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Sabbath School Lessons on Families in the Family of God
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Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.
is the author of these Sabbath School lesson study outlines. He is the Reed Larson Professor of Labor Law at Regent University School of Law. Professor Cameron has devoted his life to promoting the Gospel and defending believers. In addition to teaching at an overtly Christian law school, he continues his 37 year practice of law which is limited to the litigation of constitutional rights and religious freedom cases for employees. He holds an undergraduate degree from Andrews University and a Doctor of Law from Emory University School of Law.
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Lesson 6: Wise Words for Families *
Introduction: The Bible is filled with all sorts of practical advice.
Last week we studied Biblical advice about how to teach our children
about God. This week we move on to advice for grown children in
their marriage. Having a good family requires a good relationship
between husband and wife. Our lesson this week starts with advice for
those who are married. After studying those potential problems, we
consider how some of these problems can be avoided by being alert
when dating. Let's dive into our study!
- Honey and Gall
- Read Proverbs 5:1-2. Who is being taught in this Bible
- What does the Bible say is the "payoff" for children
paying attention to the Bible-based advice of their
parents? ("Maintain discretion" and "your lips
- What do you think it means to "maintain
discretion?" (It means you are going to save
yourself from evil. The result is that you will
not be embarrassed. Want to maintain your
dignity son? Want to avoid falling in a pit?
Then pay attention to this!)
- What do you think it means to have "your lips
preserve knowledge?" (People will listen to your
advice. They will learn important life lessons
from seeking and taking your advice - as opposed
to learning important life lessons from seeing
how your actions wrecked your life.)
- Read Proverbs 5:3-4. Oil and honey. No one in my office
has oil and honey oozing out of their mouth. Even if they
did, it would not be attractive. What does this mean? (It
means that when you begin an extra-marital affair it seems
like a lot of fun.)
- How does it end? (It hurts you (double-edged sword)
and it feels terrible (bitter as gall).
- Why is that? (Affairs are irrational.)
- How many times have you seen someone have an
affair with another person who is not as
desirable as their spouse? (This happens all the
time. What is "fun" about an affair is that it
reminds you of when you were dating. The reality
of actually living with the "other" person - a
person you now know is probably willing to
"cheat" on you is a different matter.)
- Years ago I needed a new secretary. The (female)
office manager came to my office and announced,
"I've got the perfect candidate for you. She is
beautiful and she married her last boss." It
turned out the manager was not joking about
either of those facts. (She was joking about my
job qualifications.) Not too long after we hired
her, guess who came to visit me? Right, her new
husband/ex-boss. He wanted to see what I looked
like. Guess why?
- Read Proverbs 5:7-8. How would you apply the "do not go
near the door of her house?" (It obviously means "do not
be alone with her in her house." But the "near the door"
means a lot more.)
- How many of you like to flirt? (I do. It is a
wonderful ego boost (especially in my old age) to
have a pretty lady flirt with me.)
- Is flirting "going near the door?" (This is an
area in which you need to be alert. I believe
the "near the door" phrase certainly includes
our mind. It is critically important to avoid
thinking about the "oil and honey" of an affair
with someone else. Our words reflect what we
think. Therefore, if the "flirting words" cross
the line to describe improper conduct, pay
attention because the alarm bells are ringing.
Turn away. Better, run away.)
- Read Proverbs 5:9-10. Why should we run?
- Does Proverbs 5:10 describe divorce lawyers? (Toby
Keith is probably my favorite Country singer. He
sings this sad song about driving by the place where
he used to live and seeing his house, his kids, his
wife, his truck and his dog - and a stranger who now
possesses all of his stuff! His song asks, "Who's
that man running my life?" If you have an affair, the
likely result is that strangers will "feast on your
wealth," they will be "running [what used to be] your
- Why would the Bible be talking about the
financial side to infidelity? (The Bible is
telling us to be rational - not emotional -
about marital fidelity.)
- We skipped a couple of verses before. Read Proverbs 5:5-6.
Is this the spiritual advice side of this?
