Congregation "Bible Study" Comments - Week Commencing 28 September 2009

by LUKEWARM 4 Replies latest jw friends


    *** lv chap. 10 pp. 110-120 Marriage-A Gift From a Loving God ***

    Q16, 17. Those preparing for marriage should meditate on what Scriptural principles?16 Preparing for marriage involves meditating on the roles that God has assigned to husband and wife. A man needs to know what it means to be the head of a Christian household. This role is not a license to act as a tyrant. Rather, he must imitate the manner in which Jesus exercises headship. (Ephesians 5:23) Likewise, a Christian woman needs to understand the dignified role of the wife. Will she be willing to submit to "the law of her husband"? (Romans 7:2). She is already under the law of Jehovah and the Christ. (Galatians 6:2) Her husband's authority in the household represents another law. Can she be supportive and submissive when it comes to the authority of an imperfect man? If that prospect is not appealing, she does well to refrain from marrying.

    Why does the Bible say that the head of every man is the Christ and not the Faithful and Discreet Slave?

    "...the law of Jehovah and of Christ" and the law of the WTS makes JW's subject to 3 laws when it should only be the law of the Christ for Christians.

    17 Further, each mate needs to be ready to care for the special needs of the other. (Philippians 2:4) Paul wrote: "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." Under divine inspiration, Paul saw that the man has a special need to sense his wife's deep respect for him. And the woman has a special need to feel loved by her husband.-Ephesians 5:21-33.

    "ready to care for the special needs of the other" - how is that completely possible when the WTS requires its members to be so busy volunteering their time for them which leaves so little time to spend with the family?
    Q18. Why should couples exercise self-control during courtship?18 Courtship, then, is not merely a time to have fun. It is a time for a man and a woman to learn how to deal properly with each other, to see whether marriage would be a wise choice. It is also a time to exercise self-control! The temptation to become physically intimate can be very strong-after all, the attraction is natural. However, those who truly love each other will avoid any acts that could harm a loved one spiritually. (1 Thessalonians 4:6) So if you are courting, exercise self-control; you can benefit from that quality throughout your life, whether you marry or not.

    [Picture on page 119]
    During courtship, many couples wisely arrange for a chaperone

    "It is a time for a man and a woman to learn how to deal properly with each other" - Well instead of having time to do this and enjoy their twenties more by going out and having fun, they are instead required to go out on in service and attend repetitive meetings.

    "...any acts that could harm a loved one spiritually." - Why not elaborate on what these are exactly and when an act qualifies as loose conduct?

    Q19, 20. How should a Christian's view of marriage differ from that of many in today's world? Illustrate.19 If a couple is to make their marriage last, they need to have the right view of commitment. In novels and movies, a marriage often provides the happy ending that people crave. In real life, though, marriage is not an ending; it is a beginning-the start of something that Jehovah designed to last. (Genesis 2:24) Sadly, that is not the common view in today's world. In some cultures, people speak of marrying as "tying the knot." They may not realize how aptly that illustration describes the common view of marriage. How so? While a good knot should hold fast as long as it is needed, another key requirement is that it can be tied and untied with ease.

    Is it possible for non-jw's to "have the right view of commitment"? Do non-jw's commonly view marriage as something not "designed to last"?

    "They may not realize how aptly that illustration describes the common view of marriage." - More interpretative wisdom from the institutionalized members of the WTS

    20 Many today see marriage as temporary. They enter into it readily enough because they think that it will suit their needs, but they expect to be able to get out of it as soon as it seems to be challenging. Remember, though, the illustration that the Bible uses for a bond such as marriage-the cord. Cords or ropes made for sailing ships are designed to last, never to fray or unravel, even in the harshest storm. Likewise, marriage is designed to endure. Remember, Jesus said: "What God has yoked together let no man put apart." (Matthew 19:6) If you marry, you need to have the same view of marriage. Does that kind of commitment turn marriage into a burden? No.

    Why is it that "many" non-jw's marriages last and are more permanent and happy that JW marriages? Does it perhaps have to do with the additional pressure and strain a relationship is under to please the WTS?

    Considering "Jesus said: "What God has yoked together let no man put apart", why does the WTS teach that if one marriage mate disagrees with its interpretation of the Bible, then the other mate has grounds for separation?

    Q21. A husband and wife need to maintain what attitude toward each other, and what may help them to do so?21 A husband and wife need to maintain the right view of each other. If each one strives to focus on the good qualities and efforts of the other, the marriage will be a source of joy and refreshment. Is it unrealistic to have such a positive view of an imperfect mate? Jehovah is never unrealistic, yet we count on him to maintain a positive view of us. The psalmist asked: "If errors were what you watch, O Jah, O Jehovah, who could stand?" (Psalm 130:3) Husbands and wives need to have a similarly positive and forgiving view of each other.-Colossians 3:13.

    "Jehovah is never unrealistic" but the WTS frequently is...

    Q22, 23. How did Abraham and Sarah set a good example for married people today?22 Marriage can become a greater blessing as it endures over the years. The Bible shows us the marriage of Abraham and Sarah when they were an elderly couple. Their life was by no means free of hardships and challenges. Imagine what it was like for Sarah, a woman possibly in her 60's, to leave her comfortable home in the prosperous city of Ur and take up dwelling in tents for the rest of her life. Yet, she submitted to her husband's headship. A true complement and helper to Abraham, she respectfully helped to make his decisions work. And her subjection was not superficial. Even "inside herself," she referred to her husband as her lord. (Genesis 18:12; 1 Peter 3:6) Her respect for Abraham came from the heart.

