November 2, 2008 – November 8, 2008
“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.” Ephesians 5:25.
Study Help: Child Guidance, 482–485.
“Christian homes, established and conducted in accordance with God’s plan, are a wonderful help in forming Christian character. … Parents and children should unite in offering loving service to Him who alone can keep human love pure and noble.” The Adventist Home, 19.
1 How does the Bible depict the Christian home? Psalm 128:1–6.
2 Describe the position and duty of the husband. Ephesians 5:25–31; Colossians 3:19; I Peter 3:7.
Note: “The husband should manifest great interest in his family. Especially should he be very tender of the feelings of a feeble wife. He can shut the door against much disease. Kind, cheerful, and encouraging words will prove more effective than the most healing medicines. These will bring courage to the heart of the desponding and discouraged, and the happiness and sunshine brought into the family by kind acts and encouraging words will repay the effort tenfold. The husband should remember that much of the burden of training his children rests upon the mother, that she has much to do with molding their minds. This should call into exercise his tenderest feelings, and with care should he lighten her burdens. He should encourage her to lean upon his large affections, and direct her mind to heaven, where there is strength and peace, and a final rest for the weary. He should not come to his home with a clouded brow, but should with his presence bring sunlight into the family, and should encourage his wife to look up and believe in God. Unitedly they can claim the promises of God and bring His rich blessing into the family.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 306, 307.
3 How could many wives be inspired to higher ground by contemplating the sacredness of their trust? Ephesians 5:22–24; Colossians 3:18; I Peter 3:1–6.
Note: “There is often a great failure on the part of the wife. She does not put forth strong efforts to control her own spirit and make home happy. There is often fretfulness and unnecessary complaining on her part. The husband comes home from his labor weary and perplexed, and meets a clouded brow instead of cheerful, encouraging words. He is but human, and his affections become weaned from his wife, he loses the love of his home, his pathway is darkened, and his courage destroyed. He yields his self-respect and that dignity which God requires him to maintain. The husband is the head of the family, as Christ is the head of the Church; and any course which the wife may pursue to lessen his influence and lead him to come down from that dignified, responsible position is displeasing to God. It is the duty of the wife to yield her wishes and will to her husband. Both should be yielding, but the word of God gives preference to the judgment of the husband. And it will not detract from the dignity of the wife to yield to him whom she has chosen to be her counselor, adviser, and protector.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 307, 308.
4 Why is the work of the wife and mother so important? Proverbs 31:10–31.
Note: “The most elevated work for woman is the molding of the character of her children after the divine pattern. … If Christian mothers had always done their work with fidelity, there would not now be so many church trials on account of disorderly members. Mothers are forming the characters which compose the church of God. When I see a church in trial, its members self-willed, heady, high-minded, self-sufficient, not subject to the voice of the church, I am led to fear that their mothers were unfaithful in their early training.” Good Health, April 1, 1880.
5 What should parents take into serious consideration? Ephesians 6:4; Colossians 3:21.
Note: “Great care should be exercised by parents lest they treat their children in such a way as to provoke obstinacy, disobedience, and rebellion. Parents often stir up the worst passions of the human heart, because of their lack of self-control. They correct them in a spirit of anger, and rather confirm them in their evil ways and defiant spirit, than influence them in the way of right. By their own arbitrary spirit they thrust their children under Satanic influences, instead of rescuing them from the snares of Satan by gentleness and love. How sad it is that many parents who profess to be Christians are not converted! Christ does not abide in their hearts by faith. While professing to be followers of Jesus, they disgust their children, and, by their violent, unforgiving temper, make them averse to all religion. It is little wonder that the children become cold and rebellious toward their parents.” The Review and Herald, November 15, 1892.
6 Describe the educational method of Abraham. Genesis 18:19.
Note: “That which gave power to Abraham’s teaching was the influence of his own life. His great household consisted of more than a thousand souls, many of them heads of families, and not a few but newly converted from heathenism. Such a household required a firm hand at the helm. No weak, vacillating methods would suffice.” Education, 187.
7 What was the weak legacy of Eli which is a warning to us? I Samuel 2:12–17, 22–25.
Note: “The neglect of Eli is brought plainly before every father and mother in the land. As the result of his unsanctified affection, or his unwillingness to do a disagreeable duty, he reaped a harvest of iniquity in his perverse sons. Both the parent who permitted the wickedness and the children who practiced it, were guilty before God, and he would accept no sacrifice or offering for their transgression. There are many lessons in the Bible calculated to impress fathers and mothers with the sin of neglecting their duty to their children; and yet how silent are the voices of the teachers in Israel on these important subjects! Parents allow the defects in their children to pass uncorrected, until the curse of God rests upon both their children and themselves. Like Eli, they do not show decision in repressing the first appearance of evil.” The Signs of the Times, April 8, 1886.
