Comments You Will Not Hear at the 07-28-2013 WT Study (MAY 15, 2013, pages 19-23)(PARENTS, CHILDREN COMMUNICATE)
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“Every man must be
swift about hearing,
slow about speaking,
slow about wrath.”
HOW WOULD YOU ANSWER?
Why is it important to make
time for communication?
How might parents apply
How might children apply
In the last series of articles, was there a part of how elders can communicate with the “sheep” in their congregation? How often do they talk to them, about what? Do elders feel they are only responsible for the jws assigned to their FIELD SERVICE group? Do they know the names and ages of the children? Have they worked door to door with these children, their parents, childless couples, single men and women at least once a year? But why is the onus of asking put on the publisher?
*** km 10/12 p. 6 par. 3 How to Benefit From Your Field Service Group ***
Although the congregation now meets together on one less occasion a week, this does not mean that publishers should receive less shepherding. Group overseers are appointed in each group to give individuals personal encouragement and training for the ministry. If your group overseer has not yet made an appointment to work with you in the ministry, why not ask to work with him?
START OF ARTICLE
1, 2. How do parents and children generally feel about one
another, but what difficulty do they sometimes face?
“IF YOU were to somehow find out that your parents
were going to die tomorrow, what would you most
want to tell them today?” That was a question put to
hundreds of children in the United States. Rather
than focusing on any existing problems and differences
that might have been troubling them, some
95 percent said that they would tell their parents:
“I’m sorry” and “I love you so much.”—For Parents
Only, by Shaunti Feldhahn and Lisa Rice.
So why does the WTS quote secular sources. What are their positions on other topics?
2 Generally, children love their parents, and parents
love their children. This is especially true in
Christian households. Although parents and children
yearn to be close to one another, communication
is sometimes difficult. Even when conversation
may otherwise be frank and open, why are some
topics avoided entirely? What are some barriers to
good communication? How may they be overcome?
Christian households = only jw households, others who claim to be “Christian” are only “professed” or “so-called” in WTS belief
Do you think jw parents even suggest that a jw could be a pedophile and children should watch out?
‘BUY OUT’ TIME TO COMMUNICATE
3. (a) Why is good communication a challenge for many
families? (b) Why was spending time together not a problem
for families in ancient Israel?
3 Many families find that it is difficult to have
enough time for meaningful communication. That
was not always the case. Moses instructed Israelite
fathers: “You must inculcate [God’s words] in your
son and speak of them when you sit in your house
and when you walk on the road and when you lie
down and when you get up.” (Deut. 6:6, 7) Children
spent the day either with their mother at home or
with their father in the fields or at his workplace.
There was plenty of time for children and parents
to be together and converse. Consequently, parents
were in a position to get to know the
needs, desires, and personality of their
children. Likewise, there was time and
sufficient opportunity for children to get
to know their parents well.
Have enough time – especially busy elder fathers…
“meaningful” communication – what does the WTS consider meaningful…a deluge of religious homilies?
So because people do not work at home any more….does not mean they aren’t home any more or don’t do things they can do with their parents, dishes,
4. Why is communication a problem in many
4 How different life is today! In some
countries, children begin preschool at an
early age, sometimes when they are only
two years old. Many fathers and mothers
work at jobs away from home. During
the little time that parents and children
are together, communication competes
with and often loses out to computers,
television, and other electronic media.
In many cases, children and parents live
separate lives; they are virtual strangers.
Meaningful conversation may be almost
So who have the responsibility to regulate electronic media at home, children or parents? What do children see their parents doing? Do they see them glued to electronic media, do they see their parents engaging in “meaningful” conversation?
5, 6. How do some parents ‘buy out’ more
time to spend with their children?
5 Can you ‘buy out’ time from other
things so as to spend more of it with
your family? (Read Ephesians 5:15, 16.)