    So Sarah "possibly in her 60's" was asked lived in a "comfortable home in the prosperous city". Does the WTS approve of its members to enjoying their retirement in this way?

    Sarah "submitted to her husband's headship" when they needed to move to another location because Gods directly told him to do so - Are the WTS requirements imposed on husbands to be viewed in the same manner?

    Should Christian wives refer to their husbands as "lord"?

    23 Of course, that does not mean that Abraham and Sarah always saw things the same way. She once made a suggestion that was "very displeasing" to Abraham. Still, at Jehovah's direction, Abraham humbly listened to the voice of his wife, which turned out to be a blessing to the family. (Genesis 21:9-13) Husbands and wives today, even those married for decades, can learn much from this godly couple.

    Q24. What kind of marriages reflect well on Jehovah God, and why?24. In the Christian congregation, there are many thousands of happy marriages - marriages in which the wife deeply respects her husband, the husband loves and honors his wife, and both work together to put the doing of Jehovah's will first in all things. If you decide to marry, may you choose your mate wisely, prepare well for marriage, and work at a peaceful, loving marriage that brings honor to Jehovah God. In that case, your marriage will certainly help you to remain in God's love.

    "Christian congregation" = Only JW's?

    "In the Christian congregation, there are many thousands of happy marriages" - is it possible for them to comprehend that there are millions of non-JW marriages which are happy and enduring?

    "...doing of Jehovah's will first in all things" means attending all the meetings, 8 hours a month in field service, not celebrating birthdays, donating to the worldwide work etc

  • boyzone
    "In the Christian congregation, there are many thousands of happy marriages" - is it possible for them to comprehend that there are millions of non-JW marriages which are happy and enduring?

    ....and that is the problem with the whole study in a nutshell. It presumes that JW's always have happy marriages but we all know thats not the case. Many in the congs have gone through divorce, sometimes more than once, and many "worldly"people have long lasting enduring marriages, you only have to look at your local paper and count the 25, 50, or 60 year wedding anniversary notices to see that.

    I guess there's some sensible advice in there (apart from the chaparone tripe) but its just common sense, nothing that the average person couldn't work out for themselves without the Org poking its nose in.

    Thanks for a great study Lukewarm

  • wantstoleave

    I laugh at the part of headship and decision making of the husband because I had a husband who never made one single decision. He refused to. Left everything to me. That's why I've said before that I felt lonelier being married than when I was single. I didn't have a 'partner', it was like having a child.

  • yknot

    My KH will be a sea of heads bobbing BUT most of them in recent discussions would see themselves falling into immorality during engagement because their attitude is the same as most of their worldly peers.........sexual test driving is a must before signing on the dotted line!

    I wonder how long until I see things that way?

    The link to Sir82's Elder note thread is quite educational! I think it is interesting to see that Bethel men are obsessed with breasts and wonder how many generations it is gonna take to substitute breast with oral sex.

  • WTWizard

    First, I will repeat the surest way for a marriage to fail. If you marry because he is a hounder, a pio-sneer, has been to Beth Hell (or is still there), and gives everything to the organization, that is going to flop. You are also in for a tyrant (you will pio-sneer, like it or not--or die trying). He will have little or no time alone with you, and everything you do is what the hounders (and the Filthful and Disgraceful Slavebugger tells you). There will be much time out in field circus, but none spent watching movies, listening to real music, reading decent books and magazines, going online, enjoying a nice dinner (at home or going out), or taking trips together without having a boasting session and field circus barging in. Stagnation will set in, one or both parties will lose interest in the other, and the marriage will become loveless. Adultery is likely at this point.

    If he marries because she is a pio-sneer, a daughter of a hounder, and is in (or has been in) Beth Hell, and gives everything to the organization, you are in for more trouble. Again, all your time together will be out in field circus, with nothing else. Besides, there is an excellent chance that she will be physically unattractive to him. Intelligence also counts--and, if it is all given to the organization, there is none left for the couple. She will not be able to make any independent decisions should it become necessary, and if she is much older (especially if she is a virgin from Beth Hell), she might not be able to learn to submit to a husband that has little experience (which would not be an issue if everyone were encouraged to think independently).

    Either way, most of the time and money is wasted. There will probably be no oral sex (if you really did choose a "spiritual" mate, there will be none). Everything will be the same old--perfect breeding grounds for adultery. Money will end up in the Worldwide Pedophile Defense Fund instead of being used to have fun or prepare for old age. Time is for field circus, and you will be doing nothing else alone together (and more often than not, you will be put with other people in the congregation other than your mate).

    Now, one recommended step to prepare for a marriage is the one thing the Filthful and Disgraceful Slavebugger does not want: TRY IT OUT! This means having unchaperoned dates, especially if you are reaching the point where the wedding is finalized. And, don't worry about "self control"--just do it. If, at that point, it doesn't work out, you can call it off without much loss. If it does work, you can then finalize the wedding. This is the only way to know with reasonable certainty whether or not you are going to make it, or if you are really wasting your time trying. Fornication before things are finalized can actually help cut your losses, or tell you if you are going to make it with each other. A chaperone is a complete waste of time, and it intrudes (and creates more problems).

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