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nChrist
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« Reply #15 on: June 02, 2006, 08:47:43 AM »

Secrets of Happy Home Life - Page 4

by J. R. Miller, 1894


It is to be particularly noted that Paul nowhere says—"Wives, obey your
husbands." In our Common Version the word "obedient" occurs in one place;
but in the Revised Version the counsel is that wives should be "in
subjection to" their husbands. Indeed, however, the spirit of love is
always that of subjection, of yielding, or serving, in all life's
relations.

In another place, where Paul gives like instruction, his words are—"Wives
be in subjection unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the
husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is head of the Church"
(Ephesians 5:22-23). No doubt the husband is the head of the household;
but what a responsibility this teaching puts upon him! His wife is to be
in subjection to him, "as unto the Lord." He is to be to her what
Christ is to the Church.


If a man will insist on his wife fulfilling her part, he must also insist
on honestly fulfilling his own part,—all the sacred duties which are his
as a HUSBAND. What, then, is the husband's share in this happy
home making? "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the
Church, and gave Himself up for it" (Eph. 5:25). A husband is to love his
wife. Is love despotic? Does love put its object in a servant's place?
No; love serves. It seeks not its own. It desires "not to be served, but
to serve." It does not demand attention, deference, service, subjection.
It seeks rather to serve, to give, to honor.

The measure of the love required by the husband is to be well
noted—"Even as Christ also loved the Church." This is a lofty standard.
How did Christ show His love for His Church? Think of His gentleness to
His friends, His patience with them in all their faultiness, His
thoughtfulness, His unwearying kindness. Never did a harsh word fall from
His lips upon their ears. Never did He do anything to give them pain. It
was not easy for Him at all times to maintain such constancy and such
composure and quietness of love toward them; for they were very faulty,
and tried Him in a thousand ways. But His affection never wearied nor
failed for an instant. Husbands are to love their wives even as Christ
also loved the Church, and gave Himself up for it. He loved even to the
cost of utmost self-sacrifice.

There are men, however, who would do this, whose love would sacrifice
even life itself for a wife, but who fail in daily and hourly
tenderness
, when there is no demand for great self-denial. Hence the
other counsel must be remembered—"Love your wives, and be not bitter
against them." More wives might complain of the lack of love in the
little tendernesses than in great acts and manifestations.

A true woman's heart craves gentleness. It is hurt by bitter words, by
coldness, by impatience, by harsh criticisms, by neglect, by the
withholding of the expressions of affection. Love craves its daily bread
of tenderness. No husband should deny his wife the little things of
affection, the amenities of love, along the busy, trying days, and then
think to make amends by putting a flower in her cold hand when she lies
in the coffin. Will not conscience then whisper love's reproach?

"You placed this flower in her hand, you say,
This pure, pale rose in her hand of clay?
Methinks, could she lift her sealed eyes,
They would meet your own with a grieved surprise.

When did you give her a flower before?
Ah, well, what matter, when all is o'er?

But I pray you think
That love will starve, if it is not fed
That true hearts pray for their daily bread."

============================See Page 5
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« Reply #16 on: June 02, 2006, 08:49:49 AM »

Secrets of Happy Home Life - Page 5

by J. R. Miller, 1894


No true wife will ever quarrel with the divine law that makes the husband
the head of the household, if she has a husband who loves her up to the
measure of the divine requirements for husbands—"Even as Christ also
loved the Church." Such love never demands obedience, never demands
anything; it seeks not to be served, but to serve.


On the other hand, true love in a wife also lives to serve. Love always
serves, or it is not love at all. The greatest in Christ's kingdom are
those who serve the most unselfishly. Husband and wife vie with each
other in loving and serving. They mutually bear each other's burdens. The
husband is the head, but he never says so; never reminds his wife of it;
never claims authority; and defers to her in everything.

The wife recognizes her husband as head, honors him, looks up to him with
esteem and confidence—all the more because he never demands subjection.
Thus true love in husband and wife never has any trouble about rights or
place. Side by side they stand, these two wedded lovers, each a part of
the other, each incomplete, a mere fragment without the other, but strong
in their happy union in love.

