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Keeping the Love Alive

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					Keeping the Love Alive
Again we will begin today with a review of what we have been studying in the past 3 weeks. In our first marriage class we looked at: Genesis 1:26-27 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. v27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. We can see here how God created man – male and female, in His image – in the image of the Father and the Son and hence the relationship between the Father and Son was an important part of this ‘image’. So the first marriage, between Adam and Eve was a direct representation of the relationship between the Father and Son. We can see that marriage is an institution ordained by God. Adventist Home p99 Christ came not to destroy this institution, but to restore it to its original sanctity and elevation. He came to restore the moral image of God in man, and He began His work by sanctioning the marriage relation. So an important step in restoring the moral image of God in man is restoring the sanctity of the marriage – restoring it to be what God originally designed it to be – which is a representation of the relationship between the Father and the Son. We have also learned that the position of the husband in the marriage is to reflect the Heavenly Father. 1 John 4:16 God is love. Ephesians 5:25 Husbands love your wives The position of the wife in the marriage is to reflect Christ in His life of submission. John 6:38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. Colossians 3:18 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. When we have the correct order of submission in our families as described in 1 Corinthians 11:3 …But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. then God is able to pour out his blessings on the family. Counsels to Parents, Teachers and Students p324 He longs to make them channels through which He can pour His boundless love and mercy.

In our second study we looked in more detail at the role of the Husband, and the many parallels between the husband’s role and our Heavenly Father. The husband is to love and cherish his wife, to be the house band, binding the family together. He is to be the lawmaker and Priest of the home. He also has an important role in helping to lighten the load of the wife and mother and assisting in the training of the children. In our third study we looked more closely at the role of the wife in the marriage. We saw that as Christ was equal with His Father and yet submissive to Him, the wife is equal with her husband in the relationship and is submissive to him. She is to be his help-meet, the queen of the home. Her work is appointed by God. It is hers, with the help of God, to develop in a human soul the likeness of the divine. {AH 237.2} She is the home missionary, the teacher, and is to be an example to her family in self-control, neatness and order and health reform. It is the wife’s submission to her husband that establishes his authority and leadership in the home. Her submission also teaches the children how to love and respect both parents. Without the submission of the wife to the husband, the whole structure of the family, as God planned it, is lost. Today we particularly want to look at how we keep the love, between the husband and wife, alive over the years of the marriage – be it 5, 10, 20 or more years. Jesus Wants Happy Marriages. Adventist Home p99-100 The divine love emanating from Christ never destroys human love, but includes it. By it human love is refined and purified, elevated and ennobled. Human love can never bear its precious fruit until it is united with the divine nature and trained to grow heavenward. Jesus wants to see happy marriages, happy firesides.{AH 99.4} Like every other one of God's good gifts entrusted to the keeping of humanity, marriage has been perverted by sin; but it is the purpose of the gospel to restore its purity and beauty. . . . {AH 100.1}

The grace of Christ, and this alone, can make this institution what God designed it should be--an agent for the blessing and uplifting of humanity. And thus the families of earth, in their unity and peace and love, may represent the family of heaven. {AH 100.2} The condition of society presents a sad comment upon Heaven's ideal of this sacred relation. Yet even for those who have found bitterness and disappointment where they had hoped for companionship and joy, the gospel of Christ offers a solace. {AH 100.3} Adventist Home p102 God wants the home to be the happiest place on earth, the very symbol of the home in heaven. Bearing the marriage responsibilities in the home, linking their interests with Jesus Christ, leaning upon His arm and His assurance, husband and wife may share a happiness in this union that angels of God commend. {AH 102.2} The Real Union Is a Lifelong Experience. Adventist Home p105 To gain a proper understanding of the marriage relation is the work of a lifetime. Those who marry enter a school from which they are never in this life to be graduated. However carefully and wisely marriage may have been entered into, few couples are completely united when the marriage ceremony is performed. The real union of the two in wedlock is the work of the after years. {AH 105.12} Of course, the first commitment of both the husband and the wife is to God. It is only by submission to Christ that the marriage relation can be what God ordained it to be. Adventist Home p105 Affection may be as clear as crystal and beauteous in its purity, yet it may be shallow because it has not been tested and tried. Make Christ first and last and best in everything. Constantly behold Him, and your love for Him will daily become deeper and stronger as it is submitted to the test of trial. And as your love for Him increases, your love for each other will grow deeper and stronger. {AH 105.4} Adventist Home p120 If Christ indeed is formed within, the hope of glory, there will be union and love in the home. Christ abiding in the heart of the wife will be at agreement with Christ abiding in the heart of the husband. They will be striving together for the mansions Christ has gone to prepare for those who love Him. {AH 120.1} Adventist Home p106 Satan is ever ready to take advantage when any matter of variance arises, and by moving upon the objectionable, hereditary traits of character in husband or wife, he will try to cause the alienation of those who have united their interests in a solemn covenant before God. In the marriage vows they have promised to be as one, the wife covenanting to love and obey her husband, the husband promising to love and cherish his wife. If the law of God is obeyed, the demon of strife will be kept out of the family, and no separation of interests will take place, no alienation of affection will be permitted. {AH 106.3} When our hearts are united with God, it will be a joy to fulfill the responsibilities God has given to us as husbands and wives: the husband representing God in his love and the wife representing Christ in submission. Adventist Home p106-107 The Lord has laid down the principle that is to guide in this matter. The husband is to cherish his wife as Christ cherishes the church. And the wife is to respect and love her husband. Both are to cultivate the spirit of kindness, being determined never to grieve or injure the other. . . . {AH 106.4} Do not try to compel each other to do as you wish. You cannot do this and retain each other's love. Manifestations of self-will destroy the peace and happiness of the home. Let not your married life be one of contention. If you do, you will both be unhappy. Be kind in speech and gentle in action, giving up your own wishes. Watch well your words, for they have a powerful influence for good or for ill. Allow no sharpness to come into your voices. Bring into your united life the fragrance of Christlikeness. {AH 107.1}

