Document Sample

      Part I – The Husband /Wife Relationship

Part II – Child Rearing and the Family as a Whole

                    Adapted From Material By:
Brent Hunter, Professor of Communication & Marriage at Florida College,

           Dr. Joe Brumfield, Ken Weliever, & Mike Collier
             BALANCED LIFE
                 ROMANS 13:7

I God and the Kingdom
   A. The Word
   B. Prayer
   C. Emotional and Physical Health

II Time with Spouse

III Time with Children

IV Vocation

V Ministry to Others
                               WORK SHEET ON PRIORITIES
                                       How can I achieve a proper balance?
                            Where does my marriage fit in with everything else in my life?

I. Place the following five areas (A - E) in what you believe to be their proper order of importance. (1-5). Be able
   to explain and defend your answer with scripture.

             A. Job, profession, making money
             B. Children (parenting)
             C. Personal Relationship with God
             D. My spouse (Marriage)
             E. Ministry to others (Teaching and Service)

II. How might our marriage (Spouse) actually become too important? Is that possible? (Consider 1 Timothy 2:11-
    15 and try to consider it in your answer). Have your group give at least two biblical examples and one modern
    day example of how a love/marriage relationship proved to be out of balance and actually a form of idolatry.

        A. Two Bible examples:
                 1. ____                     _______.
                 2.                                    .
        B. One Modern day example

III. What are the most likely areas in the list in #1 above, that can cause a marriage to suffer because it is not
     given proper priority? (Discuss why this is so easy to happen to well meaning and devoted Christians!)

        A. Which is a common problem among godly mothers? WHY?

        B. Which is a common problem among ambitious men? WHY?

        C. Which is a common problem among preachers? WHY?

        D. How can the above missed priorities be avoided?

                                              THOUGHT QUESTIONS:
Do you see how difficult it is for even godly people to keep their priorities straight??!!
What you think are the greatest causes of regret in later life?
What do you think your spouse would say if asked, "Aside from God, where do I fit in your list of priorities?"
Given the importance of priorities, what problems will naturally arise if one is married to a non-Christian or an
uncommitted one?
         A. Matt 7:1-5: "First behold the beam in your eye..."
         B. However, one is not to deal with oneself alone.
                1. Prov 27:6 "Faithful are the wounds of a friend."
                2. Rom 15:4 "Admonish one another."
                3. "Silence may be golden but sometimes it is just plain yellow!"
               4. The old adage: "If you don't have anything good to say, don't say anything at all,"
                 is not true. Sometimes it takes courage to warn or instruct a person so that they
                 are built up spiritually. It is what is sorely needed.

     A. Prov 12:1 "He that hates reproof is stupid!"
     B. Prov 12: 15 "He that hearketh unto counsel is wise."
     C. Prov 23:12 "Don't refuse criticism"
     D. Prov 13:18 "If you refuse criticism you will end in disgrace"
     E. Prov 25:12 "He wears a badge of honor who accepts reproof."
     F. Eph 4:15 "Speak the truth in love"

                             ALL OF US ARE IMPERFECT-NEED HELP!
                                TRUE OF EVERY RELATIONSHIP.
                                    We all have room to grow!

               1. Husbands & wives, parents & children, etc. need help from one another. We tend
                 to shun it but we need it!
               2. Have you ever tried to proof-read your own work?
               3. We all need help from others who periodically shed light on our blind spots. Prov.
                 16:2. Self-deception is the worst kind.
     G. Problem is not criticism-but destructive criticism. Too often we don't know how to do it
     right so we avoid it all together.

                                MUST BUILD UP & NOT TEAR DOWN!
     A. Choose your setting carefully. Timing is everything!
               1. Do so after a meal and not when hungry.
                      Eg. Esther gave two banquets before she approached the king.
               Afterwards she got what she desired.
               2. Criticize in private-praise in public!
               3. Consider the feelings of the other person.
                  a. How do you find out when it is okay?
                  b. Ask them! "Honey, do you mind me sharing a constructive suggestion with you tonight?" He
                     or she will either say "yes" or "no." If no, usually curiosity will cause them to ask about it
                     later. Then they will be mentally prepared and less defensive. Doesn't that make sense?
         4. Most people want to be helped and want honesty in the relationship if they are just approached in the
            right way.
          5. However, "A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still."

                                      DON'T SHARE UNTIL YOU ARE
                                    SURE THE OTHER PARTY IS READY..


          1. Common failure is to pour it on! "And another thing, and another thing, etc."
         2. The result?


         3. Suggestion:

                            ONLY ONE CRITICISM A WEEK
                    (That ought to be enough. That's fifty-two a year!)

         4. Most don't realize how critical they have become...LISTEN and increase awareness! Prov 17:9
         5. Suggestion:

                          GO ON A 24 HOUR CRITICISM FAST!
                                 (See attached handout)

         6. Challenge: Make it easy, ask for it periodically.

          1. Notice ratio: Three compliments to one criticism. Rev 2:1-4
         2. "The bitter pill of criticism can be swallowed much easier if first sugar coated with the medicine of
                 sincere praise."
         3. Mary Poppins: "A spoon full of sugar makes the medicine go down"


  A. Recognize the hand of God Romans 8:28 I (God wants to use this for my good). B. Let your first words be:
  Thank you! I Thessalonians 5:18. "In everything give thanks." Three reasons:
              1. He said it to your face-not behind your back

       2. If it is true-you need to change and now you can grow.
       3. If false-gives you opportunity to correct the misunderstanding.

   C. Always ask:
                                     What can I learn from criticism?
          Not all are valid: But we can still learn something from all kinds of criticism;
              1. Then take action if possible. You can't do what everyone says! (For example, my
                 daughter wanted me to triple her allowance-not a good idea.)
              2. However, work with the reasonable requests for small things as much as possible.
       D. Never give the same criticism two weeks in a row. Give the other party at least a month before
          you bring up the same thing again.

       A. I Peter 4:8 "Love covers a multitude of sins."

                                  LOVE ACCEPTS MANY IMPERFECTIONS!

         Some things you will need to accept.
             1. Otherwise, anger turns inward and becomes bitterness and depression.
             2. Say the Serenity Prayer!:

       “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the
       things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference!”

                3. Prov. 17:9 "It is to his glory to pass over a transgression and seek love. "

  Don’t mind criticism. If it is not true, disregard it. If it unfair, keep from irritations. If it is ignorant, smile.
  If it is justified, learn from it!
                             TAKE THE CRITICISM PLEDGE AND
                              GO ON A 24 HR. CRITICISM FAST

       We live in a negative world! We are all bombarded with criticism constantly. Why not allow your
home to be a refuge from criticism? Think of your mate as a haven, a peaceful retreat, the ever-
quiet eye of the hurricane.

        Research has found that the significant decreasing of criticism and negative
comments from our family relationships is even more important than learning to express love positively.
Small wonder Paul stresses we are to dwell on the positive. "Whatsoever are true, honorable, just,
pure, lovely and of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, dwell on these th ings."
One of the reasons this is so important is that it takes a great many positive strokes to make up for even
one critical comment. So, keep them to a minimum and express them only if you feel it is really
necessary. "Be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to wrath" James 1:19.

       Try promising your mate you will never say a critical word about him or her, make him\her
the brunt of jokes, nor in any way speak unkindly of him/her, or betray
your relationship, and ask your partner to do the same!

        Think about it. What confidence it gives a woman to know that when other men are making fun of
their wives or complaining about their weaknesses, their cooking, homemaking, lovemaking,
shortcomings, and faults, her name is safe. And likewise, when women get together and begin to belittle
their husbands, what security there is in knowing that your name will not be mentioned. Oh it is not
because you have no faults; faults are self-evident It isn't because he or she wouldn't be justified.
She simply does not speak ill of you-nor do you speak ill of her -- BECAUSE OF YOUR LOYALTY TO
ONE ANOTHER. (Can you see how this goes hand in hand with positively expressing the love language
of "Being on the Same Side ?"}

       I challenge newly weds, and couples who desire to enrich their marriage, and to experience an
emotional remarriage, to take the following pledge and live it!!

       "/ promise, as your mate, that I will never speak ill of you to friend, family, or
       stranger. I will not embarrass or belittle you in front of others, nor will I be critical
       of you in your absence. I will not discuss our personal problems with anyone
       without your permission. This is my pledge to you."
                     TAKE A 24 HOUR CRITICISM FAST!

       Start by stopping! For a period of twenty-four hours, refrain from criticizing yourself, the
government, the food, your boss, co-workers, your spouse, your surroundings, come to a
complete halt for twenty-four hours!! Watch out for back seat driving and comments on other drivers.
Phone calls are dangerous. Especially watch out for when you are hungry and under any kind of time
pressure! You cannot criticize anyone for any reason unless human life is in danger. Another
exception would be if you hear or see another person who has agreed to take the fast criticizing
without realizing it. You may in this case point out to them that they have done so and need to start
over, without being guilty of being critical yourself for having pointed it out!

        This is not as easy as it sounds. The majority of people do not succeed in their first attempt. Do
not be discouraged. If you find yourself being critical. Make a note of the time and start your "fast"
over again until you have gone for 24 hours (including the time your are asleep) without being
critical at all!

         BE CAREFUL NOT TO COMMIT WHAT I CALL, "Criticism of the Heart." If a critical thought
enters your mind and you get rid of the thought in a moment, then it does not count and you do not have
to start your twenty-four hours over. If, on the other hand, you let that critical thought stay in your
mind and you develop it into a full production with quadraphonic sound and vista vision, they you must
start over again.

        Don't be too hard on yourself if you don't succeed in this assignment right away. This is a
difficult assignment.

                                        WHY SHOULD YOU TRY?
       These are the positive objectives I hope you will experience doing this:
       1. It will increase your awareness of the critical nature of our society.
       2. It will help you to become aware of your own compulsion to criticize.
       3. It will enable you to experience the power of self-mastery.

The answer to the question, "Why should I try to stop criticizing?" is simply, "So that you can lay a
foundation for love and acceptance in your home instead of rejection."

       Take the pledge of verbal loyalty to the relationship to demonstrate your commitment to it! As a
token of your willingness, stop criticizing. Commitment and willingness are two keys to loving and
lasting emotionally close marriages.
                               SUCCESSFUL QUARRELING
       A. Conflict is inevitable. "A fellow who says he has never had an argument with his wife is
         apt to lie about other things too."
      B. If you have a partnership - you have to work on things together. You will have
         disagreements due to different backgrounds and opinions.
              1. Marriage is two becoming one and the whole time you are trying to determine
                 which one you are becoming!
              2. One fellow said: "The nice thing about being single is that all the decisions are
                 unanimous." It is true, life is simpler.
      C. The number one criteria necessary for long- term marital stability and happiness is the
          ability to resolve conflict successfully!
              1. It is the positives that initially draw people together - but the negatives and how
                 you deal with them is what pulls people apart.
              2. Research has found that there are four factors that if they become chronic are
                 precursors of divorce: CRITICISM, CONTEMPT, DEFENSIVENESS, AND
                 WITHDRAWAL. These are the four emotional mines that will blast and destroy most
                 any marriage if left unchecked. Notice: All four deal with conflict resolution!
              3. This is critically important, yet so often neglected.
      A. Be careful: "One zinger erases twenty positives."
             1. Song: "Angry words oh let them never..." is good advice!
              2. Hurtful, harsh, unkind comments can become huge withdrawals from the love
                 bank and do serious damage to the relationship.
      B. When in doubt wait.
             1. You can always go back and say it later but once it is out the hurt is not so easily
                taken back.
             2. Secret to a happy marriage: "Let three things go every day unsaid."
      C. Relationships have momentum. They have an ebb and flow to them that is either
         positive or negative.
             1. Things tend to be like a snowball rolling downhill. It works both to your
                advantage and disadvantage.
              2. When things start to go in the wrong direction, one or both parties needs to
                 recognize it and say, "let's get off this negative cycle and stop hurting each other.
                 Let's instead apologize, put it behind us, and start doing things to show love and
                 build each other up, instead of tear each other down!"
      D. Beware of the modem egalitarian marriage.
             1. People quarrel more and more today than ever before because the traditional
                roles have been discarded and now there is no final arbitrator of disputes.
             2. No other organization on earth functions this way, except the modern American
                 marriage. The result = relationships deteriorate into power plays.
             3. With no established rules and blurred roles, it puts untold strain on such
     A. There are five traditional areas of conflict that all couples have argued about as far back
     as such things have been studied. (These are not listed necessarily in order of importance.)
            1. Sex
            2. Children (Whether to have them, if so when, the raising of them, etc.)
            3. Money (2/3 of all divorces report financial strain as a major factor.)
            4. In-laws (The underlying issue is often what's more important to you - your parents
               or me?)
            5. Tremendous Trifles = "small theoretically inconsequential things that drive most
               people to the brink of mayhem, divorce, or screaming meemies!"
                   a. By definition, a trifle is something small, but it can be a tremendous source
                       of conflict.
                   b. Examples include: Dog-earring pages on a book, hairs in the sink, the way
                       you squeeze the toothpaste, the way one eats, sleeping habits, etc.
                             1) One man on his 25* wedding anniversary figured he had kicked the
                                sheets loose about 7,500 times, and that it had taken him at least a
                                minute each night. He figured he had wasted 125 hours of his life
                                since he had gotten married, fighting with his wife over the sheets!
                             2) Tremendous Trifles are usually things you never thought about
                                before you were married.
                    c. If the relationship already has problems, such irritants can become the
                       focus. However, if the relationship is solid, they usually will not destroy the
                       marriage and can be resolved amicably.
     B. New top issues! (These never even showed up until the advent of the dual career
            1. Who does the domestic chores? (Women are often resentful if they have to
               work*full time and then pull a double-shift at home too.)
            2. How do we spend our precious and limited leisure time? (People have more
               money, but less time than in years past.)
     A. Ironically - both happy and unhappy couples argue about the same things. The amount
        of disagreements and how often the parties disagree is not a significant factor in marital
        satisfaction. The difference is in how the parties argue.
             1. Happy couples argue as if the issue is external to the relationship. They may
                disagree, but it does not change their respect or feelings for the other party.

            2. Unhappy couples get personal, "hit below the belt" and attack the person rather
                than the problem. In short they have never learned how to "fight fair."

     B. Mudd and Hay - two social scientists - found that even after you fix a particular problem
     area of conflict or tremendous trifle in a marriage, that it did not solve the problem.

            1. The real problem was that the relationship itself and the other surface issues were just
                symptoms of the relationship problems.
            2. They found that serious relationship problems are things such as:
                     a) Feeling lonely and unloved.
                     b) Feeling that you are not understood because you can't communicate.
                     c) A loss of perspective. (You have begun to forget what you mean to each other.)
                     d) You feel rejected and unworthy. (The partner is a source of self-esteem
                        problems instead of support.)
           3. Be careful about wasting time focusing in on peripheral side issues instead of the
     C. Happy Couples are very careful not even to think - much less express - the "fatal thought," -
        which is two fold: This means you don't love me anymore and maybe we ought to divorce.


     A. Willard Harley in his book His Needs, Her Needs explains it well when he talks about: THE THREE
             1. Stage one: You have become INTIMATE and feel close, and tell each other everything.
             2. Stage two: You begin to have disagreements and enter into CONFLICT, which is not bad
                 as long as you can resolve the conflict so that you can restore intimacy. All couples go from
                 stage one to stage two all the time. The key is to always return to stage one. (That is the
                 reason for Paul's admonition in Eph. 4:26, "Let not the sun go down upon your wrath.")
             3. Stage three: You remain in conflict and cannot resolve it. You begin to feel frustrated and
                 misunderstood. The parties begin to hurt each other and the relationship. Emotional turmoil
                 becomes the norm. Eventually one or both parties gives up and puts up a deadly wall of
                 defense. He/she enters into WITHDRAWAL.
     B. The withdrawal decision is a very serious one. It means you have given up and decided that
         the way to cope with the hurt is to emotionally disconnect yourself from your spouse. This has far
         reaching consequences:
             1. You become emotionally and spiritually divorced from each other. You wake up one day
                 and decide you do not "love him or her anymore." The woman especially dreads physical
                 contact because she cannot give of herself physically when she is withdrawn emotionally.
             2. Unfortunately, the wall you have built keeps out the good as well as the bad, which explains
                 why even thoughtful positive things will not be allowed as "deposits" into the other person's
                 love bank. The person in withdrawal is afraid to allow themselves to be vulnerable again.
             3. WARNING: When the open sharing of feelings stops - passion dies! Romantic love is
             4. The irony about romantic love is that "when you have it, you think you can never
                 lose it, and when you lose it you think it can never be regained." Both are untrue
                 and naive.
                       a) Romantic love can be regained if the parties understand what has
                          happened to them. Learn how to resolve conflict so that both parties feel
                          SAFE to share their feelings so they will let the wall down.
                       b) TRUST is reestablished and over time the old feelings of intimacy and
                          romance returns!! Follow the process and the feelings will follow.
                       c) The key to prevent affairs is to commit to full disclosure about hard topics.
                          Affairs happen when you create walls - secrets between you and your
                          spouse, and windows of intimacy with someone else. Deep sharing on a
                          feeling level with someone other than your wife is what causes you to "fall
                          in love" with that person. When that happens, you are ripe for an-affair.
                     d) However, if there is nothing important your spouse doesn't know about that
                         someone else does, an affair will almost never happen. Affairs are usually
                         not about sex, but someone having their emotional need(s) met by
                         someone outside the marriage because they are not being met at home.
              5. Challenge: Go through the Symptoms of Spiritual Divorce exercise (see next
                 page.) It will open your eyes and help you to determine to what degree you or
                 your spouse may be in withdrawal.

