I’ve been reading The Adventist Home. There has been a lot of good material to think about, and I especially appreciated a few sections in what I read today (chapter 16). Excerpts (underlining added):
To gain a proper understanding of the marriage relation is the work of a lifetime. Those who marry enter a school from which they are never in this life to be graduated.
However carefully and wisely marriage may have been entered into, few couples are completely united when they marriage ceremony is performed. The real union of the two in wedlock is the work of the afteryears.
As life with its burden of perplexity and care meets the newly wedded pair, the romance with which imagination so often invests marriage disappears. Husband and wife learn each other’s character as it was impossible to learn it in their previous association…. Often they discern in each other unsuspected weaknesses and defects; but the hearts that love has united will discern excellencies also heretofore unknown. Let all seek to discover the excellencies rather than the defects. (p. 105)
[Note on character and personality: This article considers how our strengths affect our partner.]
Though difficulties, perplexities, and discouragements may arise, let neither husband nor wife harbor the thought that their union is a mistake or a disappointment. Determine to be all that it is possible to be to each other. Continue the early affections. In every way encourage each other in fighting the battles of life. Study to advance the happiness of each other. Let there be mutual love, mutual forbearance…. The warmth of true friendship, the love that binds heart to heart, is a foretaste of the joys of heaven. (p. 106)
[Note about “studying how to show love”: The Five Love Languages was an important book for us. We learned a lot about each other that explained frustrations we were having.]
Neither husband nor wife is to make a plea for rulership. The Lord has laid down the principle that is to guide in this matter. The husband is to cherish his wife as Christ cherishes the church. And the wife is to respect and love her husband. Both are to cultivate the spirit of kindness, being determined never to grieve or injure the other.
Do not try to compel each other to do as you wish. You cannot do this and retain each other’s love…. Be kind in speech and gentle in action, giving up your own wishes. Watch well your words, for they have a powerful influence for good or for ill. (pp. 106-107)
Love cannot long exist without expression. Let not the heart of one connected with you starve for the want of kindness and sympathy.
Let each give love rather than exact it. Cultivate that which is noblest in yourselves, and be quick to recognize the good qualities in each other. (p. 108)
Love can no more exist without revealing itself in outward acts than fire can be kept alive without fuel. (p. 111)
If we would have tender hearts, such as Jesus had when He was upon the earth, and sanctified sympathy, such as the angels have for sinful mortals, we must cultivate the sympathies of childhood, which are simplicity itself. Then we shall be refined, elevated, and directed by heavenly principles. (p. 108)
There should be less display and affection of worldly politeness, and much more tenderness and love, cheerfulness and Christian courtesy, among the members of the household. Many need to learn how to make home attractive, a place of enjoyment. Thankful hearts and kind looks are more valuable than wealth and luxury, and contentment with simple things will make home happy if love be there. (p. 108)
It is the little attentions, the numerous small incidents and simple courtesies of life, that make up the sum of life’s happiness… (p. 108)
A house with love in it, where love is expressed in words and looks and deeds, is a place where angels love to manifest their presence and hallow the scene by rays of light from glory…. Love should be seen in the looks and manners and heard in the tones of the voice. (p. 109)
Instead of spending every moment in endless [work], make the evening a pleasant social season, a family reunion after the day’s duties. (p. 110)
[Note on evenings together: This quote reminds me of an article I read recently about campfires.]
The loom of heaven weaves with warp and woof finer, yet more firm, than can be woven by the looms of earth. The result is not a tissue fabric, but a texture that will bear wear and test and trial. Heart will be bound to heart in the golden bonds of a love that is enduring. (pp. 112-113)
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Here are quotes I’ve shared previously on Friendface (chapter 15):
“God wants the home to be the happiest place on earth, the very symbol of the home in heaven.”
“Make God your counselor. Blend, blend together.”
“In your life union your affections are to be tributary to each other’s happiness. Each is to minister to the happiness of the other. This is the will of God concerning you. But while you are to blend as one, neither of you is to lose his or her individuality in the other. God is the owner of your individuality. Of Him you are to ask: What is right? What is wrong? How may I best fulfill the purpose of my creation?”