Truth, Understanding, Insight

Guide for Family Life

29th May 2011, mgh


2) The New Testament sets Standards for Young and Old

The new Testament also emphasises that we must first and foremost love Yahweh. This principle of love is developed throughout the whole of the N.T.

Jesus said unto him, Thou shall love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shall love thy neighbour as thyself. (Matthew 22:37-39)

The epistles look at interpersonal and family relationships. The relationship that should exist between husbands and wives and the responsibilities of children are described as in Colossians 3.

Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them. Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord. Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged. (Colossians 3:19)

Paul's advice to Timothy covers a number of different interpersonal relationships between older and younger people.

Rebuke not an elder, but intreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren; The elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, with all purity. Honour widows that are widows indeed. But if any widow have children or nephews, let them learn first to show piety at home, and to requite their parents: for that is good and acceptable before God. (I Timothy 5:1-4)

Ephesians contains a lot of very practical advice from Paul to the Ephesians, and also to us.

Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the adversary.

Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that has need. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tender hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake has forgiven you. (Ephesians 4: 25-32)

Timothy's mother and grandmother had been wise guides to Timothy and Paul's advice to Timothy is to continue in their wise counsel and to especially be guided by the Scriptures, that is the law, the prophets, the Psalms and the Commandments, which are the Old Testament writings.

But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. (II Timothy 3:14-17)

Timothy had learnt as a child about the holy scriptures, which Paul states “are able to make thee wise unto salvation”. This remains true today but there are many distractions in our world which can tempt and beguile the young. Increasingly the young are choosing their own path and searching for independence.

Although Paul wrote to Timothy two thousand years ago, his words so aptly describe our world today, defined as “the last days”.

This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good. (II Timothy 3:1-3)

We can expect to see selfishness, blasphemy, disobedience among the young and ingratitude and Godlessness all around us. A knowledge and understanding of Yahweh's divine purpose with this earth, taught and discussed within the home, and a regular family reading of the Holy Bible, can still give families an assurance and hope of life beyond the calamities of our present world and hopefully a better, a more loving and understanding relationship with each other.

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