              A. If you stay in stage one (intimacy), and learn how to avoid stage three
                 (withdrawal) you mil remain happily married! Remember that the way to avoid the
                 wall is to learn how to resolve conflict constructively and to have the courage to
                 tackle tough topics. If a wall is already up, one must have the courage to go back
                 through the conflict and work through the hurt and buried issues in order to get
                 back to the intimacy stage.
                      1) In order to accomplish this, most couples need guidelines and rules to
                          follow to enable them to feel SAFE.
                      2) That is the reason and the importance of the next lesson on "Rules for
                         Fighting Fair."
              B. Following these principles from the start can prevent the wall from forming and
                 keep the marriage strong. However, if the wall has been there for years, and
                 bitterness and animosity have crept in, then a third party counselor is necessary
                 to help the couple work through it!
                      1) It is painful and a bit scary, but it is well worth it and less painful than
                      2) After a couple comes through the crisis, they are often better off and closer
                         than they have ever been before! Just like what happens when a bone that
                         is broken heals properly.
              C. With Gods help, romantic love and deep feelings for each other can be restored
                 and maintained for mutual benefit.
Symptoms of spiritual divorce are indicators that a separation is developing and needs to be confronted through
dialogue. They are "signs" and are present at some time in every marriage. Take about 20 minutes a piece for each
to privately do this exercise then exchange your answers and discuss together. Do not allow fear to prevent you
from being open with your spouse.
   A. Read through all the symptoms. Which symptoms are currently present in your marriage? Place a
       check mark next to each one.
   B. Reread those that are checked. Decide on 2 or 3 you feel most strongly about right now.
   C. Write and describe your feelings about those 2 or 3. If time allows, continue on to the others checked.
 1. Prolonged moods of sadness in our marriage and in the family.
2. Feelings of disillusionment, boredom and emptiness.
 3. Dissatisfaction.
4. Indifference to each other's problems.
5. Occasions of coldness in our relationship.
 6. Avoiding or refusing sexual relationship.
7. No interest in things of the other. Lack of sensitivity.
8. Lack of kindness, tenderness, and small courtesies.
9. Failure to take time to think deeply.
10. Feelings of insecurity and of mutual distrust.
11. More confidence in a third person than with husband or wife.
 12. Lack of dialogue and intimate communication.
13. Most communication mechanical, routine and on the surface.
14. Feelings of being alone and not understood.
15. Frequent bad humor and tension.
16. Feeling used.
17. Frequent quarrels: in private, in front of the children; in front of others.
18. Ridicule of each other.
19. Superficial life and continuous escapes, together or alone, such as liquor, drugs, t.v., compulsive socializing.
20. Attitude of selfishness.
21. Insults, rude words and sarcasm.
22. Avoidance of situations that deeply need attention.
23. Personal relationship with God causing conflict.
24. Lack of appreciation of spouse.
25. Lack or loss of a sense of wonder.
26. Lack of faith in love and marriage.
27. Insensitive teasing.
28. Nagging.
29. Lack of planning things together.
                             SEVEN RULES FOR FIGHTING
                               THE GOOD CLEAN FIGHT
       A. Two ideas to remember about hostility:
              1. Accept it as a natural part of life--when you have motion (growth) you of necessity
                 have some friction.
              2. Since it is inevitable it makes sense to have some kind of agreement under which
                 you will agree to settle your differences.
       B. "Fights" should not be viewed as tragedies but as opportunities!
              1. Venting personal heart-felt frustrations through lips which have learned how to do it
                 can serve a wonderful purpose.
              2. It takes skill and self-control to turn potentially destructive squabbles into "fair fights"
                 that solve problems and produce positive results but it can be done.

I.   Rule #1 -- DO YOUR THING TO COOL OFF! (Eph. 4:26; Prov. 29:20; 29:8; 30:33; 17:27)
       A. Never be ashamed of anger-it is natural and not sinful. Only thing you need to regret is
           when you handle it badly.
       B. Since one is literally in a state of intoxication when one's "fuse is lit" it is best to reduce the
           emotional state before you begin a discussion.
               1. "There is more hope for a fool than a man of quick temper." (Prov. 29:20) “and a
                   wrathful man stirrith up contention." (Prov. 15:18).
                   MATTERS WORSE.
       C. Do your thing to cool off before discussing. (Suggestions):
                1. Go for a walk
               2. Engage in some physical activity
               3. Take a hot bath
               *4. Spend time alone in prayer-it will help to calm your spirit and see the situation more
       D. Afterwards one may decide to forget the whole thing (Prov. 17:9; 19:11) If not, proceed to
       Rule #2.

II. Rule #2 -- ARGUE WITH THE RIGHT PERSON (Prov. 3:30; 25:9)
        A. It is very important to express our frustration or anger towards the person we are really
            angry with and not some innocent party.
                 1. This is often done to avoid confrontation.
                 2. If you're angry with your spouse and don't express it you're apt to take it out on your
                     spouse or children.
        B. A definite DANGER SIGN is when your anger is all out of proportion to the actual offense

            1. This is called "Dumping"
            2. Dumping is cruel and allows the person to escape the real person or issue. It
             resolves nothing. Have the courage to "speak the truth in love" to the right party.
III. Rule #3- ARGUE ABOUT THE RIGHT THING (Prov. 15:7; 15:28)
        A. Many arguments are started and fought about the wrong subjects
              1. Ex. A husband may criticize his wife's housekeeping when the real problem is her
              2. We must be in touch with our own feelings and ask ourselves "Am I really
                   angry because of this or is it something else?"
        B. People often avoid real issues because of the risk involved.
              1. Fear of being embarrassed, laughed at, rejected, etc.
               2. One must not abuse each others feelings but instead love and trust each other
                   enough to allow for transparency.
IV. Rule #4~ARGUE AT THE RIGHT TIME (Eccl. 3:1-11; Prov. 25:8)
      A. Before you begin you must both agree the time is right.
      B. Here are some times not to argue:
             1. In front of company (in public)
             2. Limited time to discuss it (before leaving for party, church)
             3. When hungry or tired
             4. Right when spouse comes home from work
                     a. 80% of marital fights occur between 5-6 p.m.
                     b. A good rule of thumb is not to discuss problems until after dinner
       C. Before you argue make sure you know the bailiffs two questions.
             1. Is the defendant ready?
             2. Is the plaintiff ready?
V. Rule #5~DON'T BRING UP PAST FIGHTS (Prov. 17:9; Eph. 4:25)
     A. Some things that you must never forget while some things you must never remember.
           1. Once an argument is resolved it ought to be buried and never again to be resurrected.
           2. "He that harpeth on a matter separateth chief friends. "
     B. When you bring up items the spouse thought was resolved it breeds mistrust and a
        lack of confidence in the relationship.
VI. Rule #6--AVOID NAME CALLING (Prov. 14:22; 27:4)
       A. No excuse for hurling insults or profane names at loves ones
              1. Especially damaging to a relationship to abuse a couple's intimacy and resort to
                 "knife twisting."
             2. Thoughtless names (labels) puncture deep and are remembered for years.
      B. Three reasons Why Personal Verbal Assaults are so destructive:
              1. Throws argument off track
             2. Focuses attention on the mate rather than how to solve problem.
             3. It hurts the relationship and ruins mutual respect.

       C. Three Suggestions:
              1. Avoid attacking the person to justify yourself (Tackle the problem not just the
              person - Fix the problem instead of assigning blame)
              2. Lower your voice one octave instead of raising it two (Prov. 15:1)
              3. Avoid "You statements" and replace with "I statements" (Instead of ―You lazy
              bum" say "I feel you're not working as hard as you could.")
VII. Rule #7-AVOID "STAMP SAVING" (Prov. 10:18)
       A. Some save up grievances like saving stamps-waits until book is full to cash them in.
              1. One unloads in rapid succession other things during an argument over something
              2. Be sure you only discuss one argument at a time.
       B. Be sure you don't let things build up but instead foster the type of relationship where you
          can express frustrations, irritations, etc.
       C. Stamp saving is:
              1. Overwhelming to the poor mate who is bombarded with so much all at once.
              2. Disconcerting to the mate who finds out that true feelings weren't revealed earlier.
              3. Breeds distrust and a lack of confidence.
       D. The cure:
              1. Express your displeasure at the earliest convenient time or make up your mind to
                  forget it forever.
              2. If it is a recurring fault bring it up at the next time it occurs and not during an
                  argument about something else!
    A. Mature partners realize that differences are not wrong overall and can be worked out
        fairly, amiably, and lovingly.
    B. Both partners must be honest and not allow a wall of silence to come between them and
        drive them apart.
    C. Discuss these rules and apply them!
    D. Marriage run by God's principles can be a little bit of Paradise left to bless both man and
        woman in a sinful world.
    E. "Marriages are made in heaven but the maintenance contract must be maintained on the

                                         ADDITIONAL POINTERS:
      1. Have a happy disposition.
      2. Be sure that your solution is best for both and not just selfish.
      3. Take your share of the blame.
      4. Don't damage the ego.
      5. Compromise.
      6. Don't make demands or give ultimatums.
      7. Forgive and forget.
      8. Don't use unfair means of getting your way.
                             Commitment and Vows in Marriage
                            Refreshing and Re-instilling Marital Commitment
                             "Set me as a seal upon thy heart" (S of S 8:6)
              Revised and adapted from Dr. Clark Warren's "The Triumphant Marriage"
       A. First thing to realize is that we have not entered into a "marriage contract" but a "marriage
           1. A marriage is sacred. It is spiritual. Heavenly. Mt 19:6 a. "Holy triune not
               a human duet!!"
               b. If you break your vow to your mate-you may still have to keep your vow to God, "until
                    death do you part." The vow is "until death do you part, not until divorce do you part."
                    Reason why one may lose their right to remarry!
               c. Prov. 20:25 "It is a snare to a man to say rashly, 'It is holy' and then to later make
                    inquiry." (1/2 of all divorces occur within the first two years!)
           2. Difference between a Covenant and a Contract!
               a. Covenant based on trust—A Contract distrust!
               b. Covenant based on unlimited responsibility -a contract limited liability.
               c. Covenant is lifelong and not to be broken -a contract can be voided by mutual
       B. Do we have a problem with the keeping of vows and commitments today? Look at these
           scriptures that apply to the taking of vows:
           1. Gen 2:24 "Therefore shall a man leave ..and cleave."
                    a. Word = "Gluing to, clinging to something, grabbling hold onto with firmness."
                    b. Not holding hands = handcuffs.
           2. Matt 19:6 We have no right to untie the knot that which God has tied!!
           3. Eccl 5 :2-7
           4. Ps 15 4b Zion dweller - swears to his own hurt and changes not!!!
           5. Eph 5: 25 Love (Agape) your wives.
                    a. What is significant about agape?
                    b. It s an act of the will.
           6. Num 30:2
           7 I Samuel 1:11:21 Hannah vowed Samuel
           8. Judges 11:30: 39 Jephthah's rash vow
           9. Joshua 9:16-20
           10. NT. - Jesus - Matt 12: 36-37
               1. Consider the following quote about the nature of commitment:
"COMMITMENT ... is what transforms a promise into reality. It is the words that speak boldly of your
intentions. It is the actions that speak louder than words. It is making the time when there is none,
coming through time after time, year after year. Commitment is the stuff character is made of, the
power to change the face of things. It is the daily triumph of integrity over skepticism."

              2. "Marriage demands toughness, and toughness proceeds out of commitment. No marriage
                  will ever be stronger than the commitments that serves as its infrastructure."
                a. Most of the times those skills develop after the marriage
                b. What is it that gives couples the will power and determination to work
                   through rough spots?—their vows!! The foundation of willpower is a set of
                   marital promises!!
    D. Willpower is important because it is what gets a couple through while they are
       developing the skills.
           1. Willpower by itself will eventually become worn out.
           2. We don't want to be miserable and just "stick it out" but do so while we
              patiently are working to make things better!!
    E. We ask couples to say some hard hitting, heavy duty vows before they get married. So
       where do we go wrong?
          1. Treated superficially.....Preacher left to "perform the ceremony." Couple is so
              nervous they hardly think about or realize the significance.
                   a. Encourage couples to write their own vows and wedding ceremony..
                   b. Suggestion: Save the ceremony and go over it least once a year on
                       your wedding anniversary.
          2. It is important that what you have vowed to each other be kept current and fresh!
              It is so easy to forget.
         1. Usually, the vows seem less vital and are less passionately held as time passes.
         2. Sad...many only vaguely remember what they said: "Stick it out."
         3. The commitment should be active not passive!!
             Illus. Someone may stay in a marriage by being passive. They
                   don't leave, but don't do anything to make the marriage better
                   either. That is "sticking it out." Don't forget the positive radical part
                   of active commitment:
    "/ made these promises to you as long as we both are alive and there is no condition
    to my promises. If things really get bad, you can depend on me. I will never go out
    and find a substitute mate."

    A. We need informed consent when it comes to marriage. Young couples need premarital
       Biblical counseling to make sure they understand what they are promising to each other
       and what they can expect!!
    B. Those who are already married...need to recommit themselves to each other-after they
       have understood what the marital promises are all about. WE NEED A THOROUGH
         1. We need a "promise orientation" that is highly enlightened.
         2. The traditional vows- have six separate parts:

              A. I will love you as long as we both live (Kindness, sacrifice)
              B. I will cherish and honor you as long as we both live (Thoughtfulness,
              C. I will be to you what a husband or wife owes to their spouse. (Dedicated to
                  doing my part and meeting your needs)
              D. I will take you as you are (Acceptance)
                  E. I will forsake ail others - (Be Faithful!!)
                  F. I will do all these things - for better or worse, in sickness and in health -
                       (unconditionally serve and stay with you for as long we live.)
          3. WOW! What does that mean practically??
                  If we disagree, hurt each other, frustrate, disappoint each other, ....
                  If I think I don't get what I deserve....
                  I will express how I feel, but regardless of hardship, ...I will keep my vows!
          1. Marriage vows are usually spoken a single time., thus they have very little value in a
              marital crisis. Illus. Like a New Year's resolution—
          2. Dr. Clark Warren -Author of "The Triumphant Marriage" suggests a change in
              frequency of the marriage vows.
                  a. Instead of once in a life time-2 or 3 times a week - first 10 years and at least
                       once a week for the rest of the marriage.
                  b. This maintains the focus on the steel framework of the marriage,
                  c. Verbalized regularly over a long period of time it takes on tremendous power!!
                  d. HOW? Best way is to find a way that is natural, meaningful, and even fun!
                       BE CREATIVE!!
Sample: Sue and Jim - "I will love you when times are good or bad. I will cherish you even if I am
upset with you. I will honor you at all times. I will never be disloyal to you. And I mean this forever.
So help me God."         ______       •
          1. Didn't leave the house without saying this to each other.
          2. Jim even developed a tune..he would sing it to Sue.
          3. They had dramatic results
          4. Card from Jim: "Sue and I are supremely happy together. Everything changed when
              we began focusing on our promises to each other."
   D. What about you?
          1. The more each person can find new and creative ways to affirm their commitment the
          2. Recite it over and over so that when troubles come the brain will trigger new ideas on
              how to fulfill these vows!!
          3. Periodic rewrites of the commitment statement will make it even stronger -and living
              out the commitment-rather than just saying it-will wind its meaning around the
              bedrock of your soul!
                  A. I will love you as long as we both live (Kindness, sacrifice)
                  B. I will cherish and honor you as long as we both live (Thoughtfulness,
                  C. I will be to you what a husband or wife owes to their spouse. (Dedicated to
                       doing my part and meeting your needs)
                  D. I will take you as you are (Acceptance)
                  E. I will forsake ail others - (Be Faithful!!)
                  F. I will do all these things - for better or worse, in sickness and in health -
                       (unconditionally serve and stay with you for as long we live.)
          3. WOW! What does that mean practically??
                  If we disagree, hurt each other, frustrate, disappoint each other, ....
                  If I think I don't get what I deserve....
                  I will express how I feel, but regardless of hardship, ...I will keep my vows!
          1. Marriage vows are usually spoken a single time, thus they have very little value in a
              marital crisis. Illus. Like a New Year's resolution—
          2. Dr. Clark Warren -Author of "The Triumphant Marriage" suggests a change in
              frequency of the marriage vows.
                  a. Instead of once in a life time-2 or 3 times a week - first 10 years and at least
                       once a week for the rest of the marriage.
                  b. This maintains the focus on the steel framework of the marriage,
                  c. Verbalized regularly over a long period of time it takes on tremendous
                  d. HOW? Best way is to find a way that is natural, meaningful, and even fun!
                       BE CREATIVE!!
Sample: Sue and Jim - "I will love you when times are good or bad. I will cherish you even if I am
upset with you. I will honor you at all times. I will never be disloyal to you. And I mean this forever.
So help me God."
        1. Didn't leave the house without saying this to each other.
        2. Jim even developed a tune he would sing it to Sue.
        3. They had dramatic results
        4. Card from Jim: "Sue and I are supremely happy together. Everything changed when
            we began focusing on our promises to each other."
   D. What about you?
        1. The more each person can find new and creative ways to affirm their commitment
            the better.
        2. Recite it over and over so that when troubles come the brain will trigger new ideas
            on how to fulfill these vows!!
        3. Periodic rewrites of the commitment statement will make it even stronger -and living
            out the commitment-rather than just saying it-will wind its meaning around the
            bedrock of your soul!

             4. We are creatures of habit.
             5. Gives you maturity and steadiness in the midst of the thunder and lightening
                storms that will inevitably come your way!! Conclusion:
   A. Do your homework! Write your own concise summary of your vows.
   B. Your marriage will benefit dramatically from a simple exercise designed to help both
      partners clarify and articulate promises.
   C. Marriages do not come easily. Two people must be skillful and strong. They need to be
      tough. Strength and toughness come from reciting over and over and over: "/ will
      love you when times are good or bad. So help me God."
   Here is a sample of what Gail and I came up with after looking over our original ceremony and
      thinking about the basic most important needs that we each share.
                                     I PROMISE...(Him To Her)
      I promise I will do everything in my power to help you to get to heaven; to accept you and to
           remain loyal to you always.
      I promise to put you and our marriage second only to God; to be open and honest with
           you always as we strive for oneness.
      I promise I will cherish, honor, and support you in good times and bad; and strive to love you
           selflessly, like Christ loves the church; as I meet your deepest needs.
      I promise to pilot, provide, and protect you and our family; and to do these things
           unconditionally forever; so help me God!!

