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Article 17 - Marriage and the Home
Marriage and the Home
Jon Gary Williams
MARRIAGE AND THE HOME - Part 1
I. What is marriage?
A. Marriage was the first institution God made.
1. After man's creation woman was created to be his companion in marriage. (Gen. 2:7, 21-25)
2. When Adam and Eve sinned and were driven from Eden, what one thing was salvaged?
B. Marriage is a permanent relationship.
1. God hates putting away. (Mal. 2:15,16)
2. Man is not to dissolve what God joins. (Mt. 19:6)
C. Marriage is monogamous.
1. Mt. 19:5; I Cor. 7:2
2. Polygamy & polyandry are sinful.
D. Marriage was designed for three purposes.
1. To propagate the human race.
a. Gen. 1:28; Gen. 9:1 Ps. 127:3,5
b. Bringing children into the world is a blessing from God.
2. To provide companionship.
a. Gen.2:18; Prov.18:22 God knew this need.
b. Husband and wife are companions in a special sense.
3. To prevent immorality.
a. This is true in regard to premarital sex (I Cor. 7:1,2)
b. This is true in regard to extra-martial sex (Heb. 13:4)
II. How is the sanctity of marriage being disrupted?
A. It is being impugned with sarcasm and slander.
1. "Marriage is just a human experiment...it has evolved."
2. "Marriage is a left-over practice of Puritan custom." "Marriage is outdated and archaic"
3. "Marriage is a crutch for those handicapped by religion."
B. It is being violated and discarded
1. This is done through the avenues of the entertainment media, popular literature and education.
2. So-called "free love" is encourage by the "everyone is doing it" ethic.
3. The popular notion is: "Who needs marriage? We can have sex without being married."
C. It is being de-emphasized by a growing anti-religious, liberal philosophy.
1. Many marriage counselors and psychologists take a purely secular approach to marriage. (The spiritual and moral aspects of marriage are slowly being abandoned.)
2. Often people are prematurely advised to seek divorce.
3. People are even encouraged to have sexual affairs with others in order to "enhance" their marriages.
III. What can be done to preserve and maintain the marriage relationship?
A. Emphasize Biblical principles.
1. God's word contains "all" man needs concerning moral matters. (II Pet.1:3)
2. God's word was given for "instruction in righteousness." (II Tim.3:16)
B. Emphasize the need for pleasing God.
1. Jesus is the prime example. (Matt. 26:39; Jn. 8:29; Phil. 2:5-8)
2. Christians are to please God. (I Thess. 4:1)
C. Emphasize those things that bond husband and wife together.
- - - - -
MARRIAGE AND THE HOME - Part 2
I. Love and the marriage relationship.
A. What is love? (Four Greek words: eros, storge, philia, agape)
1. Love between husband and wife is not:
a. eros - self-gratifying love.
b. storge - legal (obligatory) love.
2. Love between husband and wife is:
a. philia - friendship love.
b. agape - deep, compassionate, sacrificial love.
B. True love explained.
1. While true love involves feelings, it is more than this.
2. It involves attitudes and actions. (Every Biblical illustration of love is a description of the way love is expressed. (cf. Rom. 5:8; Jn. 15:13)
3. It involves acceptance and support. "For better or for worse."
4. It involves trust and assurance.
C. A Biblical survey of love. (I Cor. 13:4-8a)
1. "suffereth long" - patience, forbearance, tolerance.
2. "and is kind" - compassion, consideration, generosity.
3. "envieth not" - not jealous, envious or resentful.
4. "vaunteth not itself" - not boastful, vain or conceited.
5. "not puffed up" - not arrogant, rude or proud.
6. "not behave itself unseemly" - not unbecoming, improper or ugly.
7. "seeketh not her (its) own" - not selfish, greedy or insistent.
8. "not easily provoked" - not ill-tempered, angry or out of control.
9. "thinketh no evil" - does not remember (take account of) any evil done to itself.
10. "rejoiceth not in iniquity" - not pleased when observing sin.
11. "rejoiceth in the truth" - pleased when seeing goodness.
12. "beareth...believeth...hopeth...endureth all things" - no limit to what it can withstand, trust, anticipate and tolerate.
II. Marriage Beatitudes.
A. The spiritual attitudes Jesus gave in his sermon on the mount are qualities of interpersonal relationships and are especially important to husbands and wives. (Matt. 5:3-11)
B. How these eight attitudes translate to the marriage partnership.
1. "Blessed are the poor in spirit"
a. Or, "Blessed are those who humble themselves before God and other people."
b. This is one who no longer puts self at the center.
c. Translation for the marriage relation - "I was wrong."
2. "Blessed are they that mourn"
a. Or, "Blessed are those who are remorseful for wrong doing."
b. This is one who is moved by an active conscience.
c. Translation for the marriage relation - "I am sorry."
3. "Blessed are the meek"
a. Or, "Blessed are those who do not demand their rights."
b. This is one who does not insist that his/her way is the only way.
c. Translation for the marriage relation - "I will do what is best for you."
4. "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness"
a. Or, "Blessed are those who, though they may not be aware of what is right, desire to find it."
b. This is one who knows there is a right way and is searching for it.
c. Translation for the marriage relation - "I want to do what is right, regardless."
5. "Blessed are the merciful"
a. Or, "Blessed are those who have sympathy for one who errs."
b. This is one who has a heart led by compassion.
c. Translation for the marriage relation - "I forgive you."
6. "Blessed are the pure in heart"
a. Or, "Blessed are those who are virtuous and chaste."
b. This is one who manifests high moral standards.
c. Translation for the marriage relation - "I belong to you and you alone."
7. "Blessed are the peacemakers"
a. Or, "Blessed are those who initiate reconciliation."
b. This is one who is humble enough to take the first step when things go wrong.
c. Translation for the marriage relation - "I will be the first to make up."
8. "Blessed are they which are persecuted...reviled...spoken against"
a. Or, "Blessed are those who endure unfair reproach without criticizing."
b. This is one who, though unjustly rebuked, will not retaliate.
c. Translation for the marriage relation - "I will make allowance for your bad days."
C. The happy results of owning these qualities.
1. "Rejoice and be exceeding glad"
2. Husbands and wives who cherish these attitudes have reason to rejoice.
- - - - -
MARRIAGE AND THE HOME - Part 3
Story books sometimes say: "And they lived happily ever after." That may be the storybook ending, but the wedding is really just the beginning. Happiness in the marriage relation is not handed on a platter. Husbands and wives must work together to have happy homes. What are some tests that marriages face?
I. Marriage tests.
A. The test of adjustment.
1. Life has many adjustments: school, occupation, social life.
2. The most difficult adjustment is marriage. Why?
a. It is such a different and intimate relationship.
b. Two separate lives are molded together into "one." (Matt. 19:5,6)
3. Adjusting to each others needs helps bond a marriage.
4. What are some things in which adjustments may need to be made?
a. Tidiness, attractiveness, neatness, moods (emotions), sex
b. What are some other possible areas of adjustment?
