An Important Ingredient in a Godly Family
“The family is God’s greatest masterpiece.”
I think most of us will agree that the family is a critical component in the plans and purposes of God for humanity. In recently reading this article by Joel Hilliker entitled “An Important Ingredient in a Godly Family”, I immediately picked up on an aspect within the functioning of the family that we often overlook. I thought that it was important enough to share with you and pray that it provokes your understanding in the same manner in which it has sparked my own.
- Dr. Craig L. Oliver, Sr.
An Important Ingredient in a Godly Family
By: Joel Hilliker
What does it take to make a family happy and harmonious? Here’s a quality you may have overlooked—but it may be the most beautiful of all: Humility.
What do I mean? Think for a moment about the most loving family relationship that ever existed: that between God the Father and Jesus Christ. Some of the deepest insight we get into this love relationship comes in the statements Christ made about His Father while He was on this Earth as a man.
“My meat is to do the will of Him that sent me, and to finish His work,” He said (John 4:34). Jesus oriented His entire life around His Father’s will. He immersed His thinking in what His Father wanted to accomplish, and then in doing that.
Christ is a profoundly humble Being. He has a perfectly childlike attitude toward His Father. He has a deep understanding of His place in the Family government—and He loves that! And that makes Him totally unified with the Father.
No wonder the Father said, “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased!” What father wouldn’t be deeply moved by a child with such an attitude? The more that any of us takes on that attitude, the more unified with God we will be.
Jesus Christ made several statements that demonstrated this attitude—and they are some of the most beautiful statements in the Bible.
I can’t do anything of myself, He said. I just watch what my Father does—and that’s what I do (John 5:19). This magnificent Being has done this with the Father throughout eternity: watch, study—and copy. As the Father makes decisions, handles problems and directs the angels, the Son is always watching and learning.
This is why the God Family is so unified! This is why the Word was “with God”! (John 1:1). He structures His life around doing whatever His Father does!
This is a childlike attitude. Children learn through emulation: They do what Dad and Mom do—that is, until they start to get into their mind that they know better.
“For the Father loves the Son, and shows him all that he himself is doing …” (verse 20; Revised Standard Version). Behold perfect, God Family love: Christ loves the Father with a childlike, teachable attitude—and the Father loves His Son and shows Him everything. They share everything. What blessings that childlike spirit opens up.
This is how to bring more of God’s love into your life: Look to God, study Him and what He does, both personally and through His servants—and copy that. God loves that. To anyone who does it, He will open up more understanding and give more blessings. Love and intimacy between that man and God will grow.
Christ always did what would please His Father—always, without exception (John 8:29). Mr. Flurry has said that this might be his favorite scripture in the whole Bible.
Read also John 6:38; 8:26, 28; 14:28. Christ, who had been a magnificent, omnipotent God being, said, I don’t do anything of myself—I speak what He tells me to speak. I listen to what my Father teaches me, and that’s what I teach—whatever I hear Him say, that’s what I say. It is rare for anyone to think like that, let alone a Being who had such capability and power!
THE FATHER TEACHES THE SON! Imagine Christ sitting before His Father and saying, Teach me! I want to learn, so I’ll know what to teach others! Whatever you share with me, I’ll take that and spread that. He is an eternal student of the Father!
That is a remarkable attitude. In fact, it’s a PERFECT attitude—absolutely perfect. IT HAS TO BE THE MOST EXQUISITELY BEAUTIFUL ATTITUDE THAT EXISTS.
And it is the way you and I will think if we aren’t infected with Satan’s reasoning—if we have the mind of Christ: Teach me. I do nothing of myself. I speak what you tell me! How would you respond to a child who looked to you in that way? How will God respond to you and me when we think this way? That attitude toward the Father makes us at one with Him!
God “created all things by Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 3:9). That means Christ followed the Father’s direction down to the tiniest detail! We are to follow that example.
What happens if your boss or minister, or your husband, or your Dad or Mom, gives you a list of instructions? Do you get it all done exactly as they instruct? Or do you forget some things, or inject yourself into the process somehow?
“To rule in [God’s] coming Kingdom, we must rule exactly as God instructs us today,” Mr. Flurry wrote in John’s Gospel: The Love of God. “We must burn into our minds this truth: We are here to imitate the I AM. That means learning to use authority as He does and learning to submit to it as He does.”
Christ’s humility demonstrates the total absence of Satan’s vanity. Can you recognize how much of Satan’s thinking infects your attitudes and decisions? Can you see where you put your will above that of your Father? Where you are more interested in your own work than in finishing His Work? Where you do things that please you, rather than always those things that please Him?
A husband who sets the example of being childlike toward God and toward His government is going to make it far easier for his wife to be childlike toward his authority. If we parents are setting the right example in being childlike toward government, our children are going to have a far easier time being childlike toward us!
I have worked at headquarters in Edmond for nearly 18 years. Gerald Flurry has taught me something over the years that is too easy to forget, but critically important: In order for everything to run smoothly, the ministers and people in responsible positions must know when to come to him. There are some matters the pastor general should be involved in. If we don’t get him involved, we will make serious mistakes, and it will catch up with us.
The reason is that Jesus Christ is working through that office. If we in the ministry, or in one of the departments at headquarters, get away from that office and work too independently, we are cutting Christ out of the process!
In your life, in your family, are you including Christ in the process? Obviously, we ALL have a relationship with God, and we can all go to Him with our questions, concerns and problems. But there are questions that God will only answer through HIS APOSTLE! Why? In order to reinforce the beauty and strength of His government.
Consider this extraordinary principle. Our children can pray to God, and there are prayers God answers directly for them. But there are issues in their lives that He won’t answer directly, issues He expects them to go to their parents about. He wants to point them to Mom and Dad.
There are also questions within your family that God won’t answer or solve through Mom. God wants Dad involved. He gives Dad a little extra help—extra insight and wisdom—in order to point the family to that physical head of the family. By doing this, God shows us in a very practical way that His family government WORKS.
Other issues come up where God won’t give the answer directly to Dad. Why? Because God wants HIS MINISTRY involved. He wants a man to acknowledge that he doesn’t have the answer, that he needs help—and he needs to get it through the government available to him in the Church!
In the same way, there are issues that God won’t solve through a local church elder. God wants that minister looking to the man up the chain. He wants to help that man build a humble, childlike attitude toward the minister over him, and toward the regional director.
There are even questions that God will not answer through the regional director. There are times when a regional director looks at a problem and says, No—this is above my pay grade. He must have the humility to know when to take it to God’s apostle.
All up and down the chain, ALL OF US need to hold on to that CHRIST-LIKE HUMILITY!
THAT IS WHAT MAKES THIS GOVERNMENT WORK: Every one of us must look to the Father the way Christ did! And when God uses a man, we follow that man as he follows Christ—who follows the Father! (1 Corinthians 11:1, 3).
Christ’s example was perfect. As we have that attitude, that will unify our marriages and our families, it will unify our congregations, the ministry, the headquarters staff, and the whole Church. It will help us all to achieve beautiful “at-one-ment” with God the Father and Jesus Christ. It will build God’s love in the Family of God.