                                    I PROMISE... (Her To Him)
      I promise I will do everything in my power to help you get to heaven; to accept you and to
           remain loyal to you always.
      I promise to put you and our marriage second only to God; to be open and honest with
           you always as we strive for oneness.
      I promise to admire, honor, and obey you in good times and bad; and strive to be an excellent
           keeper at home and be sensitive to your deepest needs.
      I promise to love you and to do all these things unconditionally forever; so help me God!!

Based on the fact God has provided us with role-based relationships, I suggest you have different vows
which focus in on each role. For help, look at the handout of scriptures I have provided for you entitled:
"The Most Important Words about Husband and Wife."
           Refreshing and Reinstalling Marital Commitment
                          (Commitment and Vows in Marriage)
                                        WORKSHOP WORKSHEET:
Your marriage will benefit dramatically from this simple exercise designed to help both partners to clarify and
                            articulate the promises they have made to each other.

I. What do you remember most about your wedding vows from memory? Quickly brainstorm
together on a separate sheet of paper and see what you can piece together from memory.

II. What have you heard said by others that you liked? Reflect upon what you have come to understand is
vitally important to you and your marriage since you have gotten married, that could be added to a new
updated set of vows that you decide to commit to each other. Brainstorm together. Ask your mate for ideas
as to what is important to him or her.

III. Look over the six parts listed on the handout for the traditional marriage vows and use this as a guide to
help you reconstruct your vows. Can you put them in your own words that will have special meaning to you?

IV. Given the different roles that God gives the man and the woman in marriage. Look over the
handout, "The Most Important Words About Husband and Wife," and select from scripture some key
concepts that reflect your unique roles that God would have you to commit to each other.

V. Condense all this down into a brief list that you can both memorize and say to each other on a regular
basis!! Periodic rewrites of the commitment statement will make it stronger and more meaningful.

Congratulations—you have done it! Now write it out on a card and commit it to memory and say it to each
other regularly. You will crave and enjoy hearing your mate talk about the special kind of] love you both share
as you repeat your promises to each other. And let the kids over hear you say
it or say it in front of them—it will teach them valuable lessons about marriage!
                         The Most Important Words About
                                Husband & Wife
As therefore, God's picked representatives, purified and beloved, put on that nature which is
merciful in action, kindly in heart, humble in mind. Accept life, and be most patient and tolerant
with one another, always ready to forgive if you have a difference with anyone. Forgive as freely
as the Lord has forgiven you. And, above everything else, be truly loving, for love binds all the
virtues together in perfection. Let the peace of Christ guide all your decisions, for you were called
to live as one, united body; and always be thankful. Let the full richness of Christ's teaching find a
home among you...
                                    - Colossians 3:12-16a (Phillips)

Let all bitterness and indignation and wrath [passion, rage, bad temper] and resentment [anger
animosity] and quarreling [brawling, clamor, contention] and slander [evil speaking, abusive and
blasphemous language] be banished from you, with all malice [spite, ill will or baseness of any
                                     ~ Ephesians 4:31 (Amplified)

Wherefore, accept one another, just as Christ also accepted us to the glory of God.
                               ~ Romans 15:7 (New American Standard)

Be subject to one another ["fit in with"] each other] out of reverence for Christ. You WIVES must
leam to adapt yourselves to your husbands, as you submit yourselves to the Lord, for the husband
is the "head" of the wife in the same way that Christ is the head of the Church and savior to the
body. The willing subjection of the Church to Christ should be reproduced in the submission of
wives to their husbands in everything.
                                     - Ephesians 5:21 (Amplified)

In a similar way you wives should be submissive to your own husbands, so that if any of them will
not be persuaded by the message, they may without message be won over by the conduct of their
wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior.
                                    - 1 Peter 3:1,2 (New Berkeley)
...Let the wife see that she respects and reverences her husband - that she notices him, regards
him, honors him, prefers him, venerates him and esteems him; and that she defers to him, praises
him, and loves and admires him exceedingly.
                                    ~ Ephesians 5:33 (Amplified)


For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife;
and they shall become one flesh.
                                - Gen. 2:24 (New American Standards)

Consequently they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined
together, let no man separate.
                              ~ Matthew 19:6 (New American Standard)

Take heed then, to your spirit, and let no one deal treacherously against the wife of your
youth. "For I hate divorce," says the Lord...
                            ~ Malachi 2:15b, 16a (New American Standard)

The HUSBAND must give his wife the same sort of love that Christ gave to the Church,
when He sacrificed Himself for her...So men ought to give their wives the love they
naturally have for their own bodies. The love a man gives his wife is the extending of his
love for himself to enfold her. Nobody ever hated his own body; he feeds it and looks after
                                  ~ Ephesians 5:25,28,29a (Phillips)

...Let each man of you [without exception] love his wife [as being in a sense] his very own
                                    - Ephesians 5:33a (Amplified)

Husbands, love your wives - be affectionate and sympathetic with them -and do not be
harsh or bitter or resentful toward them.
                                    ~ Colossians 3:19 (Amplified)

...You husbands need to live understandingly with your wives as with a weaker vessel,
rendering them honor as joint heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your praying may
not be hindered.
                                     ~ 1 Peter 3:7 (New Berkeley)

Do two walk together, except they...have agreed?
                                           - Amos 3:3 (Amplified)

Two are better for one because they have a good return for their labor. For if wither of them falls,
the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him
                              - Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 (New American Standard)

So let us then definitely aim for and eagerly pursue what makes for harmony and for mutual
unbuilding [edification and development] of one another.
                                        ~ Romans 14:19 (Amplified)

...Being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in Intent on one purpose. Do nothing
from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard the other as
more important than himself; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for
the interests of others.
                               ~ Philippians 2:2-4 (New American Standard)

Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy; it is
not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily, it is not conceited - arrogant and
inflated with pride; it is not rude [unmannerly], and does not act unbecomingly. Love [God's love in
us] does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; It is not touchy or
fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it - pays no attention to a suffered wrong.
It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail. Love
bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every
person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances and it endures everything [without
weakening]. Love never fails - never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end... And so
faith, hope, love abide; [faith, conviction and belief respecting man's relation to God and divine
things; hope, joyful and confident expectation or eternal salvation; love, true affection for God and
man, growing out of God's love for us and in us], these three, but the greatest of these is love.
                                   ~ 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a, 13 (Amplified)

Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
                               ~ 1 Corinthians 10:31 (New American Standard)
                           GIVE HONOR TO THE WOMAN
                                                    I Peter 3:7

    A. God commands us to "not trust in uncertain riches but in the living God who gives us all things
       richly to enjoy."(I Tim 6:17)
           1. God wants us to enjoy life and find pleasure from obeying Him and His will.
           2. Paul commands us To rejoice always, again I say rejoice! (Phil 4:4)
    B. Unfortunately, many Christians have great difficulties being joyful. They suffer from depression
       and low self-esteem and discouragement for a variety of reasons.
           1. This indicates trouble ahead! Self-deprecation is not a good thing. Feeling low is not a
               sign of humility or deep spirituality as some think.
           2. Illus. It is like a red light going off on the dashboard of a car when you are on a dark
               lonely highway. You better find out what the trouble is as soon as possible!
                    a. There is great danger when one feels worthless!
                    b. Both genders are vulnerable to extreme solutions
                              1) Everyone tends to erect barriers instead of bridges to the people they love
                                 the most when they feel low. You tend to be irritable and sometimes
                              2) A woman in a marriage where she does not feel esteemed is an affair
                                 waiting to happen.
                              3) A man in a marriage where he does not feel admired will find himself
                                 vulnerable to an affair also.
    C. Feelings of low self-esteem and inadequacy are more common than most realize.
           1. If you feel this way, you are not alone.
           2. George Bernard Shaw said, 'If the truth were known, we all live lives of quiet
    D. Biblically-what does God say about this?
           1. God wants you to know your value, your place, what your worth is! We are not talking
               pride or vanity but a correct healthy attitude towards self.
           2. How does the Bible define the balance? Rom. 12:3 "You should not think of yourself
               more highly than you ought to think!" There is a way you ought to think."
           3. Self-esteem is not self-importance, or self-exaltation but an awareness of your
               value, worth, and purpose in life!
           4. God has placed a value on us all.
                   a. Heb 2:6-8 Describes mankind as the crown of His creation " made just a little
                         lower than the angels."
                   b. God has stamped "His own image deep within our hearts." He has a high value
                         and picture of you.
                   c. Doesn't it follow you should have the same image of yourself?
    E. Thesis: Let's look together at the causes of poor self-esteem, specifically why females often
       have self-esteem problems, and then finally look at some solutions.

         A. Sin which causes a guilty conscience
              1. When you are living ways you know you "ought not"-you don't like yourself.
              2. David felt that it brought "a rottenness to his bones."
              3. It will make you weary and tired and old!
              4. If you ask yourself the questions, "Do I like myself? And the answer is "no." The
                  first question you need to ask is "Am I living the way I ought?"
       B. Selfishness is another cause of poor self-esteem
              1. Young people especially are self-centered and focus on themselves too much.
              2. You cannot think about yourself all the time and like yourself!
              3. Jesus told us, "You gain your life by losing it."
              4. But what if the first two causes are not the culprit?
       C. Unique gender needs
              1. Male - "Failure in reaching goals"
              2. Female - "Feedback from the closest circle of family and friends in the last few
                       a. Males need to memorize this. It is logical and explains so much of the
                           mystery of females to males.
                       b. The next time a woman in your life seems irritable, upset, or moody-ask
                           yourself:" Have I or someone else in the family, or friends, or work said
                           something to put her down in the last few days?"
                       c. This will help you to understand a woman's mood shifts better.
                       d. A man has a harder time bouncing back once he hits bottom than a
                           woman, but it tends to go down gradually over time. Many men have to
                           reflect back on the lowest periods of their lives just to understand how a
                           woman can feel in a few hours.
    Peter 3:7!
       A. Two basic points from I Peter 3:7
               1. Husbands are to be understanding and sympathetic to their wife.
               2. Husbands need to demonstrate that they honor their wife.
       B. If these two things are done it would solve the basic problem involved in female self-
           esteem. With rare exception, if the wife is unhappy, it is because the husband has failed
           in his role to property honor and respect her so she feels good about who she is!!
       C. Some feminists are offended by I Peter 3:6 where the wife is to ―call her husband
           Lord." The idea is to show deep respect and put him on a pedestal.
               1. Please notice the ―Likewise‖ in I Peter 3:7. It is to be a mutual admiration society.
                   The husband is also to esteem and took up to his wife!
               2. Yes there are rules about authority, headship, and submission, but there are rules
                   about ones attitude that are to serve as the underpinnings of a husband's
               3. Ideally, both are to feel like they got better than they each deserve.
       D. The phrase "Dwell with them according to knowledge" (vs 7) simply refers to the need to
           develop a sympathetic spirit. They need to ―live considerately," "in an understanding
              1. Gary Smalley says: "Men are like buffalos and women are like butterflies." So
                  emotionally the man needs to be careful he doesn't run over his wife."
              2. Illus. The wife is hurt and in need of comfort, but instead the husband simply puts her
                  down for "being too sensitive." The Bible says to husbands, "as you assert your
                  authority, do so in an understanding way."
              3. Work to be sympathetic and understanding husbands! If she is hurting, she needs
                  your shoulder at the moment, not your mouth. Answer feeling with feeling, not
                  feeling with fact!!
           E. The phrase "Give honor unto the wife as the weaker vessel."(vs 7) is critical.
              1. Needs to be a constant effort. Her sense of who and what she is is a constantly
                  evaporating awareness. She loses it a few days if it is not reinforced.
              2. You can't be like the husband who said, "Honey, I told you when I married you I
                  loved you, and if I change my mind I will let you know!!"
              3. How is the woman "weaker" or more fragile?
                       a. I believe this has to do with her being emotionally more sensitive and intuitive
                           than the male. This is a strength and enables the woman to carry out her God
                           given roles,
                       b. Consider Genesis 2:7 - God "formed" the man from dust This is the word used
                           for forming clay pots and utensils in Scripture. In contrast, the woman was
                           "fashioned." This is an artistic term used later of the skilled craftsmen who
                           "fashioned* the intricate items in the temple.
                       c. What vessels do you set up in the hutch with lights and honor? The ones that
                           fragile or strong? You honor the most precious and delicate pieces! You have
                           never seen an iron skillet in a curio cabinet!
       F. The phrase "Heirs together of the grace oflife." (I Peter 3:7) may simply have reference to
           the happy home and marriage that God wanted us to have, rather than just salvation.
              1. If your home is turmoil and the wife is unhappy you have little "grace."
              2. Best way to change the tone and lessen the tension is for the husband to honor the
              3. If this happens the attitude will be right and their "prayers will not be hindered."
       A. Tell her often how much you love and appreciate her! Be specific and be creative!
              1. Make her feel valued and special every day if possible, not just on her birthday or
                  "Mother's day." Be specific. "Our kids are sure blessed to have a mother like you.
                  You take such good care of them!"
              2. Illus. Honey, "do you like my dress?" Good answer. That dress isn't half as good
                  looking as you are!" An even better answer "That dress is beautiful, but I like what is
                  it a whole better than the dress itself."
       B. Tell others!!
                   1. In the company of friends. "This is my wife. She's all mine." What you told her
                   three weeks ago is gone now. She needs continual positive reinforcement.
              2 Husband, tell your mother-in-law how much you appreciate her. Be lavish in
                  your praise. When your wife hears from her what you said, she will feel
                  especially honored by the "sideways compliments!"
              3. Some women only survive because of what some females tell them about how
                  valued they are. Others survive only because their boss at work or "the pay
                  check" makes them feel valued. Some go to work for this reason. God wants this
                  honor and esteem to come from the husband!!
              4. The Song of Solomon and the verbal intimacy there sets an important pattern
                  as to the kind of things the husband is supposed to do!!
      C. Change your attitude towards her if you need to!
              1 If you think your wife, "can't handle it" or is "not with if or "a space cadet," it
                  will be extremely difficult to honor her!!
              2. Be especially careful of sarcastic put downs! Give her the benefit of the doubt.
                  She's not nosey-just inquisitive!!
              3. Watch your language. Don’t bark orders at her. James Dobson says: "A man
                  may call his wife or daughter stupid or dumb and not mean it. The sad part is, a
                  woman accepts and believes what their husbands and fathers tell them."
              4. Watch the non-verbal!
                      a. If you roll your eyes at her, or worse in front of others, you wound her
                      b. Be considerate. Chivalry ought not to be dead!! Little considerate acts
                          say, "You are valuable, you're important, you mean something to
              5. Gifts are important.
                      a. The little things mean a lot!
                      b. The price is not important but the message behind the gift!
                      c. Make sure you buy her what she wants and not what you want, or want her
                          to have!
              6. Watch comparisons!
                      a. Don't compare her unfavorably to your mother or first wife. Accept and love
                          her as she is!!
                      b. If you are always bragging on other women she will be thinking, "What
                          about me?"
                      c. Be careful not to make her feel, "Taken for granted!"
      A. Husbands feel like a lesson like this is "one sided." The lesson is for the woman this time
          and not the reverse. However, the woman as "the helper suitable" is literally "the answer
          to" the man. She is built to be a responded
      B. If you honor her and love her the way she needs to be loved she will respond! God built
          the woman that way!!
      C. Remember In order to get along with all the special women in your wife, both males and
          females need to remember much of her self-esteem is based on "The positive feedback
          she received from the closest circle of friends in the last few weeks."
                  The Gift of Submission: What it is and is not
                  "Wives: Be in Subjection to Your Husbands in Everything"
                                         Ephesians 5:22-24

I. Introduction

      A. A major foundation lesson of the family series has always been "Honor the Woman."
         Premise: Since she is "the responder" or "answering to" the man, my contention has
         always been if the husband will love his wife with agape love - she will respond by
         meeting his needs and giving of herself to him.

      B. I confess to you that I think I have been too one-sided and overly simplistic.
         Today's society needs to deal just as much with attitudes of the women towards
         men 'as with men towards women.
            1. Even Christian women have been so influenced by our culture that they do not
                know what a "meek and quiet spirit," is not what being "in subjection to your
                husbands even as you are unto the lord in everything" involves. (I Pet. 3:4, Eph.
            2. It is puzzling to me because subjection is not substantively different in marriage
                than it is in other areas. It is not unique to marriage. Why do we have so much
                trouble grasping what it means in the marriage relationship?

      C. One of the reasons why we have trouble with this simple concept is that we have
         been infected by our feminist politically correct culture which has thrown out the
         Biblical pattern.
            1. 1970's - "A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle."
            2. 1993 - NOW - "A woman needs a man like a fish needs a net."
            3. 1990's - Bumper stickers - "A woman's place is in control."
            4. Plaque in many homes - "The sentiments expressed by the man of the house
                are not necessarily those of the management."
            5. Joke: "I know my wife is in subjection and she told me I could say so."

       D. THESIS: This simple lesson today gets at the heart of many relationships, not the least
          of which is our relationship with the Lord. The essence of being a Christian is Jesus'
          statement: "Not my will but thine be done."


