I express appreciation for him or her?—Proverbs 14:1; 31:29; 1 Peter 3:1, 6; 4:8.

▪ Do I honor my spouse by seeking to understand his or her thoughts and feelings?—Philippians 2:4.

▪ Am I willing to overlook my spouse’s shortcomings?—Matthew 6:14, 15.

▪ When was the last time I expressed my affection for my spouse?—Song of Solomon 2:9-14.

▪ Toward what spiritual goals are we working?—Matthew 6:33, 34; 1 Corinthians 9:24-27.

▪ What initiative can I take to encourage my mate to read the Bible and consider the daily text together with me?

Let Marriage Be Honorable

ARE you married? If so, is your marriage a source of happiness, or are you experiencing serious marital problems? Have you and your spouse drifted apart? Are you enduring married life but not enjoying it? If so, you likely feel sad that the warm marital bond you once enjoyed has cooled. As a Christian, you surely would like your marriage to bring glory to Jehovah, the God you love. Hence, your present circumstances may well be a source of concern and heartache to you. Even so, please do not conclude that your situation is hopeless.

2 Today, there are fine Christian couples who once had marriages that were merely surviving, not thriving. Yet, they found a way to strengthen their relationship. You too can find more contentment in your marriage. How?

DRAWING CLOSER TO GOD AND TO YOUR SPOUSE

3 You and your spouse will draw closer together if you strive to draw closer to God. Why? Consider an illustration: Imagine a cone-shaped mountain—wide at the base and narrow at the top. A man is standing at the foot of the northern slope while a woman is standing on the other side, at the foot of the southern slope. Both begin to climb. When both are still near the mountain base, a long distance separates them. Yet, as each climbs higher and higher toward the narrow summit, the distance between them becomes less and less. Do you see the reassuring lesson in this illustration?

4 The effort you put forth to serve Jehovah to the full could be compared with the effort it takes to climb a mountain. Since you love Jehovah, you are already trying hard to climb, so to speak. However, if you and your spouse have grown apart, you may be climbing opposite sides of that mountain. What happens, though, when you continue to climb? Granted, a considerable distance may separate you at first. Nevertheless, the more effort you put into drawing closer to God—into climbing higher—the closer you and your mate become. Indeed, drawing closer to God is the key to drawing closer to your spouse. But how can you actually do that?

5 One important way to climb, as it were, is for you and your spouse to heed the counsel on marriage as found in God’s Word. (Psalm 25:4; Isaiah 48:17, 18) Consider, therefore, a specific point of counsel stated by the apostle Paul. He said: “Let marriage be honorable among all.” (Hebrews 13:4) What does that mean? The word “honorable” implies that something is esteemed and precious. And that is exactly how Jehovah views marriage—he esteems it as precious.

YOUR MOTIVATION—HEARTFELT LOVE FOR JEHOVAH

6 Of course, as servants of God, you and your spouse already know that marriage is precious, even sacred. Jehovah himself instituted the marriage arrangement. (Matthew 19:4-6) However, if you are currently experiencing marital problems, just knowing that marriage is honorable may not be enough to motivate you and your mate to treat each other with love and respect. What, then, will move you to do so? Note carefully how Paul addressed the subject of showing honor. He did not say, “marriage is honorable”; rather, he said, “let marriage be honorable.” Paul was not merely making an observation; he was giving an exhortation.* Keeping that distinction in mind may help you find added motivation for rekindling esteem for your spouse. Why is that the case?

7 Consider for a moment how you regard other Scriptural commands, such as the commission to make disciples or the admonition to meet together for worship. (Matthew 28:19; Hebrews 10:24, 25) Granted, carrying out those commands may at times be a challenge. The people to whom you preach may respond negatively, or the secular work you do may leave you so exhausted that attending Christian meetings is a struggle. Even so, you keep on preaching the Kingdom message, and you keep on attending Christian meetings. No one can stop you—not even Satan! Why not? Because your heartfelt love for Jehovah moves you to obey his commandments. (1 John 5:3) With what good results? Sharing in the preaching work and attending meetings gives you inner peace and heartfelt joy because you know that you are doing God’s will. And those feelings, in turn, renew your strength. (Nehemiah 8:10) What is the lesson here?

8 Just as your deep love for God moves you to obey the commands to preach and to meet together despite obstacles, so your love for Jehovah can move you to obey the Scriptural exhortation to “let [your] marriage be honorable,” even when that appears to be difficult. (Hebrews 13:4; Psalm 18:29; Ecclesiastes 5:4) Additionally, just as your efforts to share in preaching and in meeting together bring rich blessings from God, so your efforts to honor your marriage will be noticed and blessed by Jehovah.—1 Thessalonians 1:3; Hebrews 6:10.

