Sunday, January 27, 2019

Christian Couples And In- Laws

OPENING PRAYER
Father, help couples to treat their in-laws with the fear of God.

MEMORY VERSE: "And Boaz answered and said unto her, It hath fully been shewed me, all that thou hast done unto thy mother in law since the death of thine husband; and how thou hast left thy father and thy mother, and the land of thy nativity, and art come unto a people which thou knewest not heretofore". Ruth 2:11.  

BIBLE PASSAGE: RUTH 1:1-18

Ruth:1.1
Now it came to pass, in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehem, Judah, went to dwell in the country of Moab, he and his wife and his two sons.
Ruth:1.2
The name of the man [was] Elimelech, the name of his wife [was] Naomi, and the names of his two sons [were] Mahlon and Chilion -- Ephrathites of Bethlehem, Judah. And they went to the country of Moab and remained there.
Ruth:1.3
Then Elimelech, Naomi's husband, died; and she was left, and her two sons.
Ruth:1.4
Now they took wives of the women of Moab: the name of the one [was] Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth. And they dwelt there about ten years.
Ruth:1.5
Then both Mahlon and Chilion also died; so the woman survived her two sons and her husband.
Ruth:1.6
Then she arose with her daughters-in-law that she might return from the country of Moab, for she had heard in the country of Moab that the LORD had visited His people by giving them bread.
Ruth:1.7
Therefore she went out from the place where she was, and her two daughters-in-law with her; and they went on the way to return to the land of Judah.
Ruth:1.8
And Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, "Go, return each to her mother's house. The LORD deal kindly with you, as you have dealt with the dead and with me.
Ruth:1.9
"The LORD grant that you may find rest, each in the house of her husband." Then she kissed them, and they lifted up their voices and wept.
Ruth:1.10
And they said to her, "Surely we will return with you to your people."
Ruth:1.11
But Naomi said, "Turn back, my daughters; why will you go with me? [Are] there still sons in my womb, that they may be your husbands?
Ruth:1.12
"Turn back, my daughters, go -- for I am too old to have a husband. If I should say I have hope, [if] I should have a husband tonight and should also bear sons,
Ruth:1.13
"would you wait for them till they were grown? Would you restrain yourselves from having husbands? No, my daughters; for it grieves me very much for your sakes that the hand of the LORD has gone out against me!"
Ruth:1.14
Then they lifted up their voices and wept again; and Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth clung to her.
Ruth:1.15
And she said, "Look, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods; return after your sister-in-law."
Ruth:1.16
But Ruth said: "Entreat me not to leave you, [Or to] turn back from following after you; For wherever you go, I will go; And wherever you lodge, I will lodge; Your people [shall be] my people, And your God, my God.
Ruth:1.17
Where you die, I will die, And there will I be buried. The LORD do so to me, and more also, If [anything but] death parts you and me."
Ruth:1.18
When she saw that she was determined to go with her, she stopped speaking to her.

INTRODUCTION:
Christian couples are expected to live according to the dictates of God's word. For instance, the bible tells us that a man should leave his parents and cleave to his wife. Gen. 2:24. This shows that a line must be drawn between the families from which both parents originated and the new family the couple is building. However, bible admonishes us to honour our parents. Exodus 20:12; Deut.5:16 and do good to all men especially the members of our household. Gal.6:10. It should be noted that in-laws are people related to us by marriage and we should deal with them with godly wisdom. James 3:17.

TEXT REVIEW : RUTH 1:1-18- "SPONTANEOUS SYMPATHY AND EMPATHY"

i. The farewell speech of Naomi elicited sympathy from her daughter in-law, Orphah and Ruth. Both women from the country of Moab (Ruth 1:4) lifted up their voices and wept  Ruth 1:9-14.

ii. In their sympathy, both women wept, kissed their mother-in-law and promised to return to Judah with their mother-in-law. Ruth 1:9-10.

iii. But soon, one of the women, Ruth empathized Naomi hopeless condition and saw light in the cloud of emptiness. She WA's moved to declined the offer to return to Moab. She made up her mind to go to Judah where God has visited the people with abundance and she said, I will lodge where you lodge....your God will be my God. Ruth 1:6,16-17.