      A. Ed Wheat - "The key to a successful marriage is: the husband must be 100% committed
      to loving his wife and the wife must be 100% committed to being submissive." He explains
      the dynamic this way: "As the husband loves his wife, she is going to be more submissive
      to him. As the wife submits to her husband, his love for her will surely grow. "What kind of
      love is a husband to bring to his wife? It is a strong, stable, mental attitude, always seeking
      nothing but the highest good for the one he loves. It is a love expressed in word and actions
      which motivate the one being loved to give of herself in return."
B. What does it mean for a wife to be in submission to her husband?
      1. The word submit comes from a military term which actually means to do an assigned job
          in an assigned way. A responsive and receptive wife, therefore, willingly demonstrates
          that she surrenders her freedom for his love, adoration, protection, and provision. Her
          response to his love should lead to an eagerness to meet her husband's needs even
          before he asks.
      2. It is an attitude of willing adaptation to that which God is leading her husband to do.
      3. Submissiveness is the most important gift a wife can give her husband. We know
          submission has to be a gift from her to him because it is contrary to all natural
          tendencies, just as agape (sacrificial love) is a gift from him to her that is also against
          natural tendencies. However, as both are given, it releases a supernatural flow of love
          between the husband and wife." Both are specially blessed and mutually satisfied as
          God intended.
C. Most marriage problems among Christians come from spiritual problems where husband and/or wife
   are not fulfilling their God-given role. One of these three things is true.
      1. The man is not properly loving his wife. (The number one complaint women have about
          men is that they are selfish.)
      2. The wife is not being submissive to her husband. (The number one complaint men have
          about women is that they nag.)
      3. The key is that both need to concentrate on doing their job well and not make it their job
          to act like a parent nor constantly complain about how the other is not doing their job.
               a. However, it is in order to give the husband or wife feedback,
               b. That feedback will backfire however, if you try to force the other party,
               c. Marriage partners need to be serious about giving the gifts of love and submission as a
                    matter of conscience. This empowers them to submit even when the feeling is absent
                    and avoids bitterness and resentment.
D. We must understand the dynamics of a marriage the way God designed it to thrive and
   prosper and not view any of these in isolation.
      1. When God tells the husband to do something, it is because it fulfills some need in the wife. It
          is not one-sided. There are interrelationships that need to be understood.
      2. Eph 5:22-24 - "Wives, be in subjection unto your husbands, as unto the Lord. For the
          husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, being himself
          the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives also be to
          their husbands in everything."
               a. Be careful. It does not say: "Submit when they act like the Lord."
               b. "Let the wives be subject to their husbands in everything." This is a tall order with
                    no loopholes.
                       1) Similar to "children obey your parents in the lord.."
                       2) As long as parents don't tell their children to sin, they need to do what their
                           parents say and submit as Jesus did to Joseph and Mary.
                       3) Women say: "What if I don't agree? Or what if I think he is making a terrible
                           mistake, or what if I know better?" The text is clear, "Submit to your
                           husband in everything in matters of judgment."
       3. It is good for every husband to memorize and focus on Eph 5:25 and for the wife to memorize
            and focus in on Eph 5:22-24. "Be in subjection to your husband as you are to the Lord and to
            .do so as Christ is subject to the church in everything."
       4. A man's deepest need as a man is to be respected. (When a woman submits, the man feels
                a. A man who does not feel admired by his wife will not be happy in the marriage or
                     function at his full potential. That is why the command of Eph. 5:33 "And the wife see
                     that she reverence her husband."
                b. Greek definition: "The wife is to respect, admire, enjoy, fear or be in awe of, defer to,
                     revere, adore, be devoted to, esteem, praise, and deeply love her husband." This is
                     her job and the Bible indicates she will be personally benefited as she does it.
                c. If the wife does not trust and respect her husband, it is devastating to him and finally to
                     the marriage.

       "The greatest grief of love is not to be believed. But if she is able to look at her husband with eyes of
       reverence, he becomes a king among men!"

       5. The deepest need a woman has is to feel loved and cherished. She needs to be honored and
           given a special place of privilege and preciousness. (Eph 5,1 Peter 3:7 ) That is the
           atmosphere in which she blossoms and functions best.
               a. Wives, isn't it true you can put up with a lot as long as you know you are loved and feel
                    loved by your husband? Isn't it easier to submit to someone you know loves you?
               b. Many men have second-rate wives because they treat them in a second-rate manner.
                    Therefore, they never gain the real princess they would like to be married to.
               c. In many ways the wife is a reflection of her husband.
       6. That is why God tells the man to love and cherish his wife as his own body. The wife needs it!!
           That is why God tells the wife to submit to her husband - nothing makes a man feel more
           respected than when his wife is lovingly and cheerfully submissive to him. He desperately needs
           that to fulfill his potential as a man!!

E. God is a God of peace and not confusion and He works through lines of authority because he loves
   us and he knows what is best for us.

F. In order to understand why God commands us to be submissive, let's review the story of Adam and
        1. Some think Eve's first sin was eating the fruit. No, it was thinking she had a better idea than
             God. The root of her sin was her reasons for eating and doing the opposite of what God said.
        2. In marital conflict, a major problem is that the wife thinks she knows better than her husband,
             (just like teenagers think they know better than their parents). Even if the wife does know
             better, the husband must make the final decision. His doing so will make for a peaceful
             solution rather than constant conflict.
        3. I Tim 2:11-14 tells us that Adam sinned knowingly, willingly, while Eve was
             deceived and convinced herself that she was doing right. Is that not worse?
                    a. Adam's first willful sin was to eat simply because he was asked to by Eve.
                        His second sin was to blame his wife and not take responsibility for his
                    b. In marital conflicts today, men still frequently struggle with shifting blame
                        onto the wife.
                    c. Why did God make man the head of the house? Was it not to force him to be
                        mature and accept his responsibilities?
                            1) God is saying the buck stops here, buddy. No more blaming the wife.
                            2) When a woman rebels against her husband and puts her foot down, she
                                gives him an excuse to avoid responsibility. She becomes more his mother
                                than his adult lover.
             4. Does that mean I have to do everything he tells me? Yes, as long as it is not sinful.


     A. It is not being a door mat or a mindless servant.
              1. A woman has the right of appeal.
                      a. Esther came in to the King and risked her life to ask that the king reconsider a
                         decision he had made based upon some information she needed to share with him
                      b. She was respectful and he listened. But it was simply a request, not a demand or
                         defiance. God moved the King's heart to listen.
             2. Wives, according to Eph. 4:15, you have an obligation to speak the truth and point out sin.
                     a. If he tells you to sin - to engage in a lustful dance in public - like Vashti, refuse.
                         You might respectfully say, "I submit to you because that is what my Lord tells me
                         to do. However, in this case you are asking me to contradict my conscience and
                         violate His higher law. I can't do that." (In essence, she is saying the Lord is her
                         ultimate authority).
                     b. What if he is doing something sinful? Tell him why what he has done is sinful and
                         how deeply offended you are by that sin. Then tell him how concerned you are for
                             1) After you have clearly expressed why you think something is wrong, pray
                                 that God will touch his heart and haunt him with the truth of what you
                                 have said.
                             2) Don't become like a dripping faucet.
                             3) You can and should confront tyranny in love as did Jesus.
                             4) The pattern of Matt. 18:15 applies to fellow Christians and is appropriately
                                 applied between and husband and wife who are also brother and sister.
                             5) Do not stay in a relationship if there is physical abuse or one is fearful for
                                 their safety. Early Christians were not masochists; they fled the Roman
                                 authorities who persecuted them. However, physical abuse is not grounds
                                 for divorce and the ultimate goal is reconciliation. (I Cor. 7: 11 ) Based
                                 upon I Cor 7:5, long time voluntary separation is not an option unless
                                 physical abuse issues cannot be resolved
              3. Wives, you have an obligation to give your husband your best thinking. (A husband is a
                  fool who doesn't solicit counsel).
                      a. True oneness comes from sharing your mind, your body, your soul, and emotions.
                      b. Do not give him "a piece of your mind" but give him your best thinking. Otherwise
                         you are cheating him out of important insight he needs from you. (I Peter 3:7)
           c. However, after you have:
                  1) Determined that sin is not involved -
                  2) Given him your best thinking in a good discussion -
                  3) Exercised the right of appeal, as did Esther - If the answer is still not what
                     you prefer, then submit.
           d. Not because I say so, but because Eph 5:22-24 says so.
                  1) Not because your husband is always right, but because God says so.
                  2) Not because your husband is smarter or superior, but because of Rom.
                  3) God made man the head of the house. He who rebels against one of God's
                     authorities is rebelling against God!
                         a. You're not just telling your husband "no". You are telling God
                             "no"! That is open defiance!
                         b. Going head to head with God is a very serious thing to do.(Heb 12:29)

B. It is not teaching a woman to trust in her husband but to trust in God as he works through lines
    of authority. One might ask - how can God command me to submit when He doesn't know my

   1. Some women have good husbands, others don't.
         a. God planned it this way because He knew He would be directly involved through
            His lines of authority.
         b. Even Jesus submitted to lines of authority. He said many times, "Not my will but
            thine be done."
                1) He stood before Pilate and was passive. "Don't you know I have the power
                    of life and death over you? Jesus said, you would have no power if it was
                    not given to you from above." John 19:11
                2) You may think you are boss. You are not! God is boss.
                3) The same thing is true of the husband/wife relationship. Ultimately God is
                    in control.
   2 How does this work in the lives of Christian women today? Here are three practical steps:
           a, When making a decision, go off and pray and plead your case to God. Ask God to
               move and work in your husband's heart so that he can make the best decision.
           b .Go to your husband and tell him you are praying for God to give wisdom. Let him
               realize that he is God's authority in the home.
           c. Tell him you will submit cheerfully to his decision even as you submit to the Lord.
               That forces him to be mature and face up to responsibility.
    3. When you submit to your husband, you are not trusting in your husband, you are trusting
       in God. When you do His will and submit to your husband you can be confident there will
       be a blessing in it.
   4. Submitting to lines of authority is difficult because it is not in the American spirit!
          a. The Baptist's reaffirmed God's plan for submission in June '98 and it caused a
          national uproar.
           b. Your children need to see how you subject to lines of authority so they will have
               modeled before them how to handle similar battles of will in their life!
          c. You can be a strong-willed and very persuasive woman, yet when you need to be,
              you can be submissive.
C. God's law of submission is not void if your husband is not a Christian.
   1. God works through lines of authority, even if the individuals are not Godly.
          a. What if my husband is not a Christian9 He is still your husband. It doesn't say,
              "Submit to your husband as long as he follows Jesus," but "Submit to your
              husband as .yaw submit to the Lord Jesus."
          b. Consider Jn 11:49-52. The High Priest was not a Godly man, but appointed by the
              Romans as a political crony. Nevertheless, God used Him to carry out His will
              and bring Christ to the cross to atone for the sins of man.
          c. Consider how Jesus blasted the Pharisees as hypocrites. Yet He said, "Because they
              occupy Moses‘ seat, do what they say, but do not do what they do!!" (Matt 23:2)
          d. Moses went to Pharaoh and asked permission for the children of Israel to go. God
              was behind Him, why did he ask permission? God had a purpose that he worked
              through Pharaoh. "The whole world would know that he is God and he would
              execute judgments against Egypt." Ex 7:4-5 The plagues attacked the entire
              religious system of Egypt.
D. God's law of submission cannot be forced.
   1. No one can force you to be submissive, not even your husband.
          a. He might grab your arm and twist it until you agree to do what he says, but it's
              like leading a horse to water - you can't make him drink. When you stop the
              force, the incident is over and does not end with the two parties cooperating.
          b. Stephen Covey says, "You can hire a man's back and his hands, but he has to
              volunteer his head and heart, which is the enthusiasm and the creativity you need
              for a truly productive employee." This is also true in marriage. Love and
              submission is a gift each gives to the other. This gift cannot be forced or it will
              damage the relationship!
   2. Someone can oppress you but no one can make you be submissive because submission
       comes from the heart. Husbands and wives are to give their hearts to each other until
          a. Submission is more than just going along. It is making the relationship work even
              if it is something you disagree on.
          b. Submission is not rubbing it in later and saying "I told you so" after it turns out you
              were right and your husband was mistaken.
          c. Submission is realizing that your husband's responsibility to be the head of the
              house is not always easy, just as the wife's responsibility to be submissive is not
              always easy
   A. We have looked at what submission is, what it is not, and given some practical
   B. May we all have the faith to follow God's pattern for the family and not follow the
       worldly standards that are all around us.
   C. May we realize that when Christians have marital problems, it is an indication of spiritual
      problems which point to deeper issues. May we have the courage to deal with them and
      not ignore them so that God is glorified and we all receive the blessings God intended for
      His children to enjoy.
             How to Take Past Failures and Turn them into Present Successes

In the early 1700s two men developed distinct reputations for themselves -- one was
Jonathan Edwards, a man or-integrity, refinement and Christian character, and the other was
Max Duke, a well known criminal. During the last two hundred years their descendants have
been traced. In Jonathan Edwards line of descendants are 13 college presidents, 200
preachers, 60 prominent leaders, 90 physicians, 32 authors, 6 professors and 300 farmers.
On the other hand, Max Duke’s descendants include 90 prostitutes, 100 criminals, 145
confirmed drunkards, 300 delinquents, and 285 who contracted various evil social diseases.
A. Jonathan Edwards/ Max Duke Comparison—
        I. Amazing the effect
        2 The 10 Commandments --Ex 20:4-5
B. The easiest course is to simply blend in BUT we are free moral agents
        1. We can replicate (repeat)
       2. When we consciously choose not to - Repudiate
       3. Important for us to understand and to be responsible to make the right
C. THESIS: I. Replication – powerful!
              II. Repudiation--pitfalls
                                                                                   : '
             III. Responsibility- the key!
       A. Background and Overview:
              1. Each of us have two families:
                       a. Orientation
                       b. Outcome
              2. How we respond to a determines b
                       a. Replicate - to repeat
                       b. Repudiate - to Change
       B. Replication is the most powerful
              1. It is easier to replicate / repeat what you are used to than to change.
       C. So powerful — We often repeat even if we hated it growing up!
              1. Rom 7: 19 Struggle: "For the good which I would, I do not: but the
                  evil which I would not, that I practice."
                  Illus. Divorce is contagious
                  Illus. Child abuse-
              2. Illus. Abraham- lied (half truth) & Isaac & Rebecca / Jacob & Esau
              3. Amazing what comfort we find in familiarity - even if it was painful.
     D. Children of Israel-come out of Egypt
              1. Ex 1:11; 13-14 - Bitter bondage
              2. Wanted to return-why? Num 11:5
              3. Their fixation on the past destroyed the possibility of a better tomorrow
       RAISED. Small wonder Eccl 7:11 "Wisdom is good for an Inheritance..." Prov
       "More to be desired than fine gold."
 II. REPUDIATION- to rebel & change
       A. ―We are all affected by our past, but we are not prisoners of it.‖
              1. Heart of repentance! Acts 26:20 says, "Repent and turn to God,
                   doing works worthy of repentance."
              2. Overcoming sinful habits is not easy! BUT IT IS A MATTER OF
       B. The major pitfall is the tendency to overreact (extremes)
               1. Illus. Discipline in Corinth
              2. Illus. Parenting styles - Zigzag
              3. Illus. Children of Israel
                    a. 1st gen. Joshua-zealous
                    b. 2nd gen. apathetic
                    c. 3rd generation rebellious.
                Judges 2:12 -"forsook Jehovah"
                Illus. A decision to be independent of parents by repudiating everything
              4. Another DANGER-tendency to become intolerant and lack
       A. Learn from past- make choices and NOT MAKE EXCUSES!
               1. Adam and Eve-first sin!
              2. Illus. Lorena Bobbitt-not justice but vengeance!!
              3. Psychological stress\abuse-excuse!
       B. Don't Blame Your Parents!
               1. Ezekiel 18:2-4 "Father's have eaten sour grapes and the children's
                       teeth are set on edge" NO MORE!
              2. God has never accepted this as an excuse for disobedience.
              3. We need to stop asking, "When did it start? And start asking, why do
              I keep
              doing it?
       C. What makes a man great? Consider HEZEKIAH
              1. Father – Ahaz - very wicked king.
              2. Son – Manasseh - the most wicked
              3. His own right choice! He repudiated his father's wickedness and did
              what was right-in spite of the odds against him.
       A. Replicate the good\Repudiate the bad
       C. Repent and turn to the right! With God's help you can be a Hezekiah
       D. II Cor 5:10.
                            DON'T BLAME YOUR PARFNTS

