In a home where love reigns, peace is sure to dwell.

Friction, discord, and strife are not found in a home which is governed by love. To love is not optional; it is divinely commanded. Jesus said: “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you” (John 15:12). John theBeloved emphasized the importance of love by saying: “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; . . . He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love” (1 John 4:7, 8).

Many today are far removed not only from divine love but from the natural love that should exist between the husband and wife and the members of the household.


Natural Affection Lacking

One of the curses of the age is lack of affection in the home. It is sad to note that people neglect those of their own household and fail to care for those for whom God holds them responsible. In many homes, brothers and sisters do not live together in harmony. Daughters are lacking in respect for their mothers. Sons dishonor and discredit their fathers. Even mothers and fathers are found to be negligent regarding the welfare of their children. Husbands and wives live in discord and find life together incompatible.

All this is contrary to the teaching of the Word of God; but it is the condition the Bible tells us would exist in the last days, a time when men would be “lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection” (2 Timothy 3:2, 3).


The Way of Peace

It is well to look into the Word of God to find the cause of these difficulties in the home and see what one is to do to dispel all confusion. God demands peace and harmony, and the first thing to do toward making the home harmonious is to obey the Word and seek for God's love to be wrought out in the heart – a love that engenders peace, respect, honor, courtesy, submission, and a self-denying spirit.


The Bible on Home Life

If people would make a study of the Epistles of the New Testament, they would find much in those writings that pertains to the daily life in the home.

In 1 Corinthians 11:3, we read these words:

But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.

In a home where Christ is honored, where He is the Head, both the husband and wife, as joint-heirs together of God's grace, bend to His sovereign will. In the third chapter of 1 Peter, more admonition is given.

Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives.

Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.

Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:

Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing.

When the members of a family fulfill God's commands, and love one another as Christ loved them, there is unity, harmony, and peace in the home.


No Room for Selfishness

The soul who has truly been born again is not a selfish soul, not self-exalted, nor self-defensive. He has love in his heart for others, esteeming others better than himself. Some people profess Christianity, but instead of “dying daily” to self, they lose the Word of God, “the seed,” out of their heart, and they no longer possess a tender, melted spirit that bears things with patience; but instead, when under pressure, they resist. They may not want to be that way; but that is what happens when one loses the love of God and backslides in heart.

It is easy for some to love others until something touches their self-pride; but when another taps that certain place in their life, up comes their defense. They can be so lifted up and so set in their own opinions that they cannot be crossed. They must have their own way, even if it brings strife. According to the Word, strife, debates, and arguments have no place in the life of a Christian. And when these things continue and sin finally brings forth a spirit of hatred between a wife and husband, it brings destruction to both.


Compassionate Love Needed

In a home where love reigns, where one has compassionate love toward the other, you will find the wife submissive to the husband, the husband loving the wife, the children obeying the parents – not in a compromising way, not letting down the standards of righteousness, but in obedience to God's Word which says, “Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility” (1 Peter 5:5).

Some think they can have the love of God in the heart and ill-will toward another at the same time. Ill-will and love do not dwell together. The other person may have done wrong. He may even have sinned; but if one has God's love in his heart, he has a love that will cover a multitude of sins.

There is too much discord in many homes today, and a hard spirit exists. A husband and wife can become so accustomed to being together that they forget God's injunction to show courtesy and respect one to the other. The wife may say, “My husband is so very surly, it is no use.” But the wife can take much of that spirit out of her husband by her acts of kindness; and he, likewise, can change the attitude of his wife by the things he does for her.

There are those who are always attempting to set the others right in the home. It is a big undertaking to try to set others right. If it is necessary to reprove one, or if he has failed and repented, the trouble is to be forgiven and forgotten. It is well to remember that God had compassion on us when He forgave us our sins and trespasses. The Word says, “put on . . . bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, . . . forbearing one another, and forgiving one another” (Colossians 3:12, 13). Love – compassionate love – keeps the sweetness in the home under trying circumstances.


Husband's Responsibility

There are two sides to the story of having a happy home. Both the husband and wife are definitely responsible. Some men may declare, “Wives are to obey their husbands.” But they forget that the same Word which tells the wife to be subject to the husband just as emphatically and distinctly says, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church.” How much love was that? So much that He gave His life on the Cross. If a man loved his wife to that extent, it would make it easier for the wife to be in submission to his will. But he forgets that. He forgets he has something he must do to make it easier for the wife. If he obeyed God and conducted himself the way God demands, giving proper love and consideration to his wife, how much easier it would be for her to submit to him! If he has God's love in his heart, it will keep him from making unreasonable or unkind requests. Any person who tries to get another to bow in abject submission to him has lost the love of God and the Spirit of Christ out of his heart. Let us not forget that.

If husbands really loved their wives as Christ loved the church, and wives likewise met their responsibilities, the divorce courts would soon go out of business. There would be fewer broken homes and not so many children suffering because of the sins and misdeeds of the parents.

If the husband, who is the head of the house, has the love of God in his heart, he has a divine love for his family and he will provide properly for his household. The Bible says: “If any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel” (1 Timothy 5:8).


A Wife's Duty

The Bible instructs married women to guide the home with discretion and “give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.” There is a standard that must be maintained in order to have a home that would adorn the Gospel of Christ. And there is nothing that will cause a family, as a whole, to grow and develop spiritually more than to have a home managed according to the Word of God, a home where everything that is done is prompted with a spirit of love.

The husband and wife and children can plan their work with consideration for the other, and according to the time they have in which to perform their duties. The family's individual activities can be arranged so as not to conflict with the plans of another member of the household. All things can be done in order. The wife can successfully manage if everything is systematically planned early in the day. A time should be set aside for prayer and reading of the Word, a time that does not interfere with the daily duties one owes to the family.

The Christian housewife keeps her home neat and clean. She keeps her home cheerful and provides for the daily necessities of the family. She “looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.” She is not as the women spoken of in the fifth chapter of 1 Timothy, who were idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, “speaking things which they ought not.”

The wife with the love of God in her heart has a love for her family. She performs her duties willingly – not because the husband or any member of the family does something for her. She is devoted to her home and her family. It is a joy to do for them.

The Bible describes the faithful wife and mother as a virtuous woman whose price is far above rubies. “She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.” She truly is a virtuous woman, and the heart of her husband “doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life” (Proverbs 31: 11, 12).


Search the Heart

Divine love makes no compromise with sin. It is a love that is true to God and true to those in the home. Read the Thirteenth Chapter of First Corinthians, and you will find a description of God's love in the heart. It is a love that “seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; . . . endureth all things.”

Some people think that because they do not have this divine love they need to seek sanctification, a second work of grace wrought out in the heart which produces divine love. And if they search their heart, they may find that they have never been born again, or, if they have, they may need to repent of their misconduct and do their first works over. Then they can seek sanctification, and after receiving sanctification they are eligible to seek for the baptism of the Holy Ghost.

If you do not have the love of God reigning in your home or in your heart, seek God for it. Then you can obey His command: “Love one another, as I have loved you.” Love solves the family problems. It is the secret of a happy home.

Rev. Florence Louise Crawford

is the Founder and First General Overseer

of the Apostolic Faith Church with Headquarters

in Portland Oregon.

Revd. Florence Crawford