Happy Home - Part 1

Happy Home - Part 1

Scripture: Genesis 2:18, 2 Corinthians 6:14
What are the secrets of a happy home? The Bible talks about principles of having a better home and marriage. We can find these secrets at the beginning of earth when God made man and woman.
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We are going to talk about the secret of a happy home today, and I want to begin with this subject where the Bible begins with it: right back in the beginning of things in the book of Genesis. I don't want you to take my word for these things; I want you to read them for yourself from the pages of your own Bible in the quietness of your own home.

Genesis 2:18: "And the Lord God said, It is not good that man should be alone. I will make an help meet for him. And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every fowl of the air and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them. And whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found an helpmeet for him." Just get the picture: back there in creation, in the very beginning of time, God made a beautiful garden with everything perfect. Then he made man. The animals had already been created. God had them pass before Adam and as he looked at them, I suppose he saw the different characteristics and he gave each one a name. He thought of something as he saw these animals pass by in review. He noticed that they went by in pairs: each animal had a mate. He looked around and there was none to stand opposite him. That is exactly what the Bible says, "But for Adam there was not found an helpmeet for him. And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam and he slept, and he took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh instead thereof."

Now this piece was taken out of Adam's side. I think there is something significant in that. When God made woman, He did not make her out of a foot of man. She was not a creature to be trampled under his feet. He did not make her out of a bone from his head to stand over him and rule him; but out of his side, a rib. Woman is to stand at the side of man as his companion. "And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made He a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, ‘This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh. She shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife and they shall be one flesh.'" This is a wonderful love story, isn't it friends? The very beginning of love in this world of ours; this was the beginning, the awakening of true love. God made all things perfect. There was a beautiful garden in which He made man. But still creation was not complete; something was missing. As the crowning act of creation, God formed woman and brought her to man. That was God's wonderful gift to man. A Christian with deep spiritual insight expresses it this way, "Love is a precious gift which we receive from Jesus. Pure and holy affection is not a feeling but a principle. Those who are actuated by pure love are neither unreasonable nor blind. Taught by the Holy Spirit, they love God supremely and their neighbor as themselves." We see that love is a precious gift that we receive from Jesus.

Too often, however, marriage brings disillusionment. Lovers thought they would find a harbor in the storm of life, but instead they find a storm in the harbor; so much disillusionment, discontent, unhappiness, heartaches untold. Some young women marry into homes where the shadows are never lifted, where there is really never any true happiness. Holy wedlock too often becomes unholy deadlock. We actually find that within many, many homes are two hostile camps. Husband and wife are lined up against each other, sometimes not even understanding why they feel this way toward each other. They go on a barren treadmill of existence and finally come to the point where one of them says, "I can't take it any longer," and they run to the divorce courts. They feel as somebody said, "Marriage is like a belt. If you are not satisfied with it you can unhook, you can unbuckle, and take someone else." Of course, divorce is not the solution. I think that the divorce we see in the world today is simply a sad commentary on the times in which we live.

Friends, Jesus Christ is the great center around which all marital plans should cluster. And the moment a person breaks away from that he faces the beginning of the end, so far as happiness is concerned. Too many young people go into marriage with hardly a thought about what part Christ will play in the home. A young girl in the church tosses caution to the winds and gives her heart to a young man who does not love God. He is not a member of the church and therefore, after marriage, there is that division because she loves God and he doesn't love God. Then there is friction because there cannot be true happiness in that kind of relationship. The warning comes to us from God in 2 Corinthians 6:14: "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers." Christ must be the very center of all plans for marriage. If He is not then trouble is the result.

I believe much of marriage failure is actually courtship failure, hasty marriages, ill advised, readily entered into with little thought of the consequences, little preparation. Young people who really do not know each other decide to bring their lives together and live together, and yet they are totally unprepared for it. They mistake infatuation for love. They fail to realize that a person actually doesn't fall in love. Love is something that grows. You have heard it said that it was love at first sight. But actually it wasn't so. You say, "Just a minute, I know it is so because that's the way it was in our case." I don't want to disagree with you. Let's consider it for a moment. First of all there is attention, then there is attraction, and then there is affection, and that grows into admiration and respect which develops into love. Sometimes a person mistakes the emotion of affection for true love and feels that it was love at first sight, but love is something that grows. It's something that develops and we need to make it grow.

It takes time to understand love and to test and to tell whether two people are really in love. There are no rules that I can give. Too often we look for a formula. We say, "What is the solution to this thing? Give me some formula so that I will know just exactly what I ought to do about courtship and engagement and marriage." I can't give you that, but I do know this: those who have studied marriage failures and marriage success have discovered that when a courtship is two years long and engagement about one year, there is much greater chance for true happiness. It is the sensible thing to do, give it the test of time. Learn to know one another well before such a step as marriage takes place. Isn't it better to wait one year than to spend many long years in unhappiness? I think that is just common sense, isn't it? You need to know yourself, you need to know the loved one, you need to know the parents, too, because we marry a family more than we realize. We need to become acquainted with them.