       The unsuccessful, the unhappy at various periods in history have blamed their plight on various things
  - fate, the gods, demons, innate cussedness, or heredity. Today it is the fashion to hold one's parents
  accountable for every flaw, from plain laziness to mental illness: "I can't save money because my
  parents never taught me economy." "I'm a hypochondriac because my mother fussed so much about
  my health when I was little." "In childhood I wasn't permitted to think for myself."
       A woman I know actually blamed her parents for her unattractive appearance. Asked why she didn't
 wave her hair, powder her nose, or occasionally get a new hat, she answered plaintively, "When I was
 a child Mother always told me I wasn't good looking." It did not occur to her that as an adult it was up
 to her, and nobody else, to make the most of her looks.
       The current notion is that little children are emotionally fragile, that you can wreck a child's whole
 future by loving him too little or too much, by teaching him the facts of life too late or too soon, by being
 too strict or too indulgent. Such half-baked misinterpretations of the importance of the formative years
 ignore the fact that most human beings are blessed with an inner strength. Actually the average child
 is as tough psychologically as he is physically. Just as the body repels germs and viruses, so has the
 mind similar immunities and resistances to the unwise or unkind doing of parents,
       History is full of examples of men and women who had unhappy childhoods and yet made a success
of their lives. John Stuart Mill became a great philosopher and led a harmonious married life despite a
father who never praised him, never allowed him to associate with other children, and relentlessly forced
him to study night after night. Beethoven's ne'er-do-well father drove and exploited him shamelessly.
Florence Nightingale's parents hemmed her in by all the restrictions that went with Victorian gentility, and
bitterly opposed her going into nursing.
      Ordinary mortals likewise have the capacity to build worthwhile lives despite a past full of
psychological handicaps. I do not deny that "parental rejection" or "over domination" may genuinely
handicap some individuals. But a human being is not a machine that once set rolling in the wrong
direction is unable to change its course. The essence of maturity or "adjustment" is to make the most
of yourself with whatever you have, which includes your physique, your mental endowments, your social
opportunities, and your parents.
      Almost daily in my practice I see patients who blame their failure to meet life on their parents instead
of on themselves. A fearful, immature spinster wept that she "couldn't leave Mother." Yet her mother
told me: "Doctor, I wish to goodness you'd help her, so that she'd go and get married." Nothing tied this
woman to her mother's apron strings but knots of her own making.
      "No wonder I'm the way I am," a seriously depressed man said to me. "Look!" He pulled from his
pocket a yellowed newspaper clipping that told of his parents' double suicide twenty years before. He
admitted that he had carried the clipping all those years. The heart of his problem was not the shocking
memory but his compulsion to dwell on it.
      Contrary to popular notion, mental illness or neuroticism is not caused by an event but by the way
a person reacts to it. A disturbing incident is only the match which sets off the firecracker; it's the gun-
powder within the cracker which actually causes the explosion. It is good old-fashioned character - a
compound of inherited tendencies and our ability to tolerate disappointments - that determines whether
we withstand childhood tragedies or whether they down us all our lives.
       If it were true that what happens during childhood fixes us once and for all, everybody would be
  neurotic. Certain events in childhood are genuinely upsetting, among them weaning, and a new baby
  in the family. But the normal individual outgrows his baby shoes.
        The great majority of normal, healthy-minded youngsters manage, without special help, to cope
 matter-of-factly with their parents' antics. Just try to spoil a child who has such innate common sense
 that he doesn't need or want to be spoiled! Or try to dominate the average three-year-old. Children who
 do not have the neurotic need to be dependent will not be dominated. Maybe they react with
 tantrums. Maybe they argue. Maybe they are sullenly silent. But whatever the technique for maintaining
 their integrity, "Momism" won't and can't wreck them.
        The psychiatrist's job does not consist - as many of my patients think —of breaking apart a person's
 past so that he can lay his failings, weaknesses and peculiarities right at his parents' door. AH that a
 psychiatrist can do is to lead the patient to face the truth about his own wish to be dominated or sheltered
 or what not, and help him take a stand by himself. Once that point is reached, his past life matters very
 little. As Dr. Franz Alexander, distinguished Chicago Psychoanalyst put it, ―The patient is suffering not
 so much from memories as from the incapacity to deal with the actual problems of the moment."
       A single experience in adult life can so change human beings that it is sheer nonsense to maintain
 that their natures were immutably determined years before by what their parents said or did to them. A
 short illness turned St. Francis of Assisi from a frivolous, extravagant young man into a devout ascetic.
 Gay young blades marry and become serious and responsible husbands; gadabout young wives turn into
 settled stay-at-homes after the birth of a baby. The human organism is a going, changing concern, with
 the motives of the present its propelling force.
       Too many of us with shortcomings are interested in asking, "How did it start?" Too few ask
themselves, "Why do I keep it up"? A person must first make the frank self-admission, "I am worrisome -
- or thriftless, or hypochondriac, or irresponsible - because it suits some purpose of my own to be that
      The cliché ―There are no problem children, only problem parents" is as extreme and fallacious a
swing of the pendulum as the idea that all children were imps of Satan. Even a little child can be
responsible for his own bad upbringing, for it takes two to make an emotional bargain. When a father
it too authoritarian it may well be that he is so because the child craves
being bossed. When a mother prolongs treating Junior like a baby it may be because she responds to
his own need for protection. Children are not mere lumps of clay which adults mold. In the parent-child
relationship, as in marriage, one personality modifies and plays upon another.
      Parents can set the stage for the drama of their children's lives. They can supply inspiring or
uninspiring examples of conduct which will influence basic mental, physical, and spiritual growth. But
acceptance or rejection of the background they give is a matter of the child's individual character.

               by Jacob H. Conn, M.D. Assistant Professor of Psychiatry,
               John Hopkins University Medical School.



         A. "Good families are good for the same reasons." Tolstoy
         B. Helpful to compare ourselves with those families that by their own admission
            and the evaluation of others are a success.
         C. A social scientist - Stinnet - studied successful families and wrote a best selling
         D. Let's look at the results and compare them to the Bible. But first, let's examine
            what God has set forth as the criteria for a truly successful family spiritually.
                1. Does it Endure? Matt 19:6
                2. Does it Nurture? I Cor 8:1
                3. Does it Produce Good Children? Gen 18:19,1 Tim 3
                4. Does it Contribute to the Community? Gal 6:10, Acts 20:35
                5. Does it Glorify God? Rom 15:16

If a family has these good EFFECTS, then it pleases God. What are the CAUSES? What are
the characteristics that will enable us to have these kinds of results? STINNET found that the
following six characteristics are WHAT MAKES FOR A STRONG FAMILY.

I. COMMITMENT between husband and wife - Loyalty.
      A. Do you expect a life time commitment?
      B. What is there that shows the attitude towards prior commitments?
             1. Has the person you are considering kept his or her commitment to Christ? If
                 they have not kept the most important and basic of all the commitments, why
                 do you trust them to keep and honor a commitment to you?
             2. It is the basis of great confidence if you are married to someone who is
                 a man or woman of their word.
      C. Def. of Character:
             1. Ps 15: 4b "Swears to his own hurt and changes not."
             2. "The ability to keep a commitment after the emotion in which you
                 originally made the commitment has passed."

II. APPRECIATION for each other Prov. 31:26
       A. Show Respect and love
             1. Ratio of pleasing\unpleasing acts
             2. Criticism kept to a minimum
       B. They say it and act it! Eccl 9:9
             1. "This is my wife..."
             2. They feel a sense of ownership..
       *C. Respect privacy - Key indicator. Successful families do not open each other's mail.
       A. Compliment each other (They are demonstrative...)
       B. Negatives are minimized (They avoid sarcastic put downs)
       C. Able to accept compliments graciously
       D. They continue talking like dating.
       E. Four levels of Communication:
              1. Cliché
              2. Reporting
              3. Ideas & Judgments
              *4. Feelings (Successful families shine here).
       F. Parent-child communication is two-sided. Heb 5:14, Deut 6:7
       A. Kids spell love-TIME!
              1. Quality & Quantity time is spent.
              2. Psychologist's have a "Journey of Happiness." They usually find that
              the greatest memories are that of the family.
       B. Biggest mistake is simply neglect!
             1. Plan\schedule time
             2. Creates a close-knit feeling when an good number of things are
                   done together.
       C. Choose family over career when push comes to shove.
               Illus. Phone is not allowed to interrupt the family dinner hour.

      A. Opted for traditional values-clearly defined roles.
             1. These values are communicated and shared.
             2. Divergent values makes things difficult
             3. The real conflict comes over raising the children.
      B. Strong families are aware they function as role models.
             1. Having children is an event that causes a 17% shift towards being
                 more conservative.
             2. Enoch began to walk with God only after he became a father! Gen
      C. We need a God-centered family!

       A. They support and are loyal to each other when in trouble
       B. Study-10 yrs later-all had a tragedy!
       C. Strong families rely on the resources of each member to heal and build

     A. Studied the Effect - what is the test? "
     B. Looked at the Causes - at what produces the results!
     C. What are we going to do? Will we do the things that will produce a
     successful family?
            (How to express love so that others feel it emotionally)
      A. Without love we could not survive!
      B. Much confusion, especially in communicating love.
      C. Three types:
              1. Romantic Love = "The Tingles"
                       a. Actually an emotional obsession that lasts about two years.
                       b. Not something we choose, it just happens!
              2. Love as an attitude--"Agape"
                       a. Act of the will. Divine love
                       b. We choose this kind of love
              3. Love as an emotional need-
                      a. What Titus 2:3-4 is about.
                      b. Need instruction to have wisdom and insight.
                      c. The concept of love languages is key to express love so the other
                      party "feels it."
      D. Thesis:
             1. The Eight Love Languages
             2. Principles how to use and understand them
             3. How to increase responsiveness
I. EIGHT LOVE LANGUAGES -Simple yet profound insights
      A. Saying it with WORDS
              1. Must be sincere and specific
              2. Look for the good and build on it "Caught your children doing something right."
              3. Brag on good qualities of others in their presence.
              4. Stress the person behind the deed
                   Eg. "Do you like the picture I painted?" "Yes I do. But not as much as the
                          one who painted it."
      B. Meeting Material Needs-GIFTS
              1. Find out what the other person likes-not what you like.
              2. Needs to be thoughtful-not $.
              3. Esp. meaningful when the giver sacrifices something of value to
                   himself / herself in order to provide for the need of the other.
                      Illus. Gift of the Magi
             4. Bible examples of Gift giving:
                     a. Joseph's coat of colors
                     b. Hannah's coat - Samuel
      C. Acts of SERVICE I John 3:18 "Love not in word, but in deed."
             1. Doing for the other person-things they would like to have done!
               Illus. Golda-Fiddler on Roof
      2. Some-show their love by doing things for people.
D. Spending QUALITY TIME Together
      1. Giving "Undivided attention."
      2. Illus. Jesus & the Twelve & Peter, James & John.
      3. C.S. Lewis "No time spent with a child is ever wasted."
E. Physical TOUCH
      1. Jesus and children-Mk 10:13-16
      2. "Three hugs a day-keeps marriage counselor away."
      3. UCLA study found thai the average person needs 8-10 meaningful
          affirming touches a day.
F. Being on the Same Side (TEAM)
      1. Feeling loyalty is important (Take the criticism pledge!)
               a. Even if you disagree-still support and help if possible.
               b. Why? Because you are pulling for each other emotionally
               c. Illus. She has a fender bender with the car. He reassures her it
                  is okay and that she is much more important than a material object,
                  instead of giving her a hard time.
               a. Illus. Allies protect each other when they are attacked. We should
                  do the same.
               b. You feel loved when someone comes to your aid and defends you
                  from someone else!
               c. Illus. Siblings can say some terrible things to each other, but let
                  someone down the street come over and bully one of your siblings
                  and usually a sense of family loyalty kicks in and you rush out to
                  protect and defend your sibling.
      1. "A fulfilled marriage can come only when each partner grows because of the
          union instead of slowly and surely squelched by it."
      2. INSECURITY & SELFISHNESS represses this language's potential.
               a. One party is threatened by the other's success and resents it.
               b. One party is so consumed with their own interests and career that
                  they leave no room to show interest and concern for the other
                  party’s interest.
      3. How can you express you want the other person to grow and be the best
          they can be?
               a. Through praise and encouragement
               b. Prayer for each others growth.
      1. Must not project and assume what we need is the same for others.
      2. Based on childhoods and background—70% time different.
      3. Must listen so to understand
      4. Need to let the drawbridge down! It enables two people to nave some
          walls up for protection, yet trust another person to enter into the very
          core and center of each other's being.
      5. Do you know what the other person needs most from you?
       A. Remember it is FILTERED
              We all by nature tend to speak our own language(s) and filter out others.
              What we think we are communicating may not be interpreted that way by
                  the other party. This can cause great hurt and frustration if we don't
                  realize what is going on!
       B. Learn to speak your spouse's language
             1. Illus. "Tank Check" Game
                      a. On a scale of 1 -10 with 10 being full and 1 being almost empty,
                         how is your emotional tank?
                      b. Ask your mate periodically. How is your tank?
                      c. If answer is anything less than 9-10, ask, "How can I help fill it?"
             2. Emotional Warmth can be reborn! You can fall in love again!
       C. The Key is to Find the Primary Language
              1. What is the first thing you do when you want to express love?
              2. Probably what you want others to do for you!
              3. If we don't learn to speak the primary language, the others won't be
                  heard. After the primary language is spoken, the others are heard loud and
       D. Do not abuse the primary language
             1. That is the place where your mate is most vulnerable.
             2. Build a shrine around it and make sure you don't "slip" in the area that
             enters into the core and center of their soul.

       A. Eliminate the Negative
              1. This is more important than positively communicating love!
              2. One negative "zinger" erases 20 positive acts!
       B. Express your feelings without putting the other person on the defense.
       C. Reinforce the desired language with praise.
       D. Clear up offenses-
               1. This is especially important for women
               2. If offenses haven’t been cleared up, the couple can't be and feel close
               3. This will ultimately affect the physical relationship. Most of the time
                  sexual problems are not about sex per se, but the relationship!
       E. Be patient! It takes time for drawbridges to be lowered!
     A. Learn this insight and apply it to all of your relationships!
     B. It can make a world of difference.
     C. I wish someone had explained this concept to me years ago. If this is
        relatively new to you, Pass It On!

If you want further information I would recommend the reading of: HOW DO YOU SAY, "I
LOVE YOU?" by Judson J. Swihart InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, Illinois: 60515.
                  PART ONE HOW DO WE

Note: Both part one (how do we compare), and part two (language
inventory) can help you and your spouse determine what languages you
understand best. The "How do we compare" section should be completed
first. In this way, what you think are your key languages [the results of
part one] can be compared to a possibly more revealing picture based on
the results of part two the "language inventory."

                                    Wife's Rating Husband's Rating
                                    Mine Husband's Mine Wife's

1. Meeting Material Needs           ____     _____     ____ ____
2. Helping (Serving)                 ____ _____        ____ ____
3. Spending Time Together            ____ _____        ____ ____
4. Meeting Emotional Needs           ____ _____        ____ ____
5. Saying It With Words             ____ _____         ____ ____
6. Saying It With Touch              ____ _____        ____ ____
7. Being on the Same Side           ____ _____          ____ ____
8. Bringing Out the Best            ____ _____          ____ ____
Step 1. Wife rates her languages 1 through 8, starting with the most important.
Step 2. She then rates her husband's languages.
Step 3. Husband follows same procedure, covering up his wife's rankings.
Step 4. Compare and discuss.

You may not know each other nearly as well as you thought you did!!
                       PART TWO
On a piece of paper complete each sentence. You may be able to do so in
more than one way. If possible, have your spouse do the same on a
separate sheet.

1. During childhood I knew that my parents loved me because they...

2. During our courtship, three of the characteristics that attracted me to my
   husband/wife were...

3. The three times in our marriage that I have felt the closest to my spouse
   were when he/she...

4. When down and in need of support, I like my husband/wife to...

5. One of the things I like best about my husband/wife is that he/she...

6. After an argument I feel reunited when my husband/wife...

7. I gain a sense of inner comfort and warmth when my husband/wife...

8. I feel romantic when my husband/wife...

9. One thing that my husband/wife contributed to our relationship, enriching
   it, is...

10. I want to pursue growth in our relationship because my husband/wife...

11. in our relationship, I emotionally need my husband/wife to...

12. I well up with strong affectionate feelings when my husband/wife...
13. I wish my husband/wife would more frequently...

14. It hurts my feelings most when my husband/wife does not...

15. I feel a sense of acceptance and worth when my husband/wife...

16. If I wanted to feel loved, my first impulse would be to ask my spouse to...

17. If I wanted to increase marital happiness I would ask my
    husband/wife to..,

18. The nicest gift I ever received from my husband/wife was when...

19. I feel God loves me because...

20. In the past when I greatly wanted to show my love for my spouse I...

21. The most meaningful thing a husband/wife could do for their spouse is....

Once you have finished, each of you should mark beside each response
the number of the language (see list below) which best describes that
response. Add the total to determine which are the languages you marked
most frequently. These should help indicate which languages you are
most fluent in. Discuss your results with each other.

1.   Meeting Material Needs              5. Saying It With Words
2.   Helping                             6. Saying It With Touch
3.   Spending Time Together              7. Being on the Same Side
4.   Meeting Emotional Needs             8. Bringing Out the Best


             100 WAYS YOU CAN LOVE YOUR WIFE
                     Taken from Gary Smalley's - "If Only He Knew"

       This list is a tool showing a husband one hundred ways he can love his wife her
way. Discuss the list with your wife. Ask her to check the ones that are meaningful to
her, and then arrange them in order of importance to her. Use the list as a basis for
learning her views. I know your relationship will be greatly strengthened as you learn how
to use these suggestions:

1. Communicate with her; never close her out.
2. Regard her as important.
3. Do everything you can to understand her feelings.
4. Be interested in her friends.
5. Ask her opinion frequently.
6. Value what she says.
7. Let her feel your approval and affection.
8. Protect her on a daily basis.
9. Be gentle and tender with her.
10. Develop a sense of humor.
11. Avoid sudden major changes without discussion and without giving her time to adjust.
12. Learn to respond openly and verbally when she wants to communicate.
13. Comfort her when she is down emotionally. For instance, put your arms around her and
    silently hold her for a few seconds without lectures or put-downs.
14. Be interested in what she feels is important in life.
15. Correct her gently and tenderly.
16. Allow her to teach you without putting up your defenses.
17. Make special time available to her and your children.
18. Be trustworthy.
19. Compliment her often.
20. Be creative when you express your love, either in words or in actions.
21. Have specific family goals for each year.
22. Let her buy things she considers necessary.
23. Be forgiving when she offends you.
24. Show her you need her.
25. Accept her the way she is; discover her uniqueness as special.
26. Admit your mistakes; don't be afraid to be humble.
27. Lead your family in their spiritual relationship with god.
28. Allow your wife to fail; discuss what went wrong, after you have comforted her.
29. Rub her feet or neck after a hard day.
30. Take time for the two of you to sit and talk calmly.
31. Go on romantic outings.
32. Write her a letter occasionally, telling her how much you love her.
33. Surprise her with a card or flowers.
34. Express how much you appreciate her.
35. Tell her how proud you are of her.
36. Give advice in a loving way when she asks for it.
37. Defend her to others/
38. Prefer her over others.
39. Do not expect her to do activities beyond her emotional or physical capabilities.
40. Pray for her to enjoy God’s best in life.
41. Take time to notice what she has done for you and the family.
42. Brag about her to other people behind her back.
43. Share your thoughts and feelings with her.
44. Tell her about your job if she is interested.
45. Take time to see how she spends her day, at work or at home.
46. Learn to enjoy what she enjoys.
47. Take care of the kids before dinner.
48. Help straighten up the house before mealtime.
49. Let her take a bubble bath while you do the dishes.
50. Understand her physical limitations if you have several children.
51. Discipline the children in love, not anger.
52. Help her finish her goals-hobbies or education.
53. Treat her as if God had stamped on her forehead, "Handle with care."
54. Get rid of habits that annoy her.
55. Be gentle and thoughtful to her relatives.
56. Do not compare her relatives with yours in a negative way.
57. Thank her for things she has done without expecting anything in return.
58. Do not expect a band to play whenever you help with the housecleaning.
59. Make sure understands everything you are planning to do.
60. Do little things for her - an unexpected kiss, coffee in bed.
61. Treat her as an intellectual equal.
62. Find out if she wants to be treated as physically weaker.
63. Discover her fears in life.
64. See what you can do to eliminate her fears.
65. Discover her sexual needs.
66. Ask if she wants to discuss how you can meet her sexual needs.
67. Find out what makes her insecure.
68. Plan your future together.
69. Do not quarrel over words, but try to find hidden meanings.
70. Practice common courtesies like holding the door for her, pouring her coffee.
71. Ask if you offend her sexually in any way.
72. Ask if she is jealous of anyone.
73. See if she is uncomfortable about the way money is spent.
74. Take her on dates now and then.
75. Hold her hand in public.
76. Put your arm around her in front of friends.
77. Tell her you love her-often.
78. Remember anniversaries, birthdays, and other special occasions.
79. Learn to enjoy shopping.
80. Teach her to hunt and fish or whatever you enjoy doing.
81. Give her a special gift from time to time.
82. Share the responsibilities around the house.
83. Do not belittle her feminine characteristics.
84. Let her express herself freely, without fear of being called stupid or illogical.
85. Carefully choose your words, especially when angry.
86. Do not criticize her in front of others.
          87. Do not let her see you become excited about thet physical features of another woman if that
               bothers her.
          88. Be sensitive to other people.
          89. Let your family know you want to spend special time with them.
          90. Fix dinner for her from time to time.
91. Be sympathetic when she is sick.
92. Call her when you are going to be late.
93. Do not disagree with her in front of the children.
94. Take her out for dinner and for weekend getaways.
95. Do the "little things" she needs from time to time.
96. Give her special time to be alone or with her friends.
97. Buy her what she considers to be an intimate gift.
98. Read a book she recommends to you.
99. Give her an engraved plaque assuring her of your lasting love.
100. Write her a poem about how special she is.

