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Mind, Character, and Personality, vol. 1

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    Chapter 24—Love in the Home

    [See Chapter 32, “Infatuation and Blind Love.”]

    Source of True Human Affection—Our affection for one another springs from our common relation to God. We are one family, we love one another as He loved us. When compared with this true, sanctified, disciplined affection, the shallow courtesy of the world, the meaningless expression of effusive friendship, are as chaff to the wheat.—Letter 63, 1896 (Sons and Daughters of God, 101.)1MCP 211.1

    To love as Christ loved means to manifest unselfishness at all times and in all places, by kind words and pleasant looks.... Genuine love is a precious attribute of heavenly origin, which increases its fragrance in proportion as it is dispensed to others.—Manuscript 17, 1899. (Sons and Daughters of God, 101.)1MCP 211.2

    Love Binds Heart to Heart—Let there be mutual love, mutual forbearance. Then marriage, instead of being the end of love, will be as it were the very beginning of love. The warmth of true friendship, the love that binds heart to heart, is a foretaste of the joys of heaven.... Let each give love rather than exact it.—The Ministry of Healing, 360, 361 (1905).1MCP 211.3

    Affection May Be Pure but Shallow—Affection may be as clear as crystal and beauteous in its purity, yet it may be shallow because it has not been tested and tried. Make Christ first and last and best in everything. Constantly behold Him, and your love for Him will daily become deeper and stronger as it is submitted to the test of trial. And as your love for Him increases, your love for each other will grow deeper and stronger. “We all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory” (2 Corinthians 3:18).—Testimonies for the Church 7:46 (1902).1MCP 212.1

    Love Cannot Exist Without Expression—As the social and generous impulses are repressed, they wither, and the heart becomes desolate and cold.... Love cannot long exist without expression. Let not the heart of one connected with you starve for the want of kindness and sympathy.—The Ministry of Healing, 360 (1905).1MCP 212.2

    The Love Plant to Be Treated Tenderly—The precious plant of love is to be treated tenderly, and it will become strong and vigorous and rich in fruit-bearing, giving expression to the whole character.—Letter 50, 1893.1MCP 212.3

    Loving Impulses Not to Be Stifled—Encourage the expression of love toward God and toward one another. The reason why there are so many hardhearted men and women in the world is that true affection has been regarded as weakness and has been discouraged and repressed. The better nature of these persons was stifled in childhood; and unless the light of divine love shall melt away their cold selfishness, their happiness will be forever ruined. If we wish our children to possess the tender spirit of Jesus and the sympathy that angels manifest for us, we must encourage the generous, loving impulses of childhood.—The Desire of Ages, 516 (1898).1MCP 212.4

    Love Not Passion—Love is a plant of heavenly origin. It is not unreasonable; it is not blind. It is pure and holy. But the passion of the natural heart is another thing altogether. While pure love will take God into all its plans and will be in perfect harmony with the Spirit of God, passion will be headstrong, rash, unreasonable, defiant of all restraint, and will make the object of its choice an idol.1MCP 212.5

    In all the deportment of one who possesses true love, the grace of God will be shown. Modesty, simplicity, sincerity, morality, and religion will characterize every step toward an alliance in marriage.—The Review and Herald, September 25, 1888. (Messages to Young People, 459.)1MCP 213.1

    True Love Preparation for Successful Marriage—True love is a high and holy principle, altogether different in character from that love which is awakened by impulse and which suddenly dies when severely tested. It is by faithfulness to duty in the parental home that the youth are to prepare themselves for homes of their own. Let them here practice self-denial and manifest kindness, courtesy, and Christian sympathy. Thus love will be kept warm in the heart, and he who goes out from such a household to stand at the head of a family of his own will know how to promote the happiness of her whom he has chosen as a companion for life. Marriage, instead of being the end of love, will be only its beginning.—Patriarchs and Prophets, 176 (1890).1MCP 213.2

    Love and Self-discipline Bind Family Together—Let parents seek, in their own character and in their homelife, to exemplify the love and beneficence of the heavenly Father. Let the home be full of sunshine. This will be worth far more to your children than lands or money. Let the home love be kept alive in their hearts, that they may look back upon the home of their childhood as a place of peace and happiness next to heaven. The members of the family do not all have the same stamp of character, and there will be frequent occasion for the exercise of patience and forbearance; but through love and self-discipline all may be bound together in the closest union.—Patriarchs and Prophets, 176 (1890).1MCP 213.3

    Characteristics of True Love (counsel to an opinionated husband)—True, pure love is precious. It is heavenly in its influence. It is deep and abiding. It is not spasmodic in its manifestations. It is not a selfish passion. It bears fruit. It will lead to a constant effort to make your wife happy. If you have this love, it will come natural to make this effort. It will not appear to be forced. If you go out for a walk or to attend a meeting, it will be as natural as your breath to choose your wife to accompany you and to seek to make her happy in your society. You regard her spiritual attainments as inferior to your own, but I saw that God was better pleased with her spirit than with that possessed by yourself.1MCP 214.1