Young people need to seek the counsel of their elders. Mark Twain said he didn't want to counsel with his parents when he was 17 because they didn't know enough. He said when he was 17 years old his folks didn't have a lick of good sense. But when he was 24 he was surprised to discover how much they had learned in the last 7 years.

Now I want to talk about happiness for husbands and wives, some practical suggestions. For those of you who are planning marriage, looking forward to marriage, you want to be sure to pick out a good husband or a good wife. If you are married, keep the one you have and follow these suggestions! I want to talk to the men for a little while. You women can listen. I think the trouble with us men is that we pass a lot of compliments around before marriage and then we don't pass any around after marriage. That can cause trouble. Some men will go to a marriage counselor because their marriage is on the rocks. They don't know what to do about it. The marriage counselor will ask them some questions and will indicate that they are big strong he-men; they are not sissies; they don't go in for any mushy stuff. They may say,, "Doc, my wife is too mushy." But it is interesting to know that he didn't think so before they were married. It's well for us to remember how we conducted ourselves when we were courting our wives, and not forget some of those early attentions. It's strange how married men who have been married for several years don't know how to kiss. Maybe there was too much kissing before marriage, perhaps that is part of the problem. But isn't it strange that after their marriage they forget how to put their arms around their wives. I'll tell you, when they were going with those girls they knew every trick in the book. They were so subtle about the whole thing, so sweet. They knew exactly how to slip their arms around the girls and make them like it. But now they are married. There is no point in a man putting his arm around his wife. "She knows that I love her. Why should I put my arm around her?" The point I am making is this, men, let's not forget those early attentions.

A few compliments go a long way to lift some marriages out of the doldrums. Now take her cooking, for instance, men. I realize that for the newlyweds that's quite a problem. You say, "How can I compliment that?" Some young men have a burnt offering morning and evening for the first few weeks, and it's a little rough, but be sympathetic and compliment just the same. You can say, "Honey, this is the best meal you have ever cooked." And that will be the truth and every meal she will improve a little bit and things will get better. You know, if you give her compliments like that she will turn heaven and earth and the kitchen upside down to make it so. Let her know how much you appreciate her and give her a good honest compliment every now and then. These are simple things. That is probably the reason that they are overlooked so much. Tomorrow morning, men, when you get up and your wife is in the kitchen slaving away, say something nice to her. It will surprise her, it may shock her, but it will surely do her good. She will love you for it.

Now the same is true for wives. A woman came to Dr. George Crane, marriage expert, one day and said, "I want to do something to hurt my husband." He said, "Tell me a little more about it." "Oh, he's become interested in another woman and I want to do something that will just hurt him terribly." "Well," Dr. Crane said, "What do you propose to do?" "I want to divorce him?" "Why," he said, "Do you think that would hurt him? That's what he wants, that wouldn't hurt him at all. He wants you to divorce him so he can go off with the other woman. That wouldn't hurt him in the least. That's just giving him what he wants." "Oh," she said, "Well, what can I do to hurt him?" He replied, "Make him fall madly in love with you again, and then divorce him and you'll really hurt him." "Oh," she said, "That would be wonderful but how can I do it?" "How can I make him fall in love with me?" Dr. Crane said, "It is very simple. Just give him three sincere compliments every day and he'll fall madly in love with you in 6 months." "Hm," she said, "What can I find in him to compliment? That old rascal, I couldn't find anything in him to compliment." "Oh, is that right?" Dr. Crane said. "Tell me, is he good looking?" "Oh, is he good looking? He's handsome!" Dr. Crane asked, "Why don't you tell him; the other woman is telling him." "Oh," she said, "I hadn't thought of that." "Is he a good dresser?" "Oh yes, he's always just spiffed out just like he came out of a band box; he's a good dresser!" "Why don't you tell him so, the other woman is telling him." "Oh, I see!" "Is he a good provider?" "Yes, he is a good provider, why I have no complaints, plenty of money, everything; oh, he is a good provider!" Dr. Crane said, "Why don't you tell him so, the other woman is telling him that he is providing too much and you don't appreciate it! Why don't you tell him so?" "Oh," she said, "I see!" Dr. Crane said, "Now, you go home and you give your husband three sincere compliments every day and come back in 6 months and I'll tell you what to do."

Six months later she came bounding into the office and said, "Dr. Crane, it works, it works; my husband is madly in love with me, it's wonderful." "Now," he said, "You divorce him!" "Oh but, Dr. Crane, I don't want to divorce him. I'm in love with him too." It will work every time. Compliment one another, love one another!

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