                                   FOR PERSONAL REFLECTION
1. Who did Jesus say would be the greatest in His kingdom? Matthew 20:25-28.
2. If we desire to renew our minds and to think like Christ, we need to consider these:
         - What were His thoughts? Philippians 2:5-8.
         - What were Paul's thoughts on the same subject? Philippians 2:17, 22, 25.
3. If a husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church, how does Christ love the church?
         Ephesians 5:25-27, 29.
                      WITHOUT EVEN REALIZING IT?
Taken from Gary Smalley's excellent book, "Hidden Keys to a Loving Lasting Relationship" pgs 82-86

      When a husband recognizes that he has offended his wife in any of these ways,
he needs to clear it up in order to restore the relationship. Ask your wife to check the
ones that she feels are true of you.
1. Ignoring her.
2. Not valuing her opinions.
3. Showing more attention to other people than her.
4. Not listening to her or not understanding what she feels is important.
5. Closing her out by not talking or listening to her (the silent treatment).
6. Being easily distracted when she's trying to talk.
7. Not scheduling special time to be with her.
8. Not being open to talk about things that you do not understand.
9. Not being open to talk about things that she does not understand.
10. Not giving her a chance to voice her opinion on decisions that affect the whole family.
11. Disciplining her by being angry or silent.
12. Making jokes about areas of her life.
13. Making sarcastic statements about her.
14. Insulting her in front of others.
15. Coming back with quick retorts.
16. Giving harsh admonition.
17. Using careless words before you think through how they will affect her.
18. Nagging her in harshness.
19. Rebuking her before giving her a chance to explain a situation.
20. Raising your voice at her.
21. Making critical comments with no logical basis.
22. Swearing or using foul language in her presence.
23. Correcting her in public.
24. Being tactless when pointing out her weaknesses or blind spots.
25. Reminding her angrily that you warned her not to do something.
26. Having disgusted or judgmental attitudes.
27. Pressuring her when she is already feeling low or offended.
28. Lecturing her when she needs to be comforted, encouraged, or treated gently.
29. Breaking promises without any explanation or without being asked to be released from the promise.
30. Telling her how wonderful other women are and comparing her to other women.
31. Holding resentment about something she did and tried to make right.
32. Being disrespectful to her family and relatives.
33. Coercing her into an argument.
34. Correcting or punishing her in anger for something for which she is not guilty.
35. Not praising her for something she did well, even if she did it for you.
36. Treating her like a little child.
37. Being rude to her or to other people in public, like restaurant personnel or clerks.
38. Being unaware of her needs.
39. Being ungrateful.
4-0. Not trusting her.
41. Not approving of what she does or how she does it.
42. Not being interested in her own personal growth.
43. Being inconsistent or having double standards (doing things you won't allow her to do).
44. Not giving her advice when she really needs it and asks for it.
45. Not telling her that you love her.
46. Having prideful and arrogant attitudes in general.
47. Not giving daily encouragement.
48. Failing to include her in a conversation when you are with other people.
49. Failing to spend quantity or quality time with her when you're at a party.
50.  "Talking her down" - continuing to discuss or argue a point just to prove you're right.
51.  Ignoring her around the house as if she weren't a member of the family.
52.  Not taking time to listen to what she believes is important as soon as you come home from work.
53.  Ignoring her at social gatherings.
54.  Not attending church as a family.
55.  Failure to express honestly what you think her innermost feelings are.
56.  Showing more excitement for work and other activities than for her.
57.  Being impolite at mealtime.
58.  Having sloppy manners around the house and in front of others.
59.  Not inviting her out on special romantic dates from time to time (just the two of you).
60.  Not helping her with the children just before mealtimes or during times of extra stress.
61.  Not volunteering to help her with the dishes occasionally - or with cleaning the house.
62.  Making her feel stupid when she shares an idea about your work or decisions that need to be made.
63.  Making her feel unworthy for desiring certain furniture or insurance or other material needs for herself and
     the family.
64. Not being consistent with the children; not taking an interest in playing with them and spending quality and
     quantity time with them.
65. Not showing public affection for her, like holding her hand or putting your arm around her' (you seem
     embarrassed to be with her).
66. Not sharing your life with her, like your ideas or your feelings (e.g. what's going on at work).
67. Not being the spiritual leader at home.
68. Demanding that she submit to you.
69. Demanding that she be involved with you sexually when you are not in harmony.
70. Being unwilling to admit you were wrong.
71. Resisting whenever she shares one of your "blind spots."
72. Being too busy with work and activities.
73. Not showing compassion and understanding for her and the children when there is real need.
74. Not planning for the future, making her very insecure.
75. Being stingy with money, making her feel like she's being paid a salary - and not much at all.
76. Forcing her to do things that embarrass her sexually.
77. Reading sexual magazines in front of her or the children.
78. Forcing her to make many of the decisions regarding the checkbook or bills,
79. Forcing her to handle bill collectors and overdue bills.
80. Not letting her lean on your gentleness and strength from time to time.
81. Not allowing her to fail - always feeling like you have to lecture her.
82. Refusing to let her be a woman.
83. Criticizing her womanly characteristics or sensitivity as being weak.
84. Spending too much money and getting the family too far into debt.
85. Not having a sense of humor and not joking about things together.
86. Not telling how important she is to you.
87. Not sending her special love letters from time to time.
88. Forgetting special dates like anniversaries and birthdays.
89. Not defending her when somebody else is complaining or tearing her down (especially if it's one of your
     relatives or friends).
90. Not putting your arm around her and hugging her when she's in need of comfort.
91. Not bragging to other people about her.
92. Being dishonest.
93. Discouraging her for trying to better herself, either through education or physical fitness.
94. Continuing distasteful or harmful habits, like coming home drunk.
95. Not treating her as if "Handle With Care" were stamped on her forehead.
96. Ignoring her relatives and the people who are important to her.
97. Taking her for granted, assuming that "a woman's work is never done" around the house.
98. Not including her in future plans until the last minute.
99. Never doing little unexpected things for her.
100. Not treating her like an intellectual equal.
101. Looking at her as a weaker individual in general.
102. Being preoccupied with your own goals and needs, making her feel like she and the children do not count
103. Threatening never to let her do something again because she made some mistake in the past.
104. Criticizing her behind her back. (This is really painful for her if she hears about your criticism from someone else).
105. Blaming her for things in your relationship that are clearly your failure.
106.Not being aware of her physical limitations, treating her like a man by roughhousing with her or making her carry
     heavy objects.
107. Losing patience or getting angry with her when she can't keep up with your schedule or physical stamina.
108. Acting like you're a martyr if you go along with her opinions.
109. Sulking when she challenges your comments.
110. Joining too many organizations which exclude her and the children.
111. Failing to repair items around the house.
112. Watching too much TV and therefore neglecting her and the children.
113.Demanding that she sit and listen to your point of view when she needs to be taking care of the children's needs
114. Insisting on lecturing her in order to convey what you believe are important points.
115. Humiliating her with words and actions, saying things like "/ can't stand living in a pigpen."
116. Not taking the time to prepare her to enjoy sexual intimacy.
117. Spending money extravagantly without helping those less fortunate.
118. Avoiding family activities that the children enjoy.
119. Taking vacations that are primarily for your pleasure, like fishing or hunting, while preventing her from shopping
     and doing the things she enjoys.
120. Not letting her get away from the children just to be with friends, go shopping for special items, or have a
     weekend away with her friends.
121. Being unwilling to join her in the things she enjoys like shopping, going out for coffee and dessert at a restaurant
122. Not understanding the boring chores a homemaker does: like picking up clothes and toys all day long, wiping
     running noses, putting on and taking off muddy boots and jackets, washing and ironing, etc., etc.
              Part II
Children And The Family As A Whole
                          MEMORY VERSE
                          "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary
                          the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about,
                          seeking whom he may devour."
                          --I Pet. 5:8

                            In his book THE BATTLE FOR THE FAMILY, Tim
                            LaHaye discusses "the fifteen enemies of the family"
                            which he believes are eroding away at the very
                            foundations of our home lives in America today.
                            These fifteen forces of evil are humanism, big
government, public schools, television, media, feminism, materialism,
urbanization, easy divorce, women in the work force, pornography, drugs, rock
music, homosexuality, and ignorance of family life principles. Time and space
limits our discussion of all fifteen, so we will look at five which we believe to
be of a particular threat to the people of God. Some of the others will be
covered as they relate to other lessons. Since the home is of divine origin, the
devil will do everything he can to weaken and destroy it.

     1. Humanism is a man centered religion that believes man can solve his
  own problems independent of God. Humanism says, "no deity w i l l save us, we
  must save ourselves."
     2. The Bible says, "The. way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that
  walketh to direct his steps" (Jer. 10:23). We are further taught to cast our
  cares upon the Lord (I Pet. 5:7) because Jesus is "the way, the truth and the
  life." (John 14:6).
     3. Humanism is so dangerous because its tentacles, like an octopus,
  extend from power centers like the government, publ i c schools and the media,
  all of which impact and influence our thinking and actions.
     4. We must teach our children to depend upon God, not man; and the
  Bible, not human wisdom or philosophy.

     1. While it may seem l i k e TV has always been with us, it is very young
  compared to the human race. However, people act as if they can't get along
  without it. We watch it and are influenced by it. Like many things TV is
  not bad in and of itself, but what is shown on it is often bad.
  Materialism, pornography, fornication, adultery, homosexuality, feminism,
  as well as cursing and swearing are often shown on TV and even glorified.
     2. Read Philippians 4:8. Do the things we watch on
  TV appeal to the right things to think about or the wrong things?
     3. "Abstain from every form of evil" (I Thess. 5:22)
  is a command that may often be applied to television viewing. Sin
  is sin regardless of the form or medium in which it appears.
      1. Indeed many have fallen down at the feet of the god of mammon.
  Christians, however, cannot serve two masters (Matt. 6:24).
      2. Materialism is the hungering and thirsting for things of this
  world and seeking to satisfy one's needs through working for and
  obtaining material possessions.
      3. This attitude pulls the family apart. We need to learn that
  "godliness with contentment is great gain" (ITim.6:12), and that "a man’s
  life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesses" (Luke
      4. Often through greed, covetousness, and materialism, fathers have no
  time for their families, wives are forced into the market place and
  children are taught the importance of things, not values

     1. The feminist movement in America has been around a long time, but is
  gaining in popularity and in its effect on society and the church.
  Feminists deny the differences of roles that God placed upon men and women.
     2. Man has authority over woman (I Cor 11:8-9), and a wife is to be in
  subjection to her husband (Gen 3:16). She is referred to as the "weaker
  vessel" (I Pet 3:7) and told to be quiet in the public assembly (I Cor 14:34).
  God directed that she "guide the house" (I Tim 5:14) and be a "keeper at home"
  (Titus 2:4).
     3. Is woman inferior to man? NO! But she has a different role in God's
  plan. Feminism undermines that role.

     1. "My people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge" cried the prophet in the
  long ago (Hos 4:6). Lack of knowledge in the area of family life w i l l also
  destroy our homes.
     2. The Bible regulates every area of our lives and the home is no
  exception. In it we learn our roles, right and responsibilities. We learn
  how to treat one another and correct our sins.
     3. Of course, we have to search for the answers. The
  Bible is not indexed with a section entitled "family life." Thus,
  there is value in reading good books, listening to tapes, watching
  videos and attending seminars and classes that are Bible based.
1. Why is Humanism such a serious threat to family life?

2. Look in this week's TV paper and look for possible shows that might not
   be good viewing for Christians. List them and tell what principles they

3. What is materialism and why is it a threat to the family?

4. What are some signs of the feminist attitude at work in today's society?

5. What can we do to be more knowledgeable about family life?
   The 23rd Channel
                The TV is my Shepherd, I shall not want.
                  It makes me to lie down on the sofa.
                 It leads me away from the scriptures.
                          It destroys my soul.

                It leads me in the paths of sex and violence,
                          For the sponsor's sake.
    Yea, though I walk in the shadow of my Christian responsibilities,
          There will be no interruptions; For the TV is with me,
           It's cable and it's remote control, they comfort me.

               It prepares a commercial before me in the
                        Presence of worldliness,
                   It anoints my head with Humanism,
                        My coveting runneth over.

               Surely, laziness and ignorance shall follow
                     Me all the Days of My Life; and
                   I shall dwell in the house watching
                              T.V. forever!!

Read Matthew 6:21; Proverbs 4:23; 23:7
              CHRIST IN THE HOME
                           MEMORY VERSE
                           "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and
                           all these things shall be added unto you."
                           --Matt. 6:33

                             From the book GOOD HOMES IN A WICKED WORLD,
                             Irven Lee wrote, "We do live in a skeptical, vulgar world,
                             but this age has no monopoly on skepticism and
                             vulgarity...It was possible in the days the New Testament
                             was being written to bring up young men like Timothy and
Titus. It is possible now.     It is being done...It is a matter of training, environ ment,
care and concern...It is very important that we all have a proper sense of values.
Spiritual things which will endure have far more value than material things which
soon perish, and when we learn that one lesson, other things will fall into place."
Making Christ the center of our homes, the head of each family and seeking to
instill His principles into our family lives must be our number one priority.

     1. Though little is known of the early life of Jesus,
  we do see him at age 12 when he was separated from his parents at the
  Passover in Jerusalem. In Luke 2:41-50 we gain some insight into his
  attitude toward the home. He realized that he must be about his
  father's business. We, too, must learn this same lesson.
     2. Yet, Jesus was able to accept his responsibilities
  in the family and be subject to his parents. A good lesson is learned
  here. You cannot be pleasing to Jesus and disobey your parents; nor
  can husbands and wives fail in their family duties and please Him.
     3. Even on the cross Jesus shows concern for the care
  of his mother (John 19:26-27). So, it is evident that family duties
  and spiritual duties do not conflict. In fact, they should compliment each

     1. Christians are urged by Paul in Ephesians to walk in a manner
  worthy of their Christian calling (4:1), not as the ungodly Gentiles walked
  (4:17), but to walk in love (5:1), as children of light (5:8), in a careful
  manner (5:15).
     2. This walk has its practical application in the family life. Someone
  has said that "the family circle is the supreme conductor of Christianity."
  Surely, if Christianity works anywhere, it ought to work in the home.
     3. Having Christ in our homes involves putting off the things of the old
  man (Eph. 4:17-31) and putting on the new man (Eph. 4:32; Gal. 5:22-23). The
  application of these principles not only glorifies Christ, but serves as a
  shining example to the world what Christianity is all about and makes for a
  happier home.
         1. Worship is not something we only do at the services of the church. We
      render unto God spiritual service in our every- day lives (Rom.12:1-2).
      Surely, this includes the home.
         2. Family prayer at meal times and other special occasions reminds -us of
      the presence of Christ in our homes.
         3. Structured family devotions are one way to create an atmosphere of
      spirituality in the home.
         4. Unplanned times where Bible principles are discussed and applied in
      every day, family life situations may be the most effective of all.
         5. There are many helps available today to increase our spirituality —
      tapes, videos, books, periodicals, etc.

         1. Sometimes we hear of fathers who think that spending a Sunday at the
      park or on the lake relaxing with his family is more important than
      attending worship services. He is mistaken.
         2. By example we learn that Christians are to assemble on the first day
      of the week (Acts 20:7) to remember the death of our Lord. In such an
      assembling we "provoke one another to love, and good works" (Heb. 10:24). When
      we fail to participate in the public worship, we are not only robbing God,
      but we are robbing ourselves and our children of the spiritual nourishment
      we all need. Plus we set before them a poor example of priorities.

         1. Family conflicts are a part of life. However, the
      family that exalts Christ in the home has the resources available to
      overcome any problem that may present itself (Phil. 4:13).
         2. In Ron Willingham's Family series, he gave a four
      step pattern to solving problems: (1) Decide what the problem is;
      (2) Find the cause of it; (3) Select as many possible solutions as
      you can think of; (4) Select the most probable and try it. If that
      doesn't work, go to the next one until you've found the solution.
         3. To solve a sin problem: (1) Admit the sin; (2)
      Confess it to God; (3) Determine to change; (4) Confess it to your
      family; (5) Bring forth fruit in keeping with repentance.
1. What do we learn about Jesus' attitude toward spiritual responsibilities at age twelve?