- Notice that verse 6 says, "she knows it not." What
does that suggest? (The other person in the adultery
is not knowingly trying to cause you loss here and
eternally. It is up to you to be careful even when it
is a friend who is the potential source of your
- Married to Gall
- Read Proverbs 21:9 and Proverbs 21:19. Our discussion so
far has assumed that marriage with the original spouse was
good. We assumed it was excitement that lured one spouse
into an affair. Assume you live with a short-tempered and
angry spouse. What do these texts say about living with
Mr./Mrs. Angry and Twisted? (It is not much fun.)
- Read Proverbs 27:15-16. How do you find the constant sound
of dripping? (Annoying.)
- How do you like rainy days? (A quarrelsome spouse is
like an annoying dripping on a rainy day.)
- The NIV seems to miss an important point here.
Strongs says the Hebrew word "yamiyn" refers
specifically to the right hand. What additional
meaning does that add? (Your right hand is your
strongest hand. All your efforts are insufficient to
restrain this kind of spouse.)
- What hope does the Bible give us for restraining an
angry and twisted spouse? (Not much.)
- Read Genesis 2:18. How did Proverbs get so far from
- If you have a short-tempered and angry spouse, is it okay
to dump them for someone else who is more pleasant?
- Should you move to the roof? How about the desert?
- Let's not just describe the problem, let's look at
solutions so you don't have to move to the roof. If you
are not married, what should you be looking for in a
- How important is appearance as opposed to
personality? (Before I was married, if someone
suggested that I should date someone "who had a good
personality" I took that as a signal to run because
this potential date was going to be ugly.)
- Did I have the right attitude? (No. It turned
out that God led me to someone who was both
beautiful and pleasant - but if I had to choose,
an angry and twisted beauty would be no fun.
With the passage of time, she would likely not
even be beautiful. All you are left with is
angry and twisted. See Proverbs 31:30.)
- Let's read a text that suggests what an unmarried man
should be looking for in a potential wife. Read Proverbs
31:10-11. Is this the goal? To find a spouse that will
allow others to say that you "lack nothing of value?"
- Read Proverbs 31:12. How can you make a judgment about
this while you are dating? (If your date is beating you up
and causing problems while you are dating, you can be sure
this will not end when you get married.)
- Read Proverbs 31:13. What characteristic does this
describe? (She is not lazy. A lazy spouse is frustrating.)
- Read Proverbs 31:16. What characteristic does this
describe? (That she has a business mind. She has a sense
of money management.)
- Read Proverbs 31:20. What characteristic does this
describe? (She has compassion - even for the less
- Read Proverbs 31:25-26. What characteristics do we find
here? What does it mean to "laugh at the days to come?"
(She is wise and prepares for the future.)
- Should you expect all of those qualities in your wife-to-be? (Ask yourself how many of those qualities are in you?
These texts give you an idea of what to look for in a
- What if you are already married? Is there any solution,
other than the roof, if you are currently married to
"angry and twisted?"(Read Ephesians 5:28. You cannot, as
Proverbs 27:16 tells us, "restrain" angry and twisted. You
can, however, love "angry and twisted" into something
else. I have seen this happen in a couple. Some mistakes
impose long-term penalties. God gives us advice to
overcome our mistakes.)
- Read Proverbs 15:1. What other advice does God give us for
living with "angry and twisted?" (It is hard to be
unbiased about our own failures. If you are living with a
quarrelsome spouse, chances are that you are part of the
problem. Gentle answers help to prevent arguments.)
- Friend, the best way to have a good marriage is to pay
attention to the character of the person you choose to
marry. If you are already married, God gives us advice on
how to keep our marriage intact. Will you put forth the
effort to keep your marriage together and improve your
relationship with your spouse?
- Next week: The Royal Love Song.
* Copr. 2006, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. All scripture references are to the New International Version (NIV), copr. 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society, unless otherwise noted. Quotations from the NIV are used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers. Suggested answers are found within parentheses. The lesson assumes the teacher uses a blackboard or some other visual aid.