Wise Words for Families (Quarter 2, Lesson 5)

by admin admin April 27, 2019

Wise Words for Families (Quarter 2, Lesson 5)

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Sabbath (April 27): Wise Words for Families

The book of Proverbs contains a tremendous amount of godly, wise, and relevant counsel for all people, including families. The book Education says of Proverbs, “Its principles of diligence, honesty, thrift, temperance, and purity are the secret of true success. These principles, as set forth in the book of Proverbs, constitute a treasury of practical wisdom” (Ed 135). Proverbs is composed primarily of wise saying given by King Solomon (Proverbs 1:1; 10:1; 25:1) during the early part of his reign, before his great transgression and turning from God. 1 Kings 4:32 indicates that Solomon “spake three thousand proverbs,” and the book of Proverbs, therefore, contains only a small sampling of his wisdom and counsel.

The effect of these Proverbs, as long as Solomon followed his own counsel, was profound. According to the book Prophets and Kings, “It was the wide dissemination of these principles, and the recognition of God as the one to whom all praise and honor belong, that made Solomon’s early reign a time of moral uplift as well as of material prosperity” (PK 34). The promise remains for Christian families today: If we follow God’s counsel contained in this book, our lives, too, can result in the “moral uplift” of our children and all who associate with us.

Discussion Questions:

  • Read Proverbs 1:8; 4:1; and 31:1. In what ways is Proverbs cast as a family document?

  • Read Deuteronomy 28:1-14. In what ways might God’s promises of blessings for obedience translate to what He wants to accomplish through Christian families today? (Answers will vary.)

Sunday (April 28): Love the Right Woman

Solomon, like his father David, experienced his share of troubles due to the sins of illicit attraction and adultery. In the book of Proverbs, Solomon shares some of the hard lessons he learned about the importance of sexual purity.

Discussion Questions:

  • Read 1 Kings 2:1-4. What charge does David give Solomon shortly before his death? (David had started life in obedience and devotion to God, but later committed adultery, which led to other crimes. David sought to warn and safeguard Solomon from making the same mistakes.)

  • Read 1 Kings 11:1-4. What caused Solomon’s downfall? (He “loved many strange women.”) What resulted from loving the wrong women? (They “turned away his heart after other gods.”)

  • Read Proverbs 5:3. What does Solomon warn about here? (Being enchanted and seduced by the “lips of a strange woman.”)

  • Read Proverbs 5:4-14. What is the result of such sexual sins? (Bitterness [vs. 4], death [vs. 5], wealth given to strangers [vs. 10], flesh and body consumed [vs. 11], despised by others [vs. 14].)

  • Read Romans 1:24-27. What additional consequences of sexual sins and sexual perversions does the Bible warn about? (Receiving “in themselves that recompense of their error.” “Nature has affixed terrible penalties to these crimes—penalties which, sooner or later, will be inflicted upon every transgressor. It is these sins more than any other that have caused the fearful degeneracy of our race, and the weight of disease and misery with which the world is cursed. Men may succeed in concealing their transgression from their fellow men, but they will no less surely reap the result, in suffering, disease, imbecility, or death” [PP 461].)

  • Read Proverbs 5:15-18. Who is the “right woman”? (The “wife of thy youth.”)

Monday (April 29): A Call to Fathers

The Bible, and especially the book of Proverbs, has much to say about the role of the father and husband within his family, a role that is reflected in the name husband, or “house-band.” How many fathers, even Christian fathers, truly realize their duty before God to lead their family in a daily walk with God? The book Adventist Home reveals the weighty responsibility resting upon the father:

All members of the family center in the father. He is the lawmaker, illustrating in his own manly bearing the sterner virtues: energy, integrity, honesty, patience, courage, diligence, and practical usefulness. The father is in one sense the priest of the household, laying upon the altar of God the morning and evening sacrifice. The wife and children should be encouraged to unite in this offering and also to engage in the song of praise. Morning and evening the father, as priest of the household, should confess to God the sins committed by himself and his children through the day. Those sins which have come to his knowledge and also those which are secret, of which God’s eye alone has taken cognizance, should be confessed. This rule of action, zealously carried out by the father when he is present or by the mother when he is absent, will result in blessings to the family. {AH 212.1}

Discussion Questions:

  • Read the following statement: “The husband is the house-band of the home treasures, binding by his strong, earnest, devoted affection the members of the household, mother and children, together in the strongest bonds of union” (AH 211). What does “the strongest bonds of union” mean to you? (Answers will vary.)

  • Read Proverbs 13:22 and 27:23,24. What are some things that a good father will do financially for his family? (He leaves an inheritance and is diligent in protecting his family’s assets.)

  • Read Proverbs 14:26. How will children view a good father? (He is a place of safety and refuge.) In what ways should this be true? (Answers will vary.) What can and should fathers do to help gain his children’s confidence in these ways? (Answers will vary.)

