July 31, 2011 – August 6, 2011
Families for Christ
“Blessed is every one that feareth the Lord; that walketh in his ways. For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee.” Psalm 128:1, 2.
Study Help: The Adventist Home, 114–120.
“The cause of division and discord in families and in the church is separation from Christ. To come near to Christ is to come near to one another.” The Adventist Home, 179.
1 THE CHURCH FAMILY
- Describe God’s plan both for individual families and for the church? Ephesians 3:14, 15; 2:19–22.
Note: “The secret of true unity in the church and in the family is not diplomacy, not management, not a superhuman effort to overcome difficulties—though there will be much of this to do—but union with Christ.
“Picture a large circle, from the edge of which are many lines all running to the center. The nearer these lines approach the center, the nearer they are to one another.
“Thus it is in the Christian life. The closer we come to Christ, the nearer we shall be to one another. God is glorified as His people unite in harmonious action.” The Adventist Home, 179.
“When religion is manifested in the home, its influence will be felt in the church and in the neighborhood.” Ibid., 38.
- What is one purpose of the church family? Ephesians 4:12, 13.
Note: “God has appointed the church as a watchman. …
“The church has a special work to do in educating and training its children that they may not, in attending school, or in any other association, be influenced by those of corrupt habits.” Child Guidance, 312.
2 THE GREATEST DUTY
- Who is described as a person of great importance? Proverbs 31:10.
Note: “Woman should fill the position which God originally designed for her, as her husband’s equal. The world needs mothers who are mothers not merely in name but in every sense of the word. We may safely say that the distinctive duties of woman are more sacred, more holy, than those of man. Let woman realize the sacredness of her work and in the strength and fear of God take up her life mission.” The Adventist Home, 231.
- What is the mother’s role and why is it so important? Titus 2:4, 5.
Note: “The king upon his throne has no higher work than has the mother. The mother is the queen of her household. She has in her power the molding of her children’s characters, that they may be fitted for the higher, immortal life. An angel could not ask for a higher mission; for in doing this work she is doing service for God. Let her only realize the high character of her task, and it will inspire her with courage.” The Adventist Home, 231.
- Describe how the enemy seeks to weaken the family.
Note: “If you ignore your duty as a wife and mother and hold out your hands for the Lord to put another class of work in them, be sure that He will not contradict Himself; He points you to the duty you have to do at home. If you have the idea that some work greater and holier than this has been entrusted to you, you are under a deception. By faithfulness in your own home, working for the souls of those who are nearest to you, you may be gaining a fitness to work for Christ in a wider field. But be sure that those who are neglectful of their duty in the home circle are not prepared to work for other souls.
“The Lord has not called you to neglect your home and your husband and children. He never works in this way; and He never will. … Never for a moment suppose that God has given you a work that will necessitate a separation from your precious little flock.” The Adventist Home, 245, 246.
3 SUBMISSION—WHAT IS IT?
- In these days of frequent preoccupation with “women’s rights,” what is Christ’s injunction to wives? Colossians 3:18; Ephesians 5:22–24.
Note: “In the creation, God had made her [Eve] the equal of Adam. Had they remained obedient to God—in harmony with His great law of love—they would ever have been in harmony with each other. …
“Eve had been perfectly happy by her husband’s side in her Eden home; but, like restless modern Eves, she was flattered with the hope of entering a higher sphere than that which God had assigned her. In attempting to rise above her original position, she fell far below it. A similar result will be reached by all who are unwilling to take up cheerfully their life duties in accordance with God’s plan.” The Adventist Home, 115.
- Is this counsel of submission only for wives? Ephesians 5:21. Are there any conditions as to when is it right to submit and when is it wrong? Colossians 3:18; Acts 5:29.
