My family and I just had a really great family study. The three of us started out by considering an article that my mother wanted to look at on how husbands should imitate Christ. We studied the same typical information until we got to a section about remembering that your wife is also your sister in Christ. Often, husbands who have responsibilities in the congregation overlook the fact that their wife is also one of their dear congregation sisters. The love and compassion shown to other sisters in the congregation can often be lost on wifes. I could tell that my dad was meditating hard on that concept. So it was a subject that wasn't lost on the family. My dad told us about a meeting the ministerial servants and elders had with one of the overseers. In it, the overseer asked them if they knew what the Bible verses about buying out the opportune time referred to. Most of the answers were geared to making sure you buy out the opportune time for the ministry. But as you would expect, they were wrong. The overseer made a very good point that day by telling them that there are more important things than just the ministry. While field service is important, your family and health are even more important. Your wife's well-being is more important than the part you have on the theocratic ministry school. Your son or daughter's big school event is more important than the number of hours you get to spend teaching another about God's will. Your sanity and health is far more important that any service that you can be giving to Jehovah. Because in the end, if you do not take care of yourself and your family, then you have not taken care of your responsibilities and therefore have not followed the counsel of our Father. I thought that was pretty deep, especially because many people neglect other facets of their life in efforts to serve Jehovah more fully. But Jehovah needs your full, healthy and sound self. Not a deprived self.
Then we got into whether or not a couple can ever be prepared for marriage. There were a set of questions that we read in our study at the meeting today... 'Why do I want to get married? What expectations do I have? Is this the right person for me? What can I bring to a marriage?' So my mother asked, "even if you answer these questions and spit out a couple of scriptural verses for support and reference, does that mean you are prepared? Can you EVER be prepared?" I responded that I think there's a yes and no answer to that question. The information that we studied along with those questions is about maturity. If one is truly mature and does not simply answer those questions with programmed verses in mind, you can really figure out whether you are ready for marriage or not. Being a mature Christian, you can prepare yourself as much as possible by devising a plan for the happy and the non so happy times. You can figure out what you're going to do when you and your mate are under hardship. What scriptures you may look to, what mature married persons you might talk to, and what you will NOT do no matter how difficult the situation is. With maturity, you can lay a foundation to be prepared. What you will not be prepared for however are the day to day happenings of marriage. I'm sure everyone who is married will say that they were not prepared for what they've been through. But when those little bullets come flying towards you, your shield is ready. Your foundation has already been laid. It's then up to the two mature Christians who have joined together in marriage to apply that foundation that the two of them laid together before uniting.
Like I said, we had a really good family study today. I wish more could have shared in it with us, but it was probably meant for just us three. I got a lot out of it, in addition to the fact that the closer I get to marriage, the more nervous I become. It's not all glorious and wonderful as many portray. I've known that for years, but it's really hitting me. Hard this time.