  • Read Proverbs 15:1,18 and 16:32. What relational character qualities will a good father demonstrate in (and out of) his home? (He is slow to anger, speaks softly, and can rule his spirit.) What does it mean to “rule his spirit”? (Answers will vary.)

  • Read Proverbs 15:27. What additional quality of a good father is mentioned here? (He doesn’t “dig up evil.”) What might this refer to within a family context? (He doesn’t bring up the past wrongs of his wife or children, or use their faults and mistakes against them.)

Tuesday (April 30): Correction With Love

Discipline within a family is an important and frequently discussed topic. For Christian parents, the goals of such discipline, and the consequences of effective or ineffective discipline, are enormous, for they realize that they are dealing with the eternal salvation of their children. Such redemptive discipline must always have the goal of ultimately connecting and uniting their children with God’s power to overcome sin and to grow in a loving, trusting, and obedient relationship with Jesus Christ.

Christ is the “Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.” John 1:9. As through Christ every human being has life, so also through Him every soul receives some ray of divine light. Not only intellectual but spiritual power, a perception of right, a desire for goodness, exists in every heart. But against these principles there is struggling an antagonistic power. The result of the eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil is manifest in every man’s experience. There is in his nature a bent to evil, a force which, unaided, he cannot resist. To withstand this force, to attain that ideal which in his inmost soul he accepts as alone worthy, he can find help in but one power. That power is Christ. Co-operation with that power is man’s greatest need. In all educational effort should not this co-operation be the highest aim? {Ed 29.1}

Discussion Questions:

  • Read Proverbs 10:17; 23:13,14; 29:1; and 29:15. What reasons for discipline and correction are given in these verses? (Godly discipline results in life and keeps from error [10:17], delivers from hell [23:14], saves from destruction [29:1], and imparts wisdom [29:15].)

  • Read Proverbs 3:11,12 and Hebrews 12:6. With what attitude and for what purpose should discipline be engaged? (Discipline should be done in love and for redemptive purposes.)

  • Read Genesis 3:21-24; Leviticus 10:1,2; 2 Samuel 6:1-7; and Acts 5:1-11. What principle or principles about godly judgment do these stories bring out? (Many of these are very challenging stories for us to understand. However, notwithstanding the severity of many of these judgments, it is clear that God expects first-time obedience. That is, after His commands have been clearly explained, He expects immediate and “first-time” obedience. Effective parenting should expect the same thing, and also help children to learn the importance of first-time obedience.)

  • Read Genesis 2:16,17; 3:21-24; Genesis 6:1-3; Jonah 1:1,2; 4:11; John 8:3-11. What additional principle or principles about godly judgment are seen in these verses? (Just as God forgives sin when we repent, parental discipline should reflect the forgiveness and longsuffering of God. Discipline must always be redemptive.)

Wednesday (May 1): Is Life Better on a Rooftop?

True Christianity results in a life that is lived with joy. After all, the fruits of the Spirit include joy (Galatians 5:22). Joy may be relatively easy to experience when life is going well; it’s during the trials and challenges of life that true Christian joy is needed. Such a heaven-empowered attitude comes only from a living connection with Jesus Christ. Consider this fascinating and challenging reply from Ellen White to friends who once suggested that, following her husband’s stroke, she bury her sorrows by attending a dance:

Do you ever see me gloomy, desponding, complaining? I have a faith which forbids this. It is a misconception of the true ideal of Christian character and Christian service that leads to these conclusions. It is the want of genuine religion that produces gloom, despondency, and sadness. Earnest Christians seek to imitate Jesus, for to be Christians is to be Christlike. It will be really essential to have correct conceptions of Christ’s life, Christ’s habits, that His principles may be reproduced in us who would be Christlike. {AH 431.1}

Discussion Questions:

  • Read Proverbs 17:22. What are the benefits of a “merry heart,” and what are the dangers of a “broken spirit”? (A merry heart does good like a medicine, and a broken spirit dries the bones.) In what ways have you found this to be true in your own life or in your family? (Answers will vary.)

  • Where does true joy come from? In what ways is this different from mere humor or laughter? In what ways can it be related? (Answers will vary.)

  • Read the following statements, and discuss what stands out to you regarding what will bring true joy to a Christian family.