But there are other elements in the composition of the home. Among the
blessings which make happiness are the CHILDREN, who come with
their sweet life and their holy gladness. Children bring cares and
troubles, and demand toil and sacrifice, ofttimes cost pain and grief;
yet the blessing they bring to a true home a thousand times repays the
care and the cost. It is a sacred hour in a home when a baby is born and
laid in the arms of a young father and mother. It is the final seal upon
their wedded love. It is the closing benediction of the marriage
ceremony. It draws fragments of heaven trailing after it to the home on
earth. Few deeper, purer joys are ever experienced in this world than the
joy of true parents on the birth of their first child. Much of home's
happiness along the years is made by the children. They are also great
blessings to their parents. Ofttimes they teach more lessons than they
are taught. We say we train our children; but they train us, also, if we
think of them as we should,—as immortal beings come from God to be
prepared by us for their mission. A reverent mother sings softly over her
child's cradle–

"My child, I fear you; you are a spirit, soul!
How shall I walk before you?
and keep my garments whole?
O Lord, give strength,
give wisdom for the task.
To train this child for You."

Jesus said of little children, that those who receive them in His name
receive Him. May we not, then, surely say that children bring great
possibility of blessing and happiness to a home? If we receive them as
Christ's messengers, as sent to us in His name, and entertain them as we
would entertain Him if He had come in place of them, we shall get from
them deep and rich good and joy.


A true mother is one of the holiest secrets of home happiness. God sends
many beautiful things to this world, many noble gifts; but no blessing is
richer than that which He bestows in a mother who has learned love's
lessons well, and has realized something of the meaning of her sacred
calling.


A FATHER also should be a blessing to a home. The modern tendency to put
upon the wife and mother all the responsibility for the making of the
home and its happiness is not sanctioned by Christian teachings. The
divine commands for the building of the home and the training of the
children are given primarily to the man, although meant for both husband
and wife. He cannot evade the responsibility; his position as the head of
the family puts upon him the obligation. Besides, it is not manly that a
man should want to put the whole burden on her whom he calls "the weaker
vessel." If his wife is weak and he is so strong, let him remember that
it is the privilege and the duty of strength to bear the heavy part of
life's burdens.

=======================See Page 6
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« Reply #17 on: June 02, 2006, 08:51:30 AM »

Secrets of Happy Home Life - Page 6

by J. R. Miller, 1894


There are parts of the home duty which a woman can do infinitely better
than a man. Men's hands are clumsy, and often hurt gentle hearts, when it
was meant that they should give healing and help. The man has the heavy
care of providing for the household. There are tasks, too, for which
woman's gentler hands are better fitted. But let no husband nurse the
notion that he has no responsibility for the happiness of his home beyond
providing food and clothing and other comforts. His strong life should be
the secure shelter beneath which his wife and children may safely abide.
His character should be a continual revealing of the love and truth
and holiness of God. He should live so that, seeing him day after day,
his family shall learn to know the beauty of Christ.
He is the priest
of his house, and as such should both speak to God for his family and
speak to them for God. Through him blessings should come to his home
every day.

BROTHERS and SISTERS have their part in making the home happiness. Yet
not always do they live together so as to make the music of the home one
glad, sweet song. Sometimes there is a lack of congeniality in their
dispositions. Then ofttimes there seems to be the feeling that home
affections do not need the culture that other friendships require. We
cannot be brusque, curt, or crude with other people, and expect them to
bear patiently with us in spite of our unmannerly behavior.
But we
are sure of our 'home friends',—so we let ourselves feel,—and do not need
to be gentle and thoughtful towards them. So it is that in too many homes
brothers and sisters live together year after year under the same roof,
mingling in the household communion, yet never forming close friendships,
soul never knitting to soul, strangers to each other's inner life. Thus
many rich possibilities of close and holiest friendships are missed.

Another thing that too often mars the home life of brothers and sisters
is a spirit of 'commanding' and criticism. Faults are seen, and openly,
and not in a gentle way, pointed out and reproved. What one does the
others are apt to do; and thus the habit grows, until little but 'sharp
speech' and 'inappropriate wrangling' is heard in the home where the
conversation might have so much in it of sweetness and profit.

These are suggestions of ways in which, in too many homes, one of the
secrets of happiness is lost. It is possible for brothers and sisters to
live together in a home so as to add greatly to the happiness and the
richness of the household life, and to be comforts and helps to each
other. It is said that the poet sisters, Alice and Phoebe Cary, had a
secret of happy living together which it were well if all brothers and
sisters could learn. "Whatever one felt or endured, because of it she
would not inflict any suffering upon her sister! no, not even if that
sister had inadvertently been the cause of it. If one sister was out of
sorts, she went into her own room, shut her door, and had it out by
herself."