B. The test of loyalty/faithfulness
1. Loyalty in one's social life is something all seek - work, friends, relatives.
2. However, the greatest loyalty involves marriage. (Heb. 13:4)
3. Life has many enticements that can lure people into unfaithfulness.
a. Wrong places, obscene novels and pornography.
b. What are other ways people can be lured into unfaithfulness?
4. How can unfaithfulness be prevented? (Jam. 4:7) (cf. Lk. 4:13)
5. Remember, in the first century Christian marriages flourished in the midst of pagan sensuality. "Marriage can be a hardy plant. Take care of its roots and you will enjoy its fruits."
C. The test of mutual consideration.
1. Having sincere consideration for each other is a must!
2. This involves the practice of giving and sharing.
3. Mutual consideration is especially true in the sexual relation.
a. Husbands and wives no longer belong to themselves but each other. (I Cor. 7:3,4) (Many marriages end because people fail to appreciate the important role of mutual consideration in sex.)
b. What can help to remove this problem?
D. The test of regard for one's station in life.
1. God made each person different from all the rest.
2. Husbands and wives are not carbon copies of each other. They honor and respect the place God designed for each.
a. The husband respects his wife by demonstrating love. (Eph. 5:25,28,29)
b. The wife respects her husband by regarding his headship. (Eph. 5:22-24)
3. The respect of husband and wife should be complimentary.
4. What are some ways this respect can be hindered?
E. The test of in-laws.
1. The fact that there are so many jokes about "in laws" indicates that this has been a problem for many marriages.
2. Many young people entering marriage do not realize they are, in a sense, marrying a "family." (People assume not only a relationship with a spouse, but also with the spouse's relatives.)
3. However, it must be remembered that the relationship between husband and wife takes precedence over all others. (The father and mother of the bride and groom as well as brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, etc., take second place.)
4. Interference from "in laws" has ruined many marriages.
a. Sometimes it is necessary to explain to relatives they are interfering.
b. How can this be done without hurting one's feelings?
5. The principle set forth by God in the beginning and reinforced by Christ should always be kept in mind. (Gen. 2:24; Matt. 19:5)
F. The test of children.
1. One of the divine purposes of marriage is procreation. (Gen. 1:28)
a. God designed children to be a blessing. (Ps. 127:3)
b. What is the primary responsibility of parents? (Eph. 6:1-4)
2. While children help bind husband and wife together, yet, they bring some basic changes to the home.
a. Parents must now also share themselves with their children.
b. What does this sharing involve?
3. Some new fathers and mothers, failing to make this adjustment, resent children as an intrusion. (This will not only destroy a marriage, but can also do lasting harm to a child.)
G. The test of money.
1. It is said that about a third of all arguments in the home pertain to money.
2. Happiness in marriage is sometimes threatened by material things.
a. Though money is necessary, it should not be allowed control.
b. Too many couples become burdened with things, things, things, things and more things!
3. Contentment with regard to material things is the key to a successful marriage. (Phil. 4:11)
4. What can couples do to avoid money problems?
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MARRIAGE AND THE HOME - Part 4
Intro: What about "marriage risks"? Marriage risks can be defined as: "Any marriage in which there exists obvious, significant or unusual differences." All marriages have some differences, however in some marriages there are differences which are more pronounced. The success of marriage depends on the adjustments two people make to these differences. What are some marriage risks?
I. Religious differences
A. Why would this be a risk in marriages?
B. Divorce rates among different groups in the United States.
1. Where both are Jewish - 18.4%
2. Where both are Catholic - 25.6%
3. Where both are Protestant - 27.2%
4. Where religions were mixed - 45.6
5. Where only one had religious affiliation - 48.5%
6. Where there was no religious affiliation - 50.1%
C. Is it right for a Christian to marry a non-Christian?
1. Does the Bible give an answer?
2. Does II Cor.6:14-17 prohibit such a marriage?
3. How would you advise a Christian who is contemplating such a marriage?
D. Possible problems for a Christian married to a non-Christian.
1. Family devotions - Bible study, prayer.
2. Worship - attendance, church work, church activities.
3. Associations - people not pleasing to be around.
4. Amusements - places or events unsuitable for Christians.
5. Rearing children - not agreeing on "Christian" upbringing.
6. Salvation - negative, lower standards can discourage a Christian.
II. The problem of a previous marriage
A. Marrying one who is widowed.
1. With or without children?
2. Reason for marrying? love or emotional void?
3. Has sufficient time lapsed?
B. Marrying one who is divorced.
1. Ascertain the cause of divorce. Is it scriptural or unscriptural? (Matt. 19:9; Rom. 7:2,3; I Cor. 7:10,11)
2. Reason for marrying? love or emotional void?
3. Has sufficient time lapsed?
III. Differences in education, aptitude and abilities
IV. Differences in age
V. Differences in economic and social background
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MARRIAGE AND THE HOME - Part 5
Intro: Marriages are sometimes adversely affected by negative things. In order to have successful, happy homes couples must learn deal with them. If these things are not controlled all sorts of conflicts can arise. What are some "threats" to having a happy marriage?
A. Matt. 7:12; I Cor. 13:5; Eph. 5:28,29)
B. How could this be a threat to marriage?
A. I Cor. 14:20; 16:13
B. What are some signs of this deficiency?
III. Uncontrolled anger
A. Eph. 4:26; Col. 3:8
B. How can this personality flaw be avoided? (Prov. 15:1)
IV. Inadequate communication
A. Prov. 20:15; 25:11; Isa. 1:18
B. What can a spouse do to help correct this problem? (Col. 3:18,19)
V. Too many external interests
A. Deut. 24:5; I Tim. 5:8
B. How would you describe a happy balance between domestic and external interests?
VI. Conflicts over children
A. Instruction (Deut. 11:19,20; Eph. 6:4)
B. Discipline (Prov. 13:24; 19:18; 22:15; 23:13; 29:15)
C. Expectations (Prov.22:6)
VII. Staleness and Sameness
A. Prov. 5:18; 9:9
B. What can couples do to keep their relationship fresh?
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MARRIAGE AND THE HOME - Part 6
Intro: Good marriages are no accident. They do not come about just because two people "get married." Good marriages are result of two people working together to develop harmony and happiness. They put forth an effort to enhance their relationship. There are some things that are absolute essentials to having a pleasant and rewarding marriage. What are they?
I. Accentuate Love (Eph. 5:25,28; Tit. 2:4)
A. Acceptance - involves approval, appreciation and esteem.
B. Understanding - involves compassion, empathy and patience.
C. Commitment - involves alliance, support and devotion.
II. Desire to make a beautiful marriage (I Cor. 7:3)
A. Have a visual image of the kind of marriage desired.
B. Never lose the vision of the early years.
C. With passing years enlarge the beauty of marriage.
III. Reinforce the "one fleshness" (Matt. 19:5; Eph. 5:31)
A. Spend time together in genuine companionship.
1. Plan together.
2. Play together.
3. Work and achieve together.
B. Place each other first and the children second - but all under Christ.
C. Maintain a healthy sexual relation. (I Cor. 7:4)
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MARRIAGE AND THE HOME - Part 7
Someone once said: "Husbands hold half of the key to successful marriages!" Actually, the Bible places more emphasis on the husband than the wife. This does not mean the wife is less responsible, but that the husband bears the primary responsibility for leading, directing and protecting the family. As head of the home husbands hold a place comparable to Christ's and his relation to the church. When the husband is truly loving, compassionate and tender, his wife will give the same in return. "If you don't want your wife to act like a nag, treat her like a thoroughbred."