Note: “God requires that the wife shall keep the fear and glory of God ever before her. Entire submission is to be made only to the Lord Jesus Christ, who has purchased her as His own child by the infinite price of His life. God has given her a conscience, which she cannot violate with impunity. Her individuality cannot be merged into that of her husband, for she is the purchase of Christ. It is a mistake to imagine that with blind devotion she is to do exactly as her husband says in all things, when she knows that in so doing, injury would be worked for her body and her spirit, which have been ransomed from the slavery of Satan. There is One who stands higher than the husband to the wife; it is her Redeemer, and her submission to her husband is to be rendered as God has directed—‘as it is fit in the Lord’ [Colossians 3:18].” The Adventist Home, 116.
- Explain the purpose and meaning of submission. I Peter 3:8.
Note: “The wife, if she has the spirit of Christ, will be careful of her words; she will control her spirit, she will be submissive, and yet will not feel that she is a bondslave, but a companion to her husband.” The Adventist Home, 118.
4 MORE LOVE
- What else is needed in the marriage, and in the church relationship? I Peter 3:1–4; Proverbs 31:26.
Note: “Let each give love rather than exact it. Cultivate that which is noblest in yourselves, and be quick to recognize the good qualities in each other. The consciousness of being appreciated is a wonderful stimulus and satisfaction. Sympathy and respect encourage the striving after excellence, and love itself increases as it stimulates to nobler aims. …
“Neither the husband nor the wife should attempt to exercise over the other an arbitrary control. Do not try to compel each other to yield to your wishes. You cannot do this and retain each other’s love. Be kind, patient, and forbearing, considerate, and courteous. By the grace of God you can succeed in making each other happy, as in your marriage vow you promised to do.” The Ministry of Healing, 361.
“Pray for the sweet, molding influence of the Holy Spirit. Let your lips be governed by the law of kindness. Refuse to be sour, uncourteous, unkind. …
“Do not serve the enemy of God by exhibiting a harsh, unkind spirit.” This Day With God, 111.
- How should her daily duties be viewed by the wife and by others? Proverbs 31:10–31.
Note: “The mother seldom appreciates her own work and frequently sets so low an estimate upon her labor that she regards it as domestic drudgery. She goes through the same round day after day, week after week, with no special marked results. She cannot tell at the close of the day the many little things she has accomplished. Placed beside her husband’s achievement, she feels that she has done nothing worth mentioning. …
“While the father has been dealing with the things which must perish and pass away, the mother has been dealing with developing minds and character, working not only for time but for eternity. …
“There are opportunities of inestimable worth, interests infinitely precious, committed to every mother. The humble round of duties which women have come to regard as a wearisome task should be looked upon as a grand and noble work. It is the mother’s privilege to bless the world by her influence, and in doing this she will bring joy to her own heart.” The Adventist Home, 232–234.
5 UNITY IN ACTION
- What do all of us need in our relationships both in the family and in the church? Psalm 133:1; Ephesians 4:2, 3.
Note: “Parents are to work together as a unit. There must be no division. … It sometimes happens that, of the mother and father, one is too indulgent and the other too severe. This difference works against good results in the formation of the characters of their children. …
“If fathers and mothers are at variance, one working against the other to counteract each other’s influence, the family will be in a demoralized condition, and neither the father nor the mother will receive the respect and confidence that are essential to a well-governed family. … Children are quick to discern anything that will cast a reflection upon the rules and regulations of a household, especially those regulations that restrict their actions.” The Adventist Home, 312.
- What are the results of disunity? Mark 3:25.
Note: “In these first disciples was presented marked diversity. They were to be the world’s teachers, and they represented widely varied types of character. In order successfully to carry forward the work to which they had been called, these men, differing in natural characteristics and in habits of life, needed to come into unity of feeling, thought, and action. This unity it was Christ’s object to secure. To this end He sought to bring them into unity with Himself.” The Acts of the Apostles, 20.
- In what are we to be united? I Peter 1:22; I John 2:4, 5; 3:18.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1 Why does God give us family relationships?
2 What is the most important duty for the wife?
3 What is submission and how do you accomplish it?
4 What are some of the wonderful challenges given to the wife and mother?
5 How can we achieve the unity needed in the family and in the church?
Copyright © 2002 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.