WHAT SHOULD THE HOME BE?

 

Question No. 105:

    Will you please explain Ephesians 5:22-24?

 Answer:

    "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband

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 is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and He is the Saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing." Eph. 5:22-24.

    Clearly, this divine injunction charges the wife to respect her husband as she would the Lord, the husband being the family's temporal saviour, as the Lord is the church's eternal Saviour.   "...Christ...loved the church, and gave Himself for it; that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word." Eph. 5:25, 26. When she disregards this divine injunction, she insults God.

    "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church." Eph. 5:25.

    Thus, just as binding and sacred is the husband's responsibility to his wife. He is to regard her as Christ does His church. Whenever he does less than this, he violates the law of the Lord.

    Thus, while the church is duty-bound to respect and obey her Lord, the wife is to respect and obey her husband; and the husband is duty-bound to love and care for his wife as the Lord loves and care for His church. From this it follows that the house of the Lord is likened to the house of the husband. Accordingly, in the same way as the Lord controls the affairs of His house, the church, so the husband is to control the affairs of his home, the family.

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 And since the church's own welfare depends upon its cooperation with the will of the Lord, likewise the family's welfare depends upon its cooperation with the will of the father. Doubly clear, therefore, is the fact that just as Christ holds the headship over the church, so the father holds the headship over the home. And just as the converted church rejoices in pleasing her Head, Christ, so likewise the converted wife rejoices in pleasing her head, her husband. In this happy state, both the man and the woman realize that they are, after all, each other's second self.

    "But I would have you know," declares Paul, "that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoreth his head. But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoreth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven." "Nevertheless  neither is the man without the woman neither the woman without the man, in the Lord. For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God." 1 Cor. 11:3-5, 11, 12.

    This beautiful home-relationship is often undermined and wrecked by financial mismanagement or by erroneous education, or by both, because the divine pattern is not followed. The Lord supports His wife,

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 the church, but she herself handles the medium of exchange, the money, to pay for the things she purchases; accordingly therefore, though the husband supports the home, the wife is to handle the money for the things needed to run the home. And if the husband is receiving only a subsistence income, then even more especially should he give his paycheck to the wife, so that she may budget it to cover the home's necessities up to the next pay day. With the wife handling the money, great advantages will thus accrue, for, it is she alone who uses, and therefore alone knows, the things which are needed in the home. Thus knowing her daily financial limitations, she will know precisely what she can and what she cannot buy to run the home.

    Naturally, then, she will diligently see that only the most necessary wants of the home are first cared for, thereby preventing any over-buying of one thing on her part, or any under-buying or another thing by her husband, or vice versa--this latter condition inevitably resulting if he holds the purse strings and doles out to her to do the buying. Handled as it should be, the purse will not go flat, and the home will suffer no shortages, no contentions, and no break-ups. Of course, husband and wife should always consult together to secure full mutual approval for whatever they do.

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    If, however, the family's earnings are more than just a living, then he and the wife may together more broadly budget their earnings, first caring for necessary current expenses, then banking or investing the rest.

    Thus to understand that the husband is not merely the money bag, but is the king of the home, the "house-band," and that the wife is not a menial merely to cook the meals, wash the dishes and clothes, scrub the floor, and care for and rear the children, but is the queen of the home, the helpmeet,--to understand all this is to have a true appreciation of the wholesomeness of divinely inspired marriage.

    "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 seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands. She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar. She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens. She considereth a field and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.  She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms. She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night. She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands

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 hold the distaff. She stretcheth out her hand to the poor, yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy. She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet. She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple. Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land. She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant. Strength and honor are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. 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. Many daughters, have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all. Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised." Prov. 31:10-30.

    So while the queenly wife looks after the family's internal affairs, the kingly husband looks after the family's external affairs.

    Furthermore, as the Lord Himself is the Principal of His church as a school, and His "wife" (the church, but especially the ministry--those who bring forth converts, children, in the faith), the teacher of their children (members), so the husband is the principal of his home as a school, and his wife the teacher of their children.

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    "To gain a proper understanding of the marriage  relation," says the Spirit of Prophecy, "is the work of a lifetime. Those who marry enter a school from which they are never in this life to be graduated.

 

* * *

    "In your life-union your affections are to be tributary to each other's happiness....But while you are to blend as one, neither of you is to lose his or her individuality in the other. God is the owner...Of him you are to ask:...How may I best fulfill the purpose of my creation?...Your love for that which is human is to be secondary to your love for God...Is the greatest outflow of your love toward Him who died for you? If it is, your love for each other will be after Heaven's order.