I. God's instructions to husbands (Gen. 2:24)
A. "Leave his father and mother"
1. Staying tied to mom and dad will keep a young man from being the kind of husband he should be.
2. But this does not mean that parents should be neglected.
B. "Cleave unto his wife"
1. Cleave means to "join" - it is a contract, a covenant.
2. Marriage is a relationship that involves a certain permanence.
II. Paul's instructions to husbands (Eph. 5:25-30)
A. What are the parallels made by Paul?
1. As Christ showed his love for the church by giving himself, so husbands are to show their love for their wives by sacrificially giving of themselves.
2. As Christ presented his church to himself as glorious, so husbands are to give to their wives support in developing spiritual qualities.
B. How earnestly are husbands to love their wives?
1. "as their own bodies."
2. Husbands are to "nourish" (care for) and "cherish" (treat tenderly) their wives.
III. Peter's instructions to husbands (I Pet. 3:7)
A. "dwell with them according to knowledge"
1. NASV - "live with your wives in an understanding way;" RSV - "live considerately with your wives"
2. This means knowing their needs, fears, expectations, and weaknesses.
B. "giving honour unto the wife"
1. Wives are due recognition for the prominent contribution they make to the marriage.
2. Being complimented and praised helps in building their self-esteem.
C. "as unto the weaker vessel"
1. "Woman is intricately made and finely tuned." -Behel
2. Wives need husbands who are sensitive to and reinforce their womanliness.
D. Why is all this to be observed by husbands?
1. Because Christian husbands and wives are "heirs together" of God's grace.
2. A husband (and his wife) cannot pray effectively if he fails to observe these things.
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MARRIAGE AND THE HOME - Part 8
The one outstanding outward feature of manhood is masculinity. This is largely how men identify themselves and how women identify men. Without masculinity there would be no distinction between the sexes. God designed this to be a part of mans' character and makeup. Without it man is at loss, for two reasons:
1) He cannot relate as a counterpart to the opposite sex.
2) He will develop a lack of self- confidence.
Obviously, man has a need for possessing and maintaining masculinity.
A. Hindrances to man's manliness found in modern society.
1. The influence of the so-called "unisex" roles of men and women.
a. This a growing trend spawned by a liberal, "free-spirit" philosophy.
b. When the differences between men and women are de-emphasized, men tend to lose their male identity.
2. Homosexuality is another unfortunate factor.
a. The modern, persistent exposure to the theme of homosexuality has made it appear normal.
b. This has caused some men to explore the so-called "gay" lifestyle, which can negatively effect their natural identity.
3. Wives not recognizing the importance of their husbands' headship.
a. One major cause of this in recent years is the influence of the so-called "women's lib" movement.
b. Many husbands have been intimidated to the point of relinquishing their role as head. (Someone jokingly wrote: "The only thoroughly masculine domain not yet invaded by women libbers is growing a mustache.")
c. Unfortunately, this has also influenced some Christian women.
d. It is important that wives recognize and appreciate man's masculinity and in so doing elevate their husbands to their rightful place.
4. Husbands not accepting their role as head.
a. Some husbands, though knowing their God-ordained role as head, refuse to assume it. (Unwittingly, they are sowing the seeds that will affect their masculinity.)
b. It is essential that husbands do not surrender their role.
B. Expressions of confusion over masculinity.
1. False masculinity.
a. A domineering behavior.
b. How could this affect a man's relationship with his wife and children?
2. Sexual problems.
a. Some equate their lack of manliness only with a lack of sex.
b. How could this adversely affect a marriage?
3. A passive attitude.
a. Men may resolve themselves to think: "this is just the way it is."
b. What bad influence could this have on a marriage?
4. To regain their masculinity some men have fallen victim to what they think are masculine activities:
a. Drinking, extramarital affairs, gambling.
b. What could such things do to a marriage?
MARRIAGE AND THE HOME - Part 9
When we think of the husband-wife relationship we cannot help but think of man's role as "head." This is how the apostle Paul identified man in the marriage relationship. (see Eph.5:22ff) But what does it mean for man to be "head"? Because some men have not understood the significance of this word, their marriages have ended in ruin.
A. "Head" is translated from the Greek word kephale, which literally refers to man's physical head.
However, it sometimes has a metaphorical usage, referring to authority. This is illustrated in I Corinthians11:3 and is its usage in Ephesians chapter 5. God has given to man authority in the marriage relationship. All Bible believing people accept this truth.
B. In what way is the husband the head?
1. Did God intend for husbands to presume they are superior to or better than their wives?
2. Being "head" does not mean that men can run rough-shod over their wives. Unfortunately, however, this is the perception of some. "I am the boss!" "You do what I say!" "You have no say!" "I own you!"
3. Besides what common sense tells us, based on the context of Ephesians 5, how do we know this is not what Paul intended?
C. The scriptures parallel the husband's headship to that of Christ's. (Eph. 5:23)
1. How did Jesus achieve his headship?
a. By arrogantly announcing it to the world or by quietly submitting to the Father's will?
b. Jesus humbly and submissively laid down his life. (Acts 8:32,33)
2. Husbands should look on their headship in view of the inspired parallel - "even as" Christ is head of the church.
D. The husband assumes his role as "head," not by any self-determination, but by demonstrating responsible leadership.
1. God wants men to realize that while they are over their wives, in this relationship they are also under a great charge. (The fact is, with leadership goes responsibility. Husbands are under a serious, profound obligation.)
2. In God's plan the husband's headship provides the basic support for his wife
and children. He is to be the primary source of leadership.
3. What does "leadership" mean to you?
E. Areas wherein the husband is the foundation of and support for the family.
1. Spiritual development.
2. Emotional support.
3. Mental strength.
4. Material needs.
- - - - -
MARRIAGE AND THE HOME - Part 10
Following are some suggestions for all husbands. They have to do with common sense things and will help husbands look at themselves and take stock of how they are to relate to their wives.
A. Realize the significance of what it means to be "head" of your wife.
1. "...as Christ is the head of the church..." (Eph. 5:23) 2. This refers to the husband's authority - as the support of and foundation for his wife, not as a lord over her.
B. Understand what it means to express tender feelings toward your wife.
1. A common complaint of many wives: "He doesn't appreciate me."
2. Wives want to know (and feel) that they are "valued" by their husbands.
C. Build your wife up by seeking her ideas, recommendations and insights.
1. Never insinuate that her suggestions are "stupid" or "silly."
2. Encourage her to share her thoughts with you.
D. Create an unselfish attitude toward your wife.
1. The husband's only "right" is to show love and care for his wife.
2. Refrain from forming such divisions as: "my time and your time," "my
things and your things" "my life and your life,"
E. Avoid expressions of doubt, mistrust or suspicion.
1. Such things only promote feelings of apprehension in wives.
2. Instead, do things that will promote her confidence
F. Learn how to communicate with your wife.
1. Listen to her and seek out her inner thoughts - without being judgmental.
2. Don't lecture her, but rather share your ideas.
3. In confronting issues, attack the problem, not each other's personality.
G. Bestow "honor" on your wife. (I Pet. 3:7)
1. Commend her positive qualities (virtues) and attributes (talents) - and mention them to others.
2. Find unique ways to express your appreciation for her virtues and talents.
H. Let your wife know you "love" her. (Eph. 5:25,28,33)
1. Do special little things.
2. Create an atmosphere of true, warm, romantic affection.
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MARRIAGE AND THE HOME - Part 11
Someone once wrote: "Women are the poetry of the world in the same sense as the stars are the poetry of the heavens -- clear, light-giving, harmonious."