    You are not worthy of your wife. She is too good for you. She is a frail, sensitive plant; she needs to be cared for tenderly. She earnestly desires to do the will of God. But she has a proud spirit and is timid, shrinking from reproach. It is as death to her to be the subject of observation or remark. Let your wife be loved, honored, and cherished, in fulfillment of the marriage vow, and she will come out of that reticent, diffident position which is natural to her.—Testimonies for the Church 2:416 (1870).1MCP 214.2

    Soul Craves Higher Love—Your wife should make strong efforts to come out of her retired, dignified reserve and cultivate simplicity in all her actions. And when the higher order of faculties is aroused in you and strengthened by exercise, you will better understand the wants of women; you will understand that the soul craves love of a higher, purer order than exists in the low order of the animal passions. These passions have been strengthened in you by encouragement and exercise. If now in the fear of God you keep your body under, and seek to meet your wife with pure, elevated love, the wants of her nature will be met. Take her to your heart; esteem her highly.—Testimonies for the Church 2:415 (1870).1MCP 214.3

    Love Finds Expression in Words and Deeds—L_____ needs to cultivate love for his wife, love that will find expression in words and deeds. He should cultivate tender affection. His wife has a sensitive, clinging nature and needs to be cherished. Every word of tenderness, every word of appreciation and affectionate encouragement, will be remembered by her and will reflect back in blessings upon her husband. His unsympathizing nature needs to be brought into close contact with Christ, that that stiffness and cold reserve may be subdued and softened by divine love.1MCP 215.1

    It will not be weakness or a sacrifice of manhood and dignity to give his wife expressions of tenderness and sympathy in words and acts; and let it not end with the family circle, but extend to those outside the family. L_____ has a work to do for himself that no one can do for him. He may grow strong in the Lord by bearing burdens in His cause. His affection and love should be centered upon Christ and heavenly things, and he should be forming a character for everlasting life.—Testimonies for the Church 3:530, 531 (1875).1MCP 215.2

    The Little Acts Which Reveal True Love—Love can no more exist without revealing itself in outward acts than fire can be kept alive without fuel. You, Brother C, have felt that it was beneath your dignity to manifest tenderness by kindly acts and to watch for an opportunity to evince affection for your wife by words of tenderness and kind regard. You are changeable in your feelings and are very much affected by surrounding circumstances.... Leave your business cares and perplexities and annoyances when you leave your business. Come to your family with a cheerful countenance, with sympathy, tenderness, and love. This will be better than expending money for medicines or physicians for your wife. It will be health to the body and strength to the soul.—Testimonies for the Church 1:695 (1868).1MCP 215.3

    Let patience, gratitude, and love keep sunshine in the heart though the day may be ever so cloudy.—The Ministry of Healing, 393 (1905).1MCP 216.1

    Power of Parents’ Example—The best way to educate children to respect their father and mother is to give them the opportunity of seeing the father offering kindly attentions to the mother and the mother rendering respect and reverence to the father. It is by beholding love in their parents that children are led to obey the fifth commandment and to heed the injunction, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.”—The Review and Herald, November 15, 1892. (The Adventist Home, 198, 199.)1MCP 216.2

    Love of Jesus Mirrored in Parents—When the mother has gained the confidence of her children and taught them to love and obey her, she has given them the first lesson in the Christian life. They must love and trust and obey their Saviour as they love and trust and obey their parents. The love which in faithful care and right training the parent manifests for the child faintly mirrors the love of Jesus for His faithful people.—The Signs of the Times, September 9, 1886, par. 11. (The Adventist Home, 199.)1MCP 216.3

    Mother's Love Is Illustration of Love of Christ—As the mother teaches her children to obey her because they love her, she is teaching them the first lessons in the Christian life. The mother's love represents to the child the love of Christ, and the little ones who trust and obey their mother are learning to trust and obey the Saviour.—The Desire of Ages, 515 (1898).1MCP 216.4

    Influence of Christian Home Never Forgotten—The home that is beautified by love, sympathy, and tenderness is a place that angels love to visit and where God is glorified. The influence of a carefully guarded Christian home in the years of childhood and youth is the surest safeguard against the corruptions of the world. In the atmosphere of such a home the children will learn to love both their earthly parents and their heavenly Father.—Manuscript 126, 1903. (The Adventist Home, 19.)1MCP 216.5

    The family relationship should be sanctifying in its influence. Christian homes, established and conducted in accordance with God's plan, are a wonderful help in forming Christian character.... Parents and children should unite in offering loving service to Him who alone can keep human love pure and noble.—Manuscript 16, 1899. (The Adventist Home, 19.)1MCP 217.1

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