 

* * *

    "Neither husband nor wife is to make a plea for rulership...Both are to cultivate the spirit of kindness, being determined never to grieve or injure the other....Do not try to compel each other to do as you wish. You cannot do this, and retain each other's love. Manifestations of  self-will destroy the peace and happiness of the home. Let not your married life be one of contention.   If you do, you will both be unhappy. Be kind in speech and gentle in action, giving up your own wishes. Watch well your words; for they have a powerful influence for good or for ill. Allow no sharpness to come into your

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 voices. Bring into your united life the fragrance of Christlikeness.

    "Before a man enters a union as close as the marriage relation, he should learn how to control himself and how to deal with others.

 

* * *

    "My brother, be kind, patient, forbearing. Remember that your wife accepted you as her husband, not that you might rule over her, but that you might be her helper....

    "One victory it is positively essential for you both to gain,--the victory over the stubborn will. In this struggle you can conquer only by the aid of Christ. You may struggle hard and long to subdue self, but you will fail unless you receive strength from on high. By the grace of Christ you can gain the victory over self and selfishness. As you live His life, showing self-sacrifice at every step. constantly revealing a stronger sympathy for those in need of help, you will gain victory after victory. Day by day you will lean better how to conquer self and how to strengthen your weak points of character. The Lord Jesus will be your light, your strength, your crown of rejoicing because you yield your will to His will....By His help you can utterly destroy the root of selfishness.

 

* * *

    "Forbearance and unselfishness mark the words and actions of those who are

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 born again, to live the new life in Christ."--Testimonies, Vol. 7, pp. 45-50.

    "The great reformatory movement must begin in presenting to fathers and mothers and children the principles of the law of God....Show that obedience to God's word is our only safeguard against the evils that are sweeping the world to destruction....By their [parent's] example and teaching, the eternal destiny of their households  will in most cases be decided....

    "If parents could be led to trace the results of their action,...many would break the spell of tradition and custom....Press home upon the consciences of parents the conviction of their solemn duties, so long neglected. This will break up the spirit of Pharisaism and resistance to the truth as nothing else can. Religion in the home is our great hope, and makes the prospect bright for the conversion of the whole family to the truth of God."--Testimonies, Vol. 6, p. 119.

    Only in such a Christian home is Christ's Kingdom  exemplified. And in thus reflecting the Kingdom here, all such homes will, when banded together collectively, make up the Kingdom  hereafter. How important, then, that the mother and the father co-operate to the full in conducting the home altogether in Christ's way in order to insure its existence both now and forevermore!

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    Failure on the part of either, to carry out these principles, will wreck the home and scatter the family not only for the present but also for eternity; whereas careful practice of them will safeguard  the family's prosperity and happiness in this world, and insure its eternal continuance in the world to come.

  

FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES OF EDUCATION

 SPECIAL ADDRESS GIVEN BY V.T. HOUTEFF,

MINISTER OF D. SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTISTS

SUNDAY EVENING, SEPT. 8, 1946

MT. CARMEL CHAPEL

WACO, TEXAS

 

Prov. 22:3, 6, 10, 15 -- "A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.... Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.... Cast out the scorner, and contention shall go out; yea, strife and reproach shall cease.... Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him."

    Wise parents look ahead.  They are careful to insure their children's future.  This they do by instilling in their children Heaven-born principles upon which the children can successfully build their life's career, for upon whatsoever foundation the parents start them building, that is the only one they can ever build on.  A poor foundation will forever keep them back from anything superior to what the foundation itself will permit, be it in the line of religion or a trade.

    Parents should be aware that when the children reach their teens, they become more or less independent, responsible to themselves.  They dance, so to speak, according to their own music.  How important, then, that they beforehand possess the knowledge essential to carry them safely through those teen years.

    To begin with, they should religiously be

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 taught good morals, the value of time, how to obtain results in a given amount of time.  They should be fully warned of the baleful results of wasted minutes.  Indeed, they should be led to realize that the aggregate minutes and hours put to good use and the knowledge gained during their teens will shape their entire lives.  They should know that the moments of the teen years are the most important moments in their whole lives, and that once wasted, they are forever gone.   The children most certainly need to know these things before they enter their teens.

    These fundamental principles are even more realistically seen when one takes into consideration that habits are altogether too easy to form, but practically impossible to eradicate.  This is why children are what their parents made them.

    Moreover, boys and girls in their teens have greater energy than at any time thereafter, and they can therefore accomplish more during those years than they can later in an equal length of time in the same field of endeavor and experience.