9 How, then, can you make your marriage honorable? You need to avoid behavior that will damage the marital arrangement. In addition, you need to take steps that will strengthen the marital bond.

AVOID SPEECH AND CONDUCT THAT DISHONOR MARRIAGE

10 A Christian wife some time ago noted: “I pray to Jehovah for strength to see me through.” Through what? She explained: “My husband strikes me with words. I may not have visible bruises, but his constant cutting remarks, such as ‘You’re a burden!’ and ‘You’re worthless!’ have scarred my heart.” This wife brings up a matter of grave concern—abusive speech within marriage.

11 How sad it is when spouses in Christian households hurl cruel words at each other, causing emotional wounds that are not easily healed! Obviously, a marriage marked by hurtful speech is not honorable. How is your marriage faring in this regard? One way to find out is by humbly asking your spouse, “What effect do my words have on you?” If your mate feels that time and again your words have caused emotional wounds, you must be willing to change the situation for the better.—Galatians 5:15; Ephesians 4:31.

12 Keep clearly in mind that the way in which you use your tongue within the marriage arrangement affects your relationship with Jehovah. The Bible states: “If any man seems to himself to be a formal worshiper and yet does not bridle his tongue, but goes on deceiving his own heart, this man’s form of worship is futile.” (James 1:26) Your speech cannot be separated from your worship. The Bible does not support the notion that whatever happens at home is of little consequence as long as one claims to be serving God. Please do not deceive yourself. This is a serious matter. (1 Peter 3:7) You may have abilities and zeal, but if you willfully hurt your spouse with cutting words, you dishonor the marriage arrangement and your worship may be viewed by God as futile.

13 Marriage partners also need to be alert not to cause emotional pain in less direct ways. Consider two examples: A single mother frequently phones a married Christian man in the congregation to ask him for advice, and they talk at length; a single Christian brother spends considerable time each week working together in the field service with a married Christian sister. The married individuals in those examples may have proper intentions; yet, how does their conduct affect their respective spouses? A wife facing such a situation said: “To note that my husband gives so much time and attention to another sister in the congregation hurts me. It makes me feel inferior.”

14 It is understandable that this spouse and others who face a similar situation in marriage feel hurt. Their mates ignore God’s basic instruction for marriage: “A man will leave his father and his mother and he must stick to his wife.” (Genesis 2:24) Of course, those who marry still respect their parents; however, it is God’s arrangement that their foremost obligation is to their spouse. Similarly, Christians dearly love fellow believers; yet their primary responsibility is to their spouse. Thus, when married Christians spend inappropriate amounts of time with or become overly familiar with fellow believers, especially those of the opposite sex, they put strains on the marriage bond. Could that be a reason for tension in your marriage? Ask yourself, ‘Do I truly give my spouse the time, attention, and affection that rightly belong to my mate?’

15 Moreover, married Christians who give inappropriate attention to those of the opposite sex who are not their mate unwisely tread on dangerous ground. Sad to say, some married Christians have developed romantic feelings for those with whom they have become overly familiar. (Matthew 5:28) In turn, such emotional bonds have led to conduct that dishonors marriage even more. Consider what the apostle Paul stated about this subject.

“THE MARRIAGE BED BE WITHOUT DEFILEMENT”

16 Immediately after Paul gave the exhortation to “let marriage be honorable,” he added the warning: “[Let] the marriage bed be without defilement, for God will judge fornicators and adulterers.” (Hebrews 13:4) Paul used the term “marriage bed” to refer to sexual relations. Such relations are “without defilement,” or morally clean, if they are experienced solely within the marriage arrangement. Therefore, Christians heed the inspired words: “Rejoice with the wife of your youth.”—Proverbs 5:18.

17 Those having sexual relations with someone other than their spouse show gross disrespect for God’s moral laws. True, many today view adultery as fairly acceptable behavior. Yet, whatever other humans may think about adultery should not influence how Christians regard it. They realize that in the end, not man, but “God will judge fornicators and adulterers.” (Hebrews 10:31; 12:29) Hence, true Christians cling to Jehovah’s view on this subject. (Romans 12:9) Recall that the patriarch Job said: “A covenant I have concluded with my eyes.” (Job 31:1) Yes, to avoid even one step on the road that could lead to adultery, true Christians control their eyes and never look longingly at a person of the opposite sex who is not their mate.—See the Appendix, pages 219-21.