 Look for the excellencies and not the defects Adventist Home p105 As life with its burden of perplexity and care meets the newly wedded pair, the romance with which imagination so often invests marriage disappears. Husband and wife learn each other's character as it was impossible to learn it in their previous association. This is a most critical period in their experience. The happiness and usefulness of their whole future life depend upon their taking a right course now. Often they discern in each other unsuspected weaknesses and defects; but the hearts that love has united will discern excellencies also heretofore unknown. Let all seek to discover the excellencies rather than the defects. Often it is our own attitude, the atmosphere that surrounds ourselves, which determines what will be revealed to us in another. {AH 105.3}
 Encourage each other in fighting the battles of life Adventist Home p106 Though difficulties, perplexities, and discouragements may arise, let neither husband nor wife harbor the thought that their union is a mistake or a disappointment. Determine to be all that it is possible to be to each other. Continue the early attentions. In every way encourage each other in fighting the battles of life. Study to advance the happiness of each other. Let there be mutual love, mutual forbearance. Then marriage, instead of being the end of love, will be as it were the very beginning of love. The warmth of true friendship, the love that binds heart to heart, is a foretaste of the joys of heaven. {AH 106.1} All should cultivate patience by practicing patience. By being kind and forbearing, true love may be kept warm in the heart, and qualities will be developed that Heaven will approve. {AH 106.2}  Express Love in Words and Deeds. Adventist Home p107 There are many who regard the expression of love as a weakness, and they maintain a reserve that repels others. This spirit checks the current of sympathy. As the social and generous impulses are repressed, they wither, and the heart becomes desolate and cold. We should beware of this error. Love cannot long exist without expression. Let not the heart of one connected with you starve for the want of kindness and sympathy. . . . {AH 107.2} 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. {AH 107.3} Too many cares and burdens are brought into our families, and too little of natural simplicity and peace and happiness is cherished. There should be less care for what the outside world will say and more thoughtful attention to the members of the family circle. There should be less display and affectation of worldly politeness, and much more tenderness and love, cheerfulness and Christian courtesy, among the members of the household. Many need to learn how to make home attractive, a place of enjoyment. Thankful hearts and kind looks are more valuable than wealth and luxury, and contentment with simple things will make home happy if love be there. {AH 108.1}  The Little Attentions are Important. Adventist Home p108 God tests and proves us by the common occurrences of life. It is the little things which reveal the chapters of the heart. It is the little attentions, the numerous small incidents and simple courtesies of life, that make up the sum of life's happiness; and it is the neglect of kindly, encouraging, affectionate words, and the little courtesies of life, which helps compose the sum of life's wretchedness. It will be found at last that the denial of self for the good and happiness of those around us constitutes a large share of the life record in heaven. And the fact will also be revealed that the care of self, irrespective of the good and happiness of others, is not beneath the notice of our heavenly Father. {AH 108.2} Adventist Home p109 A house with love in it, where love is expressed in words and looks and deeds, is a place where angels love to manifest their presence and hallow the scene by rays of light from glory. There the humble household duties have a charm in them. None of life's duties will be unpleasant to your wife under such circumstances. She will perform them with cheerfulness of spirit and will be like a sunbeam to all around her, and she will be making melody in her heart to the Lord. … Love should be seen in the looks and manners and heard in the tones of the voice. {AH 109.1}