Who is woman? What is her role? How does she fit into God's scheme of things? One of the greatest functions of womanhood is that of being a wife and mother. In this she is elevated to a lofty and noble position. Because of this she is worthy of man's highest admiration and honor.
A. Woman, a wonderful design of God (Gen. 2:18-24)
B. What did God say was "not good"?
1. Though man was a magnificent creation, yet there was a void left in him.
2. Was this just a "happenstance" or did God have further plans?
C. A demonstration of God's infinite wisdom.
1. What was God's remedy?
2. This void in man could only be filled by woman. "a help meet" (help - "aid, support" and meet - "answering or corresponding to, suitable for")
D. In God's design for woman as a wife what is her role?
1. Gen. 3:16 "...he shall rule over thee" ("rule" is used here in the sense of "authority" - "shall have authority over you")
2. Cf. I Cor. 11:3; Eph. 5:22,24; Col. 3:18; Tit. 2:5; I Pet. 3:1
E. Is it right for woman to assume dominance over man?
1. From what was woman made? (Gen. 2:21,22) Why is this significant?
(Augustine wrote: "Woman was not taken from man's head, to be over him, and not from his feet, to be under him; but from his side, to be equal to him, under his arm to be protected, and near his heart to be loved.")
2. Gladys Hunt wrote: "Equality with men is a terrible burden for woman to bear. Equality is not the question. Women are neither inferior to men or superior to them. We are simply a different creation. Another pulse beats in our veins, another way of thinking, of feeling, of being. God did not make us like men. That is why we are wonderfully good at being women; superior, if you please, at being feminine - but tragically poor in assuming man's role. We need to ask ourselves: What did God create us to be? What are the special gifts inherent in our being? What is our role? We need to discover who we are."
F. How would you respond to those who say: "Bible verses that put man over the woman are based only on the custom of that time and do not have to be followed today."
1. It is true that some things in the Bible are cultural and temporary. However some of its teachings are based on principle and are, therefore, permanent.
2. The contexts of such verses clearly show that these teachings are based, not on custom, but on God-ordained, underlying principles. (Eph.5:22- 24,32,33; Col. 3:18; I Cor. 11:3; 14:34,35; Tit. 2:4,5; I Pet. 3:1-6)
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MARRIAGE AND THE HOME - Part 12
The position God gave to wives is extraordinary! She holds a place set aside by God for a very special purpose. She is the companion and counterpart to man. Without her there would be a void in man's life that could be filled by no other creature. God has given her a role by man's side, to help fill a need designed by God himself.
A. There is a grand relation between husband and wife. (Eph. 5:21-33)
1. "a great mystery" (Eph. 5:32)
2. Husband and wife.
a. Submit to each another. Eph.5:21
b. Give total devotion to each other. (Eph. 5:31)
3. The wife, a parallel to Christ's bride, the church.
a. Submits to her head as to Christ. (Eph. 5:22)
b. Is subject to her head as the church is to Christ. (Eph. 5:24)
4. The husband, a sacrificial lover.
a. Loves his wife, as Christ loved his bride. (Eph. 5:25)
b. Gives himself for her. (Eph. 5:25)
c. Sanctifies her (sets her apart) and glorifies her. (Eph. 5:26,27)
d. Loves her as he loves himself. Eph. 5:28)
e. Nourishes and cherishes her as Christ does his bride. (Eph. 5:29)
5. Summary. (Eph. 5:33)
B. How is a wife a "help meet"?
1. She desires to submit to her husband's headship.
a. She accepts his loving authority and realizes that submission is a voluntary act. [Sarah called Abraham by a term showing deep respect. In this she "trusted in God." (I Pet. 3:5,6) Though Abraham was not a perfect man, she still looked up to him because this pleased God.]
b. She responds to his attempts of affection, as he does to hers. (I Cor. 7:4)
c. She seeks to be beautiful inside. (I Pet. 3:3,4)
2. She knows she is equal in value, but different in function.
a. She tends to domestic affairs.
b. She helps in decision making.
3. She studies her husband.
a. She seeks to build him up.
b. She seeks to please him.
c. She uses creativity and imagination.
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MARRIAGE AND THE HOME - Part 13
A man's wife is truly his great treasure. She is to him what the church (the bride) is to Christ. He exalts her (Eph. 5:26). He glorifies her (Eph. 5:27). He nourishes and cherishes her (Eph. 5:29). Because of this the true wife desires to honor her husband. She wants to encourage and inspire him. She seeks to elevate him and avoids things that will discourage him. Here are some things to avoid and things to promote.
A. Things to avoid - ways to tear down a husband.
1. Reject his leadership. When this happens a husband will either become domineering or withdraw himself from you emotionally.
2. Show him that you have little or no confidence in him.
a. Ridicule his decisions.
b. Express doubt about his abilities - to lead, to succeed, to provide for the family
c. Criticize him in front of friends, relatives and your children.
3. Refuse to show respect for him.
a. Display a temper.
b. Nag at him.
B. Things to promote - ways to build up a husband.
1. Practice the attributes of love. (I Cor. 13:1-7)
a. Be patient - "suffereth long"
b. Be gentle - "is kind"
c. Be gracious - "envieth not"
d. Be humble - "vaunteth not itself"
e. Be modest - "not puffed up"
f. Be polite - "doth not behave itself unseemly"
g. Be generous - "seeketh not her own"
h. Be good-natured - "not easily provoked"
i. Be forgiving - "thinketh no evil"
j. Delight in things that are right - "rejoiceth...in the truth"
k. Be steadfast - "Beareth...believeth...hopeth...endureth"
2. Accept your husband as he is.
3. Submit to his God-given headship.
4. Show love through your actions.
5. Pray for your husband daily.
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MARRIAGE AND THE HOME - Part 14
Women who are genuinely concerned about being good wives seek ways in which to improve themselves. They try to discover how to become better wives. They are always open to suggestions. Following are several suggestions that can help a wife become what she knows God desires her to be.