These are good rules to be adopted in other homes. If we are feeling
uncomfortable from any cause, we have no right, according to the law of
love, to diffuse our irritations through the household. If we are in any
unhappy mood, in which we cannot suppress the ill-humor, we have no right
to vent it in the circle of our loved ones, and would far better go to
our own room, or out into the fresh air, alone, somewhere, and stay until
we have gotten back our sweet spirit again, so that we can scatter roses,
not thorns, among our loved ones.

The possibilities of happiness and blessing among brothers and sisters
can be realized only by cultivating the love that seeks not its own, that
is not provoked, that bears all things, endures all things, and never
fails (1 Corinthians 13:4-8). Love's first lesson is that of
giving up one's own way, denying one's self, suffering in silence. Where
this lesson has been learned, or is being learned, in a household of
young people, each thinks of giving to the others, not of taking from
them. Each cultivates gentleness and kindness. The speech of the home
grows quiet and tender, is never loud nor angry. The Golden Rule is
the law of each life.
There is love, and love that reveals itself in
a thousand little ways of courtesy and thoughtfulness—nameless things,
but things that make up a home happiness on which heaven's angels look
down with delight.

Not very long can any family life go on unbroken. Death will visit every
home. While we may, we should live together sweetly, patiently, loving
and serving each other in all beautiful and Christly ways.

==================================See Page 7
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« Reply #18 on: June 02, 2006, 08:53:16 AM »

Secrets of Happy Home Life - Page 7

by J. R. Miller, 1894


The daily home-life of the household carries in it many possibilities of
happiness which are not always realized in families. Some
SUGGESTIONS may be made.

1. One is that love must prevail in all the family life. Let
parents keep the confidence and affection of their children as long as
they live. One of the ways to make sure of this is never to tire of the
little marks and tokens of love which children naturally give. The time
never comes when it is unmanly for a man to kiss his mother. In the ideal
home every child has a good-night kiss for the parents before parting for
bed. Let the children do their part, too, in showing affection. There are
homes, chill and cold, which could be warmed into love's richest glow in
a little time, if all the household hearts were to grow affectionate to
each other.

2. Another suggestion is, that all family strife and contention
should cease.
Why should parents discourage their children by
continually nagging and finding fault with them? Why should children
dishonor their parents by disobedience, by crude and unfilial treatment,
by lack of respect, by refusing to yield to the order of the home? Why
should brothers fail in the duties of civility and courtesy to their
sisters? Why should sisters show no loving interest in their brothers,
and fail to overshadow them as with angel-wings? Why should brothers
wrangle and quarrel, separate their interests, and not stand together?
Why should sisters have their miserable little disputes, their envies,
jealousies and resentments? Let there be peace in all the home-life.

3. Another suggestion is, that we should not grow discouraged,
even if our homes are not yet what we crave. There are some who feel that
the battle is hopeless; that they can never grow into beautiful life and
character in their present circumstances. That is a mistake. It is
possible to grow into all the beauty of peace wherever we may be placed.
A lily finds its home in a black bog, but blooms into perfect
loveliness.

Suppose that your home-life is discouraging, even to the last degree; yet
you may live sweetly in the midst of it, through the grace and help of
God.
And who knows but that your sweet life may become the power of
God to change the home-life into heavenliness? Perhaps God has put you as
leaven there, to leaven the whole lump.

I have known a girl go out of a godless, worldly home to college, to find
Christ and return home a beautiful earnest Christian. Then I have seen
that home transformed in a few years, by that daughter's quiet influence,
into an ideal Christian home.

At least, though our home be not what we would like it to be, though it
lack warmth and tenderness and congeniality, still, while it is our home,
it is our duty to stay in it contentedly, and grow in it into beauty. We
know that Jesus lived until thirty years of age in a humble peasant home,
with but little culture and education, amid the privations of poverty and
hard toil. Yet He was not discontented there. He did not complain of the
narrowness and the littleness. He did not chafe under the limitations and
the burdens. There His life grew into that marvelous sweetness, that
wondrous beauty, that richness and greatness, which we see in Him, when,
at thirty years of age, He went out to begin His ministry. Wherever we
are planted, we, too, can grow into strength, nobleness and loveliness.

