One of the pleasures in the Truth is that of a happy, joyful family life enriched by shared experiences, both the happy times and the sad times. Marriage and family life in the Truth is the forming ground for life in the Ecclesia. Let us all work in our families to make sure that the Ecclesia becomes a place of encouragement, strength and comfort to all those who have the benefit of ecclesial life. Those who have no families of their own should find that the Ecclesia fulfils their need for family life. This new series of articles by Brother Brian O’Grady is based on the theme of a number of Ecclesial special efforts which he has conducted in the Adelaide area over recent years. It is hoped that readers will find the articles as valuable as the addresses themselves.

There is no deep, hidden secret to success in family life. If the simple first principles of the Truth are understood and acted upon, then the consequence will be a life manifesting the character of our Heavenly Father and His Son. Whenever difficulties or strife are experienced we know that it is because we have lost sight of the first principles of the Truth. Refresh our minds on these things and the answers to all our problems will be clear. Even the encouragement and motivation to persevere and overcome the challenges of human relationships will come from the Word understood and revered.

Our intention in these articles is to identify some of the first principles of the Truth and how they may be used to develop the personal relationships of husbands and wives, in fact of all family members, and also our relationship with fellow brothers and sisters in the Ecclesia.

In some articles we will live with faithful brothers and sisters within the Word and become familiar with their personal development, both with their God and with each other. The power of example is rich within the Word of God. Let us share in this and relate to the subject matter, allowing ourselves to be affected by it.

First Principles—The Pattern for Human Relationships in the Lord.

 We are all familiar with the first principles of the Truth. They are the very epitome of our fellowship in the Lord Jesus Christ. The effect of these uponour life is evident in the way we think, the way we speak and the way we act.

  • We understand the significance of the enlightening power of the Word of God: “God said let there be light and there was light”.
  • We appreciate the importance of the separation of light from darkness, applying this principle in our separation from the world.
  • We are as “children of light” and recognise the need to “walk in light”.
  • The difference between the animal mind and the human mind is clear to us and through the Word we can “discern both good and evil”.
  • Man was made to have “dominion” over the animal mind, to “refuse the evil and choose the good”.
  • The ultimate in first principles is God manifestation or the requirement to manifest the character of the Father in our personal lives.

Our attention to all these important matters fills our life. But when it comes to applying these same principles in everyday family life, our vision of what they mean in practical terms may often be blurred. Blurred by the stresses and strains of living together and sharing our close lives with others. It is when other influences such as work environments, family and children pressures and inter-family pressures within ecclesial life take their toll, that the clear perspective of what the Truth demands from us personally, gets lost.

The Truth Applied in Family Life

 “Let there be light” was the spoken word which brought forth light in Genesis 1:3. Enlightenment always comes from the spoken word. In the human relationship it is our talking to one another which helps us to understand each other. When two people find pleasure in communicating, an affinity develops. If we think about the beginning of our own personal relationship with our partner, we will remember the enjoyment of discovering that we could talk with somebody else on a close, “sharing our thoughts” level. This pleasure can only be kept if we do not take our partner in life for granted. It is important to spend time together just talking to each other, to make time for this valuable activity of discovery and enlightenment.

The enlightening of two minds together

 This automatically puts difference between the couple experiencing it and all others who have not. It involves a process of separation or holiness. It causes a unique relationship. This is the process which God has used with us. We have listened to His Words, “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do” (Heb 4:12,13). We in turn have responded in prayer to our loving Heavenly Father and learned to have confidence to come unto the throne of grace, “that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb 4:16). In this enlightened state we have learned to love Him and appreciate His glorious character, and that of His Son. Through this process of enlightenment we are divided, or separated from the children of this world of darkness. It is God who divided the light from the darkness. In the same way it is God who is instrumental in providing us with a partner in life, a partner in whom the union is holy, sanctified, set apart from others when we allow Him to work in our lives.

The Principle Of Separation

 It is a principle which “divides light from darkness” and is an essential component of our fellowship with Yahweh and His Son. It also applies to marriage in the Truth. The word to express this division is the word used to describe the setting apart of Aaron and the Levites for God’s special purpose (1 Chron 23:13, Num 16:9). If we think of the uniting together of a couple in the Truth in these terms, it provides a very special calling paralleling important institutions between Yahweh and His people. No wonder that “God saw the light that it was good”. When others within the ecclesia see the start of a relationship based on the Word of God they too can say, “It is good”. Any brother or sister experiencing the blossoming of a relationship in the Truth will also testify to the fact that “it is good”.

A Sober Warning

 In a deteriorating society, there is a danger of our young people becoming influenced by the spirit of humanism. There is no room for complacency. Scriptural evidence abounds of cases where Israel became embroiled in affairs of the heart with the nations around them. “Judah hath dealt treacherously, and an abomination is committed in Israel and in Jerusalem; for Judah hath profaned the holiness of Yahweh which he loved, and hath married the daughter of a strange god” (Mal 2: 11). A clear mind as to what is right and what is wrong will avoid such an action. None of these tragedies happen suddenly. Symptoms will be evident leading to a breakdown between us and our God or our own personal relationships.

  Both partners have to work at keeping their relationship pure, at keeping their minds open and accessible to each other. The brother has a responsibility—he wanted the unique relationship with his future partner; let him work at retaining it. The sister wife has a responsibility—she encouraged and reciprocated his attention originally; let her seek it out now. We have to make time for this in our busy lives. It doesn’t happen naturally. It is a life long process.