Wednesday, 22 April 2015

The Special Talk: A Promise of Perfect Family Happiness

This is reconstructed from the very scrawly notes I took during the talk - my hands are not good at the moment- so the notes are not very good - some bits missing, some bits I can't read!  But I hope what I do have down is accurate.

Special Talk  Sunday 19th April 2015 (given worldwide)

A Promise of Perfect Family Happiness

The Speaker started by talking about his new granddaughter who was born yesterday.  He spoke of the joy of the new baby, and the worry about his daughter, who had a difficult time.  That is family life now, a mixture of joy and of worry.   

How can we have happy families?     Its an urgent question. Apparently the U.K. has the highest rate of family breakdown in the Western world, and now only two thirds of children live with both their parents.

The "world" will tell us that we don't need the family - and try to persuade us it's an outmoded institution.     But we are going to look at what Jehovah, the Maker of marriage, has to say. And we are going to look at four areas.

1.   Who created the family arrangement.
2.   What is its purpose?
3.   What is our goal? ( I think, I can't really read what I wrote here)
4.   How do we achieve it?

The Speaker then directed us to Genesis 1:26-28:
"Then God said: “Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness, and let them have in subjection the fish of the sea and the flying creatures of the heavens and the domestic animals and all the earth and every creeping animal that is moving on the earth.”  And God went on to create the man in his image, in God’s image he created him; male and female he created them.  Further, God blessed them, and God said to them: “Be fruitful and become many, fill the earth and subdue it, and have in subjection the fish of the sea and the flying creatures of the heavens and every living creature that is moving on the earth.”"

And he then directed us to Genesis 2, verses 23 and 24, which say:

"Then the man said: “This is at last bone of my bones And flesh of my flesh. This one will be called Woman, Because from man she was taken.”"

"That is why a man will leave his father and his mother and he will stick to his wife, and they will become one flesh."

Do we see...  I can't read my notes at this point.

He then read Ruth 1:9:   "May Jehovah grant that each of you finds security in the home of your husband.” Then she kissed them, and they wept loudly."

Do we often find this security now?   Has Jehovah's family arrangement changed?  After all, as the Speaker pointed out, there was trouble even in Jehovah's family.   One member, who became Satan the Devil, separated himself, and persuaded others to do the same - both in heaven and on the earth.

Satan's deceit and lies persuaded our first parents to join him in rebelling against their Creator, and ushered in the situation we have now, the time which "man has dominated man to his harm". (Ecclesiastes 8:9)

We then read 2 Timothy 3:2:
"For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, haughty, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, disloyal,"

Disobedience to parents - trouble right within the family.   Can't read the next bit, but the Speaker then talked about finding a standard to aim for so that we can find family happiness.   Or how to recover it.

Satan can be likened to a cancer, spreading his rebellion, difficult to treat.   The Speaker used the image of  the golden bullet treatment for cancer, a treatment which seeks out specific cancer cells and destroys them (without, I am guessing, harming any surrounding healthy tissue).  Jehovah is targeting Satan and all his works.

We then read Genesis 3:15:
"And I will put enmity between you and the woman and between your offspring and her offspring. He will crush your head, and you will strike him in the heel.”

And 1 Corinthians 15:24-28:
"Next, the end, when he (Jesus) hands over the Kingdom to his God and Father, when he has brought to nothing all government and all authority and power.  For he must rule as king until God has put all enemies under his feet.  And the last enemy, death, is to be brought to nothing.  For God “subjected all things under his feet.” But when he says that ‘all things have been subjected,’ it is evident that this does not include the One who subjected all things to him.  But when all things will have been subjected to him, then the Son himself will also subject himself to the One who subjected all things to him, that God may be all things to everyone."

So, as promised in Genesis, the works of Satan will be broken up.  We have this wonderful hope of the restoration of Paradise ahead of us.  But what can help us to be happy now, to have happy families, even though we are imperfect?