4. Patience is another lesson in learning to live happily together
at home. The children of a family have not all the same tastes. It is
very easy to fall into the habit of criticizing each other. We know how
nearly Martha spoiled her home happiness, and her sister's also, by
criticism. Criticism never fosters affection; you never loved any one
better for criticizing you. Usually the best service we can do to a
brother or sister is to live a sweet, patient, beautiful, Christly life
ourselves
, leaving to God the fashioning of their lives. If they are
true Christians, He is teaching them and putting His own image on their
souls. We might mar this divine work by our criticism.

Suppose you went into an artist's studio and saw a picture at which he
had been working for months, yet unfinished; would you, not being an
artist, take up his brush and begin to put touches here and there on the
canvas? Each life of husband or wife, child, brother or sister, in your
home is a picture which God is painting, and which is yet unfinished.
Beware that you mar not His work! So let us be patient with one another
at home. We all have our faults, we all make mistakes—but we can help
each other more by loving patience, than by scathing criticism.

======================See Page 8
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« Reply #19 on: June 02, 2006, 08:55:06 AM »

Secrets of Happy Home Life - Page 8

by J. R. Miller, 1894


5. True Religion is the great master-secret of all happy home
life! The spirit of Christ alone will enable us to live together in
perfect peace and love. The presence of Christ in the home is a perpetual
blessing. We cannot be selfish, we cannot wrangle and strive, we cannot
be bitter and unkind, we cannot be irritable and unreasonable, when
conscious of the presence of Christ. If only we can make Christ an
abiding guest in our home, and if we can keep ourselves aware of His
being with us, our household life cannot help but grow wondrously sweet!

Into every home, at some time, SORROW comes. Then it is that the blessing
of religion is specially revealed. We do not see the stars until the sun
goes down. The comforts of Christian faith do not reveal themselves to us
in their richest light and peace until the darkness of sorrow rests upon
our home. But there is light in the darkness when Christ is the
guest.
Indeed, it is true that when Christ is in a home, even sorrow
itself becomes one of the secrets of happiness. Our Lord's beatitude
says—"Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted" (Matthew
5:4).

Homes that have never known grief may be very happy in love, and very
bright with sweet gladness; but after sorrow has been a guest within
their doors, and has left its messages and blessings, there is a depth
of quiet joy
never experienced before. The family fellowship is
sweeter after there has been a break in the circle. The love is tenderer
when tears have come into its gladness. A vacant chair is a new and
sacred bond in the household life.

But it is only when Christ is in the home that sorrow sweetens the life.
There can be no rainbow without cloud and rain; but neither can
there be a rainbow, even with cloud and rain, unless the sun is shining
through the falling drops. The rarest splendors of happiness can be known
only when sorrow's clouds have overshadowed the home and the rain of
tears is falling; but unless the light of divine love is pouring through
the tears there can be no splendor of peace and comfort; nothing but
darkness and cloud.

Few things we can do in this world are so well worth doing as the making
of a beautiful and happy home. He who does this builds a sanctuary for
God and opens a fountain of blessing for men. Far more than we know, do
the strength and beauty of our lives depend upon the home in which we
dwell. He who goes forth in the morning from a happy, loving, prayerful
home, into the world's strife, temptation, struggle, and duty, is
strong—inspired for noble and victorious living. The children who are
brought up in a true home go out trained and equipped for life's battles
and tasks, carrying in their hearts a secret of strength which will make
them brave and loyal to God, and will keep them pure in the world's
severest temptations.

We may all do loving service, therefore, by helping to make one of the
world's homes,—the one in which we dwell—brighter and happier. No matter
how plain it may be, or how old-fashioned, if love is in it, if prayer
connects it with heaven, if Christ's blessing is upon it, it will be a
transfigured spot! Poverty is no severe trial if the home is full of
bright cheer. The hardest toil is light if love sings its songs amid the
clatter.

"Dear Moss," said the thatched roof on an old ruin, "I am so worn, so
patched, so ragged, really I am quite unsightly. I wish you would come
and cheer me up a little. You will hide all my infirmities and defects;
and, through your loving sympathy, no finger of contempt or dislike will
be pointed at me."

"I come," said the moss; and it crept up and around, and in and out,
until every flaw was hidden, and all was smooth and fair. Presently the
sun shone out, and the old thatched roof looked bright and fair, a
picture of rare beauty, in the golden rays.