    There is no doubt that the teen age of any child is the most critical, too.  As I said before, parents should not wait until the crisis arrives, but should long before start to head it off.  To do this, the parents must early in the child's life, determine what the child's natural aptitude is, so that they can have him on time decide what his trade or profession is to be.  They should have him set his goal, and then create in him a zeal to reach it.  Those who have no goal have nothing to work toward.  They are floating as a raft in the ocean, and their goings are as aimless as that of a butterfly.  Children

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 that have a goal to strive toward, and who incessantly keep at it, are getting there, and they are bound to turn the time of mischief into profit.

    Children should also be taught the value of the dollar.  Rather than be allowed to get into the habit of spending every penny they get hold of, they should be educated to save as much as possible.  Once they have had a taste of starting a savings account, even though it be less than a dollar to start with, they will anxiously continue.  In this way, saving will become to them an exciting habit.  Children who are not taught to earn and to save, and yet finally make something of themselves do not do it because of their parents, but in spite of them.

    There are thousands of people, some in every community, who have no idea how to handle money or how to manage a home.  These unfortunates, regardless how much they make, never have anything for a rainy day.  They are always poor and always in debt, always expecting charity from somewhere.

    Teach your children never to purchase anything for which they do not have the full price in advance, and even then only if they absolutely need the articles.  Anything purchased on time payments costs more.  And that, of course, means fewer things and more work and a harder time for the purchaser.   In may cases part of the payments are not carried out, and as a result the articles go back to the original owners.   In such an eventuation, the purchaser suffers a total loss of his entire investment.  Uncalled for debts wreck hundreds of homes each year.  Parents should by precept and example educate

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 their children against such a pocket-breaking and home-wrecking habit.

    Those who talk over their problems with others, often receive helpful suggestions and light on their path; thereby they avoid loss and embarrassment.

    To continue our study, I shall now read from--

 Deut. 11:13-28 -- "And it shall come to pass, if ye shall hearken diligently unto My commandments which I command you this day, to love the Lord your God, and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul, that I will give you the rain of your land in his due season, the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather in thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil.

    "And I will send grass in thy fields for thy cattle, that thou mayest eat and be full.  Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived, and ye turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them; and then the Lord's wrath be kindled against you, and He shut up the heaven, that there be no rain, and that the land yield not her fruit; and lest ye perish quickly from off the good land which the Lord giveth you.

    "Therefore shall ye lay up these My words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes.  And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.  And thou shalt write them upon the door posts of thine house, and upon thy gates: that your days may be multiplied, and the days of

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 your children, in the land which the Lord sware unto your fathers to give them, as the days of heaven upon the earth.

    "For if ye shall diligently keep all these commandments which I command you, to do them, to love the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways, and to cleave unto Him; then will the Lord drive out all these nations from before you, and ye shall possess greater nations and mightier than yourselves.

    "Every place whereon the soles of your feet shall tread shall be your's: from the wilderness and Lebanon, from the river, the river Euphrates, even unto the uttermost sea shall your coast be.  There shall no man be able to stand before you: for the Lord your God shall lay the fear of you and the dread of you upon all the land that ye shall tread upon, as He hath said unto you.

    "Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; a blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you this day: and a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the Lord your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which ye have not known."

    Now let us connect this scripture with--

 Deut. 21:18-21 -- "If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them: then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his

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 place; and they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard.   And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear."

    I hardly think these words require any interpretation.  They are written as explicitly as any good writer of today could write them.  In fact, I believe they are written much clearer than we could ever write them.

    You see, long ago,' way back in ancient times, the Lord made known His commandments and His laws.   He promised that if His people were obedient, He would make of them a great nation; that they would possess nations greater and mightier than themselves; and that all nations, would fear them.  He plainly told them, though, that if they would not obey, then curses would inevitably be their lot.

    He charged them to raise obedient children.  The parents were commanded to bring them to the elders if they themselves could not make their children obey, and the elders were to stone them.  The reason given was "That all Israel may hear and fear," --a nd depart from evil.  Having this punishment in view they of course were very careful how they brought up their little ones.

    If we were living in the time the Lord thus commanded His people, in the days of Moses, we would not know whether the Lord actually meant business or whether he was just talking.  But since centuries have passed, by the results of ancient Israel's disobedience we can see that God meant nothing but business.  Yes, ever since

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 the Jews as a nation disobeyed, they have been kicked from pillar to post, and now in the last five years alone, millions of them have been slaughtered.   Even in this day and age there is no room for them anywhere in the world.  There is room for everyone but for the Jew, and it is plain to see why.