8 What does the fifth commandment say? Exodus 20:12.
Note: “Parents are entitled to a degree of love and respect which is due to no other person. God Himself, who has placed upon them a responsibility for the souls committed to their charge, has ordained that during the earlier years of life, parents shall stand in the place of God to their children. And he who rejects the rightful authority of his parents is rejecting the authority of God. The fifth commandment requires children not only to yield respect, submission, and obedience to their parents, but also to give them love and tenderness, to lighten their cares, to guard their reputation, and to succor and comfort them in old age. It also enjoins respect for ministers and rulers and for all others to whom God has delegated authority.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 308.
9 How does the apostle Paul stress the importance of the fifth commandment? Ephesians 6:1–3; Colossians 3:20.
Note: “This, says the apostle, ‘is the first commandment with promise.’ Ephesians 6:2. To Israel, expecting soon to enter Canaan, it was a pledge to the obedient, of long life in that good land; but it has a wider meaning, including all the Israel of God, and promising eternal life upon the earth when it shall be freed from the curse of sin.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 308.
“Children who dishonor and disobey their parents, and disregard their advice and instructions, can have no part in the earth made new. The purified new earth will be no place for the rebellious, the disobedient, the ungrateful, son or daughter. Unless such learn obedience and submission here, they will never learn it; the peace of the ransomed will not be marred by disobedient, unruly, unsubmissive children. No commandment breaker can inherit the kingdom of heaven. Will all the youth please read the fifth commandment of the law spoken by Jehovah from Sinai and engraven with His own finger upon tables of stone? ‘Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.’ [Exodus 20:12.]” Testimonies, vol. 1, 497, 498.
10 Why is this commandment especially important to remember in the last days, as we seek to stand together with our children as overcomers? II Timothy 3:1, 2.
11 How did Isaac respond to his father when told he was to be a sacrifice for God? Genesis 22:9–12.
Note: “It was with terror and amazement that Isaac learned his fate, but he offered no resistance. He could have escaped his doom, had he chosen to do so; the grief-stricken old man, exhausted with the struggle of those three terrible days, could not have opposed the will of the vigorous youth. But Isaac had been trained from childhood to ready, trusting obedience, and as the purpose of God was opened before him, he yielded a willing submission. He was a sharer in Abraham’s faith, and he felt that he was honored in being called to give his life as an offering to God. He tenderly seeks to lighten the father’s grief, and encourages his nerveless hands to bind the cords that confine him to the altar.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 152.
12 In what other matter did Isaac show submission to his father? Genesis 24:1–4.
Note: “In ancient times marriage engagements were generally made by the parents, and this was the custom among those who worshiped God. None were required to marry those whom they could not love; but in the bestowal of their affections the youth were guided by the judgment of their experienced, God-fearing parents. It was regarded as a dishonor to parents, and even a crime, to pursue a course contrary to this.
“Isaac, trusting to his father’s wisdom and affection, was satisfied to commit the matter to him, believing also that God Himself would direct in the choice made.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 171.
“The children are to be instructed with kindness and patience. … Let the parents teach them of the love of God in such a way that it will be a pleasant theme in the family circle, and let the church take upon them the responsibility of feeding the lambs as well as the sheep of the flock.” Child Guidance, 42.
“ ‘Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church; and He is the Saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it; that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word; that He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy, and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh, but nourisheth it and cherisheth it; even as the Lord the church. For we are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery.’ [Ephesians 5:22–32.]
“If this instruction had been heeded by those who enter into the marriage relation, the home life would be pure and elevated, garrisoned by holy love. God made from man a woman, to be a companion and helpmeet for him, to be one with him, to cheer, encourage, and bless him. And he, in his turn, is to be her strong helper.
“All who enter the matrimonial life with a holy purpose, the husband to obtain the pure affections of a woman’s heart, the wife to soften and improve her husband’s character, and give it completeness, fulfil God’s purpose for them. Christ came not to destroy the law, but to fulfil its every specification. He came to pull down and destroy the works of oppression that the enemy had raised up everywhere. It was in perfect harmony with His character and work to make known the fact that marriage is a holy institution. He came not to destroy this institution, but to restore it to its original sanctity. He came to restore the moral image of God in man, and He began His work by sanctioning the marriage relation. Thus He who made the first holy pair, and who created for them a paradise, put His seal upon the institution first celebrated in Eden, when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy.” The Bible Echo, September 4, 1899.
©2005 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.