2. What principles regulate our actions in the home?

3. Think of some specific ways we render "spiritual worship" in our homes?

4. How important is it for the family to attend the public worship services together?

5. How can Christ help us overcome conflicts in the home?
                          MEMORY VERSE
                          "Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned
                          with salt, that ye may know how to answer every
                          - - C o l . 4:6

                           Is communication in the family as old fashioned and out
                           dated as this front porch scene? We hope not, because
                           "communication is to love what blood [is to the body.
                           When communication stops, love 'begins to die." (Paul
                           Faulkner) That communication or the lack thereof is a
                           problem in the home is evidenced by the fact that almost
                           every survey on marriage problems ranks breakdown in
                           communication as the number one problem in the family.
Dr. David Mace says, "poor communication is the main problem in 86% of all
troubled marriages." It is evident that family communication is a very important
topic. Let us learn and apply the principles in this lesson.

      1. Too often we fail to really listen to the other
  person and especially those in our own families. To listen, we must
  remove some distractions. Turn off the television, radio and stereo.
  Put down the newspaper and 1 i s t e n to the other person.
      2. "Be quick to listen, slow to speak..." (Jas. 1:19)
      3. The wise man warned, "He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it
  is a folly and shame unto him." (Prov. 18:13).
      4. Jay E. Adams said, "A sound husband and wife rela tionship is impossible
  apart from good communication. A healthy re lationship between parents and
  children depends on such communication.
      5. This begins with listening. Hearing and li stening are not the same thing.
  Be a good listener. Learn to listen to what is not being said, as well as what is

      1. Each person within the family must be willing to first look within
  himself before accusing others or excusing self.
      2. "Judge, not that ye be not judged" is a good rule of communication
  within the family (Matt. 7:1-5).
      3. I think we need to apply James 5:16 at home. Often a person come
  forward at a church service and confesses a sin that would be bette r confessed
  in the family circle.
      4. When problems arise within the family, work to attack the problem, not
  the person. By doing so lines of communication are left open and the problem
  can be solved. Failure to do so, may result in harsh words, hard feelin gs, and
  even severed family relationships.
      1. The apostle Paul exhorted, "Wherefore, putting away lying, speak every man
  truth with his neighbor" (Eph. 4:25). The practical application to the principles of
  Ephesians 4:17-5:20 are seen in the family relationship discussed in Ephesians
      2. Lying is a sin. God hates it (Prov. 6:16f). And it can cause one to lose his
  soul (Rev. 21:8). Yet, lying is often looked at rather casually in today's society and
  even in the home.
      3. Lying damages relationships, breaks trust, arouses suspicion, creates
  resentment and gives birth to hostility.
      4. It has been said that the truth hurts, but no matter how much it may hurt a
  lie hurts even worse.

      1. There is such a thing as righteous anger. God is angry every day (Psalm
  7:11). Jesus was angry at the money changers in the temple (John 2:17). Certainly
  sin should make us angry,
      2. However, in our anger we should not sin in word or in deed. There are two
  wrong ways people handle anger:
            a. Blowing up. Some psychologists say this is good. Just let the feather
                fly! Let it all hang out! Get it off your chest! However, this is
                contrary to God's way (Prov. 25:28; 29:11; 22)
            b. Clamming up. The other extreme is holding the anger inside and
                fuming. This can lead to bitterness (Col. 3:19) Also love does not
                keep account of evil(I Cor 13:5)

     1. "Corrupt communication" in Ephesians 4:29 means that which is rotten,
  putrid, defiling and injurious. But it also refers to any speech that is not
  wholesome, uplifting and edifying.
     2. Unfortunately we can say the most cutting, cruel, and unkind things to a
  spouse, child or parent. Corrupt language hinders the communication process and
  can bring it to a stand still.
     3. It is not only what we say that can be hurtful, but how we say it. People
  have been killed for saying the wrong thing! (Prov. 18:21)

                      REACHING SOME CONCLUSIONS
  1. What are some barriers to really listening to other family members?
  2. Should parents ever confess faults to their children?
  3. It is said, "The truth hurts." Is it better to lie than to hurt a family member with
     the truth?
  4. What are some sins that uncontrolled anger can lead to?
  5. How big a problem is corrupt speech in our society today? What effect does it
     have on family members?
                        MEMORY VERSE
                        "Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly
                        loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness,
                        humility, gentleness and patience."
                        - - C o l . 3:12 ( N I V )

                         People come to me every day voicing what seems at first
                         glance to be a confusing myriad of problems: "We don't
                         enjoy going out anymore1; 'all we do are-the same old things';
                         'I can't find anyone who loves me'...Gradually I have come to
                         realize that such complaints are not the problem but they are
                         symptoms, symptoms of an underlying cultural weakness now
                         so common as to be perhaps the issue of our time: the need to
 learn how to love." (Edward E. Ford, Christian counselor) In this lesson we want to
 study about .communicating love, especially in non-verbal ways. Communicating
 involves the expression of your face, gestures, body movement, the things you laugh
 or don't laugh at and things you do or don't do.

Point 1 – WHAT IS LOVE?
      1. "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not
   proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no
   record of wrongs, love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always
   protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails" (I Cor
   13:4-8, NIV)
      2. This is the (agape) love of the mind and will of man which acts in the very
   best interest of another.
      3. The 15 traits of love mentioned in the above passage are more than just loft y
   ideals; they are principles by which we need to act within the family circle.
      4. Think of how you can apply these in your family. Re
   member communicating love is more than a verbal message.

 Point 2 - For Husbands: Communicate Love To Your Wife
       1. "I love you"; "I need you"; and "I appreciate you" are obvious verbal ways to
   communicate love to your wife. Husbands, your wife wants to hear these words.
   Paul Faulkner says, "Marriage quickly reveals that women are not like men. They
   don't look like men; they don't act like men; and they don't think like men. Hus -
   bands often fail to recognize these differences.
       2. Express your love non-verbally in these ways: help with the housework
   sometime, send her a card, buy a gift or a rose when it is not a special occasion, and
   take them out when they don't expect it. Don't forget those special dates: her
   birthday, your anniversary, valentine's day, etc.
       3. Remember that with most women, "little things mean a lot." Show her that
   you care, remember, feel and want to share,
      1. Men also like to hear their wives say, "I love "I need you"; "I appreciate
  you": and "I'm so proud of you."
      2. But there are so many ways to say, "I love you": A fond glance, a tender or
  playful touch in an appropriate spot, a thoughtful gift, listening with genuine
  interest, a note in his brief case or lunch box, a word of sympathy or support, a sly
  wink, preparing his favorite dish or meal, a phone call in the middle of the day,
  watching a ball game with him or leaving him alone when he watches a bal1 game.
      3. Whether we believe it or not we are communicating in a non -verbal way.
  Let's find practical, positive ways to "be kind and compassionate to one another"
  (Eph. 4:32, NIV)

      1. Some parents think that communicating love is just handing out money,
  buying things or handing over the car keys.
      2. A 15 year old girl expressed this need in an essay saying, "I had a rotten day
  at school and all I want is a little bit of their time, maybe just a simple hug would
  do. But my parents both work and by the time they get home they are usually tired
  and just want to be left alone. So I went to see my boyfriend..."
      3. Parents tell your children you love them, prais e them more than you criticize
  them and hug them. Play with them. Watch something special on TV or video. Go
  to their school activities. Take time to be with them.

     Young people it will help you a lot not to always be on the receiving end of
  your parents love and goodness. They need to hear that you love and appreciate
  them. Say "thank you" for the things they do for you.
     When your mother is extra busy or sick, help with the meals or housework.
  Always be willing to do not only what they ask of you, but a little more than is
  expected. Write a letter of appreciation for all your parents do or make them
  something special.
     Remember "Mother's Day" and "Father's Day" and birthdays and other
  special times.

   1. How important are feelings? How does the Bible address itself to feelings as
      they involve relationships to others?

   2. What kind of love is commanded of husbands and wives?

   3. Look up the word "love" in the dictionary.

   4. Think of some additional non-verbal ways in which we communicate love in
      the family.

   5. What do the following verses indicate about non -verbal communication?
      Gen. 3:7-10; 4:5-6; 32:6-7; 37:3; 39:4
                           MEMORY VERSE
                           "And whatsoever you do in word or deed, do all in
                           the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and
                           the Father by Him"
                           --Col. 3:17
                             "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" is a maxim
                             that can be applied to the family. Carl Brecheen says,
                             "Dullness captivates the marriage that does not try new
things: different foods, eating places, wallpaper, carpet, paint, ideas, jokes, books,
magazines. Every time you see a happy vibrant marriage, chances are they are
growing through trying new things together, learning new things, talking about new
ideas, and experimenting. God gave us creativity and expects us to use it." Dr.
Brecheen's statements can well be applied to the entire family in terms of activities,
recreation or just doing something together. In this lesson we want to look a t some
Bible principles that regulate family activities. And we want to make a practical
application of these principles to our family lives.

      1. God gives us time and expects us to use it wisely (Eph. 5:15 -16). Good use of
  time actually involves the principle of stewardship (I Cor. 4:1)
      2. It takes time to look to the ways of your household (Prov. 31:26). Husbands
  and wives need to take time for each other and for their children. How can we
  teach and train our children if we are never with them? How can we show love and
  affection toward our wives, if we are never home with them?
      3. We need quality time, not just a quantity of time with our families. Time
  spent where there is a sense of emotional presence and a shared interest without
      4. What we do with our time depends upon our values and priorities. If they are
  right, our time will be well spent.

     1. Many lessons of life that have a spiritual application can be learned through
  various forms of family activities.
     2. Respect for other people's interest (Matt. 7:12), cooperation, team work,
  oneness, and unity are good traits learned from various forms of recreation (Phil.
     3. We may learn how to properly glorify God in our bodies (I Cor 6:19-20), as
  well as fair play, sportsmanship and basic honesty in personal relationships (Rom.
     4. Various activities help us understand that everyone has different talents and
  abilities, but that each person is important (I Cor 12:14-31).
     5. Developing a bond of family affection will be the result of doing things
  together (Col. 3:17-21).
       1. They come under the provision of the home. Eating and drinking and
   recreational activities are not a part of the work of the church; they belong in the
   home. (ICor.11:22; I Tim. 5:8)
       2. Family functions should not be put before the Lord (Matt. 6:33).
       3. They should not appeal to the lewd, lascivious or sensual (Gal. 5:19 -21)
   Many activities today appeal to the indecent and base things of life. This is one of
   the dangers of dancing between unmarried people or with another person's mate.
       4. The activity should not cause me to think on wrong things (Phil. 4:8). Much
   of what is on television and movies today direct our thoughts upon impurity,
   dishonesty untruthfulness, etc.

      1. The activity should not place me or my family in an unequal yoke with
   unbelievers (2 Cor. 6:14-20) that would cause me to sin or compromise Bible
      2. No form of recreation should hinder my example or influence in the world
   (Matt. 5:13-16).
      3. The activity should not cause others to stumble, violate their conscience and
   thus sin (I Cor 8:13).
      4. I need to practice good stewardship and not do things that I cannot afford (I
   Cor 4:1)
      5. Does this activity build us up as a family and enrich us mentally, physically,
   emotionally, socially or spiritually?

      1. Ron Willingham says, "God designed us to be goal setters—to function best
   when we're pressing forward to reach a goal. Also, it's very interesting to learn that
   we each have a God-given, goal striving mechanism within us."
      2. This is in harmony with Bible teaching. Paul speaks of the great goal to
   which he was pressing (Phil. 3:13-14); the men of faith in Hebrews 11 all had goals;
   even authors of Bible books had goals for their readers (3 John 2; Luke 1:3 -4)
      3. You need to set some personal goals, spiritual goals and family goals.

1. Why is recreation the responsibility of the home and not the church?

2. How does stewardship of my time affect my choices of family activities?

3. What value is there in "fun and games" in the family? What are some activities that
are right within themselves, but due to certain situations could become wrong?

4. How important is goal setting within the family?    Why?
                         MEMORY VERSE
                         "And you fathers, do not provoke your children to
                         wrath, but bring them up in the training and
                         admonition of the Lord."
                         —Eph. 6:4

                          James R. Cope, who is a gospel preacher, lecturer on
                          "Solving Family Problems", and past president of Florida
                          College, once wrote: "Children do not ask to be born, nor
                          do they choose their parents. This should sober every
                          potential parent to weigh prayerfully his or her
responsibilities toward innocent and helpless offspring whose lives will be indelibly
marked by parental attitudes toward those whom they beget and bear. Christians
deliberately choose definite and peculiar duties when they become parents. Young
Christians who contemplate marriage need to realize that parenthood necessarily
brings obligations of the profoundest nature and degree." If this sounds rather
sobering, then take it to heart. In this lesson we raise the question: What are the
duties of godly parents?

      1.     When Jesus was a boy he "increased in wisdom and stature and in favor
  with God and man" (Luke 2:52). These four things are involved in the g rowth of
  the total person: Mental, physical, social and spiritual.
      2. Children need a good education that can be used in service to both God and
  man. This involves a proper mental attitude as well (Prov. 23:7). Since our bodies
  belong to God, children need to learn to take care of themselves (I Cor 6:19-20).
  Man is a social being; thus, the Bible deals with personal relationships (Rom
      3. All of these things are important, but underlying
  the development of the whole person should be a respect for God, t he
  will of God and the development of a relationship with God in one's
  youth (Eccl. 12:1).

Point 2 - To Discipline And Instruct Them In The Lord
      1. Admonition or instruction is "training by word, whether of encouragement,
  or, if necessary, by reproof. Discipline or nurture "primarily denotes the training
  of children...including instruction, correction or chastening" (Eph. 6:4, W.E. Vine)
  Such instruction is to be "in the Lord." That is, in harmony with the teaching of the
  Lord and the principles of the Word of God.
      2. Deuteronomy 6:5-9 is an excellent guide on how to teach our children.
      3. This God-given responsibility cannot be transferred to someone else.
  While we may use the aid of schools, Bible classes, camps, colleges, etc., it is the
  responsibility of parents to teach, train, discipline and instruct their own children.
      Point 3 - To Apply Correction
            "Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction will
         drive it far from him" (Prov.22:15). There is no doubt that God's Book
         teaches discipline with "the rod." When it is done in the right way for the
         right reason, it works.
            Other forms of correction may involve the losing of certain privileges.
         When possible it is important to make the punishment fit the crime as closely
         as possible.
            The two biggest mistakes by parents is either under-discipline or over-
         discipline. On the one hand a child is allowed to "get away with murder", and
         on the other "he is murdered for doing nothing." Parents must learn what
         issues are important and then honestly deal with them. Also consider: Prov.
         23:13-14; 19:18; 22:6

      Point 4 - To Avoid...
             1. Injustice. Children have an innate sense of fair ness. A failure to be
         fair can discourage the child (Col. 3:21).
             2. Indulgence. Like Eli of old it is easy to allow children "to run
         wild." Giving a child everything he wants often leads to selfishness and a
         lack of discipline on the part of the child (I Sam. 2:22; 3:11 -14).
             3. Partiality. Jacob made that mistake in his family and lived to regret it
         (Gen. 37:3-4). It led to jealousy.
             4. Inconsistency. Like the Pharisees of old, too many parents are often
         inconsistent in dealing with their children (Matt 23:1 -3). This is discouraging
         to a child.

            1. Indeed "children are an heritage of the Lord" (Psa. 127:3 -4) and we
         need to love them as such. The younger women are to be taught "to love, their
         children" (Titus 2:4). We're seeing in our day some mothers, as well as
         fathers, that lack natural affection (2 Tim. 3:3; Rom. 1:31).
            2. Love is the one principle that under-girds and guides all the other
         principles in teaching and training our children.
            3. A good example is the father of the prodigal son in Luke 15. When the
         son returned the father didn't run out and say, "I knew you would get into
         trouble." Rather, he received him with love and accepted him home as a son.