A. Have a well-rounded love. (I Cor.13:4-7)
1. To be loved you must first be lovable.
2. Love unexpressed or expressed in the wrong way can make you unlovable.
B. Have the goal of making a "good" marriage.
1. Though there are no "perfect" marriages - your marriage can be a "good" one.
2. The first ingredient for a good marriage is your willingness to make it so.
C. Know your husband's needs and try to meet them.
1. This requires a life of selflessness.
2. Accept the fact that you cannot completely meet all his needs, but try to meet all you can.
D. Express praise and appreciation without being asked to do so.
1. Try to "out-give" your husband.
2. This will cause him to have greater praise and appreciation for you.
E. Avoid being possessive.
1. Being possessive will only alienate.
2. This will tend to make a husband "pull away."
F. Avoid being jealous.
1. Jealousy in the marriage relationship displays a lack of trust.
2. This will cause a husband to feel apprehensive and uneasy.
G. Be a support to your husband without diminishing his manhood.
1. Your husband doesn't need another mother.
2. Give your support but don't assume his responsibilities.
H. Control any negative emotions you may have.
1. Uncontrolled anger, displeasure and resentment are some of the most destructive forces in marriages.
2. These may cause a husband to retaliate with the same negative emotions.
I. Make yourself physically attractive to your husband.
1. Husbands want to be attracted to their wives.
2. This will enhance his appeal for you and will help assure lasting love.
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MARRIAGE AND THE HOME - Part 15
Many passages from literature remind us of the beauty of motherhood.
Goldsmith: "The sweetest sounds to mortals given are heard in mother, home and heaven."
Beecher: "The mother's heart is the child's schoolroom."
Emerson: "Men are what their mothers have made of them." Jewish proverb: "God could not be everywhere, so he made mothers."
A. From Genesis 3:20 what was the world's first mother called and what does this word mean?
B. Does simply having children really make one a true mother?
C. Proverbs 31:10-31 speaks of a worthy woman. What statements point to her relationship with her children?
D. In I Timothy 5:14, what four things did Paul give as advice for younger women?
E. From Titus 2:4 we learn that young married women should be trained to do what?
F. From Titus 2:5 what do we find that is very important for children? (Compare Prov. 31:27)
G. At what point in life did Timothy begin to receive his spiritual training and from whom? (II Tim. 3:15 II Tim. 1:5)
H. Holmes said: "Youth fades, love droops, the leaves of friendship fall; a mother's secret love outlives them all." From I Kings 3:16-28, what illustrates the true love of a mother?
I. What was Solomon to his mother? (Prov. 4:3)
J. From Proverbs 1:8, whose responsibility is it to give instruction to children?
K. In Ephesians 6:1,2, Paul wrote that children are to do what? What could a lack of these possibly indicate?
L. What can cause shame to a mother? (Prov. 29:15)
- - - - -What about the relationship between parents and children? When children come into the world they become a central figure in the home. Parents' lives change! They change because of the needs of their children. Every child has many important needs. What are they and how can parents provide them?
MARRIAGE AND THE HOME - Part 16
1. Love is the foundation of this and all relationships. (I Jn. 4:7,11)
2. Love is an attribute that does not come by accident. It must be communicated -- by words and actions.
3. To be effective a parent's love must be consistent and unconditional.
1. Children need emotional security. A "shaky" parent may cause a child to develop a weakened sense of security.
2. Children need parents they can trust to be consistent - to be the same tomorrow and the next day and the next. (Matt. 7:9,10)
3. Proper guidance will help children in expressing and controlling their feelings and emotions.
1. Having a value system is extremely important to a child's spirituality.
2. Values do not come naturally - they must be taught. (Eph. 6:4)
3. All children need an example (role model) of behavior. Parents should be the primary source of values in both morals and ethics. (Children should be encouraged to share any moral or ethical problems with their parents.)
1. Children need to be reassured about themselves. Without this their self-esteem will likely be daunted.
2. Having confidence is essential for children to have good mental health.
3. As children grow, parents must try to inspire and encourage them. (Prov. 22:6)
1. Being a parent also means being a friend. Without parental companionship children will look elsewhere for "friends."
2. What can happen when children are left to themselves? (Prov. 29:15)
3. Good parents will grow with their children, but they will also let their children grow on their own.
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MARRIAGE AND THE HOME - Part 17
A degree of sadness comes over parents when they think in terms of departing permanently from their children. And the older one becomes the truer this is. Most of us will precede our children in death, just as some of our parents have already gone on before us. One of the most important things for a parent to consider is the question: "What will I leave my children when I'm gone?" This is something many parents never stop to consider. What things of value will you leave your children?
A. Will you leave your children a good name?
1. A "good name" is to be chosen over what? (Prov. 22:1) A "good name" is better than what? (Eccl. 7:1)
2. Why would a parent's "bad name" be a burden for children to wear?
3. Years from now, when your name is mentioned in the presence of your children, will it be an honor to them?
B. Will you leave your children a loving, Christian home?
1. Some of our fondest dreams center around our childhood homes. Such memories are genuine treasures. Why?
2. Someone once wrote: "There is no influence or heritage more potent than a good, Christian home." This is something that cannot be stolen.
3. Who had memories of a home that had "plenty and to spare"? (Lk. 15:17)
C. Will you leave your children a good example?
1. Whether people want to or not, they leave an example - of some kind.
2. A profound, unquestioned truth: Children imitate their parents! What is an obvious implication of this?
3. How were these people like their fathers? (Acts 7:51) Who served as Timothy's examples? (II Tim. 1:5; 3:15)
D. Will you leave your children a Christian education?
1. "Christian education" is not to be thought of as limited to formal education, but to the deeper education of the soul, an education provided by parents.
2. To help in this what sources are there for parents to draw on?
3. What are parents told to do - in both testaments? (Deut. 6:6-9; Eph.6:4)
E. Will you leave your children an appreciation of things beautiful?
1. God has surrounded us with a beautiful world! (Ps. 19:1,2) However, most people do not realize this.
2. What kind of outlook do you have on life?
3. What can parents do to help their children appreciate things beautiful?
F. Will you leave your children a genuine faith in God?
1. In our age of doubt and cynicism, children need parents with strong faith.
2. Which is more important - to leave a child with an abundance of this world's goods or with an undying faith in God?
3. What is one thing that can help young people overcome the world? (I Jn. 5:4) Where does faith come from? (Rom. 10:17)
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MARRIAGE AND THE HOME - Part 18
Following are the natural stages through which all children pass. It is important for parents to know these and to be aware of the different actions and reactions children experience. What is involved in the development of a child?
A. Infancy (Ages 1-6)
1. Dependent - irresponsible, a wiggler, rapid growth, short-attention span
2. Major interest - self
3. Imitative - learns by playing a part, loves rhythm activities
4. Motivations - largely by pleasure and advantage, often by coercion (control must be largely external)
5. Major life patterns - habits, feelings and attitudes are being learned; home influence is at its strongest
6. Limitations - limited vocabulary - learns by seeing, touching and pointing out things; limited coordination - poor use of small muscles for such things as drawing, cutting, etc. - adult aid is essential; fear of things new - must be wooed rather than forced into activities (especially group activities)
B. Childhood (Ages 6-12)
1. Dependent - still moderately dependent but less imitative; most have active imaginations; a keen memory
2. Intellectual interests - mental pursuits awaken; religious interests are easily developed - the time to instill moral standards
3. Major interests - collections; curious about mysteries; a growing need for belonging; parents are heroes and models; Bible characters are important
4. General - idealism develops; possessive; "gang" spirit and rivalry develops; girls dislike boys and boys detest sissy girls; control is largely authoritative
C. Adolescence (Ages 12-18)
A crucial time labeled by some the "age of crisis." Approached rather slowly, it is the transition from childhood to adulthood.
