Family Life


Extracts from Letters Written on Behalf of Shoghi Effendi

A truly Bahá’í home is a true fortress upon which the Cause can rely while planning its campaigns. If … and … love each other and would like to marry, Shoghi Effendi does not wish them to think that by doing so they are depriving themselves of the privilege of service; in fact such a union will enhance their ability to serve. There is nothing more beautiful than to have young Bahá’ís marry and found truly Bahá’í homes, the type Bahá’u’lláh wishes them to be.

(From a letter dated 6 November 1932 to an individual believer) [96]

He was deeply grieved to learn of your family difficulties, of your troubles and anxieties, and he would like you not to lose heart, to be patient and confident in the unfailing guidance and help of the Almighty. We have all our petty material obstacles in this life. We cannot totally get rid of them. The best thing to do, after all our efforts have failed to deliver us, is to concentrate on that which can alone bring real happiness and peace to our heart. And you should be thankful to God for having enabled you to recognize and accept His Faith. For this is, assuredly, the only source of joy and consolation you can have in your moments of suffering. Is there anything more worthwhile to work for than the teaching of the Message? This is the Guardian’s advice to you. He wishes you to forget, as far as you can, your material difficulties and to fully concentrate on the study and the spread of the Teachings. You have the interest, the zeal, the devotion and the ability that are required, and it would be a pity if you should fail to make full use of these remarkable qualities.

(From a letter dated 4 October 1933 to an individual believer) [97]

The Guardian wishes me specially to urge you to remain patient and confident, and above all to show your husband the utmost kindness and love, in return for all the opposition and hatred you receive from him. A conciliatory and friendly attitude in such cases is not only the duty of every Bahá’í but is also the most effective way of winning for the Cause the sympathy and admiration of its former foes and enemies. Love is, indeed, a most potent elixir that can transform the vilest and meanest of people into heavenly souls. May your example serve to further confirm the truth of this beautiful teaching of our Faith.

(From a letter dated 6 December 1935 to an individual believer) [98]

The Guardian’s message to you is that you should constantly strive to mirror forth in your private lives, and also in your social relationships, the beauty, purity and regenerative power of the Message of Bahá’u’lláh. The Bahá’í youth of today should be an example to the youth of the world, and should therefore live up to the highest standards of conduct. Nothing short of such a close, united and concrete adherence to the ideals and teachings of the Faith by every young Bahá’í man and woman can impress and attract to it the serious attention and consideration of the world outside.

(From a letter dated 17 March 1937 to a Bahá’í youth group) [99]

The condition you have described prevailing in your family, particularly as it is so seriously affecting your brothers and sisters, is certainly most sad, but while there are certain elements in the situation which you feel powerless to overcome, you should not give up every hope of ameliorating your condition, no matter how gradually. A purely passive attitude can only result in causing you fresh disappointments. You should therefore take courage, and as much as your means and circumstances permit confidently and persistently endeavour to remedy your family condition.

(From a letter dated 20 February 1940 to an individual believer) [100]

He was sorry to hear that … is in an unhappy state of mind. She should certainly not grieve if she finds that her family are not receptive to the Teachings—for not every soul is spiritually enlightened. Indeed, many members of the families of the Prophets Themselves have remained unconverted even in face of the example and persuasion of the Manifestation of God; therefore, the friends should not be distressed by such things but rather leave the future of those they love in the hand of God, and by their services and devotion to the Faith, win the right to plead for their ultimate spiritual rebirth.

(From a letter dated 9 March 1942 to an individual believer) [101]

A marriage between two souls, alive to the Message of God in this day, dedicated to the service of His Cause, working for the good of humanity, can be a potent force in the lives of others and an example and inspiration to other Bahá’ís, as well as to non-believers.

(From a letter dated 4 August 1943 to two believers) [102]

The Guardian deeply regrets the hostile attitude of some members of your family towards the Cause you have arisen to serve, and he feels that you should do everything in your power to avoid antagonizing them—short, of course, of giving up your Faith and becoming inactive in it.

As you cannot induce them to be interested in it, the best thing to do is what the Master always advised in such cases: leave them to themselves, and pray for them. The Guardian, you may be sure, will also pray for their illumination. Many people have, after bitterly opposing the Faith, been eventually won over by the patience, love, tact and prayers of their Bahá’í relative or friend.

(From a letter dated 14 October 1943 to an individual believer) [103]

He feels you should by all means show your husband the greatest love and sympathy; if we are ever in any doubt as to how we should conduct ourselves as Bahá’ís we should think of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and study His life and ask ourselves what would He have done, for He is our perfect example in every way. And you know how tender He was, and how His affection and kindness shone like sunlight on everyone.

Your husband and your child have a right to your love, and give you a wonderful opportunity of demonstrating your faith in the Cause.

Also you should pray to Bahá’u’lláh to help unite you with your husband and make your home a true and happy home.

(From a letter dated 9 March 1946 to an individual believer) [104]

He feels, in regard to your family problems, that you should take these matters up with your Assembly, if you desire advice; one of the duties of these Assemblies is to advise and aid the friends, and it is your privilege to turn to your Assembly.

(From a letter dated 10 April 1947 to a Bahá’í couple) [105]

The Guardian has long felt that the … Bahá’ís are not, in some cases, living up to the ideal of marriage set forth by Bahá’u’lláh. They are prone to being influenced by the current light and selfish attitude of the people towards the marriage bond. Consequently when he sees you are successfully living up to the Bahá’í standard, putting your best into it and preserving this sacred tie you have with your husband, he is very happy indeed. He hopes you will be in a position to be an example to others. For he disapproves of the way some Bahá’ís, in the name of serving the Cause, disencumber themselves of their husbands, or go and get new ones!

(From a letter dated 2 April 1950 to an individual believer) [106]

The Guardian will pray that your mother may become a Bahá’í, and very actively serve the Cause of God. It should be borne in mind that by your leading a consecrated Bahá’í life, your mother will be affected perhaps as much or more than by reading and studying. When one sees the effect of the Bahá’í Teachings on another person’s life, that very often has a very great effect.

(From a letter dated 12 July 1952 to an individual believer) [107]

The fulfilment of our personal ambitions in life is very seldom what brings us happiness. On the contrary, it usually arouses an entire group of new ambitions. On the other hand, when we immerse ourselves in our duties both as human beings, to our families and our associates, and as Bahá’ís toward the Cause of God and serving it to the best of our ability in the circumstances in which we find ourselves, we begin to know what happiness means.

(From a letter dated 23 May 1956 to an individual believer) [108]

The Guardian will pray for you, your children, and your dear husband. Now that you all are united in the Faith of God, and work happily together, surely the divine benedictions will reach you, and the confirmations of the Holy Spirit bless your work. The magnet which attracts the Holy Spirit is service in the Cause of God, and particularly teaching His glorious Faith. The Guardian will pray that each and every member of your family will be a brilliant star in the firmament of God’s good pleasure. Study of the Word, Meditation on its divine import, prayer, and then action are necessary. And then, perseverance in action. If these steps are followed, one will develop spiritually, and be victorious in service to the Cause of God.

(From a letter dated 5 June 1956 to an individual believer) [109]

You should create in your home with your family such a spirit of Bahá’í love as will bring your wife truly into the Faith and attract your children to it…. To have harmony in the home is the most important thing for your children.

(From a letter dated 15 August 1957 to an individual believer) [110]

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