18 In Jehovah’s eyes, how serious is adultery? The Mosaic Law helps us to appreciate Jehovah’s feelings on the matter. In Israel, adultery and idolatry were among the offenses that carried the death penalty. (Leviticus 20:2, 10) Can you see a similarity between the two? Well, an Israelite worshipping an idol broke his covenant with Jehovah. Similarly, an Israelite committing adultery broke his covenant with his spouse. Both acted treacherously. (Exodus 19:5, 6; Deuteronomy 5:9; Malachi 2:14) Hence, both were reprehensible before Jehovah, the faithful and trustworthy God.—Psalm 33:4.

19 Of course, Christians are not under the Mosaic Law. Yet, recalling that in ancient Israel adultery was viewed in a serious light may strengthen Christians in their resolve not to commit such an act. Why? Consider this comparison: Would you ever enter a church, get down on your knees, and pray in front of an image? ‘Never!’ you will say. But would you be tempted to do so if you were offered a large sum of money? ‘Unthinkable!’ you will reply. Indeed, the very thought of betraying Jehovah by worshipping an idol is repulsive to a true Christian. In a similar way, Christians should be repulsed by the thought of betraying their God, Jehovah, as well as their spouse by committing adultery—no matter what the incentive to sin might be. (Psalm 51:1, 4; Colossians 3:5) Never do we want to commit an act that would cause Satan to rejoice but would bring grave dishonor to Jehovah and to the sacred marriage arrangement.

HOW TO STRENGTHEN YOUR MARRIAGE BOND

20 Besides avoiding conduct that dishonors marriage, what steps can you take to rekindle your respect for your marriage mate? To answer, think of the marriage arrangement as being a house. Next, think of the kind words, thoughtful deeds, and other expressions of honor that marriage partners extend to each other as the decorative items that add beauty to a house. If you feel close to each other, your marriage resembles a house adorned with decorations that give it color and warmth. If your affection diminishes, those decorations gradually disappear, leaving your marriage as bleak as a house without any decorations. Since you desire to obey God’s command to “let marriage be honorable,” you would be moved to improve the situation. After all, something precious and honorable is worth repairing, or restoring. How can you do so? God’s Word states: “By wisdom a household will be built up, and by discernment it will prove firmly established. And by knowledge will the interior rooms be filled with all precious and pleasant things of value.” (Proverbs 24:3, 4) Consider how these words can be applied to marriage.

21 Among the ‘precious things’ filling a happy household are such qualities as true love, godly fear, and firm faith. (Proverbs 15:16, 17; 1 Peter 1:7) They create a strong marriage. But did you note how the rooms in the above-quoted proverb are filled with precious things? “By knowledge.” Yes, when applied, Bible knowledge has the power to transform people’s thinking and to move them to rekindle their love for each other. (Romans 12:2; Philippians 1:9) Hence, whenever you and your spouse sit down together and calmly consider a Bible passage, such as the daily text, or a Bible-based article in The Watchtower or Awake! pertaining to marriage, it is as if you were examining a lovely decoration that can beautify your house. When love for Jehovah moves you to apply in your marriage the counsel that you just examined, you are, as it were, bringing that decoration into “the interior rooms.” As a result, some of the color and warmth that you once enjoyed in your marriage may return.

22 Granted, it may take considerable time and effort to put those decorations back in place one by one. Yet, if you strive to do your share, you will have the deep satisfaction of knowing that you are obeying the Bible’s command: “In showing honor to one another take the lead.” (Romans 12:10; Psalm 147:11) Above all, your earnest efforts to honor your marriage will keep you in God’s love.



The context shows that Paul’s admonition about marriage is part of a series of exhortations.—Hebrews 13:1-5.

[Study Questions]

1, 2. What question will we consider, and why?

3, 4. Why will marriage mates draw closer together if they strive to draw closer to God? Illustrate.

 5. (a) What is one way to draw closer to Jehovah and to one’s marriage mate? (b) How does Jehovah view marriage?

 6. What does the context of Paul’s counsel about marriage show, and why is that important to keep in mind?

 7. (a) What Scriptural commands do we carry out, and why? (b) What good results come from obedience?

8, 9. (a) What may move us to obey the exhortation to honor marriage, and why? (b) What two points will we now consider?

10, 11. (a) What conduct dishonors marriage? (b) What question should we consider with our mate?

12. How could one’s worship become futile in God’s eyes?

13. How could a marriage mate cause emotional pain?

14. (a) What marital obligation is highlighted at Genesis 2:24? (b) What should we ask ourselves?

