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Lesson 9: Homes of Peace and Healing *

Introduction: How do we have a happy home? Sometimes it is not easy, sometimes the members of the home make things difficult. But, like everything else, God gives us directions for making our homes better places to live. Let's jump into the Bible and find out how to improve our family life!

  1. Planned Peace


    1. Read Proverbs 12:20. What would you say is the first step towards having peace in your home? How would you "promote peace?"(You have to make a decision that you want to have peace.)


      1. How would you go about making that decision? Would you call a family meeting and discuss whether peace is worth pursuing?


      2. What is the next step? (You have to do something. You need a plan of action. Proverbs 12:20 tells us that joy waits for those who promote peace. That means we need to make a decision and then create a plan of action.)


    2. Read Ephesians 4:3. To what is peace compared?(A bond. If you want to hold your family together, you need to have a plan of action and then make an effort to have peace.)


    3. Read Ephesians 4:2. When we use the term "bond," we think of something that ties us together - sort of like a rope. What are the strands of the "peace rope" that holds our families together? (Patience. Humility. Gentleness. Bearing with each other in love.)


      1. How do you think your family will react when you explain that these are some of the elements of the peace rope? Are they ready to be humble, gentle, patient and loving? Or, is this just some sort of fantasy?


      2. Our text seems to suggest that love is the basic ingredient which allows patience, humility and gentleness. Can we just decide to be loving? Can we just decide to be humble, patient and gentle?


    4. Read Philippians 2:12-13. In the preceding verses of Philippians chapter 2, Paul has just discussed how humility promotes the goal of unity. How do we acquire humility? (God works in us to do His will. If you have trouble with the idea of waving a wand which suddenly causes you to become humble, patient or gentle, Paul suggests that it is God who can change our hearts. It is the working of God that changes our proud, impatient, harsh hearts into something else.)


  2. Specific Advice.


    1. Read Proverbs 29:17. The Proverbs give us some specific advice for achieving peace in the family. This text tells us to discipline our children so that we will have peace. What connection do you see between disciplining our children and having peace?


      1. Doesn't it seem that imposing discipline creates anger?


      2. Notice the ultimate future conclusion to discipline: delight to our soul!


    2. Read Matthew 18:15. Would this apply to conflicts with our children?


      1. Have you heard parents publically complaining about their children?


        1. What impact do you think this has on our children?


        2. What direction does Matthew 18:15 give us on this issue, if any?


      2. Would this apply to "faults" between husband and wife?


        1. Have you heard wives (husbands) complaining to others about their spouse?


    3. Read Philippians 2:3. Give me some examples of how husbands and wives can violate this Biblical advice?


      1. Give me some examples of how they can comply with this directive?


    4. Read Colossians 3:12-14. Are these principles that should apply in our homes too?


      1. If so, what does it mean to "clothe" ourselves with compassion, kindness, etc.?


      2. What relationship does forgiveness have to wearing compassion and kindness?


        1. Notice that we are to "forgive as the Lord forgave you." How did Jesus forgive us?


        2. Read Hebrews 8:12. Does this also apply to our forgiveness? Or, is this an attitude that will only apply in heaven?


  1. Anger


    1. Read Matthew 5:22. In addition to anger, what else is prohibited?


      1. I remember speaking to a divorced lady and she said one of the most difficult problems in her marriage was that her former husband used to verbally attack her intelligence and make her feel stupid. Would that kind of treatment be prohibited by Matthew 5:22?


    2. Read Ephesians 4:26-27. Is it okay to be angry for a little while? Is anger only transformed into a "foothold for Satan" if we let it boil for more than one day?


      1. Or, is this text saying something else?


    1. How can we reconcile Matthew 5:22 with Ephesians 4:26? One says "don't be angry" and the other says, "if you are angry, don't sin?" (It is important that Matthew 5 ties anger to murder. Anger is a gateway to murder. The text seems to say "Don't let your anger get out of control.")


    2. Read Mark 3:1-5. The text plainly says that Jesus was angry. Since Jesus did not sin, how do we explain this? (Both this text and Ephesians 4:26 help us to understand that some anger is okay. Being upset over violations of God's law is acceptable. Being upset over the violation of our own space is something to try to reconcile before the evening.)


  1. Abortion and Abuse


    1. Read 2 Kings 16:1-3. What parallels are there between sacrificing your child in the fire and abortion? (The reason to sacrifice your child was to encourage the "gods" to treat you favorably. The reason to sacrifice your child to abortion is that you think life will be better for you. The two are very similar.)


      1. Is abortion a form of child abuse? (The ultimate - you deprive the child of the opportunity for life.)


      2. How could abortion cause harm to family life? (The feelings of regret and remorse can create later problems for the family.)


    2. Often I hear about adults who abuse children who themselves were abused as children. Why should this happen?


      1. If this is a temptation for you, consider the enormity of the pain and sin that goes from generation to generation. The time to stop the chain of pain is right now.


    3. Read Romans 1:26-27. Would this prohibition cover child abuse?


    4. Friend, a happy family does not just happen. It is an on-going project. Will you determine today to follow God's rules for happiness in your family?


  2. Next week: Families of Faith.
* 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.

© 2017 Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.
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