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Read: Rom 12:18; Eph 4:13, 26-27; I Cor 13:4-5; Mt 18:15; I Jn 4:18

Homes of Peace and Healing:
Homes as a haven of rest, a sanctuary place of relief and safety from the hassles and hecticity of our frantic lives is certainly a place where we look for the promise of peace to reign supreme and for health and healing to take place. Unfortunately more often than not the hectic hassles catch up with us even there. What happens to those good intentions in our intimate relationships?

Key Texts:

  • Romans 12:18 – Do everything possible on your part to live in peace with everybody.
  • Ephesians 4:13 – Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
  • Ephesians 4:13 – In your anger, do not sin.
  • 1 Corinthians 13:4,5 – Love is patient and kind; it is not jealous or conceited or proud; love is not ill-mannered or selfish or irritable; love does not keep a record of wrongs.
  • Matthew 18:15 – If your brother sins against you, go to him and show him his fault. But do it privately, just between yourselves. If he listens to you, you have won your brother back.
  • 1 John 4:18 – There is no fear in love; perfect love drives out all fear. So then, love has not been made perfect in anyone who is afraid, because fear has to do with punishment.
  • Flowers on family violence – Violence is an assault of any kind–verbal, physical, emotional, sexual, active or passive neglect–that is committed by one person or persons against another member of the family, against property or pets.
  • EGW, DA, p.310–It is true there is an indignation that is justifiable, even in the followers of Christ. When they see that God is dishonored, and His service brought into disrepute, when they see the innocent oppressed, a righteous indignation stirs the soul. Such anger, born of sensitive morals, is not a sin. But those who at any supposed provocation feel at liberty to indulge anger or resentment are opening the heart to Satan. Bitterness and animosity must be banished from the soul if we would be in harmony with heaven.
  • Miller and Jackson, pp.369-77 – What happens to relationships? What goes wrong?
    1. Loss of novelty, the rainbow theory of love.
    2. Discrepancies in Expectations.
    3. Decrease in Positives.
    4. Increase in Negatives.
    5. Conflicts, Decisions, Problems, Transitions.
    6. Growing Apart.
    7. Cognitive Changes. Examples of unhealthy ways of trying to make sense of the changes in the relationship.
    8. Globalism
    9. Projection of Blame
    10. Basic Pessimism
    11. Erosion of Trust and Respect
    12. Isolation

Questions for Discussion:

  1. Conflict, by definition–encountering differences between and among individuals, is inevitable. What makes the difference in the way conflict is handled in families that thrive and survive and those which disintegrate under the duress?
  2. What goes wrong in a marriage that it would be well for us to know and to guard against?
  3. We all know individuals who love to recount the stories of Jesus cleansing the temple and cursing the fig tree. What might they be overlooking in their fascination with righteous indignation?
  4. What do you think Paul means when he encourages us to be angry, but not sin?
  5. What rules or principles of anger management have you found useful in your teaching ministry as well as home life?
  6. In cases of domestic violence there have been well meaning saints who have counseled couples to return home and work out their differences, who place the sanctity of the marriage covenant above personal safety, who advocate marriage counseling as the cure for violence. What is your conviction regarding the way to intervene when we become aware of these problems in the homes of church members?
  7. In the past there has been a tendency to guard the sacred circle of the family, to not talk about these problems, to not seek the intervention of the law or community resources. When abuse or infidelity has occurred among those in leadership positions, individuals have been discretely moved on to other communities with enjoinders to sin no more. Do you think this is still a tendency or are we going through a change in practice? Are we being redemptive or punitive in the way we treat offenders?
  8. What does it mean to forgive a sexual offender? What does it mean to forgive one who has hit or otherwise hurt other members of the family?

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