15. According to Matthew 5:28, why should married Christians avoid giving inappropriate attention to someone of the opposite sex?

16. What command does Paul give regarding marriage?

17. (a) Why is the world’s view of adultery irrelevant to Christians? (b) How can we follow the example set by Job?

18. (a) In Jehovah’s eyes, how serious is adultery? (b) What similarity is there between adultery and idolatry?

19. What may strengthen one’s resolve to reject adultery, and why?

20. What has happened in some marriages? Illustrate.

21. How can we gradually strengthen our marriage? (See also the box on page 131.)

22. What satisfaction can we have if we strive to do our share in strengthening our marriage?

[Box/Picture on page 131]

Why Are We Always Arguing?

In the scenario below, Rachel contributes to an argument in three ways. Can you identify them? Write your answers below the scenario, and then check them with the box “Answers” at the end of the article.

It’s Wednesday night. Rachel, 17, is done with her chores, and she’s ready for some well-earned downtime—finally! She turns on the TV and collapses into her favorite chair.

As if on cue, Mom appears in the doorway, and she doesn’t look happy. “Rachel! Why are you wasting your time watching TV when you’re supposed to be helping your sister with her homework? You never do as you’re told!”

“Here we go again,” Rachel mutters, loud enough to be heard.

Mom leans forward. “What did you say, young lady?”

“Nothing, Mom,” Rachel says with a sigh, rolling her eyes.

Now Mom is really angry. “Don’t use that tone with me!” she says.

“What about the tone you’re using with me?” Rachel shoots back.

Downtime is over . . . Another argument has begun.

1. ․․․․․

2. ․․․․․

3. ․․․․․

DOES the above scenario seem familiar? Do you and your parents constantly argue? If so, take a moment to analyze the situation. Which topics cause the most conflict? Put a check mark next to the ones that apply—or fill in your own topic next to “Other.”

◯ Attitude

◯ Chores

◯ Clothing

◯ Curfew

◯ Entertainment

◯ Friends

◯ Opposite sex

◯ Other ․․․․․

Regardless of the topic, arguing leaves you—and your parents—feeling stressed. Of course, you could just bite your tongue and put on a show of agreeing with everything your parents say. But does God expect you to do that? No. It is true that the Bible tells you to “honor your father and your mother.” (Ephesians 6:2, 3) But it also encourages you to develop your “thinking ability” and to use your “power of reason.” (Proverbs 1:1-4; Romans 12:1) When you do, it’s inevitable that you will have strong convictions, some of which may differ from those of your parents. However, in families that apply Bible principles, parents and youths can communicate peacefully—even when they don’t see eye to eye.—Colossians 3:13.

How can you express yourself without turning normal conversation into open warfare? It’s easy to say: “That’s my parents’ problem. After all, they’re the ones who are always on my back!” But think: How much control do you have over others, including your parents? Really, the only person you can change is you. And the good news is, if you do your part to ease the tension, your parents are more likely to remain calm and hear you out when you have something to say.

So let’s see what you can do to put a lid on the arguing. Apply the suggestions that follow, and you might amaze your parents—and yourself—with your newfound communication skills.

(Suggestion: Put a check mark next to the suggestions that you need to work on.)

◯ Think before you respond. The Bible says: “Good people think before they answer.” (Proverbs 15:28, Today’s English Version) Don’t blurt out the first thing that comes to your mind when you feel that you’re under attack. For instance, suppose your mom says: “Why didn’t you wash the dishes? You never do as you’re told!” An impulsive reply might be, “Why are you nagging me?” But use your thinking ability. Try to perceive the feeling behind your mom’s words. Usually, statements with terms like “always” and “never” are not to be taken literally. They do, however, indicate an underlying emotion. What might it be?

Perhaps your mom is frustrated, feeling that she is burdened with more than her share of the housework. It could be that she merely wants reassurance that she has your support. Or, to be honest, maybe you’ve built up a track record of balking at chores. In any event, saying “Why are you nagging me?” will get you nowhere—except maybe into an argument! So instead, why not put your mom at ease? For example, you could say: “I can see you’re upset, Mom. I’ll do the dishes right away.” A caution: Do not lace your words with sarcasm. Responding with empathy will more likely ease the tension between you.

Below, write a statement that your dad or mom might make that could provoke you, if you let it.

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Now think of an empathetic response you could use that might address the feeling behind the statement.

