Sunday, October 18, 2009

Marriages Helped By The Bible

Carlos and Cecilia - pg 7 of the 01/08 Awake! issue)

Assign Them Honor
When writing to Christian husbands about how they should treat their wives, the inspired writer Peter urged husbands to imitate the attitudes of Jehovah and Jesus Christ. “You husbands, continue . . . assigning them honor,” he wrote. (1 Peter 3:7) Assigning honor to a person implies that one values and respects such a one highly. Thus, the man who honors his wife does not humiliate her, downgrade her, or treat her violently. Rather, he demonstrates by his words and his deeds—in public and in private—that he cherishes and loves her. Honoring one’s wife certainly contributes to happiness in a marriage.
Consider the example of Carlos and Cecilia. At a certain point in their married life, they often found themselves arguing without ever coming to a conclusion. At times, they just stopped talking to each other. They did not know how to resolve their problems. He was aggressive; she was demanding and proud. When they began studying the Bible and applying what they learned, however, things began to improve. Cecilia observes: “I realize that Jesus’ teachings and the example he left have transformed my personality and also my husband’s. Thanks to Jesus’ example, I have become more humble and understanding. I have learned to seek Jehovah’s help in prayer, as Jesus did. Carlos has learned to become more tolerant and show more self-control—to honor his wife as Jehovah desires.”
Their marriage is not perfect, but it has stood the test of time. In recent years they have had to face serious difficulties—Carlos lost his job and had to undergo surgery for cancer. Yet, these upheavals have not shaken their marriage bond, which has grown even stronger.
Since mankind’s fall into imperfection, women in many cultures have been treated dishonorably. They have been physically, mentally, and sexually abused. But that is not the treatment Jehovah intended for them. The Bible record clearly shows that no matter what cultural views may prevail, all women should be treated with honor and respect. It is their God-given due.

(Johny and Rani on pg 25 of the 04/08 Awake! issue)

‘Fishing for Men’ in the Backwaters
The expression “fishers of men” comes from Jesus’ words to the fishermen who became his disciples. He said: “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Jesus was referring to the work of helping people to become his disciples. (Matthew 4:18, 19; 28:19, 20) ...

There are 132 congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Kerala, (located in southwest India) including 13 around the backwaters. Many members of these congregations are also fishermen by trade. While out fishing, one of them spoke about God’s Kingdom to a fishing companion. Soon the man could see the difference between the teachings of his church and the Bible. His wife and four children became interested too. A study of the Bible was started with them. Their progress was fast, and four of the six are already baptized. Two more of the children are progressing toward that goal.
Members of one congregation traveled by boat to a small island in order to preach there. Because of the irregular boat service to and from the island, the local people call it kadamakudi, meaning “trapped if you enter.”
There the Witnesses met Johny and his wife, Rani. Although Catholics by birth, they associated with a meditation center and donated all the money they could to it. Johny showed great interest in the message of Bible truth, and a Bible study was started with him. He began sharing his newfound faith with others. Bible truth helped him to give up smoking and to stop abusing alcohol! Johny’s secular work was not in harmony with the Scriptures, so he made changes. At first this brought financial difficulty upon the family. Soon, however, Johny started catching crabs to sell and was thus able to care for the family. He was baptized in September 2006, and his wife and two children were baptized a year later. The prospect of living eternally in a global paradise has completely changed their view of life.—Psalm 97:1; 1 John 2:17.

(Here's another good experience of a sister in Bolivia with a problematic marital situation, on pgs 94 & 95 of the 1986 Yearbook)

A Firm Stand For Truth Brings Good Results
Ignacia de Torres, of Santa Cruz, listened as her sister from La Paz shared Bible truths with her. Although Ignacia’s response was mild, the seed of truth began growing. In 1963, a missionary started a Bible study with her. But Ignacia’s husband, a tall, strapping policeman, severely opposed. He would fly into a rage and fire his police revolver into the air, while Ignacia and her children ran for cover. One day he arrived when another missionary, Pamela Moseley, was conducting the study. Her ears tingled as he bellowed out fiery orders motivating a quick departure. Still, Pamela would not give up. One day when he stayed home to catch the missionary, Ignacia told him plainly that if he forbade her to study at home, she would go to the Kingdom Hall. “Now, isn’t it finer that I should study here?” she asked. With that, the opposition let up.
Ignacia continued to grow in love for Jehovah and for her Christian brothers. Often, she would freely use her nurse’s training to help brothers and sisters in distress. More important, however, was her zealous activity to free people in spiritual bondage. Following her example of devotion, three of her children also became Witnesses. After years of fervent prayers, one of her fondest hopes became a reality. Her husband, who had so strongly opposed, began to investigate the truth, and after ten years of Bible studies and many personality changes, he too was baptized in January 1984.