The foregoing article by Brother Andrew Johns graphically outlines some of the dangers associated with the present school system. The only antidote is positive education of the young minds in the love of the Truth. What better place to start than in the home.

The establishment of a Divine family embodying the noble, intelligent and pure qualities of God, has been the Father’s plan since the beginning of creation.

“The Eternal Spirit intended to enthrone Himself on the earth, and in so doing to develop a Divine Family from among men, everyone of whom shall be spirit because born of spirit; and that this family shall be large enough to fill the earth, when perfected, to the entire exclusion of flesh and blood”, wrote Brother Thomas in The Herald of the Kingdom.

 God initiates all His works with purpose and design. He plans with a reason or objective in view.

“God had in His mind a pattern or design of all the work that was before Him before He uttered a word or His spirit began to move” (The Faith in the Last Days).

Just as God initiates all His works with a purpose and reason in mind, we can achieve nothing if we have no clearly-defined goals or objectives in view. The Scriptures abound with illustrations of the qualities of our Heavenly Father to which we can aspire, ultimately providing Christ as a pattern of thought and behaviour. To set clearly defined goals and faithfully pursue them in family life is essential, not only to survive the age in which we live, but to achieve the excellence that identifies the servants of God.

All too often family life is left to “management by crisis”. It is not until some tragedy strikes or the teenagers have left home that the need for clear direction is evident to the parents who, sitting around an empty table, ask the question, “Where did we go wrong?”

Our age would be unique in the six thousand year history of the earth for at least one outstanding feature—the almost total erosion of the principles and practices of family life. We cannot afford to under-estimate the destructive forces around us especially affecting our children and young people and be positively armed with objectives and plans for the spiritual security of our family.

In the times of the Judges, Israel’s lack of family direction led to a cycle of national chaos. It was not until disaster struck that the people recognised the need to return to the original values handed down by Joshua and the elders who outlived him. At the time of entering the land Yahweh had instructed Joshua to leave a heap of stones specifically to provide the parents with a “talking point” for their children. It was a constant reminder to recount to them the wonderful saving work of Yahweh and His mighty acts in Egypt and the wilderness. When they forgot to do this, losing their objectivity or direction, families quickly disintegrated and the nation drifted, resulting in a state where “every man did that which was right in his own eyes”.

 It was not until disaster struck that Israel were forced to turn to Yahweh and return to a disciplined and ordered life devoted to Him. When we translate this into the present, we can readily see the parallels. A lack of direction in family life will lead to disin tegration and chaos. We cannot allow our family to drift—a vacuum situation provides an excellent environment for natural, selfish, dishonourable and ungodly habits to flourish. This inevitably spreads like a disease into the ecclesial family with detrimental consequences.

The family is a God-given environment in which to nurture and assimilate the mind and qualities of God; we need to take maximum advantage of every opportunity and direct all our activities to a positive clearly defined end. We need to explain to the children what we intend to achieve each day, and why. Even better, show them what we expect of them. We must be “pro-active” not just “reactive” with our children. To tell them what they can do is more inspiring than a pre-occupation with all the things they can’t do. If our interest and love for the Truth is evident and frequent in our conversation it will become the prime interest and love of our children. Parents are the earliest and most powerful influence over their attitudes to life and to God.

We can never set a standard too high, but wisdom will provide every opportunity to encourage success. We are instructed to aim for perfection: “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Matt 5:48)—and to strive for excellence in everything we do. Service to God must be seen as our first priority, in applying this to daily living.

The ecclesial family as a whole depends on individual families projecting a zeal and warmth for the ways of God into the lives of others and cultivating a generation of faithful children who admire and love their parents for their love and devotion to Yahweh. There is no greater heritage that we can pass on to our children than to teach them the precepts of God and provide them with the opportunity of becoming part of that Divine Family, “every one of whom shall be spirit because born of spirit”.