“O if only you would actually pay attention to my commandments! Then your peace would become just like a river, and your righteousness like the waves of the sea.”
FEW things are closer to our hearts than our family. Yet, too often family happiness is disturbed by disagreements and tension.
What Scriptural principles help families?
The standards and principles of human relations in the Scriptures are practical, eternal, and universal. When families apply them, homelife improves. Consider the importance of love, respect, and communication. How much happier many families would be if each member always applied the principle: “You must love your fellow as yourself”! (Leviticus 19:18) How much happier many marriages would be if mates respected each other and communicated freely and considerately, as did Elkanah and Hannah!
What is the best way to raise your children?
Parents have the privilege and the responsibility to teach God’s ways to their own children. “These words . . . must prove to be on your heart; and you must inculcate them in your son.” (Deuteronomy 6:6, 7) To be able to do this, parents themselves need to know the holy writings. When they make the effort to learn “these words” and to teach them to their children, the results will be good. “Train up a boy according to the way for him; even when he grows old he will not turn aside from it.”
Do Scriptural principles really work?
Yehoshua and Malka: “We had five children to raise, and our financial state was not that good. But putting spiritual pursuits ahead of material ones helped us to keep a balanced view of money. We experienced the truth of David’s words: ‘I have not seen anyone righteous left entirely, nor his offspring looking for bread.’ (Psalm 37:25) We avoided unnecessary expenses and did not strive to attain material wealth, knowing that ‘without fail it makes wings for itself like those of an eagle and flies away toward the heavens.’ (Proverbs 23:4, 5) Thus, we had more time to spend together as a family in spiritual activities and also picnicking and enjoying nature.
“Malka and I always tried to put our trust in Jehovah God and to lean on his wisdom, not our own. We taught our children to choose friends who were a good influence, since ‘he that is walking with wise persons will become wise, but he that is having dealings with the stupid ones will fare badly.’ (Proverbs 13:20) Today, our children live happy, purposeful lives. When we look back on our efforts to raise them in God’s ways, we are convinced that he helped us. We can say with all our heart: ‘The blessing of Jehovah
Mordechai and Keren: “When our oldest son was small, air-raid alarms often sent us dashing into a bomb shelter that was sealed against gas attacks. In the shelter, as at other times, we prayed as a family to the ‘Hearer of prayer’ for the courage not to be overwhelmed by anxiety. (Psalm 65:2 [65:3, TNK]) Later, as our boys were growing up, we taught them scriptures that show how well God looks after those who love him. (Deuteronomy 7:9) We often talked about God’s promise of a peaceful future. Praying to God and reflecting on the Scriptures calmed us and helped us to avoid feeling traumatized.
“Of course, siblings at times may argue. When our children did, we reminded them that God wants us, not to get even, but to do good. ‘Hatred is what stirs up contentions, but love covers over even all transgressions.’ (Proverbs 10:12) This helped them to break the cycle of anger. They also learned to show older people respect and to care for them according to the principle of Leviticus 19:32: ‘Before gray hair you should rise up, and you must show consideration for the person of an old man, and you must be in fear of your God.’ We are grateful that both of our boys have grown into confident, good-hearted young men.”