We read Isaiah 48:17:   "This is what Jehovah says, your Repurchaser, the Holy One of Israel: “I, Jehovah, am your God, The One teaching you to benefit yourself, The One guiding you in the way you should walk."

Jehovah has given us the instructions - if we apply them, they will help us.

We are going to look at Scriptural advice for:
1. Fathers and Mothers
2. Children.

Ephesians 5:28-32 says:
"In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. A man who loves his wife loves himself, for no man ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cherishes it, just as the Christ does the congregation,  because we are members of his body.  “For this reason a man will leave his father and his mother and he will stick to his wife, and the two will be one flesh.”  This sacred secret is great. Now I am speaking about Christ and the congregation.

Verse 32 shows that Christ is a perfect example for for all of us.  Family heads can look at the tender way he cared for the congregation.  He never focused on the negatives, on the faults and failings of his disciples, though he certainly could have done.  He was a perfect man, surrounded by imperfect people.

He never reproached them, telling them they were "always arguing", or that they "left him alone".  After Peter denied Jesus, out of fear, he must have felt so sad.  But Jesus called for him to come right back into the family.

If a wife knows she is cherished by her husband she is happy.   If she is neglected and ignored she will not be happy, even if her husband provides well for her materially.

We then read Ephesians 5:22-25, followed by verse 33:

"Let wives be in subjection to their husbands as to the Lord,  because a husband is head of his wife just as the Christ is head of the congregation, he being a savior of this body.  In fact, as the congregation is in subjection to the Christ, wives should also be to their husbands in everything.  Husbands, continue loving your wives, just as the Christ also loved the congregation and gave himself up for it,"

"Nevertheless, each one of you must love his wife as he does himself; on the other hand, the wife should have deep respect for her husband."

The Speaker then gave us a lovely account from a Reader's Digest.  It was about a man from one island who went to find a wife on another. I didn't get the name of the islands, but they sounded like they were somewhere in the South Pacific.    Now in that part of the world (wherever it was), you paid a bride-price for your bride. And the price of a really top-notch bride was 6 cows.    But a very plain lady would only fetch a couple of cows.

The would-be bridegroom, Johnny Lingo (which I hope I have spelt right), had seen the girl he wanted on the other island and he went over to offer the bride-price for her.  Now her family did not think much of her, she wasn't pretty, and they felt she was not worth much. And they had told her she was only a 2-cow wife, or possibly only a 1-cow wife!

Which must have made her feel just wonderful.

However, when Johnny Lingo arrived, he gave her family 8 cows for this young lady.  They laughed among themselves, thinking it a massive overpayment.  But when the author of the article visited the young couple, now married and living on the other island, and met the young wife, he said she was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen - her walk, her shining eyes, her smile.

What had made the difference?   What does it do to someone to know that their own family puts such a low value on them?

Her husband wanted her to be happy, to know how much he thought of her.  And the power of that love and cherishing had made such a difference to her.

Why not strive to make each other happy in marriage, to show how much we love and value each other?

The Speaker then read Ephesians 6:1-3:
"Children, be obedient to your parents in union with the Lord, for this is righteous.  “Honor your father and your mother” is the first command with a promise: “That it may go well with you and you may remain a long time on the earth.”"

Isn't this attitude rare in the world now?    But note the fine detail - be obedient "in union with the Lord".   So the young ones have to put effort in, they have to come to know Jehovah and to love him and his law.

We then read verse 4:   "And fathers, do not be irritating your children, but go on bringing them up in the discipline and admonition of Jehovah."

And he pointed out that inconsistency would be very irritating - if what was wrong one day was right the next, simply depending on the mood of the parent. Constant criticising and correcting would also be irritating and discouraging.

And he ended on a realistic note.  We cannot have perfect families now, but we can keep striving to improve, to make our family happier and happier.   


He read Psalm 89:15,16:   "Happy are the people who know the joyful shouting. O Jehovah, they walk in the light of your face.  They rejoice in your name all day long, And in your righteousness they are exalted."

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