The service rendered in sincerity of heart has great recompense. “Thy Father which seeth in secret Himself shall reward thee openly.” By the life we live through the grace of Christ, the character is formed. The original loveliness begins to be restored to the soul. The attributes of the character of Christ are imparted, and the image of the Divine begins to shine forth. The faces of men and women who walk and work with God express the peace of heaven. They are surrounded with the atmosphere of heaven. For these souls the kingdom of God has begun. They have Christ’s joy, the joy of being a blessing to humanity. They have the honor of being accepted for the Master’s use; they are trusted to do His work in His name. {AH 535.2}

The thought that children have ministered to the comfort of their parents is a thought of satisfaction all through the life, and will especially bring them joy when they themselves are in need of sympathy and love. Those whose hearts are filled with love will regard the privilege of smoothing the passage to the grave for their parents an inestimable privilege. They will rejoice that they had a part in bringing comfort and peace to the last days of their loved parents. To do otherwise than this, to deny to the helpless aged ones the kindly ministrations of sons and daughters, would fill the soul with remorse, the days with regret, if our hearts were not hardened and cold as a stone. {AH 363.3}

Let the husband aid his wife by his sympathy and unfailing affection. If he wishes to keep her fresh and gladsome, so that she will be as sunshine in the home, let him help her bear her burdens. His kindness and loving courtesy will be to her a precious encouragement, and the happiness he imparts will bring joy and peace to his own heart.... {AH 218.4}

Our homes must be made a Bethel, our hearts a shrine. Wherever the love of God is cherished in the soul, there will be peace, there will be light and joy. Spread out the word of God before your families in love, and ask, “What hath God spoken?” {AH 19.1}

Thursday (May 2): A Truly Wealthy Wife

While both men and woman may dream of marrying into a wealthy family, the Bible reveals a far more important goal—obtaining true wealth of character. The last chapter of Proverbs describes such a woman, one whose life is characterized by the demonstration of this true wealth.

Discussion Questions:

  • Read Proverbs 31:10-31. What are some characteristics and qualities of a wise and godly woman? (Answers will vary.)

  • Read Matthew 6:31-33. What principles and goals will guide a God-fearing woman? (Seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, rather than love of display or focusing merely on obtaining and enjoying the material things of life.)

  • Read Proverbs 31:30. What is the secret that enables such a woman to live this way? (She fears the Lord.)

  • Read Deuteronomy 10:12-13 and Proverbs 8:13 and 16:6. What does it mean to fear the Lord? (Keep the commandments of God, hate evil and pride and arrogance and lying, and love mercy and truth.)

  • Read the following statements. What qualities in a prospective marriage partner are recommended here?

Let a young man seek one to stand by his side who is fitted to bear her share of life’s burdens, one whose influence will ennoble and refine him, and who will make him happy in her love. {AH 45.5}

Here are things which should be considered: Will the one you marry bring happiness to your home? Is [she] an economist, or will she, if married, not only use all her own earnings, but all of yours to gratify a vanity, a love of appearance? Are her principles correct in this direction? Has she anything now to depend upon? ... I know that to the mind of a man infatuated with love and thoughts of marriage these questions will be brushed away as though they were of no consequence. But these things should be duly considered, for they have a bearing upon your future life.... {AH 46.2}

In your choice of a wife study her character. Will she be one who will be patient and painstaking? Or will she cease to care for your mother and father at the very time when they need a strong son to lean upon? And will she withdraw him from their society to carry out her plans and to suit her own pleasure, and leave the father and mother who, instead of gaining an affectionate daughter, will have lost a son? {AH 46.3}

Friday (May 3): Keeping the Heart in Heaven

It is the duty and privilege of every Christian, and every Christian family, to live in the atmosphere of heaven so far as possible. Such an experience does not happen accidently, but is the sure result of conscious effort:

Christians should be careful that they keep the heart with all diligence. They should cultivate a love for meditation, and cherish a spirit of devotion. Many seem to begrudge moments spent in meditation, and the searching of the Scriptures, and prayer, as though the time thus occupied was lost. I wish you could all view these things in the light God would have you; for you would then make the kingdom of heaven of the first importance. To keep your heart in heaven, will give vigor to all your graces, and put life into all your duties. To discipline the mind to dwell upon heavenly things, will put life and earnestness into all our endeavors. Our efforts are languid, and we run the Christian race slowly, and manifest indolence and sloth, because we so little value the heavenly prize. We are dwarfs in spiritual attainments. It is the privilege and duty of the Christian to be “increasing in the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” [Ephesians 4:13.] As exercise increases the appetite, and gives strength and healthy vigor to the body, so will devotional exercises bring an increase of grace and spiritual vigor. {3BC 1157.5}

Discussion Questions:

  • What are some practical ways that families can “make the kingdom of heaven of the first importance”? (Answers will vary.)

  • What are some of the “devotional exercises” that families can do together to “increase [in] grace and spiritual vigor”? (Answers will vary.)

  • Read James 1:27. What key for families (and individuals) for a healthy spiritual experience is revealed in this verse? (Making the kingdom of heaven of first importance includes avoiding evil [“keep himself unspotted from the world”] and pursuing good [“visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction”]. True religion includes both these “positive” and “negative” aspects.

  • Read Hebrews 1:9. How are these two basic elements of true religion reflected in the character of God, and how will they be reflected in families that God is recreating in His image? (God’s character loves righteousness and hates iniquity. Parents and children should daily be claiming and acting on His promises so that each member of the family may become more like Him.)

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