Lesson Number Seventeen
The Perfect Home
An artist was commissioned to paint a picture depicting security, love, and peace. After considerable thought about each characteristic, he finally decided this could best be illustrated in the peace and security of a happy home.
It is true that this is everyone's ideal, everyone's dream. The hope of true happiness and contentment on earth and a life of heavenly bliss is dreamed of by many, but how few seem to realize this ultimate of goals.
Most marriages start out right, with the partners riding on the glorious clouds of blissful hopes and dreams of the future. Why does the collapse come with its heartbreak and separation? Why are there so many unhappy homes, bewildered children, and separated parents?
The uplifting of humanity begins with the individual and becomes a reality when lived in the family. The influence of the home goes further than the neighborhood. It influences the whole of society which is made up of families. Society degrades spiritually and morally when the product of the family offers nothing better than what they themselves learned and practiced since childhood. Assets, money, position, friends, all have their place, but these cannot bring lasting happiness. This can only be found where practical, experimental, God fearing living exists. Everyone should be happy, and this is within the reach of all.
Origin of the Happy Family
“But for Adam there was not found an help meet for him” Genesis 2:20. Therefore God created a companion: “And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should he alone; I will make him an help meet for him.” Genesis 2:18.
Man and woman were perfect when God created and united them in sacred wedlock. People were not made to dwell in solitude. In the joining of two lives in a bond of unity, our Creator instituted the "law of marriage."
“Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” Genesis 2:24.
“Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” Matthew 19:6.
The Garden of Eden was a most beautiful gift that God gave to the first couple. It had pleasant surroundings and was a pattern of the home and home environment for future happy families on this earth.
Not long after the fall, the blessed institution of marriage was lowered to such an extent that God could not tolerate the abomination of unsanctified marriages (and other evils) among the earth's inhabitants. This corruption was having such a devastating effect upon God's remaining children, that God eventually destroyed the corrupt inhabitants of the earth with the flood.
“And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.” Genesis 6:1, 2.
Unlawful marriages between children of the righteous with children of the unbelievers caused wickedness to spread rapidly through the earth and led to the destruction of the antediluvian people. This unequal yoke is one of the causes of human degradation today.
“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?” 2 Corinthians 6:14, 15.
It is God's purpose through the gospel to restore marriage to its original place. Families who have been separated for different reasons can be reunited through the gospel. Parents and children should be linked together in a happy home.
“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: and he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.” Malachi 4:5, 6.
“. . . Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things.” Matthew 17:11.
Perfect restoration may only be genuinely accomplished when it harmonizes with God's Word.
Responsibility of the Husband
Happiness in the home depends very much on the husband. He should be interested in the welfare of his family. His sympathies toward his wife and children are essential. His words should be soft, gentle, full of tenderness, yet resolute. The wise man tells us: “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness.” Proverbs 15:1, 2.
The husband should never forget that he is responsible for his family. He is the head of the house: “For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church.” Ephesians 5:23.
Although the husband is the head, he should not tread underfoot his wife. Eve was taken from Adam's side, to symbolize her place by his side. Eve was not to rule, but to be a helper and companion. Husbands must love their wives; each is to complement the other.
“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.” Ephesians 5:25.
When the husband comes home he should put aside his troubles of the day. He should have a ready smile and courteous words for his family. His wife and children need his advice, strength and help, as well as the sympathy, tenderness, and love. "Please excuse me," "I am sorry," "thank you," should be spontaneous words from his lips.
A good man will rule his family with wisdom: “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.” James 3:17.
The behavior of the parents toward their children is very important. When parents set a good example, children will be quick to follow. Actions speak louder than words. Parents should not provoke their children: “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” Ephesians 6:4.
If the husband fulfils his duty, he sets in motion the first steps toward happiness in the home.
Responsibility of the Wife
Happiness also depends on the wife. She may not be happy with the furnishings of the house. Unnecessary complaints may arise. Overtired and weary, her patience may be frayed. When the husband comes home, he should not be bombarded with all the problems of the day. Solomon says: “It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman.” Proverbs 21:19.
“Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.” Ephesians 5:24.“Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.” Colossians 3:18.
If the husband is unreasonable and requires that which is contrary to the will of the Lord, she should not submit herself. But if the request is in harmony with the Lord, it is her duty to obey and accept the decision of the husband, because this is God's command. However, seldom should this be necessary, for both partners should work in cooperation with each other, considering the needs and desires of the spouse before decisions are made.
While the husband is away from the home, the wife has the responsibility to educate the children and mold their characters. This task is a lifelong responsibility and if faithful, she will be rewarded with the beautiful qualities of a well-principled family here, and the promise of an undivided family in heaven.
Timothy's mother and grandmother are examples of faithful women: “When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.” 2 Timothy 1:5.
A diligent, faithful woman is of more value than any amount of material gain: “Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. . . . She looketh well to the ways of her household and eateth not the bread of idleness. Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.” Proverbs 31:10-12, 27, 28.
The Education of Children
The education of children in the home should start from infancy. They need to form correct habits and training from the cradle. Their minds are plastic, and impressions are easily made.
“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6.
Parents should not forget that they are responsible for the future of their children. On the other hand children must know the fifth commandment by heart and by practice: “Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.” Exodus 20:12.
“Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise.” Ephesians 6:1, 2.
Sometimes corrections involve punishment. The wise king Solomon says: “The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame. . . . Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest; yea, he shall give delight unto thy soul.” Proverbs 29:15, 17.
A practical religion in a family is vitally important. Every morning and every evening the family should come together and offer their prayers to God. The children should also take part in this worship. The reading of the Bible is essential during this great educational period as it builds a hedge about the children.
“And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” 2 Timothy 3:15.
The family circle is the school in which the child receives its first and most enduring lessons. Their own household is the first missionary field in which parents are required to labor.
“Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them.” Ecclesiastes 12:1.
The Ideal Home
“Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them. Children, obey your parent in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord. Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.” Colossians 3:18-21.
The family has a sacred circle where nobody should intrude. Husbands and wives should carry the burdens of one another, and keep between themselves every defect that one may find in the other. Nobody but Jesus should know what happens in the marriage circle. They should ask Him what is right and what is wrong, for to Him they wilt have to render an account.
The key to happiness is found in the following Bible verses: “Blessed is every one that feareth the Lord; that walketh in his ways. For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shalt be well will thee.” Psalm 128:1, 2.
Remember to fear the Lord, to walk in His ways, and to eat of the labor of your hands, because this is the way to happiness. The promise reads: “happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee.”
Husbands, wives, and children must strive to fulfil their duties. Their home could be as heaven on earth, or it could deteriorate into a living hell. Make your home a happy one, by walking in the counsels of God.
When Jesus comes again, many faithful parents will bring their children to the Lord. They have been saved by their untiring efforts and persevering prayers: “Behold, l and the children whom the Lord hath given me are for signs and for wonders in Israel from the Lord of hosts, which dwelleth in mount Zion.” Isaiah 8:18.
Quiz For Lesson Number Seventeen
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