 Mutual Love and Forbearance Rewarded. Adventist Home p112 Without mutual forbearance and love no earthly power can hold you and your husband in the bonds of Christian unity. Your companionship in the marriage relation should be close and tender, holy and elevated, breathing a spiritual power into your lives, that you may be everything to each other that God's word requires. When you reach the condition that the Lord desires you to reach, you will find heaven below and God in your life. {AH 112.2} Men and women can reach God's ideal for them if they will take Christ as their helper. What human wisdom cannot do, His grace will accomplish for those who give themselves to Him in loving trust. His providence can unite hearts in bonds that are of heavenly origin. Love will not be a mere exchange of soft and flattering words. The loom of heaven weaves with warp and woof finer, yet more firm, than can be woven by the looms of earth. The result is not a tissue fabric, but a texture that will bear wear and test and trial. Heart will be bound to heart in the golden bonds of a love that is enduring. {AH 112.4}  Strive for Unity Testimonies Vol 9 p188.1-2 Strive earnestly for unity. Pray for it, work for it. It will bring spiritual health, elevation of thought, nobility of character, heavenly-mindedness, enabling you to overcome selfishness and evil surmisings, and to be more than conquerors through Him that loved you and gave Himself for you. Crucify self; esteem others better than yourselves. Thus you will be brought into oneness with Christ. Before the heavenly universe, and before the church and the world, you will bear unmistakable evidence that you are God's sons and daughters. God will be glorified in the example that you set. {9T 188.1} The world needs to see worked out before it the miracle that binds the hearts of God's people together in Christian love. It needs to see the Lord's people sitting together in heavenly places in Christ. Will you not give in your lives an evidence of what the truth of God can do for those who love and serve Him? God knows what you can be. He knows what divine grace can do for you if you will be partakers of the divine nature.  Courtesy and Kindness begins in the Home Adventist Home p421 If we would have our children practice kindness, courtesy, and love, we ourselves must set them the example. {AH 421.2} Courtesy, even in little things, should be manifested by the parents toward each other. Universal kindness should be the law of the house. No rude language should be indulged; no bitter words should be spoken. {AH 421.3} All may possess a cheerful countenance, a gentle voice, a courteous manner; and these are elements of power. Children are attracted by a cheerful, sunny demeanor. Show them kindness and courtesy, and they will manifest the same spirit toward you and toward one another. {AH 421.4} Your courtesy and self-control will have greater influence upon the characters of your children than mere words could have. {AH 421.5} Adventist Home p422 The courtesies of everyday life and the affection that should exist between members of the same family do not depend upon outward circumstances. {AH 422.1} Pleasant voices, gentle manners, and sincere affection that finds expression in all the actions, together with industry, neatness, and economy, make even a hovel the happiest of homes. The Creator regards such a home with approbation. {AH 422.2}  A Cheerful spirit promotes happiness in the family Adventist Home p433 The mother should cultivate a cheerful, contented, happy disposition. Every effort in this direction will be abundantly repaid in both the physical well-being and the moral character of her children. A cheerful spirit will promote the happiness of her family and in a very great degree improve her own health. {AH 432.4} Look upon matters in a cheerful light, seeking to lift the shadows that, if cherished, will envelop the soul. Cultivate sympathy for others. Let cheerfulness, kindness, and love pervade the home. This will increase a love for religious exercises, and duties large and small will be performed with a light heart. {AH 433.1}

 The husband to bring cheer to the family Adventist Home p112 Leave your business cares and perplexities and annoyances when you leave your business. Come to your family with a cheerful countenance, with sympathy, tenderness, and love. This will be better than expending money for medicines or physicians for your wife. It will be health to the body and strength to the soul. {AH 111.2}  Speech is an influence in the Family Adventist Home p434 The voice is an entrusted talent, and it should be used to help and encourage and strengthen our fellow men. If parents will love God and keep the way of the Lord to do justice and judgment, their language will not savor of sickly sentimentalism. It will be of a sound, pure, edifying character. Whether they are at home or abroad, their words will be well chosen. They will descend to no cheapness. {AH 434.1} Every word spoken by fathers and mothers has its influence over the children, for good or for evil. If the parents speak passionately, if they show the spirit shown by the children of this world, God counts them as the children of this world, not as His sons and daughters. {AH 434.2} A word spoken in due season may be as good seed in youthful minds and may result in leading little feet in the right path. But a wrong word may lead their feet in the path of ruin. {AH 434.3} Angels hear the words that are spoken in the home. Therefore, never scold; but let the influence of your words be such that it will ascend to heaven as fragrant incense. {AH 434.4} Parents should keep the atmosphere of the home pure and fragrant with kind words, with tender sympathy and love; but at the same time they are to be firm and unyielding in principle. If you are firm with your children, they may think that you do not love them. This you may expect, but never manifest harshness. Justice and mercy must clasp hands; there must be no wavering or impulsive movements.  Chivalry is an important way for the husband to demonstrate his love for his wife. Thomas has a story to share about his grandfather.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 &13 Love suffereth long, and is kind; love envieth not; love vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Love never faileth: …


				
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