Anatoliy Belonozhko, bishop of the Embassy of God church, said that happiness is not a simple topic. It is a rather painful one due to a huge number of divorces in society. Happiness is something that people are looking for all over the world, as this is a great need of every person. So much has been written about happiness in history, folklore, and poetry.
Family is a value of the Kingdom of God, and God Himself created the family before the church and all the nations. According to statistics, people in a family are happier than those who live alone.
Bishop Anatoliy gave the following slogan for the topic:” We have to fight for our family”.
What does a happy family start with?
1. It starts with a spiritual foundation.
“So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’
For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.“
In this scripture we see that God separates Godly people from pagans. For unbelievers, comfort, money and material wealth are not separable from the notion of happiness. As Christians we ought to understand that happiness is not made up of material things. Happiness has a spiritual nature. People think that having achieved definite standards of life they will obtain happiness, but after a while it does not bring satisfaction to them.
Only half of the earth population see themselves as happy. Believers are among these people. Though some believers do not consider themselves happy people. Taking into consideration countries and nations that see themselves as happy, one discovers that undeveloped countries are happier than developed ones. The USA is in the list of countries with non-happy citizens. Thus, happiness is not defined by income level.
Spiritual foundation of a family is when spirit conquers flesh and obedience – disobedience. Without a spiritual foundation everything in a family is solved according to the flesh, just as in the world. Every family has quarrels with the slamming of the doors, misunderstanding, but it is highly important to solve all these issues as God teaches us.
“If you are unmarried, do not get married blindly, only after God has shown your spouse”-bishop added.
The Word of God tells us how to lay a spiritual foundation and who must do it if one spouse is an unbeliever.
“To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her.
And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. But if the unbeliever leaves, let him do so. A believing man or woman is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace. How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?” (1Co.7:12-16)
On the ground of this scripture we can conclude that a spiritual foundation is God’s model for the family, and spiritual values must become a part of our nature.
2. A happy family should have a material and financial base.
Of course, money cannot buy happiness, but there must be a financial policy in a family. We ought to control money and have a family budget. A family cannot neglect money. Happiness belongs to those who work. If you reap something you did not sow, you are a thief. There must be plans and goals for expenditures in every family whether for domestic appliances or travels. We should also create a material base in order to leave a heritage for our children. An important factor in prosperity is not necessarily earning plenty money, but rather wise spending habits.
3. Spouses in happy families communicate with each other.
A happy family is one where there are relationships which have been brought together by communication. Spouses have to develop a culture of communication as people are different. There are silent people, and there are very talkative people. People who avoid dispute and those who like to discuss. We need to know our spouse and learn how to avoid sharp angles.
Bishop Anatoliy shared what science says about it. American psychologists declared that they can predict if a marriage will be strong or weak. According to their statement, it is sufficient for them to analyze how spouses socialize, what words they use while expressing their point of view in discussions, etc. There is no happiness where there is offence. It is important to watch and work on yourself not waiting for changes in your other half. We should know our spouse and fit like a key, in communicating with him.
“Together, my wife and I are not simple people. After slamming of the doors during the first year of our marriage, we wondered what would be next. We got married because we loved each other. So we agreed to build relationships and family creating paradise in our family that each of us would miss the other spouse when he/she is absent, longing to go home to be with them.”- Bishop shared his family’s secret of happiness with us.
There is no perfect person. We have to learn how to solve difficult issues in God’s way. A man in the first place must solve issues as a father. Everything in the family starts from him.
4. Happy family is satisfied with everything they have
“But godliness with contentment is great gain.” (1Ti.6:6)
Everything in life begins with a decision. After making a decision we ought to execute what we decided to do. If a man has made the decision to get married to a girl, he has to accept her the way she is. It is necessary to develop in ourselves the state of satisfaction with our choice.
“If you decided to buy a car, you should be happy with it. If you decided to get married or buy something and you are not happy with it, what kind of happiness are you talking about?” – bishop asked this as a rhetorical question.
Also, we should be contented with the country we live in, otherwise it will not be possible to be happy. We need to develop the ability to be satisfied.
5. Everything must be common in a happy family.
Bishop added that in his family they only have the words “our”, and “we”. We communicate and rest together. The life is shared between the two.
6. Positive attitude to life.
This is something that makes people happy. “I do not like to watch the news as negative news is predominant there. I conduct surveys of events in the world, but I do not watch news”, – bishop shared.
A happy family dwells only on positive things: we will buy, go, find time, repay credit etc.
7. A Happy family leads a healthy way of life.
Healthy food, good music, healthy relationships, healthy atmosphere etc.
Two young families shared their testimonies of how they are building their family happiness.
Voytenko family – Aleksander and Ekaterina: “We have a budget for every day. We never leave home without blessing the day. We have one day for communication in our family, when we switch off our phones and spend time together. We have been together for 6 years. The most important attributes in our family are forgiveness and patience. When we value each other our families become stronger and stronger each day”.
Kovalevy family: “We have lived together for one year. I would like to thank bishop for this word, because every point is highly important! Especially I would like to place emphasis on the principle of communication. When disputes and misunderstandings occur, it is very important to build good communication. There were scapegoats in the past. In such a situation it is better become called a “scapegoat”, bearing the responsibility. When you argue trying to prove your point of view, after winning the argument there is only pain left. It is so great to come back home after another “battle” and to find somebody who is waiting for you, who loves you and who accepts you the way you are”, – said Yuliya.
Maria added the following:” As a woman I decided the following for myself: if something brings pain I do not talk about it., After a while I find I can talk about it easily. Also, I would like to mention the importance of the family budget. Family must be more important than any other business. It is much easier for us to overcome some conflicts and hardships just because we made the decision that our family is more significant to us than anything else. Everything will pass by, but the family will remain.”
Dear brothers and sisters, let’s learn how to build family happiness! May God bless you richly in it!
From the service of the central Embassy of God church.
The press-center of the Embassy of God church
Translated by Valeria Granova
Edited by Kizito Leacock