Some families agree to limit television
viewing or computer use. Others strive
to have at least one meal together each
day. And what a fine opportunity the arrangement
of family worship offers for
parents and children to draw close to
one another and discuss spiritual matters
calmly! Setting aside an hour or so a
week for this purpose is a good start, but
more is needed to open the door to deep
conversation. For that, regular and frequent
communication is a must. Before
your young one heads out for school, say
something encouraging, discuss the daily
text, or offer a prayer with your child.
Doing so can make a great difference in
his or her day.
Bethelites are only required to eat breakfast together; otherwise the “glean” food and go back to their room. Many have to travel far for the meetings and don’t have time to eat supper.
Why say discuss spiritual matters CALMLY, are fights going on?
Hour = FAMILY WORSHIP HOUR
So “meaningful” CONVERSATION is discussing the day’s text, offering a prayer?
What does the WTS consider an encouraging thing to say?
6 Some parents have been able to
make changes in their lifestyle so as to
spend more time with their young ones.
For instance, Laura,* a mother of two
young children, left a full-time job for
this reason. She says: “In the morning
all of us were rushing out the door to
get to work or school. When I returned
home in the evening, my children were
already asleep, having been put to bed
by a nanny. My giving up the job has
meant that we have to manage with less
money, but I feel that I am now in touch
with my children’s thoughts and problems.
I listen to what they say in prayer
and can guide them, encourage them,
and teach them.”
*Name has been changed.
Parents make changes in their lifestyle—another way to say that women should not work outside the home and the only reason they do work is to buy extra, unnecessary things
*** w85 2/15 p. 24 Does Greed Sometimes Grip You? ***
Far more serious to a Christian is the spiritual danger inherent in greed. Materialism has caused some Christian wives, whose husbands earn reasonable pay, to seek employment even if the result is neglect of their children and fewer blessings in the preaching work.
PICTURE: Do not let distractions and isolation hinder communication within your family
BE “SWIFT ABOUT HEARING”
7. What is a common complaint of both children
7 After conducting many interviews
with young people, the authors of the
book For Parents Only noted another barrier
to communication. They say: “The
kids’ number one most common complaint
about their parents was, ‘They
don’t listen.’ ” That problem is hardly
one-sided. Parents frequently make the
same complaint about their children. To
keep the lines of communication open,
family members must listen—really listen—
to one another.—Read James 1:19.
So why are these non-jws experts for jws?
At the meetings do people listen or sermonize? Is it a give and take conversation of equals?
Do the elders listen or give you a copy of an article or a canned response?
Do parents do any less of what they see and what others do to them when dealing with their children?
8. How might parents truly listen to their children?
8 Parents, do you really listen to your
children? This may be difficult when
you are tired or when the conversation
seems somewhat trivial. But what appears
to be trivial to you may be very important
to your child. To be “swift about
hearing” means being attentive not only
to what your child says but also to how
he or she says it. Tone of voice and body
language give clues about how a young
one feels. Asking questions is also important.
“A person’s thoughts are like
water in a deep well,” says the Bible,
“but someone with insight can draw
them out.” (Prov. 20:5, Today’s English
Version) Insight and discernment are especially
needed when you are drawing
your children out on sensitive topics.
Do elders use the same excuses, tired, the publisher’s concern is “trivial”?
Or if they have heard it before, it is of no concern?
Body language? I remember the elder who rose and shouted in my face at a shepherding call, shocking my husband and the other elder. No shouting by me, no disrespect, but a revealing of his true nature, his body language was shouting.
Remember, this elder was a parent…do you think he shouted at his children at home?
9. Why should children listen to their parents?
9 Children, do you obey your parents?
“Listen, my son, to the discipline of
your father,” says God’s Word, “and
do not forsake the law of your mother.”
(Prov. 1:8) Remember, your parents
love you and have your best interests
at heart, so it is wise to listen to them
and obey them. (Eph. 6:1) It is easier to
be obedient when there is good communication
and when you know that you
are loved. Tell your parents how you feel
about things. This will help them to understand
you. Of course, you should also
try to understand them.
Because you share DNA with people does that mean they love you and have their child’s best interests at heart?
So parents do not love their children when they are disobedient? Does God not love us as sinners? Why not parents?