iv. The other woman, Orpah was beclouded with reality of sympathy. She must have concluded that truly, the situation was hopeless as posited by Naomi. She decided to go back to Moab and that was the end that was ever heard about her. Ruth 1:14.

v. But for Ruth, a new story line has just begun. Because she was steadfastly minded (Ruth 1:18), her story lingered on to New Testament and till today. God granted her true rest according to Naomi's prayer. Matt. 1:5; Ruth 1:9

LESSON OUTLINES
1. Build a cordial relationship
2. The thin line

BUILD A CORDIAL
RELATIONSHIP

i. Teacher should sample the kind of relationship which exists in our society between the spouses and in-laws.
ii. Teacher should use Ruth & Naomi's relationship to buttress the scriptural pattern of relationship between spouses and their in-law.  
iii. Teacher should enumerate some guidelines which can foster good relationship between spouses and their in-law as indicated below:

a. Avoid preconceptions: Do relate with your in-laws from a biased perspective. Be open in your dealings with them. Rom. 12:10,16; 1Peter 3:8

b. Avoid acting like strangers: Do well to let your in-laws see you as another child of theirs and not a stranger. Prov.18:24; John 15:15.

c. Avoid damaging rules: Make sure you avoid rules that can destroy the relationship with your in-laws. (1Tim. 5:1-2). Be wise in all decisions relating to your in-laws especially in speech. Psalm 34:13; Col. 4:6.

d. Treat in-laws as important people and avoid strife.( Phil. 2:3). Exhibit maturity and patience with in-laws. 2Cor. 6:4.

e. Remain humble and encourage mutual submission. 1Pet. 5:5; Eph. 5:21.

f. Always seek peace and pursue it
Psalms 34:14; Rom.12:18
.       
CLASS ACTIVITY 1
Identify advantages/benefits of relating well with in-laws.

THE THIN LINE

The following guidelines would help parents or in-laws in their relationship with their sons/daughters in marriage:

i. In-laws to give breathing space to their married sons or daughters to enable them build a godly home. Col. 3:21.

ii. External interference should be avoided or be kept at lowest level. Matt. 19:4-6.

iii. In-laws can give godly counsels to their married sons and daughters without imposing their views  Eph. 6:4; Prov. 11:14; 19:20-21.

iv. In-laws can support their children in prayers. 1Tim.2:1

v. Couple should be allowed to take their own decisions.  

CLASS ACTIVITY 2
Class should discuss why it is important to allow couples to take decisions on matters that bother their families.

SUMMARY
Christian couples should dignify their in-laws with respect and honour while the in-laws too should reciprocate same gesture.

CONCLUSION
Christian couples must relate with their in-laws in love and as light/salt of the world( Matt. 5:13-14).
Live at peace and remain humble at all times  Hebrews 12:14.

CLOSING PRAYER
Father, help our in-laws and spouses to maintain scriptural-based cordial relationship with appropriate caution.

ASSIGNMENT
Identity five(5) things that can cause disaffection between in-laws and their married sons and daughters. Two mark for each points

SUNDAY SCHOOL HYMN

1. O Sunday School, on the Lord's day,
O how I love Thee well,
I am happy, it makes me glad
To rejoice at Thy birth.

2. O Sunday School, on the Lord's day,
Thy friend friendship suits me well,
Both young and old will sing Thy song,
We long for Sunday School.

3. O Sunday School, on the Lord's day,
Christ was Thy first teacher,
The Holy Spirit, great teacher,
Does manifest in thee.

4. O Sunday School, on the Lord's day,
This testimony is sure,
That God, the Father Almighty,
Poured His blessing on Thee.

5. O Sunday School, on the Lord's day,
Though the sun be so bright,
Or if the clouds be black with rain,
I'll be in Sunday School.

6. O Sunday School, on the Lord's day,
I rejoice to see Thee,
Will thou pass over me today?
Without my being blest?

Reference: RCCG Sunday School Teacher's Manual Lesson Twenty- Two,  2018/2019 Session.

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