The Adventist Family – Part 2

Posted on August 25, 2012

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QUESTION #1 – What does a Christian family looks like? [CLICK HERE]

QUESTION #2 – What does an Adventist Christian family look like?

Hearts that are filled with the love of Christ can never get very far apart. Religion is love, and a Christian home is one where love reigns and finds expression in words and acts of thoughtful kindness and gentle courtesy.  {AH 94.2}

Last week I wrote about what a Christian family looks like.  This week I want to unpack what it means to be an Adventist Christian family.

An Adventist Christian family has the same calling and responsibilities as any other Christian family.  In addition to having Bible believing families, we have a great resource in the Spirit of Prophecy to help enhance our family-life experiences, making our families stronger, healthier, and more mission-focused.

Husband and wife are to be faithful to each other so long as life shall last, ever revealing the self-sacrifice that leads to the truest happiness and the highest perfection of character. The husband is to be the houseband of the family, the priest of his home. The wife is to respect and love her husband, and he is to love and cherish his wife.  {18MR 121.1}

This next quote is so very true…

We must have the Spirit of God, or we can never have harmony in the home. The wife, if she has the spirit of Christ, will be careful of her words; she will control her spirit, she will be submissive, and yet will not feel that she is bondslave, but a companion to her husband. If the husband is a servant of God, he will not lord it over his wife; he will not be arbitrary and exacting. We cannot cherish home affection with too much care; for the home, if the Spirit of the Lord dwells there, is a type of heaven.–Lt 18-b 1891. (AH 118.)

To help keep this article short and to the point, I want to paint a picture of what it means to be an Adventist Christian family.

Healthy Adventist families will have Christ-filled men who love God.  These husbands and fathers will strive to always be Christ-like, loving, forgiving, kind, hardworking, firm (when needed), and great example setters.  Husbands are called by God to be the spiritual leaders in the home.  As leaders, men will spend time everyday studying the Word of God, praying, praying with their wives, leading the family in Bible study, and taking part in corporate worship and church leadership (local Adventist church).  A Christian husband and father will be the first to seek forgiveness and do what is right in difficult situations.

Please read this quote:

The husband should manifest great interest in his family. Especially should he be very tender of the feelings of a feeble wife. He can shut the door against much disease. Kind, cheerful, and encouraging words will prove more effective than the most healing medicines. These will bring courage to the heart of the desponding and discouraged, and the happiness and sunshine brought into the family by kind acts and encouraging words will repay the effort tenfold. The husband should remember that much of the burden of training his children rests upon the mother, that she has much to do with molding their minds. This should call into exercise his tenderest feelings, and with care should he lighten her burdens. He should encourage her to lean upon his large affections and direct her mind to heaven, where there is strength and peace and a final rest for the weary. He should not come to his home with a clouded brow, but should with his presence bring sunlight into the family and should encourage his wife to look up and believe in God. Unitedly they can claim the promises of God and bring His rich blessing into the family.  {AH 217.3}

Healthy Adventist families will have Christ-filled women who love God.  These wives and mothers  will strive to always be Christ-like, loving, forgiving, kind, hardworking, firm (when needed), and great example setters.  Wives are called by God to support their husbands in leading their families.  Even though husbands are the head of their households, this does not mean the wives have no leadership roles.  Christian wives and mothers will strive to create comfortable and happy homes where Christ is up lifted at all times.  Women are responsible to making sure their households runs smoothly, children are being taught about Jesus, healthy meals are being planned and made, and so much more.  Wives and mothers need to strive to be Christ-like at all times.  They will love and respect their husbands in the good and bad times.