Too much responsibility is but on children to be the adult one by the WTS.
10. What do we learn from the Bible’s account
10 When it comes to listening to advice
from young people your own age,
you need to be careful. They may tell you
what you want to hear, but their advice
may not help you at all. In fact, it could
even harm you. Lacking the wisdom and
experience of older ones, most young
people do not have a long-term view of
things and may not be able to discern
the consequences of certain actions. Remember
the example of King Solomon’s
son Rehoboam. When he became the
king of Israel, it would have been wise
for him to follow the counsel of the older
men. Instead, he followed the foolish
advice of the younger men he had
grown up with. He thus lost the support
of most subjects of his kingdom. (1 Ki.
12:1-17) Rather than imitating Rehoboam’s
unwise course, work hard to keep
the lines of communication with your
parents open. Share your thoughts with
them. Benefit from their counsel, and
learn from their wisdom.—Prov. 13:20.
What supposedly makes one advice have value per the WTS, one’s age or the source of that wisdom?
Does age guarantee wisdom?
11. What may result if parents are not approachable?
11 Parents, if you do not want your
children to look to their peers for advice,
make yourself approachable, easy
to talk to. One teenage sister wrote: “All
I have to do is mention a boy’s name and
my parents get uneasy. That makes me
uneasy and reluctant to continue talking.”
Another young sister wrote: “Many
teenagers want their parents’ advice,
but if their parents don’t take them seriously,
the kids will go to someone else
who will, even to those who are less
experienced.” If you are willing to listen
compassionately to your children on
every sort of topic, you will likely find
that they will open up to you and welcome
If parents give advice not based on scriptural wisdom, should children follow it? I grew up in a family with a non-jw father and a jw mother. I had to weigh their advice all the time.
Samuel was 5 when he was left at the temple in the care of Eli and the other priests. Were their examples one to follow?
Could David be an example of why not to commit adultery and murder?
BE “SLOW ABOUT SPEAKING”
12. How might parents’ reactions obstruct
communication with their children?
12 A barrier to communication also
arises when parents react emotionally
and negatively to what their children
tell them. Understandably, Christian
parents want to protect their children.
These “last days” are fraught with dangers—
spiritual and otherwise. (2 Tim. 3:
1-5) However, what parents see as protective
may seem excessive to their children.
So what does the WTS consider overreacting?
More likely the elders see as excessive….but say nothing.
13. Why should parents be careful about expressing
their opinion too quickly?
13 Parents are wise not to express
their opinion too quickly. True, it is not
always easy to keep quiet when your
children tell you something distressing.
But it is important to listen carefully
before responding. Wise King Solomon
wrote: “When anyone is replying
to a matter before he hears it, that is
foolishness on his part and a humiliation.”
(Prov. 18:13) If you stay calm, you
will hear more and your children will
keep talking. You have to get the complete
picture before you are in a position
to help. Behind the “wild talk” may
be a heart in turmoil. (Job 6:1-3) As loving
parents, use your ears to gain understanding
and your tongue to heal.
Express the OPINION
Listen CAREFULLY (get the facts, don’t jump to judgment….elders, too)
Stay calm (elders too)
Complete picture (elders too)
Tongue to heal (elders too)
14. Why should children be slow about speaking?
14 Children, you too need to be “slow
about speaking,” not immediately objecting
to what your parents say, for
they have the God-given responsibility
to train you. (Prov. 22:6) They may have
experienced situations like the ones you
now experience. Moreover, they regret
the mistakes they made when they were
young and earnestly want to protect
you from making similar ones. Therefore,
view your parents as allies, not adversaries;
as advisers, not antagonists.
(Read Proverbs 1:5.) “Honor your father
and your mother,” and show them that
you love them as they love you. That will
make it easier for them to ‘bring you up
in the discipline and mental-regulating
of Jehovah.’—Eph. 6:2, 4.
Yes, children are to seen not heard.
Train them or set a good example, do as I say not as I do
BE “SLOW ABOUT WRATH”
15. What will help us not to lose patience and
become upset with our loved ones?
