Every man must be swift about hearing.
To keep the lines of communication open, family members must listen—really listen—to one another. 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.” Insight and discernment are especially needed when you are drawing your children out on sensitive topics.
We are in a state of war. No doubt about it. No, not the kind that is fought with bombs and bullets and all of that. We are in a spiritual war. The adversary is cunning and powerful. He knows our every weakness and will resort to anything to defeat us outright or weaken our resolve to fight — in effect, causing us to surrender. The enemy, of course, is the Devil.
In literal warfare one of the most common strategies is to disrupt communications. That is what Satan has cleverly done in modern times. It started with television. But in the early days watching T.V. was a family thing. But as technology has proliferated now everyone has at least one personal “device.”
Look at people in public — especially young people. It is hard to find someone who is not walking around with a smart phone. And as the Watchtower article from which today’s text is taken perfectly illustrates, the fixation on personal devices can be even more pronounced in the home, with virtually every family member isolated while each is fixated on their own device.
I can see the wisdom in the Watchtower’s dropping the home book study in favor of a family night. Although perhaps single and elderly Christians may not appreciate its value, if families spend at least one night per week in the same room communicating and sharing in something spiritual, that can go a long way in offsetting the isolation produced by our absorption into our personal devices.
As the world becomes more and more self-absorbed the family night arrangement Bethel has been promoting seems to me to be a brilliant strategy to offset Satan’s scheme to disrupt the lines of communication within the family. Maybe the faithful slave is onto something with this family night thing after all!