Start Where You Are

With the foundation laid by wisdom, the house built by understanding, and the home filled with knowledge, we have all the ingredients necessary for the cultivation of a happy, prosperous, emotionally safe, spiritually rich household. This is God’s ideal for every home, beginning at marriage. Your home, however, may not have started well.

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Rich Relationships

Let’s review the building analogy. Wisdom has laid a solid foundation for the home, and the household leaders are committed to making God’s Word their standard operating procedure. Upon this bedrock, the domestic structure rises. Thanks to the adults’ skillful understanding, the practical needs of the home are met, and the household takes form.

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Teamwork

[Sunday] we looked at the foundation of a stable household: the first layer is wisdom, from the Hebrew hakam. This kind of wisdom is the commitment to translate our knowledge of God and His ways into practical living. We dedicate ourselves to making decisions that carry out His plans for our lives, our household, and the world. Upon this bedrock, the sages erected the structure through understanding.

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Bedrock

The grind of domestic disharmony can be the most distressing of all. After all, home should be a place of rest and safety, a refuge from the stresses and dangers of the world. For many, however, home is a battlefield where the most intense struggles of the day take place. As we consider possible remedies for this daily grind, we turn to the wise men of Israel, who described three essential ingredients that turn a house into a home.

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Suffering but Not Silent

Of all the grinds that erode our peace, none is more nagging, more draining, more painful than disharmony at home. Sarcastic infighting. Stinging put-downs. Withering stares. Deafening silence. Volatile explosions of anger. Occasionally, emotional brutality and physical abuse. A television blaring in the living room. A stack of dirty dishes sitting in the sink. Doors slammed shut.

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The Benefits of Wisdom

Wisdom is its own reward. Even so, Solomon predicted that the person seeking divine wisdom will enjoy significant advantages. Today we will consider the benefits of wisdom from within. [Tuesday], the benefits of wisdom from above. 1. Benefits of wisdom from within: further wisdom plus knowledge and understanding For the LORD gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding. (v. 6)

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For Strong Marriages

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her . . . . So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself . . . and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband. (Ephesians 5:25, 28, 33) Lord, today we are living in a culture that has forgotten Your pattern for marriage.

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Playing Second Fiddle

I REMEMBER READING OF Leonard Bernstein, the late, legendary conductor of the New York Philharmonic, giving an insightful answer in an informal interview. Following a televised performance, one admirer asked: “Mr. Bernstein, what is the most difficult instrument to play?” With quick wit and without even a thought he replied:

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I, Me, Mine, Myself

THOSE FOUR WORDS stood out in bold print. They appeared as if they were forming an enormous monument, each letter seemingly chiseled out of granite. At the base of this strange “monument” were hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people with their arms stretched high, as if worshiping at a shrine. And then, in very small letters, this caption appeared at the bottom of the editorial cartoon: “Speaking of American cults . . .”

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Don’t Quit

YEARS AGO, I listened as Anna Sklar, the author of a book titled Runaway Wives, shared some shocking statistics: Early in the twentieth century, for every wife or mother who walked away from her home and responsibilities, six hundred husbands and fathers did so. Just ten years later, after the women’s liberation movement, for each man who did that, two women did the same.

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