Wise Words for Families

This is a tool for you to use if you lead a Sabbath School (SS) class or small group. It is keyed to the Bible texts used in the current week’s Adult SS Lesson and includes a brief story from current news you can use to introduce the discussion and then a series of discussion questions in a relational pattern designed to build fellowship and spiritual reflection.

Texts: Proverbs 5:3-14; Matthew 19:5; 1 Corinthians 7:3, 4; Proverbs 13:22; 14:26; 17:22; 23:13; 31:10-31

When Kenneth came home, he left a trail of destruction in his path. Dubbed the most intense tropical cyclone to ever make landfall on Mozambique in the recorded history of the country, it finally dissipated after pounding the Southeast African country. Flooding is a major issue, with relentless rains swelling rivers. The Washington Post explains that Kenneth “follows Cyclone Idai, the country’s deadliest known storm. There is no record of two storms so strong striking Mozambique in the same season.” [1]

Only six weeks earlier, the country was devastated by Idai and was still recovering from that trauma. The storm packed 125-140 mph winds, created a 10-foot surge on the coast and brought massive flooding inland. “Mozambique has never been struck by back-to-back cyclones this strong in the same season,” the Post explains. Kenneth was the strongest storm on record to make landfall this far north in the country. “Aside from storm damage, the greatest risk will immediately be from flooding due to heavy rains.”

As we shake our heads at the catastrophic weather in Mozambique and pray for the thousands affected by the natural disaster, let’s remember the millions of families that are suffering storms that are ripping homes apart. This week’s Sabbath school lesson focuses on “Wise Words for Families,” which provides guidance from the book of Proverbs on how to prevent havoc on the hearts of spouses and children.

No tempest batters a marriage like an extramarital affair. The destructive impact on the heart of a betrayed spouse breaks most relationships into a million pieces that are nearly impossible to repair, save for the miraculous power of God. Our society does little to help protect the sexual intimacy of a marriage by tugging couples away from each other, whether through work, impure entertainment that glorifies affairs, or dissatisfaction by portraying greener grass on the other side of the fence.

As you review the advice of the wise man to his son in the book of Proverbs, keep in mind that when you are focused on yourself, when life is “all about me,” you’ll never be fulfilled, you’ll never find true joy in serving your spouse and protecting your children—for “the greedy bring ruin to their households…” (Proverbs 15:27 NIV).

When the storms and floods of this world strike your home, remember, “Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot sweep it away…” (Song of Songs 8:7).

For Reflection

Connecting: Draw a picture of your home. Then draw different types of storms hitting your house (lightning, tornadoes, floods, etc.). Now, write on these storms brief words that describe the types of trouble currently threatening your family.

Sharing: Parenting is a giant challenge that takes divine wisdom and supernatural energy to guide the hearts of children down the right pathways. What biblical advice have you read in Proverbs that could be helpful to parents today?

  1. “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it” (Prov. 22:6).
  2. “The Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in” (Prov. 3:12).
  3. “A wise son brings joy to his father, but a foolish son brings grief to his mother” (Prov. 10:1).
  4. “Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. They are a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck” (Prov. 1:8, 9).
  5. “Discipline your children, and they will give you peace; they will bring you the delights you desire” (Prov. 29:17).
  6. Other…

Applying: Choose one family relationship (husband-wife, parent-child, grandparent-grandchild) that is suffering from “storms” which threaten to break up that union. Find three Bible verses that could be helpful to that relationship.

Valuing: Are you experiencing a difficult storm in your family right now? Briefly share your experience with one other person in your group. Then, listen to the other person share their experience. Finally, pray for each other and ask God to protect your families from the tempests striking your homes.

~Curtis Rittenour

Photo credit: @jordymeow on unsplash

[1] https://www.washingtonpost.com/weather/2019/04/25/historic-tropical-cyclone-kenneth-crashes-ashore-northern-mozambique-where-devastating-flooding-is-feared/?utm_term=.d16535a2f053