"How beautiful the roof looks!" cried one who saw it. "How beautiful the
thatched roof looks!" said another. "Ah," said the old thatched roof,
"rather let them say, 'How beautiful is the loving moss!' For it spends
itself in covering up all my faults, keeping the knowledge of them all to
herself, and by her own grace, making my age and poverty wear the garb of
youth and luxuriance."

=======================See Page 9
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« Reply #20 on: June 02, 2006, 08:56:54 AM »

Secrets of Happy Home Life - Page 9

by J. R. Miller, 1894


So it is that love covers the plainness and the coarseness of the
lowliest home. It hides its dreariness and its faults. It softens its
roughness. It changes its pain into profit, and its loss into gain.


Let us live more for our homes. Let us love one another more. Let us
cease to complain, criticize and contradict each other. Let us be more
patient with each other's faults. Let us not keep back the warm loving
words that lie in our hearts until it is too late for them to give
comfort.
Soon separations will come. One of every wedded pair will
stand by the other's coffin and grave. Then every bitter word spoken, and
every neglect of love's duty, will be as a thorn in the heart.

Thomas Carlyle, that gifted author, when he passed the spot where he had
last seen his wife alive, would bare his old head in wind or rain, his
features wrung with bitter, unavailing sorrow. "Oh", he would say, "if I
could see her but for five minutes, to assure her that I really cared for
her throughout all that time! But she never knew it—she never knew it!"

We must give account for our idle silences as well as for our idle
words.


"Happy the home when God is there,
And love fills every breast;
When one their wish, and one their prayer,
And one their heavenly rest.

Happy the home where Jesus' Name
Is sweet to every ear;
Where children early lisp His fame,
And parents hold Him dear.

Happy the home where prayer is heard,
And praise is used to rise;
Where parents love the sacred Word
That makes us truly wise.

Lord, let us in our homes agree,
This blessed peace to gain;
Until our hearts in love to Thee,
And love to all will reign."
–Henry Ware
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« Reply #21 on: June 02, 2006, 09:02:13 AM »

Brothers, I feel led to add one more small, very old TRUTH about children. This discussion could not be complete without mentioning our Biblical dutires to our children. I hope you enjoy this and get some ideas to continue our discussion.
_______________________________

Every one of those little creatures
will be either in heaven--or in hell


(John Angell James, "Parental Earnestness" 1847)

"Bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord."
    (Ephesians 6:4)

Fond mother, look at that babe hanging on your bosom,
and those other children sporting around your knee. And
you, the father of the family, watching them indulge in
joyous emotions and playful expressions--pause, ponder,
reflect--millions of ages from that moment of domestic
ecstasy, every one of those little creatures will be
either in heaven--or in hell
; will be a seraph--or a
fiend; will be enduring inconceivable torment--or enjoying
ineffable felicity; will be be an associate with the devil
and his demons in everlasting fire--or a companion with
the innumerable company of angels in everlasting glory!

Overwhelming thought!

How tremendous is the responsibility of a parent! The
immortal destiny of your children should be your one
great, commanding, controlling, absorbing object!
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« Reply #22 on: June 02, 2006, 09:26:22 AM »

Quote
How tremendous is the responsibility of a parent! The
immortal destiny of your children should be your one
great, commanding, controlling, absorbing object!


Amen brother. It indeed should be the utmost focal point in the life of a parent. To do all they can to see their children walking in the ways of the Lord.

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Joh 9:4  I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
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« Reply #23 on: June 02, 2006, 02:28:20 PM »


Every one of those little creatures
will be either in heaven--or in hell


(John Angell James, "Parental Earnestness" 1847)

"Bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord."
    (Ephesians 6:4)

Fond mother, look at that babe hanging on your bosom,
and those other children sporting around your knee. And
you, the father of the family, watching them indulge in
joyous emotions and playful expressions--pause, ponder,
reflect--millions of ages from that moment of domestic
ecstasy, every one of those little creatures will be
either in heaven--or in hell
; will be a seraph--or a
fiend; will be enduring inconceivable torment--or enjoying
ineffable felicity; will be be an associate with the devil
and his demons in everlasting fire--or a companion with
the innumerable company of angels in everlasting glory!

Overwhelming thought!

How tremendous is the responsibility of a parent! The
immortal destiny of your children should be your one
great, commanding, controlling, absorbing object!
AMEN for the seeds we sow (as parents), will lead to salvation or doom.
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