15 We are not always patient with
those whom we love. “To the holy ones
and faithful brothers in union with
Christ at Colossae,” the apostle Paul
wrote: “You husbands, keep on loving
your wives and do not be bitterly angry
with them. You fathers, do not be exasperating
your children, so that they do
not become downhearted.” (Col. 1:1, 2;
3:19, 21) Paul exhorted the Ephesians:
“Let all malicious bitterness and anger
and wrath and screaming and abusive
speech be taken away from you.” (Eph.
4:31) Cultivating long-suffering, mild-
15. What will help us not to lose patience and
become upset with our loved ones?
ness, and self-control—aspects of the
fruitage of God’s spirit—will help us to
stay calm even when under stress.—Gal.
Should they remember that God is patient with?
So anointed Christians, some who knew Jesus were screaming at each other. Perhaps Paul was remember his encounter with Barnabas regarding Mark.
16. How did Jesus correct his disciples, and
why was this so remarkable?
16 Consider the example of Jesus.
Imagine the immense stress that he was
feeling at the last evening meal he had
with his apostles. Jesus knew that within
hours he would die a slow and painful
death. The sanctification of his Father’s
name and the salvation of the
human family depended on his faithfulness.
Yet, at that very meal, there “arose
a heated dispute among [the apostles]
over which one of them seemed to be
greatest.” Jesus did not scream at them
or express bitterness toward them. Instead,
he calmly reasoned with them. Jesus
reminded them that they had stuck
with him during trying times. Although
Satan was demanding to sift them as
wheat, Jesus expressed confidence that
they would prove faithful. He even concluded
a covenant with them.—Luke 22:24-32.
Imagine what Jesus was thinking and feeling, a perfect man? This is another case of the WTS adding to the bible.
Keep this paragraph for the next time an elder yells…but he’ll pull out the imperfect man card.
17. What will help children to stay calm?
17 Children too need to stay calm. Especially
when they reach their teenage
years may they feel that direction from
their parents suggests a lack of trust.
While it may at times seem that way,
recognize that your parents’ concern is
an expression of their love for you. By
calmly listening to them and being cooperative,
you will earn their respect and will establish a
reputation as a responsible person. Such behavior may
well win you more freedom in certain
areas of life. Exercising self-control is
the course of wisdom. “All his spirit is
what a stupid one lets out,” states a wise
proverb, “but he that is wise keeps it
calm to the last.”—Prov. 29:11.
“suggests” a lack of trust? Not listening, jumping to conclusions, believing the “proof” from an outside source?
Once again, if they are a parent they must be loving regardless of what they say or do.
Who has the greater responsibility to stay calm, be controlled, the child or the parent?
18. How does love result in good communication?
18 So dear parents and children, do
not be discouraged if the communication
in your family is not as open as
you would like it to be. Keep working
at it, and keep on walking in the truth.
(3 John 4) In the new world, perfect
people will be able to interact perfectly,
without misunderstandings and contention.
Presently, though, all of us do
things we later regret. So do not hesitate
to apologize. Forgive freely. “Be
harmoniously joined together in love.”
(Col. 2:2) Love has power. ‘Love is long-suffering
and kind. It does not become
provoked. It does not keep account of
the injury. It bears all things, believes
all things, hopes all things, endures all
things.’ (1 Cor. 13:4-7) Keep on cultivating
love, and communication will flourish,
bringing joy to your family and
praise to Jehovah.
So at what point in the “new world” will people be perfect…how long after surviving Armageddon will the great crowd be perfect? Will all be perfect at the same time, at different rates, how will others know they are now perfect, or that they themselves are now perfect?
PICTURE: Do you listen carefully to your children? Yes, girls should go to mom, boys to dad….
Next week, SAFEGUARD YOUR INHERITANCE BY MAKING WISE CHOICES? A journey into the OT again. So do the anointed jws picture Jacob, and the great crowd, Esau? Did you know that the oldest son got 2 portions of the inheritance, the younger only one? So that implies the other sheep get a lesser reward, inheritance.