    They could have been the greatest nation on earth, but now they are not a nation at all.  Instead, they are but a football for every foot to try.  They wanted to be like the nations around them, and the nations have ever since kicked them from one mud hole into another.  We now see that the Lord was not bluffing.  He meant just what He said, and what He said to the Jews then, He is saying to us today.

    It is we, not the Jews, who have now a choice to make.  We may choose to be like the world, and be driven into hell with it.  Or we may choose to do what God commands, and thus be with Him in His kingdom.  One of these choices we must now immediately make.

    I do not think that we are ignorant of what is right and what is wrong.  Most of us have studied the Bible all our lives and have a fairly good idea of what It teaches.  What we need to do this evening, then, is to decide whether we are as a unit to do what Inspiration teaches, or whether we are to try to do so as individuals.  You tell us what to do in the matter of discipline: Shall each individual do as he sees fit, or shall we have a standard by which all of us may be governed?  Are we going to decide what to do, and do it, or are we to decide, and never do what we decide?

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    The most immediate concerns are these: How shall we run the school?  And how shall we dress the children and ourselves?  Shall we dress like progressive Christians or shall we dress like progressive worldlings?  Shall we be quarreling about it, or shall we all see alike?

    (Congregation: "We ought all to see alike.")

    Shall we then have a standard to go by?

    (Congregation: "Yes")

    What are we to do with the boys and the girls who may be disrespectful, disobedient, and who do not mind their parents and their teachers?  Shall we leave that to the children to decide, or shall we do what the Bible demands: That the children be disciplined at home, and if that does not work, then they be brought to the elders, to be dismissed from the school and from the congregation?  Or are the parents to go with them?

    Anciently they actually stoned the rebellious children.  This they did because the church could not possibly keep the disobedient in its midst, and the surrounding nations would not have aliens, and consequently there was nothing left to do but to stone them.  Today, though, they can be dismissed, and when they come to their senses, they might return.

    The parents are duty bound to see that their boys and girls are trained to obey; that they respect their parents, the elders, and everybody in the community; and that they sass no one.

    How old must the children be before they are left on their own to do as they please? -- As long

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 as the children are in their parents' house, they are to be under the control of their parents.

    If we are to have a standard, we must all be together on it.  And if the children know that we mean business, that they cannot get by, they will not try to put anything over on anyone.  Most children, though, have really been trained to be disobedient.  How can this be? -- Well, from the time the children are mere babes, the parents let them have their own way.  To begin with the children say "Yes," the parents say "No."  Then the trouble starts.  The children win the argument by crying, then if it does not work, they get results by stamping their feet on the floor.  As they grow older, they discover new ways to demand and get what they want.  By thus permitting their children to beat them in the game, parents actually train their offspring to be disobedient, disrespectful.  That is why children are just what parents make them.

    Never let a child have his way against yours, and you will never have trouble with him.  "Whatever it is found impossible to change, the mind learns to recognize and adapt itself to." -- Education, pg. 290.

    Do you boys and girls all pledge to renounce the world and to be "all out" for the Lord?   Do you determine not to compromise with evil, worldly practices?  Do you determine to make the home, the school, and the church a success?  to influence other boys and girls in the right direction?

    If not, we now warn you that you will be expelled from school and from the place.  If

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 there are any who cannot give us a whole-hearted answer, it will be better for you to pull out now and go to the city and to the public school.

    We are not fooling.  Today we mean business just as they meant business anciently.  If you think this rule too rigid for you, say so now.

    Do you, boys and girls, promise to obey your parents and your teachers?  and not to talk back to anyone?

    And do you adults promise to do your level best to help the young?  Do you agree not to take your complaints about the children or youth to anyone but to their own parents?

    (All, young and old, raised their hands in consent.)

    Do you not think that Advanced Truth believers should be dressed modestly, attractively, and commendably, in harmony with the religion of Christ, so as to influence beholders to copy after them, not to turn away in disgust?

    (Congregation: "Yes")

    Our dress standards for women and girls, men and boys, are established from this viewpoint, and remember you have now promised to put them into practice.

    It is well to observe that there is no record that anyone had occasion from the manner in which Jesus dressed, to speak either for or against Him.  This shows that He was not an extremist.  Besides, His garments must have been well worth having, else His enemies would not have cared to

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 cast lots for them.

    This very same principle should govern our own manner of dressing.  We should so dress as to be remembered, not for wearing a trinket of some kind, trimming, color, or the like, but remembered for being well dressed, with attention called to no one thing in particular.  Also, our dress ought to be such that the very poorest will not feel out of place in our presence, and that the richest will not feel ashamed in our company.

    The sum of the whole matter in a nutshell is this: that we adorn ourselves with nothing for pride or display, but for respect and modesty.