1. Critical period - characterized by instability, unpredictableness, independence, dissatisfaction, resentment, egotism and vanity - a time that often tries both parent and child; a time when a child needs sympathetic understanding
2. Ideals - a time when ideals develop - hero worship and idealistic imitation are at their peak; boys are attracted by adventure - action, power, courage; girls are attracted by romance - feelings of love and warmth
3. Transitions - a time when childhood ways and dependencies are abandoned; a gradual loss of the charm of childhood; a time of conflict and confused feelings - moodiness, loneliness, self-doubt (over-confident one day, fearful the next, over-sensitive, never quite sure); begins to gripe about assigned chores and habits; language becomes sloppy; attention and concentration suffer; homework becomes an ordeal; takes several years to gain a sense of stability (Girls mature 1 to 3 years earlier.)
4. Identity - no longer "parent-centered" but "other-centered"; attention turns from family to others; counsel of parents is sought less and often resisted; celebrities and teachers serve as models; identity with "groups" becomes important - peer pressure; a time of sexual maturity - is normal to become interested in the opposite sex and begin thinking about marriage; a time when the conscience is awakened
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MARRIAGE AND THE HOME - Part 19
Following are ten suggestions designed to help parents be better parents. These ideas are based on scriptural principles, common sense and a knowledge of human behavior. If you are a parent, test yourself to see if you practice these things.
A. Be firm, with love, in the discipline of your children when they are young, so they will know who's boss.
B. Have family devotionals as regularly as possible. Encourage your children to ask questions about the Bible and related matters.
C. Teach your children that worshiping God comes first. This must be taught by example as well as verbally. Instilling priorities in children's minds will help them to be stronger Christians.
D. Be involved in church activities and functions. Show your children that being active in church related things is a great enjoyment.
E. Show lots of love to your children. Find time for family outings, trips and other activities. Play games together at home. Make family life enjoyable and their love for you will grow strong - so strong they will want to please you.
F. Create a happy home for your children. Remember that a happy childhood helps build a storehouse of happy memories. This will create self-confidence and esteem.
G. Begin very early teaching your children the value of high moral and ethical principles. Let them know this is what God desires.
H. Teach your children the importance of marrying a faithful Christian - someone who shares their ideals and values. Emphasize the permanency of marriage.
I. When your children reach the age of puberty (usually 12 for girls and 14 for boys) tell them they are about to enter one of the most difficult periods of their lives. It involves discouragement, disappointment and despondency. They need to be told that this is normal but that it will pass.
J. Your children need to have an association with adults outside the family. Too often children are encouraged to "stay out of the way" and to associate with other children only. Being included in the company of adults will help broaden a child's view of things and will help them mature.
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MARRIAGE AND THE HOME - Part 20
Did you know there are ways to destroy a child? Many parents have done this and were not aware of what was happening. Some parents are naive about rearing children and, hence, fail to properly relate to them. Following are several ways in which parents can either over- or under-relate to their children.
A. Be over-protective with them.
1. Even in the name of "love."
2. Don't let them "learn on their own."
B. Ignore them.
1. Make them feel they are unwanted.
2. In everything put them "last in line."
C. Bully them around in a verbal way.
1. Show them you are THE "boss" and they better watch out.
2. Show them they can't pull anything over your eyes.
D. Do all their thinking for them.
1. Don't ask them questions or seek their ideas.
2. Just lecture them.
E. Don't trust them too much.
1. Tell them their opinions are not very important.
2. Let them know you don't have confidence in them.
F. Don't give them any responsibility.
1. Make them feel they don't "have to" do anything.
2. Let them grow up thinking that others will do things for them.
G. Argue with your wife/husband in front of them.
1. Let them see that communication is not worth much.
2. Show them this is the way they should act as adults.
H. Impose strong values on them while you live by a different standard.
1. Show them that adults act in ways that children cannot.
2. Make being a hypocrite something to be admired.
I. Give them everything they want - plus.
1. Do not restrict their cravings and wishes.
2. Never let them develop a desire before granting a wish.
J. Do not discipline them.
1. Let them feel they can live by their own rules.
2. Ridicule other parents who use discipline.
20 Extras - What Parents Could Have Done
The following thoughts are from actual interviews with teens on their way to reform school. They are from the files of Fred Green, Juvenile Probation Officer, Galveston, Texas, and stem from the question, "What Could Your Parents Have Done To Help You?"
1. Keep Your Cool -- Don't lose your head in every crisis. Children need the confidence of a steady, guiding hand. Keep your soul settled.
2. Don't Let A Job Or A Heavy Social Life Keep You Away From Home -- Fathers and mothers need to keep in touch with their children.
3. Don't Get Strung Out -- Stay away from liquor and sleeping pills. Be normal, be a good example to your children.
4. Bug Me A Little -- Use strict, loving discipline. Show your children who's boss! They want it this way. Don't let them just ride out a storm, give them an anchor.
5. Don't Blow Your Class -- Keep the dignity of parenthood. Stay on the pedestal your children have put you on. Don't dress, act or swing like the teens do.
6. Light Me a Candle -- Show your children the way to faith. Give them the security and assurance of a living faith.
7. Take The World Off My Shoulders -- Share your children's problems. Talk with them about morals, life, love, eternity, beauty, peace of mind and values. Help them to discover the good in the world.
8. Shake Me Up -- Punish them when they first go wrong. Tell them why. Convince them that more severe measures will come if they transgress again in the same manner. Don't punish them merely out of anger.
9. Call My Bluff -- Stand firm on what's right, even when your child threatens to drop out of school or run away from home. Be consistent in your ideals and the bluffing will stop in most cases.
10. Be Honest With Me -- Tell the truth all the time. Praise when you can, criticize when you must, but never keep your child in doubt on important moral, ethical matters.
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MARRIAGE AND THE HOME - Part 21
Children, God's wonderful gift, come into the world fresh and ready for input. They are sponges soaking in everything around them. This is why good parenting is so vital. In a culture bombarded by images of vulgarity, hostility, promiscuity, rudeness and materialism it is important for parents to have a critical awareness. Parents ignorant of contemporary culture are not prepared to counter its influence. The primary difference between adults and children is that adults know certain "secrets" - images of life that children do not know and are not ready for.
Bill Yasko wrote: "Our children are prematurely hurried through stages of innocence and idealism into a frightening and confusing adult world with which they cannot possibly cope." On the part of parents, this calls for an awareness of such things as control, restriction and discipline.
A. Parents are to be in charge of their children. (Deut. 6:1-9; Eph. 6:1-4)
B. Parents should have rules, reasons and consequences.
1. This was God's own plan (Gen. 2:16,17) Rule: "Do not eat." Reason: "It is the tree of knowledge of good and evil" Consequence: "You will die."
2. Parents usually have no trouble giving a rule, but giving a reason for the rule is more difficult, and sticking with the consequence for breaking the rule is often neglected.