Please read these quotes:

The Lord would have the wife render respect unto her husband, but always as it is fit in the Lord. {21MR 213.1}

The Christian mother’s work begins in the home circle, in making her home what it should be, pleasant to her husband, pleasant to her children. These dear ones are in her hands to educate faithfully. . . .  {8MR 437.1}

Scolding and fretting, gathering clouds and gloom about the soul, will bring only a shadow and discouragement in the home life. Mothers do not half appreciate their possibilities and privileges. They do not seem to understand that they can be in the highest sense missionaries, laborers together with God in aiding their children to build up a symmetrical character. This is the great burden of the work given them of God. The mother is God’s agent to Christianize her family. She is to exemplify Bible religion, showing how its influence is to control us in its everyday duties and pleasures, teaching her children that by grace alone can they be saved, through faith, which is the gift of God. This constant teaching as to what Christ is to us, and to them, His love, His goodness, His mercy, revealed in the great plan of redemption, will make a hallowed, sacred impress on the heart.  {8MR 437.2}

Family religion is a wonderful power. The conduct of the husband toward the wife and of the wife toward the husband may be such that it will make the home life a preparation for entrance to the family above.  {AH 94.1}

Religion is needed in the home. Only this can prevent the grievous wrongs which so often embitter married life. Only where Christ reigns can there be deep, true, unselfish love. Then soul will be knit with soul, and the two lives will blend in harmony. Angels of God will be guests in the home, and their holy vigils will hallow the marriage chamber. Debasing sensuality will be banished. Upward to God will the thoughts be directed; to Him will the heart’s devotion ascend.  {AH 94.3}

In every family where Christ abides, a tender interest and love will be manifested for one another; not a spasmodic love expressed only in fond caresses, but a love that is deep and abiding.  {AH 94.4}

Christianity to Be a Controlling Influence.– Christianity ought to have a controlling influence upon the marriage relation, but it is too often the case that the motives which lead to this union are not in keeping with Christian principles. Satan is constantly seeking to strengthen his power over the people of God by inducing them to enter into alliance with his subjects, and in order to accomplish this he endeavors to arouse unsanctified passions in the heart. But the Lord has in His word plainly instructed His people not to unite themselves with those who have not His love abiding in them.  {AH 94.5}

There is not much more I can add to these powerful quotes from the Spirit of Prophecy.  God used EGW to provide us with marital and family tools to help us have Christ-centered, mission-focused homes in these last days.  It is so important that we study the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy on a regular basis… learning all that God would have us know about building Adventist Christian homes that glorify Him.

In closing, I want to write a little about how Satan is breaking down our families.  Modern media is teaching women how to be disrespectful to their husbands.  Television shows and commercials portray wives belittling and making fun of their husbands instead of supporting them as household leaders.

Here is an example of how modern media is brainwashing our young men and women…

Instead of staying home with infants and young children, mothers are allowing daycare to do their job.  This neglect is hurting our children, families, and churches.  Wives and mothers are called by God to minister in the home first and foremost.  Another way women are neglecting their families is not learning how to prepare healthy meals.  Families are living on fast and processed foods which is leading to obesity and diseases.

Whenever possible, young mothers need to stay home with their children until they enter elementary school (Adventist education is the best route).  From there… mothers can seek to go back to school or work.  If mothers choose to go back to school or work, they must not neglect their families need to healthy meals.

A word of the husbands and fathers… Just because your wives are responsible for keeping the household running smoothly does not mean you can sit back and do nothing after work and on the weekends.  As the man of the house, it is your responsibility to keep the cars tuned, organize the garage, keep the yard looking sharp, shoveling the snow, taking out the trash, do some laundry, wash some dishes, make the bed, clean the bathroom sometimes, do some shopping, etc. etc. etc.  As the spiritual leader in the home, you must serve your family and set a Christ-like example 24/7.

One of the most important things to do while striving to have a healthy and happy home is to communicate.  Husbands and wives who love Jesus and are filled with the Holy Spirit will successfully learn how to speak to each other with respect and love.  Spouses need to learn how to communicate their needs and desires without yelling and fighting.

Let not one word of fretfulness, harshness or passion escape your lips. The grace of Christ awaits your demand. His Spirit will take control of your heart and conscience, presiding over your words and deeds. Never forfeit your self-respect by hasty, thoughtless words. See that your words are pure, your conversation holy. Give your children an example of that which you wish them to be.–Letter 28, 1890. (To Sister V., July 1, 1890.)  {8MR 437.3}

There is so much more I could say about having a Christ-centered home, but time does not allow for it.  Pray that God will help you surrender your all at the foot of the cross everyday… as you do so, you will be a great husband or wife.

Please let me know if you have any questions.