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      Nurturing people in the image of God since 1868.                                                                          POB 397/520 Dry Creek Rd./Smithville, TN

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Homemakers and Homebreakers

An irate customer sent an angry letter to the offices of a do-it-yourself company. It said, "Dear Sirs: I built a birdhouse according to your ignorant plans. Not only is it too big, but it keeps blowing out of the tree in my front yard. Signed `Unhappy.' " A few weeks went by and then the irate customer received this letter from the apologetic company: "Dear Unhappy: Please accept our apologies. We accidentally sent you a sailboat blueprint. . . . It may not be much consolation but, if you think you're unhappy, you should read the letter from the man who finished last in the Yacht Club regatta in a birdhouse !"

An old piece of advice remains constantly relevant in all our attempts to build things with lasting value and meaning: "Unless the LORD builds the house, They labor in vain who build it...." (Psalm 127:la). This piece of inspired wisdom is especially true when it comes to building an enduring marriage and a happy, effective family life. There are many who can claim expertise and skill at building a house. There are fewer who demonstrate expertise and skill at building a home. Bricks and boards and oak and mahogany may make a strong and beautiful house. But those things are powerless to build a home that will withstand the inevitable strains and stresses and storms of life that come to bear on the people. who live inside the house. What are the things which make or break a home? Scripture, reason, research and human experience testify that some things always facilitate a home while others always debilitate it. Galatians 5:19-23 (New International Version) gives a fair summary of each. The works of the flash" are things that help break a home. They include "sexual immorality, impurity, debauchery, idolatry. . .hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition. . . .envy, drunkenness, orgies, and the like." This list reveals the things that keep family therapists and marriage counselors busy. There is nothing in this list that is helpful to your home. Indeed, these are the attitudes and actions behind the dysfunctions and divorces we hear so much about. Contrast that with the fruit of the Spirit: "love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control." These things will help make any home on earth a happy and healthy place to. There is nothing in this list that is hurtful to your home! Are your attitudes and actions helping to make your home or break your home? Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve.  But, as for me anc) my house, we will serve the LORD" (Joshua 24:15b).  A State of Exquisite Misery!

Dan Gulley
church of Christ
Smithville, Tennessee