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◯ Speak respectfully. Michelle has learned from experience the importance of how she speaks to her mother. “No matter what the issue is,” she says, “it always comes back to Mom’s not liking my tone of voice.” If that’s often true in your case, learn to speak quietly and slowly, and avoid rolling your eyes or giving other nonverbal indications of your annoyance. (Proverbs 30:17) If you feel that you’re about to lose control, offer a brief, silent prayer to God. (Nehemiah 2:4) Of course, your objective isn’t to get divine help to ‘get your parent off your back’ but to maintain self-control so that you don’t add fuel to the fire.—James 1:26.

In the space below, write down some words and actions you would do well to avoid.

Verbal expressions (what you say):

․․․․․

Nonverbal expressions (your facial and body language):

․․․․․

◯ Listen. The Bible states: “You will say the wrong thing if you talk too much.” (Proverbs 10:19, Contemporary English Version) So make sure you give your dad or mom a chance to speak, and give your parent your full attention. Turn off your music, set aside your book or magazine, and maintain eye contact. Don’t interrupt to justify your actions. Just listen. Later, when they’re finished talking, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to ask questions or to explain your viewpoint. On the other hand, if you dig in your heels and press your viewpoint now, you might only make things worse. Even if there’s more you’d like to say, right now is probably “a time to keep quiet.”—Ecclesiastes 3:7.

◯ Be willing to apologize. It’s always appropriate to say “I’m sorry” for anything you did to contribute to a conflict. (Romans 14:19) You can even say you’re sorry that there is any conflict. If you find it hard to do this face-to-face, try expressing your feelings in a note. Then, ‘go the extra mile’ by changing any behavior that contributed to the conflict in the first place. (Matthew 5:41) For example, if neglecting a chore has ignited an argument, why not surprise your parents by caring for that chore? Even if you dislike the task, wouldn’t getting it done be better than facing the consequences when your parents see it’s still been neglected?—Matthew 21:28-31.

In the end, working to resolve or prevent conflict will make life easier for you. In fact, the Bible says that a person “of loving-kindness is dealing rewardingly with his own soul.” (Proverbs 11:17) So think of what you stand to gain by doing your part to reduce the tension between you and your parents.

Successful families have conflicts, but they know how to settle them peacefully. Practice the skills outlined in this article, and you may find that you can discuss even difficult topics with your parents—without arguing!

More articles from the “Young People Ask” series can be found at the Web site www.watchtower.org/ype

TO THINK ABOUT

● Why do some of your peers often prize the ability to argue?

● Why does Jehovah view an argumentative person as being foolish?—Proverbs 20:3.

[Box/Pictures on page 27]

WHAT YOUR PEERS SAY

  “I had to realize that although I work and support myself financially, I still live in my mom’s house and have to listen to her. She has taken care of me for many years, so when she checks up on me—like with regard to my curfew—I completely understand.”

  “If my parents and I don’t agree on something, we pray about it, look up information on it, and discuss it. We always come to a mutual resolution in this way. When we keep Jehovah involved, it always works out in the end.”



ANSWERS

 1. The use of sarcasm (“Here we go again”) only poured fuel on the fire of Mom’s frustration.

 2. Rachel’s facial expression (rolling her eyes) was just asking for trouble.

 3. Talking back (“What about the tone you’re using with me?”) almost always backfires.



A NOTE TO PARENTS

  Look at the scenario that opened this article. Can you identify some things Rachel’s mom did that only contributed to an argument? How can you avoid arguing with your teen? The following are some points to keep in mind:

  Avoid sweeping assertions, such as “You always . . .” or “You never . . .” Such statements only invite a defensive response. After all, they are likely to be exaggerations, and your child knows it. Your child may also know that sweeping assertions are really more about your anger than his or her irresponsibility.

  Rather than using blunt statements that begin with the word “you,” try expressing how your child’s behavior affects you. For example, “When you . . . , I feel . . . .” Believe it or not, deep down your feelings are important to your teen. By letting your teen know how you are affected, you are more likely to elicit his or her cooperation.

  Hard as it may be, hold back until your temper is in check. (Proverbs 10:19) If the issue that is causing the argument involves chores, discuss it with your child. Write down specifically what is required of him or her and, if necessary, make clear what the consequences will be if your expectations are not met. Patiently listen to your child’s point of view, even if you feel that view is incorrect. Most teens respond better to a listening ear than to a lecture.

  Before hastily concluding that the world’s spirit of rebellion has taken control of your teen, realize that much of what you observe is part of your child’s natural development. Your child may argue a point just to prove that he or she is growing up. Resist the urge to get involved in disputes. Remember, how you respond to provocation teaches a lesson to your teen. Exercise patience and long-suffering, and you will set a good example for your son or daughter to follow.—Galatians 5:22, 23.

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