C. Children can inappropriately assume "control" by:
1. ...playing on the emotions of a parent to get their way.
a. They are non-logical and most often self-centered.
b. They cannot tell truth from fantasy.
c. They can act helpless to make mom and dad feel "guilty."
2. ...refusing to cooperate as retaliation for discipline.
3. ...blaming others to shift responsibility.
4. ...purposely breaking rules to test limits.
5. ...claiming ignorance as an excuse for poor judgment.
D. Inexperience in childhood requires adult supervision.
Effective parents exert leadership by:
1. ...showing emotional control when faced with conflict.
2. ...making decisions confidently.
3. ...seeking the views of others - those who may have more experience.
4. ...allowing for temperament adjustment.
5. ...recognizing the possibility that a child may have a physical or emotional problem which may require professional help.
6. ...offering compliments and rewards.
7. ...managing time in an organized manner.
8. ...sharing responsibility.
9. ...correcting parental mistakes.
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MARRIAGE AND THE HOME - Part 22
All dedicated parents should understand they owe their children certain things. There are some essential elements to successful child rearing. Every child deserves to be wanted. Every child deserves to be loved and respected. Every child deserves parents who will take time for them. And every child deserves to be disciplined. Discipline is, no doubt, one of the most difficult aspects of rearing children.
In a society given over to an indifferent attitude toward discipline, Christian parents are called upon to follow their God-given directive. Discipline is to be just, impartial, consistent and administered with love.
A. Ephesians 6:4
1. "nurture" - from PADEIA, meaning "to chasten" (or "discipline" - see NASV,
etc.) (cf. I Cor. 11:32; II Cor. 6:9; Heb. 12:10; Rev. 3:19)
2. "admonition" - from NOUTHESIA, meaning "to put in mind" (cf. I Cor. 10:11; Tit. 3:10; Rom. 15:14)
3. Note: This is all done "of the Lord" - that is, the Lord is authorizing this.
B. The Bible sanctions the use of firm, corporeal discipline.
1. Proverbs 3:12
a. The analogy made here shows God's approval of parental discipline.
b. Notice: "in whom he delighteth" shows the discipline is done out of love.
2. Proverbs 13:24
a. How can it be said that to "spare" discipline is equivalent to "hate"?
b. "betimes" can be translated "diligently."
3. Proverbs 19:18
a. What is the meaning of "while there is hope"?
b. The KJV poorly translates the last part of this verse, implying that one should not stop punishing a child just because he is crying. The ASV correctly translates it,"set not thy heart on his destruction," and the NASV has it, "do not desire this death." That is, discipline while it will still do good, or else you will contribute to the harm he may suffer later.
4. Proverbs 22:15
a. What is the meaning of "foolishness"?
b. What is the hoped for end result of this strong discipline?
5. Proverbs 23:13
a. What do many parents do, that they are told not to do?
b. In view of possible strong discipline, what assurance are parents given? (see verse 14)
6. Proverbs 29:15
a. How can discipline give wisdom?
b. A child left to his own judgment will result in what? Note: the NASV translates this, "a child who gets his own way."
C. Suggestions for discipline.
1. When disciplining, always be motivated by love.
2. Discipline should be geared to the individual child.
C. The punishment administered should be according to the misconduct.
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MARRIAGE AND THE HOME - Part 23
One of the most difficult challenges parents face is discussing sex with their children. "How do I begin?" "What do I say?" "Do I let my children learn this on their own?" While the thought of discussing "sex" with children may be frightening, it need not be.
Unfortunately, when thinking of talking to little "Johnny" or "Mary," most parents have in mind only sexual intercourse. However, sex is much more than this. In reality, sex is more than what we do, it is what we are. Actually, a better term to use is "sexuality." This includes our gender, our attitudes, our emotions, and our whole way of looking at life. How should we discuss sex with children?
A. The preschool years (the time of innocence)
1. Begin by laying a foundation.
a. Do not wait for children to ask about personal, intimate things.
b. Help them develop a healthy, relaxed attitude toward discussing such things.
c. Talk to them about who they are - their gender.
d. Discuss the ways in which boys and girls are different socially and emotionally.
2. Explain that there are some basic physical differences between boys and girls and that God made them this way.
a. Explain that the word "sex" describes these differences.
b. Use terms that are clear and correct. "Private parts" is a useful phrase, but do not avoid using such terms as "vagina" and "penis."
3. Good books are available which help illustrate private body parts.
a. They can watch while you read and explain - like other books you read with them.
b. This makes it more relaxing and, hence, easier to communicate your thoughts.
B. The six to nine age group (the time of curiosity)
1. Continue building on the foundation you've laid.
2. At this level children become more curious about themselves physically.
a. Though at this level children have only a passing interest in sex, yet, they begin to explore their sexual side.
b. Do not wait for them to begin asking questions about "sex."
3. Invariably, sooner or later they will wonder about certain things.
a. "What does '_______' mean?" Tell them that some words they may hear other children use are not proper. Make them feel comfortable in coming to you with such questions.
b. The one thing they will especially wonder about is: "Where do babies come from?"
4. Explain that those physical differences you talked about earlier play a role in where babies come from and that this is the way God planned it. (Gen. 1:28)
5. Again, be clear and correct in your terms.
a. Explain the function of sex organs. The word "mating" is always useful, but be candid in speaking of "making love" and "sexual intercourse."
b. Explain the function of the "uterus" ("womb"). However, be careful not to be too "clinical" - keep it simple.
6. Note: good books are available which help illustrate:
a. The function of the sex organs of men and women.
b. How babies begin and develop within the womb.
C. The ten to fourteen age group (the time of awakening)
1. At this level children realize things are changing.
a. In all children there is a sense of sexual stirring.
b. If a proper foundation has been laid, at this level discussion of sex should not be too difficult.
2. Again, do not wait for their questions.
a. Unfortunately, parent-child communication about sexual matters often does not exist at this age, just when it is needed the most.
b. Parents must initiate this discussion - since children are not likely to.
3. Tell them one of the reasons you want to discuss sex is because you know they will be hearing things that are not true.
a. Tell them there are many false ideas about sex.
b. Explain that if they have a proper understanding of the facts of sex, they will recognize these mistaken ideas when they hear them.
4. Again, there are good books young people of this level can read that illustrate the role of sex. These can help them deal with anxieties and help answer troubling questions.
5. It should be explained to children of this age that God intended for sex to be fulfilled only in marriage. (I Cor. 7:2
6. Warnings should be given regarding improper sexual contact.
a. First, the warning God has given about fornication. (I Cor. 6:9)
b. Warnings of what sexual permissiveness can lead to: emotional distress, unwanted pregnancies, failed marriages, venereal diseases, etc.
c. Warnings about avoiding unwanted physical contact which may lead to abuse and rape.
d. Warnings about abnormal sexual conduct and behavior: homosexuality, transsexualism, masochism, pedophilism.
e. Warnings about the damaging and destructive influence of perverted literature and entertainment.
D. The adolescent years (the time of growing up and exploring)
1. This is, no doubt, the most difficult period for youth.
a. They are experiencing social and emotional changes.
b. They are also experiencing sexual temptations.
2. Although, on the surface, it may not appear to be so, young people want advice.
a. Parents need to understand they are still role models!
b. Keeping a line of communication open is essential.
