A husband said about his spouse, ''In knowing her I learned to respect women.'' How cherished this man must have felt, how understood and loved in his home circle!
We can each express an even deeper sense of love toward those close to us as we strive to discern their actual, God-created nature. There is no greater adventure than to help bring out more of our own or another's true being as the child of God, as His very image. In the process of loving the good in others, we can usher in radical changes in our home environments that harmonize and stabilize relationships and bring great blessings.
God is Love, the Bible tells us. n1 Man's very purpose is to express his Maker, infinite Love. Through an understanding of this purpose we can bring to our relationships a noble, spiritually enriching influence. To the degree that we heighten our perception of man as spiritual and perfect, worthy and complete as God's idea, others will feel our love and genuine appreciation of them and will respond in kind.
n1 See I John 4:16
Close living conditions in a home may test us to the utmost to remain unof-fended, forgiving, strong, and loving. What rifts can be healed and gaps can be closed in home relations as we boldly practice Christ Jesus' teachings! In his Sermon on the Mount, for example, we find this instruction: ''Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him.'' n2 We need to be decisive in abiding by our God-given ability to forgive others. When distrust and disappointment weigh heavily on marital happiness, wounds can be healed more quickly as we refuse to judge and instead heed another Christly admonition: ''If ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.'' n 3
n2 Matthew 5:25.
n3 Matt. 6:14.
Moral and spiritual healing comes from a God-directed change in our own thinking. We need to look beyond the picture of man that seems so vivid to the physical senses and view others from the standpoint of man's innate purity and holiness as the spiritual expression of divine Love. This higher view can help release another from what would oppose his true nature, such as an urge for perennial amusement or indulgence in sensuality. The real man is Love's loved offspring! This does not mean we condone evil. It means we cast it out as untrue , as the fraudulent product of a counterfeit, material view of man. Wasn't this what Jesus did in humble obedience to his Father, the one God?
What irresistible might there is in living the qualities of humility and purity in our homes. ''Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth,'' n4 the Master taught.
n4 Matt. 5:5.
In interrelationships it is highly important that our thinking, our motives and actions, be God-centered, Love-impelled; that we strive in all we do to demonstrate man's true nature. Speaking of man's actual origin and nature, Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: ''In Science man is the offspring of Spirit. The beautiful, good, and pure constitute his ancestry.'' n5
n5 Science and Health, p. 63.
Homelife can be viewed as a workshop of character. Each family member can sharpen his spiritual sensibilities, make them practical. Knowing that we truly live in God and express the completeness of His nature as Father-Mother, we'll find it natural to express both the husbanding qualities so important to homelife - wisdom, faithfulness, respect, strength, dignity, consideration - and the wifely virtues that grace a home - joy, tenderness, warmth, compassion, patience, forgiveness. Such God-derived qualities, lived, teach wonderful lessons about the true source and nature of happiness.
Teaching through our way of living stabilizes society and helps safeguard the mental environment of our era. God reveals to us countless ways in which we can live to the full our capacity to love deeply the man all of us really are, His image and likeness. In finding harmony within our own thought, we earn the respect and appreciation of others, both within and outside the family circle. DAILY BIBLE VERSE Be ye doers of the word, And not hearers only. James 1:22