By means of a resolution (A/RES/47/237), the United Nations General Assembly decided that May 15 of every year should be observed as the International Day of Families.
A key issue affecting families in recent times is lack of unity. This breakdown in the cohesive values that once bonded families, especially younger children and teenagers, causes members now to seek guidance, direction and validation from sources outside the family.
In addition, increasing access to technological tools makes it easier for family members to connect with acquaintances outside of the home. Sometimes, this actually triggers isolation from one’s family members. Economic pressure, tends to encourage both parents to work full time outside the home, reducing bonding time between couples and between parents and children. The heavily competitive academic program for school-age children also increases the pressure for families to find a balance and bond together.
As with any sphere of knowledge, such as dating, marriage, parenting and child rearing, there is no shortage of resources for families in this internet age. However, with the seeming superabundance of information comes another challenge—finding reliable and trustworthy guidance. Across the world, the greater majority of mankind believe that a divine, higher form of life, is responsible for human life on earth. In the Bible, for instance, Genesis 1:27 states that, “God went on to create the man… male and female.” And in Ephesians 3:15, it further states that, “every family… on earth owes its name [to God]”.
For over 100 years, Jehovah’s Witnesses have published millions of books, magazines and tracts, with a significant portion of these dedicated to Bible principles that provide a basis for family happiness. Feedback from readers show that these Biblical injunctions have helped millions to enjoy a happy family life. Some of the books and articles on family life and happiness published by Jehovah’s Witnesses include: Your Family can be happy; The Secret of Family Happiness and Enjoy Family Life. Additionally, there are several articles on jw.org including the Help for the family series:
How did the Bible principles found in these publications help readers?”
One couple stated: “Our marriage was not running smoothly… We were always fighting. We couldn’t communicate without it being an argument. Sometimes we completely felt like giving up on the marriage. Studying the Bible saved our marriage. It wasn’t just the Bible principles that you read, but we saw them being applied [by others]. All of a sudden, I could see the cause and effect of a Bible principle. The impact that it was having was tremendous. We could see how to apply Bible principles and make them work. As soon as we started to make an application of them, our marriage took a complete turnaround”.
One wife relates: “We were happy when we got married… But then I got into a lot of business that became the main focus in my life. It had quite a dramatic effect on our marriage. Sometimes we hardly saw each other. So, there was a great deal of time that we spent away from each other…I felt a lot of resentment and bitterness towards my husband and separated from him…My Bible reading had a good effect on me…Altogether it took us 15 years before we got together again…Without the Bible, Tony and I would not be together”.
In Calabar, Cross River State of Nigeria, two Jehovah’s Witnesses knocked on the door of a family’s home. After repeated knocks, a lady opened the door, and after some hesitation, invited the Witnesses in. After sharing a message from the Bible with the family, the woman broke down in tears: “God must have sent you. I was about to kill my children and kill myself; I am so frustrated.” The comforting message from the Bible helped the family to cope with their challenges.
Whether young or old, single or married, you too can find the reliable guidance of Bible principles to be effective in dealing with the challenges of modern families. Through their public witnessing and Bible-based publications, Jehovah’s Witnesses continue to help families in their communities to find true happiness.
The publications of Jehovah’s Witnesses are now available in over 1,000 languages, including over 30 indigenous languages of Nigeria. You may obtain these publications free of charge from Jehovah’s Witnesses near you, their website, jw.org, or from the JW Library app.
As the world celebrates the International Day of Families, it is reassuring to know that indeed, families can be happy, and that a reliable guide to achieving this is readily available.