3. God's intention that sex is only for married people should continue to be emphasized.
4. Parents should continue to reinforce the warnings of the previous age level.
5. Many good books are available for this age that will help them deal with the issues they face: romance, dating, kissing, petting.
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MARRIAGE AND THE HOME - Part 24
How can the marriage relationship be what it should be? Every Christian couple desiring heaven as their home wants to know the answer to this. To make marriage what it should be, there is a formula to follow. That formula is found in God's word and involves meeting some basic needs. What are the needs of today's home?
A. The need for love and companionship
1. Love should be the foundation of the husband-wife relationship.
a. See: (Eph. 5:25-30; Tit. 2:4)
b. In what ways can love be expressed between husband and wife?
2. Who first saw the need for man to have a companion? (Gen. 2:18)
a. Without a companion what important thing would Adam have missed?
b. How are husband and wife interdependent? (I Cor. 11:11,12) In what ways is this true?
B. The need for purity (morality) and fidelity (faithfulness)
1. Whom did Jesus say would "see God"? (Matt. 5:8)
a. What was Timothy told to do? (I Tim. 5:22)
b. We are to be pure in mind and body. (Rom. 12:1,2)
c. How would you describe the present moral condition of western culture?
2. God's judgment concerning marital infidelity. (I Cor. 6:9; Gal. 5:19-21)
a. What leads people to violate their marriage vows? (Jms. 2:13-15)
b. Faithfulness in the marriage relation says what about a husband and wife?
C. The need for forgiveness and kindness
1. All husbands and wives make mistakes and, hence, need forgiveness.
a. Why is forgiveness essential? (Matt. 6:14,15)
b. What is the Christian's motivation for having a forgiving spirit? (Col. 3:13)
2. Both husbands and wives depend on the affection of kindness.
a. What were the Roman Christians told to be? (Rom. 12:10)
b. Kindness is actually a demonstration of what other attribute? (I Cor. 13:4)
D. The need for courtesy and consideration.
1. The expression of courtesy (civility) is important to a successful marriage.
a. Peter said that the Christian is to be what? (I Pet. 3:8)
b. What could a lack of courtesy cause?
2. Being considerate in spirit will help build good marriages.
a. What are husbands and wives to render to each other? (I Cor. 7:3)
b. How can this attribute be developed?
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MARRIAGE AND THE HOME - Part 25
Lack of communication is a leading factor in marriage problems. Many of the problems that develop would never exist if couples properly communicated, and many of these problems could be solved if couples developed correct communication skills. Following is an overview of suggestions, hindrances and needs of communication.
A. Suggestions for effective communication
1. Desire to communicate - to "get through" to one's mate.
2. Willingness to listen to one's mate without trying to make him/her fit your set of rules.
3. Remove uncalled-for defense barriers.
4. Believe one's mate may have something valuable to contribute. (Learn to see things through the other person's eyes.)
5. Select appropriate times to communicate.
6. Admit your own shortcomings.
7. Listen with an open heart.
8. Stay on the subject.
9. Allow time for reaction - don't crowd.
10. Remember those two important remarks: "I'm sorry" and "I love you"
B. Hindrances to effective communication
1. Unwillingness to communicate - ways in which communication is blocked.
3. Fear of being found out
4. Fear of rejection
5. Fear of being hurt
6. Background differences - dictatorial vs. democratic
7. Failing to make time for talk
C. Areas which need the attention of effective communication
3. Home life
4. Outside activities - hobbies, sports
10. Personal matters - affection, intimacy in sex
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MARRIAGE AND THE HOME - Part 26
The last two lessons in this series pertain to the more personal and private side of marriage. This is that part of the marriage relationship having to do with affection and intimacy. These are the two primary reasons people get married. People need affection, which is really a desire for love and belonging. People also need intimacy. If either of these is lacking or missing a marriage will not be what it should be. First, why is affection so important?
A. Affection supplies one of man's most important emotional, psychological needs.
1. This involves an interpersonal relationship.
2. Having their own affectionate needs, men and women complement each other by their differences.
B. Affection is something that should grow.
1. By nature people develop a sense of affection. However, when people become engaged and get married this sense of affection takes on a different role.
2. Marriage brings people together in an exclusive, special way that heightens the need for affection.
C. All normal people want to be loved.
1. Affection is one avenue by which love is expressed. "The object of love is not getting something you want, but doing something for the well-being of the one you love."
2. Can we imagine love existing without evidence of affection?
D. Affection incorporates a sense of belonging.
Why is the feeling of belonging essential?
1. There is nothing worse than feeling, "I'm not needed."
2. Couples should be able to say, "We really do need each other."
E. Receiving affection is a way of telling someone they are accepted.
F. List some ways affection can be shown between husband and wife?
G. Husbands and wives should talk about their affection. This makes for mutual happiness.
1. Ask your spouse what makes him/her happy.
2. Tell your spouse what makes you happy.
H. Affection is enhanced by keeping the "courtship" in your marriage!
How can this be done? "Love language" between husband and wife
1. Words of affirmation
2. Quality time
3. Gift giving
4. Acts of service
5. Physical touch
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MARRIAGE AND THE HOME - Part 27
An extension of affection, the subject the last lesson, is intimacy. Intimacy involves the passionate side of the husband-wife relationship. It is the fulfilling one of man's strongest needs. Intimacy includes many things, such as holding hands, stroking, hugging, caressing, and kissing. However, the height of intimacy is found in sexual stimulation and intercourse. The role that sexual intimacy plays in marriage cannot be overemphasized.
A. What is the purpose of the sex relation?
1. Procreation (Gen. 1:28)
2. To prevent the sin of fornication (I Cor. 7:2)
3. Fulfillment, enjoyment (I Cor. 7:3,4) (cf. Gen. 2:24; Eph. 5:31)
a. Remember - sex was planned by God, hence, it is good. God designed it to be an exhilarating and pleasurable time for husband and wife.
b. Sex is not "bad" - except out of wedlock. (Heb. 13:4)
B. What is one of the leading causes of problems in marriages?
1. A lack of understanding of what sex involves.
2. There are things to "know" about sex. (I Pet. 3:7)
C. What is it that many couples do not understand about sex?
1. Young men feel that women respond sexually the same as men.
2. Young women do not know how they are to respond sexually.
3. Though some couples discover this through experience, many do not.
D. What are the basic sexual differences between men and women?
1. In both arousal and orgasm, women are slower to respond than men. Men are capable of responding almost immediately.
2. While women can experience multiple orgasms, men experience only one.
E. What can happen if couples do not understand these differences?
1. The wife may sense she is not being fulfilled.
2. The husband may question his masculinity and virility.
F. How can this problem be prevented (or solved)?
1. By reading good books that discuss sexual foreplay and intercourse.
2. By communication - talk about your sexual relation.
a. Ask your spouse what pleases him/her.
b. Tell your spouse what pleases you.
G. What about physical problems?
1. Sometimes physical problems develop which may hinder intercourse.
2. They include such things as: in women - pain and frigidity; in men - impotency and
premature ejaculation. (These can be treated medically or surgically.)