                      REACHING SOME CONCLUSIONS
1. According to Luke 2:52, what are the four ways in which Jesus grew? Give an
   example of each area as it applies to children today.
2. What are some specific ways we may discipline and instruct our children?
3. What is the purpose of correction?
4. What are some common mistakes parents make in raising their children?
5. What should be our attitude toward our children?
                             Wisdom In Family Matters
   1. As we continue our study of the Proverbs, we should keep in mind two things:
      a. Life is short
      b. Our eternal existence is greatly influenced by how we live during this short life
   2. It is imperative, then, that we not waste our time through rash and foolish decisions...
      a. Which not only jeopardize our eternal destiny...
      b. ...but can also make this life miserable
   3. The value of wisdom is especially seen in family relationships
      a. "He who troubles his own house will inherit the wind..." - Pr 11:29
      b. Life is too short and families grow too fast for us to raise a family through "trial and error"
   4. We must seek advice in this all-important task...
      a. But where shall we go?
      b. To so-called "experts" who authoritatively give advice, but then all too often change their
          views later on after the damage has been done? (e.g., Dr. Spock and his earlier views on
   5. Fortunately, in His grace God has preserved in His all-sufficient book the wisdom needed to
      provide for and raise a family. Much of this wisdom in found in "The Book Of Proverbs"!
I. Wisdom In Providing For A Family
   A. Consider What Many People Think Is Most Important In Providing For A Family...
      1. Many would say it is the "necessities" of life
          a. Such as food and clothing
          b. And a place of shelter
      2. Most would feel that other things are also necessary...
          a. Such as the "finer things" (luxuries) for the children, which parents never had as
          b. A good "education" for the children, so they too can be affluent
   B. Where The Emphasis Should Be In Providing For A Family...
      1. Instilling a FEAR OF THE LORD - Pr 15:16
          a. More important than riches is providing for family through an example & a deep,
              abiding respect for God
          b. For the fear of the Lord provides:
              1) The beginning of knowledge - Pr 1:7
              2) A means to prolong life - Pr 10:27
             3) The key to avoiding sin - Pr 16:6
             4) The key to true wealth - Pr 22:4
         c. "Fear of the Lord" is perhaps most important "provision" that one can give to their
      2. Giving them LOVE - Pr 15:17
         a. Providing environment where love reigns more important than providing material
         b. Troubled children come from homes where "love" is lacking, not money!
      3. Providing a PEACEFUL family life - Pr 17:1
         a. Where there is peace and tranquility in a family, material affluence matters little
         b. But what value is there in wealth, if we are always fighting over the things it provides?
      4. A wise father (or mother) realizes that SPIRITUAL provisions are more important than
      MATERIAL ones
         a. They will see that the family receives what is truly important
         b. Even it means cutting back on less important things
   C. What Can Be Done To Ensure Adequate Material Provisions For The Family...
      1. Be RIGHTEOUS - Pr 20:7
         a. Today that means putting the kingdom of God first in your life - Mt 6:33
         b. Then God will watch out for you and providentially see that your needs are adequately
         c. Children of righteous parents are truly blessed!
         d. But parents who fail to put God first go through life without God's providential help,
             and their children may suffer as a result!
      2. Concentrate on acquiring WISDOM and KNOWLEDGE, not wealth - Prov 24:3-4
         a. This would involve careful study & application of God's Word, especially book like
         b. But it also involves living a dedicated life as a disciple (learner) of Jesus Christ, in
             whom are hidden the treasures of wisdom and knowledge - cf. Co 2:2-3
II. Wisdom In Raising Children
   A. Inspired Wisdom Is Explicit In The Proper Use Of Corporeal Punishment"...
      1. Used properly, it is a demonstration of true love - Pr 13:24
      2. Proper discipline has proper objectives...
         a. To remove foolishness from the child - Pr 22:15
         b. To save the soul of the child - Pr 23:13-14
      c. To impart wisdom and to avoid shame - Pr 29:15
   3. Proper discipline has its rewards - Pr 29:17
      a. Such as "rest" and "delight"
      b. A child who will love you and live in such a way as to bring you delight
   4. Of course, there must be the proper application of corporeal punishment - Pr 19:18
      a. To be applied before the situation gets of out hand ("while there is hope")
      b. To be applied under controlled circumstances ("do not set your heart on his
          1) I.e., do not put it off until you strike in anger
          2) There IS a difference between proper "spanking" and "child abuse"!
      c. Corporeal punishment should never be a vent for letting off steam...
          1) Rather, a controlled use of one method to discourage bad behavior
          2) To be accompanied with love! - cf. Eph 6:4 (as implied by the word "nurture")
B. More Wisdom From A Familiar Verse - Pr 22:6
   1. As commonly translated: "train up a child in the way he should go"
      a. This allows for the common interpretation in which a child's outcome is virtually
          dependent upon his training, especially in spiritual matters
          1) I.e., if the child is brought up right by godly parents, the child "must" turn out all
          2) So if a child is not a faithful Christian, it must always be a failing of the parents
      b. But this view suggests "environmental predestination", or "behavioral determinism"
          (shades of B. F. Skinner, cf. his book "Walden II")
   2. Literally, the verse can be translated: "train up a child according to HIS way"
      a. That is, train up a child according to his or her inclinations
      b. For example, don't try to force child who is mechanically inclined to be a doctor or a
      c. Rather, bring up a child according to his or her aptitude, and they will likely continue
          what they start out in life doing (i.e., no "mid-life" crisis or career changes)
      d. Therefore, this verse, like so many in Proverbs, is simply giving us practical advice in
          raising our children (without necessarily any spiritual implications)
   3. However, I might add that trying to force a child to go against their "aptitude" may
      encourage a child to rebel in ALL areas of parental influence (including spiritual)
             Nurturing Children or Raisin' Cain?
   1. Request: Please do a lesson on raising children (scriptures) with love and discipline.
   2. Question implies a link between discipline, love, & proper rearing of children. That linkage is
         proper. (1 Thes 2:11-12; Heb 12:5-6, 10-11)
   3. Children are our inheritance from God – Psalm 127:3 (Prov 17:6).
   4. Goal: Present our children to the Lord – Gen 18:19; 1 Sam 1:22; 2:11.
   5. Heavenly Father knows best how to rear children. Listen to His word of wisdom, or we are
         liable to ‗raise Cain‘ instead of rearing children!
 A. Instruction – cf. Prov 1:8-9.
  1. Teach about life; teach word of God, Deut 4:8-10; 6:4-9; 11:18-19.
  2. Training in righteousness (cf. Timothy, 2 Tim 3:15).
 B. Correction – Prov. 3:12, 13:24; 22:15; 29:17.
 A. Insist that Your Children Obey You – Eph 6:1-3. (Teach & correct)
  1. ―The thing that impresses me the most about America is the way parents obey their children.‖
     (King Edward VIII, 1894 - 1972)
  2. ―There was a time when we expected nothing of our children but obedience, as opposed to the
     present, when we expect everything of them but obedience.‖ (Anatole Broyard) cf. Prov. 30:11
  3. Jesus & His parents – Lk. 2:51.
  4. Eli & his sons – 1 Sam. 2:12, 22-25, 29; 3:13.
 B. Praise as Well as Punish.
  1. Make the punishment fit the offense (cf. Eli, 1 Sam. 2:22-24).
  2. Punishment w/o praise will break a child‘s spirit – Col. 3:21 (―to be disheartened, dispirited,
     broken in spirit‖).
  3. Be fair-minded & just.
 C. Give Them What They Need, Not Necessarily What They Want – Matt. 7:8-11.
  1. ―It is not giving children more that spoils them; it is giving them more to avoid confrontation.
     (John Gray, “Children Are From Heaven”)
  2. Say ―yes‖ when you can & ―no‖ when you must!
 D. Be Consistent – 1 Sam. 2:12, 22; 3:13.
  1. In teaching, correction (Follow through; Stay in control).
  2. Practice what you preach (2 Tim. 1:5).
 E. Do Not Show Favoritism – Gen. 26:28; 37:3.
   -Recognize & respect individuality while remaining impartial.
 F. Work Together – Lk. 2:51 (cf. Gen. 27:5).
  1. Children sense conflict between parents & exploit it! (Matt. 12:25)
  2. Share & help each other with the children, the home, etc.
 G. Find & Develop the Child’s “Way” – Prov. 22:6.
  1. Don‘t try to make him/her into what you wanted to be, but weren‘t.
  2. Give direction & discipline fit for each – cf. Eccl. 2:3; 5:18-19; 12:1.
  3. ―The art of mothering is to teach the art of living to children. (Elain Heffner, O Magazine,
     May 2003)
 H. Set Godly Examples – Isa. 39:4; Prov. 4:1-4 (2 Tim. 1:5).
  1. Love God (Matt. 22:37): Obey, worship, put Him first, etc.
  2. Love man (Matt. 22:39): Honesty, fairness, kindness, mercy, etc.
 I. Pray for God‘s Help – Judg. 13:8-9; Jas. 1:5-8 (Phil. 4:6-7).
   -Rely on God‘s truth to direct you – Prov. 3:5-6.
 J. Be Patient.
  1. Start early in life – 2 Tim. 3:15 (cf. Hannah & Samuel; Jochebed & Moses).
  2. Stay the course – Prov. 19:18; 23:13-14; 29:15.
 K. Confess & Repent When You Sin against Your Children – cf. Jas. 5:16.
   -Parents sin against their children (Col. 3:21). Deal with it God‘s way!
 L. Remember: The Responsibility & Accountability is Yours.
  1. Seek counsel – cf. Tit. 2:4; Prov. 11:14; 15:22.
  2. Filter the well-meaning advice, suggestions, recommendations of others through the sieve of
     truth & wisdom.
  3. Beware of intrusive meddlers & meddling – 1 Pet. 4:15.
  4. Everyone is an expert: ―Before I got married I had six theories bringing up children; now I
     have six children and no theories.‖ (John Wilmot)
1. Men are generally more careful of the breed of their horses and dogs than of their children.‖
   (William Penn, 1644 - 1718)
2. Children deserve our careful attention (Prov. 29:15).
3. Use God’s word – not human theories & ―wisdom‖ – to teach us to train up our children in the
   “training and admonition of the Lord.”
  Specific Bible Teachings On Raising Children
1. Talk to them about God constantly: in the house, in the car,
     morning, noon, and night...Place Spiritual messages in front
     of them. Deut. 6:1-9

2. Love them enough to discipline them: do not spare the rod.
     Prov 13:24; 19:18; 22:15; 23:13-14; 29:17

3. Teach them to work. Prov 18:9; 6:6

4. Do not allow "sass" or "backtalk." Cursing parents is a
     major offense. Prov 20:20

5. Train Children while they are young. Providing room
     and board, along with taxi-service to little league is not
     "training." Prov 22:6; Eccl 12:1

6. Do not leave the children by themselves. Television, video
     games and music will teach someone else's values—not
     yours! Prov 29:15

7. Do not pamper children when they are young. If you do
     you will be sorry! Prov 29:21

 8. Don't exasperate your children, rather train and instruct
     them in the Lord's way as they grow up. Eph 6:4

                                   Dr. J o e B r u m f i e l d ( F a l l 1997)
                    Commandments For Parents                                       - Dr. Joe Brumfield

1. Say what you mean and mean what you say:
       • Shoot straight with your words and feelings.
       • Your children deserve to know how to play your game.

2. Always tell the truth:
       •Tell the truth even if. you think or know it will hurt the child.
       • You expect them to tell you the truth.

3. Act out what you say:
       • Do not tell them one thing and then have another set of rules for yourself.
       • Be the example.

4. Communicate:
       • Most family problems are caused by something unsaid, assumed or not thoroughly discussed.
       • Misunderstandings usually come from poor communication and the lack of facts.

5. Apologize:
        • Parents are not perfect.
        • Never fail to admit your faults and shortcomings. Admit you errors.
        • If you are guilty of misjudging, apologize.
        • If you wrongly accuse, ask forgiveness.

6. Consult your children:
        • Children have a lot more sense and depth than you give them credit for having. Seek their ideas.
          Ask for their opinions.
        • Be proud when they demonstrate to you their love and understanding.

7. Discipline only in love:
        • Never discipline in anger.
        • If you threaten to punish and do not, you have only accomplished frustration.
        • Consider and think about discipline before acting. The offender might be doing something you
          did not realize you taught him.

 8. Love the other parent:
        • One of the greatest g i f t s that parents can give their children is to show and understanding for
          one another.
        • Children learn what real love is from what they feel and witness from you.

 9. Have faith in your children:
         • Give them some latitude, if you show them you trust them, they will respond by being
         • If you have faith in them they will have faith in you.

 10. Always keep your promises:
         • Never promise anything you can not or do not intend to fulfill.
         • If circumstances make it impossible for you to keep a promise, then talk it out and explain the
           reason thoroughly.

1. They aren't in love with Jesus.

2. They are in love with the world.

3. Christianity doesn't seem to work for them.

4. Christianity seems boring.

5. They do not understand how much God love's them.

6. Eternal things do not seem urgent right now.

7. Following Jesus is not popular.

8. Christianity doesn't seem to answer the problems and
questions that they have.
9. They do not know what is at stake.

10. They do not perceive the reality of the unseen world.

11. Media influence and worship
12. Poor role modeling from parents

13. Not feeling a part—not owning the church

14. Kids don't perceive parents faith as genuine

15. Parents seem to be trying to earn way to heaven
Top Ten predictors of adolescent spirituality
1. The practice of spiritual disciplines (Prayer, Bible
2. A positive view of God
3. Family spirituality
4. Sexual involvement (sexual purity)
5. Substance abuse (abstinence)
6. Family communication
7. Church attendance
8. Youth group involvement
9. Congregational style (is the congregation cold and rigid,
   or a place of love and joy?)
10. Age (16 & 18 in particular are decisive times for teens)
      Top Ten Childhood Difficulties
1. Death of a family member or close friend.
2. Parental Divorce and subsequent remarriage
3. Father's alcohol use and abuse
4. Serious personal injury or illness
5. Parental abuse, whether physical, emotional, or sexual
6. Drug abuse by an older sibling
7. Poverty, mainly due to failed marriages
8. Emotional illness of a family member
9. Sexual acting out of an older sibling
10. Under-involvement of father
                                                               MEMORY VERSE
                                            "”Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His
                                            mighty power. Put on the full armor of
                                            God so that you can take your stand
                                            against the devil’s schemes.”
                                                                              —Eph. 6:10-11 (NIV)

    The building of a strong family is no more an accident than the building of a house.
       It takes a blueprint, someone in charge of the project, materials and workers. In
       the family, we have God's blueprint, the Bible, with the husband leading the
       way and the wife and children working together. In this final lesson, we want
       to study six building blocks for building a strong family. These six
       characteristics are the results of years of study by Dr. Nick Stinnet, former
       chairman of the department of Human development and the Family at the
       University of Nebraska and now at Pepperdine University, and his colleagues.
       What is interesting is that the principles presented have already been revealed in
       God's Word. Family researchers are finding out that the Bible is the best
       handbook available for building strong families .

Point 1 - Strong Families Practice Appreciation
         1. "The need to be appreciated is one of the most basic of human needs...and
    one of the most important qualities found in strong families. These family members
    b u i l d each other up psychologically and make each other feel good about him or
         2. Isn't this a practical application of the golden rule? (Matt. 7:12)
    How do you like to be treated?
         3. "Be. ye. kind one. to anothe.1" (Eph. 4:32) involves appreciation in the
    family. Appreciation is a quality of love from I Corinthians 13 that is kind and
         4. The home should be a positive atmosphere where each member feels wanted and
    loved. Simply saying "thank you" is one of the most basic ways to practice
    appreciation in the home.
Point 2 - S t r o n g F a m i l i e s S p e n d T i m e T o g e t h e r & C o m m u n i c a t e E f f e c t i v e l y
      1. "Strong families genuinely enjoy being together and spend a good deal of
  time doing all kinds of things all areas from eating meals, to recreation,
  to work."
      2. There is no way we can fulfill God's commands to our children and to our
  husbands or wives without being together.
      3. "...Research shows that strong families have very good communication
  patterns. They avoid communicating through rumor and talk directly. And they also
  show deep respect by listening very carefully...they keep their confli cts out in the
  open and talk them over until a solution is reached that is best for everybody." (Eph.
  4:25-26,29; Eccl. 5:2) .
  Note: Quotes are taken from Dr. Stinnet's report as reported by DADS ONLY
      1. "Strong families are deeply committed to promoting each other's
  happiness and welfare. They are also committed to the family group which is
  reflected in the amount of time and energy they invest there. When life gets
  too hectic, strong families sit down and eliminate some activities and
  involvements so that their family relationships and lives can be happier and
  more satisfying."
      2. Once again we see God's plan is the best! Marriage is honorable (Heb.
  13:4) and must be lifetime commitment (Matt.19:9).
      3. The reverence a wife has for her husband (Eph. 5:33), love a husband
  has for his wife (Col. 3:19) and the honor children show to their parents (Eph.
  6:1-2) reflect this type of family commitment.

     "Research for several decades has shown a positive correlation of religion to
  marriage happiness and successful family living...Their sense for God brings
  purpose and strength to their family and helps them be more patient, forgiving,
  positive, and supportive in their relationships."
     Jesus said, "Seek ye first the kingdom of a God..." (Matt. 6:33). Paul wrote,
  "Set your affections on things above, not on things of the earth. ” Peter exhorted
  husbands to "be considerate as you live with your wives…so that nothing will
  hinder your prayers.” (I Pet 3:7). Yes, families who follow Biblical teaching will
  be stronger, happier and more successful in life.
       1.    "Crises confront every family and no one enjoys a strong families
   are able to respond to the problem in a constructive way—to see some
   positive element in even the darkest of Crises cause strong families to pull
       2.    Christians follow the admonition of James 1:2-3: “My brethren count it
   all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your
   faith worketh patience.”
       3.    Jay Adams says, "Christians admit their sins...know what to do about
   their sins...progress out of their sins." Such an attitude helps the strong family
   deal with crises.
1. Think of some specific ways in which we can show appreciation in our families.
2. What is the value in families spending time together?
3. What are some lessons you have learned about communication in this study?
4. Discuss what it means to be committed to the family unit. What are some ways in
   which we show this?
5. What are the effects of uncorrected sin in the home?
                           Qualities of Strong and Healthy Families
                                                (Dr. Joe Brumfield, 1996)

1. They have a spiritual foundation and lifestyle.
2. They admit their problems and search for help.
3. They regularly compliment and encourage each other.
4. They work at communicating and listening to each other, (communication is balanced, direct, and open)
5. They teach and share responsibility.
6. They consciously sacrifice other good things to spend quality and quantity time together.
7. They have a firm parental coalition and clear family rules, (expectations are clear)
8.   They have quality family table time and conversation.
9.   They share adaptability and flexibility in family function.
10. They value formal and informal family rituals and traditions.
11. They demonstrate affection with other family members.
12. They honor their older family members.           __ _ ___ __. __
13. Every family member is valued, and their contributions are seen as essential.
14. Physical and emotional security and support are provided for each member.
15. They are hospitable and have surrounding rings of friends and relatives.
16. Each family member has the ability to grow and change.
17. Each one has the ability to accept help when appropriate and the ability for self-help.
18. The family has the ability to use a crisis or hurtful experience as a means for growth.
19. The family has a clear commitment to unity, cooperation, and loyalty.
20. There is the ability to build and maintain relationships outside the family.
(adapted from Curran, 1983; Stinnet, 1979; Lewis, et al., 1976; Howard, 1978; Satir, 1972; Otto, 1975)
                           The Ideal Family That God Loves


  1. With love & w/out bitterness, as Christ loved church - Col 3:19; Eph 5:25-29

  2. With understanding, honor, tenderness, and as fellow heirs - 1 Pet 3:7


  1. With love and obedience - Tit 2:4-5

  2. With submission, as the church is to submit to Christ - Col 3:18; Eph 5:22-24


  1. Without provoking them to wrath - Col 3:21; Eph 6:4a

  2. In the nurture and admonition of the Lord - Eph 6:4b

  3. With proper discipline when needed - Prov 13:24; 19:18; 29:17; Heb 12:7-10


  1. With love - Tit 2:4

  2. As homemakers, managers of the home - Tit 2:4; 1 Tim 5:14; cf. Prov 31:10-31


  1. With obedience - Col 3:20; Eph 6:1

  2. With honor - Eph 6:2-3; cf. Prov 31:28


  1. Having a genuine faith from one generation to another - cf. 2 Tim 1:5

  2. With devotion to God that surpasses even devotion to each other - Matt 10:37

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