KEYWORDS: love, family, lord, others, children, time

Shooting Straight, Part 12--Letter Links: Favoritism

March 7, 2005

(ML #3534, GN 1125)

FD/MM August 2004

One Wife

ML #249:22-26, Vol.2

22. Special favoritism and partiality—that is selfish private property interest! If you love your flesh-and–blood children more than you love God's children of God's Family, then you really haven't come to the realization of what God's Family is all about! If you're kinder to your own flesh–and-blood children and give them things you don't give the others‚ or see that they have more comfort than the other children, then you are being partial and selfish and private! With your selfishness and lack of sacrificiality you are striking at the very foundation of God's Family, and that kind of selfishness will destroy and undermine the unity of The Family as a whole.

23. IN OTHER WORDS‚ PARTIALITY TOWARD YOUR OWN WIFE OR HUSBAND OR CHILDREN STRIKES AT THE VERY FOUNDATION OF COMMUNAL LIVING—against the unity and supremacy of God's Family and its oneness and wholeness! What you're doing when you do that is whittling away and chopping off little chips and bits of The Family to separate them in spirit, and even sometimes in actually, from the rest of The Family, just because they're "yours"!

25. ARE YOU REALLY SURE THAT THE OTHER CHILDREN IN THE NURSERY HAVE JUST AS COMFORTABLE A BED AND JUST AS GOOD FOOD AND JUST AS GOOD TRAINING AS "YOUR OWN"?—I don't like that expression!—They're all "our" children! Now naturally you have a little more feeling of personal attachment to the children you have borne, and there is bound to be a peculiar relationship of special personal interest there. But if you were perfect in spirit before God‚ there would be no difference! If your spirit was perfect before God, everybody in the Revolution would be your brother and your sister just as much as your flesh-and-blood, and every child you would feel just as responsible for and love just as much as God loves!

26. NOW IF THERE IS ANY REASON FOR WHICH GOD MAY ALLOW YOU TO GIVE YOUR NATURAL CHILDREN A LITTLE MORE PERSONAL ATTENTION, it is because God knows that all children need individual attention and tender loving care. But anybody could give them that. Anybody could be a mother or father to them! As far as He and His Family are concerned, there is no difference!—God and His Family come first. Any private relationships are neither here nor there, if they in any way hinder or interfere with God and His Family.

Love Is the Answer

ML #1396:12–19, GN Book 18

12. (Mama:) IT'S HARD TO GIVE AS MUCH ATTENTION & SHOW AS MUCH INTEREST IN OTHER CHILDREN AS IN YOUR OWN‚ because it's not natural! I guess that explains us here, it's a supernatural thing! It's a natural love the Lord puts in you for your own children & it has to be almost a supernatural thing to love other children unless you really love children! But a lot of people don't exactly have that big burning desire to be with children & love them that much. God's just made different people differently. If we all loved to work with children none of the other work would get done! But even if you don't naturally love other children as much as your own, you have to make a conscious effort to at least not exclude others entirely. You need to try to make them feel good & try not to show too much favoritism.

13. OF COURSE, AT TIMES YOU EXPECT TO SHOW SOME FAVOURITISM & one thing we do to try to help Techi & David to know they're special to us, is we have them come in our room together for special fellowship every night. But you've also seen at the table that Dad is very very good with Davida & really is sweet to her & tries to talk to her & pray & hold hands with her, but we don't have to treat all children exactly the same, just like the Lord doesn't treat us all the same! If you start treating all others the same as your own children, then your own children aren't going to have that special feeling that they're important to you & that they have a special place in your life‚ which they need!

14. EVERYBODY NEEDS TO FEEL SPECIAL TO SOMEBODY, RIGHT? And that's why you have husbands & wives, you need to feel special to somebody! If you just treat everybody the same, you're going to sort of lose that personal sense of belonging. Even if you have eight children, you still treat them all a bit differently. You can give each one something special, either special attention or a special something that means a lot to them.—You should try to anyway, so they don't all think they're just one more child in the line up. They should feel they're special to you in some way. The temptation is that every time we give Techi something I want to give David something! You have that tendency because you feel like the other's going to be hurt. But you can't carry that to extremes, that just because David needs a new pair of shoes we have to get Techi something too. They've got to eventually learn that we go by needs & we can't always give everybody exactly the same need.

15. IT'S HARD FOR CHILDREN TO UNDERSTAND THAT YOU CAN'T GIVE THEM ALL YOUR ATTENTION. So if you can't, then you have to be very careful that each of them does have your very special attention at their own special time. Children don't have too much of a concept of time when they're small. If you give one something & say to the other, "Yours will come next time", "next time" is a long time away & it's very nebulous, & so in most cases if you give one something, you should try to do a little something special for the other one, even the tiniest little token. Because it's just hard for small children to understand that you love them as much, if you don't do something for them or give something to them at the same time.

16. ON THE OTHER HAND, THERE ARE TIMES WHEN YOU DO HAVE TO SHOW THAT THEY'RE SPECIAL, that each one's special & not treat your children exactly the same all the time. They have to know they're special in their own way, just like they have to feel at times that others' children aren't as dear to you as they are, because people need that! We all need to feel special to somebody, & you can't always treat them all the same.

17. THAT'S WHY ALL CHILDREN NEED THEIR PARENTS AT LEAST SOME OF THE TIME. In your Home they need to have that special rapport & relationship with their parents, not only having a big kibbutz or commune-type of thing where they have only their teachers. It has its advantages, but I don't really think with only community teachers that every child can have that personal feeling of being special or needed.

18. THERE HAVE TO BE SOME SPECIAL TIMES‚ EITHER OF ATTENTION, OR GIVING THINGS‚ OR WHATEVER, & they have special needs, of course. If one needs something the other doesn't need, well, they have to be taught, "When your dress wears out you can have a new dress‚ too!" When we took David out to a restaurant he would always, on his own actually, want to save a little something & bring it back to the girls—a colored toothpick, a pretty napkin or some nuts, etc. He's always been very conscious of that, especially for Davida‚ & now he's conscious of both of them. He'd always want to bring something back for Davida, & in the same way, if you can bring a little souvenir back or just do a little something for the other ones that didn't have the major attention or gift or whatever it was bestowed upon them, then that's nice, because it shows you're thinking of them too! It's just consideration & love, just like David would always say, "Oh, I want to take this back to Davida! I want to save one of my bread rolls for Davida!" So just as he was so considerate‚ parents should be considerate like that too & realize that other children may feel left out.

19. CHILDREN REALLY APPRECIATE EVEN THE SMALL THINGS! You don't have to give them anything expensive at all! They don't know the value, small children that is. When they get older then they may, but not if they're not taught that way. They don't really compare values of things that much. So you take one out & get them a pair of shoes & bring the others back a little toy or something that maybe costs 10 cents, it means just as much to them, see? To them it means just as much, & you don't always have to be spending big exorbitant amounts of money you don't have anyway, in comparing & making everything the same for children.—But just get them a little tiny remembrance to show that you love them too & you remember them too.

The Need for More Affection in Our Homes

ML #2857, DB 11

1. (Mama:) One of our leaders mentioned in a communication to us that he is concerned, as are we, about what has become a serious situation in many of our Homes: Very little warm, spontaneous show of affection between Family members, totally unrelated to sex. He said that even while he was growing up in the System, his large family had displayed more affection amongst themselves than many Family members in our Homes today. The affection was warm and spontaneous, with lots of hugging and kissing and stroking that demonstrated their care for each other.

2. In many cultures‚ people grow up being naturally affectionate as part of their daily lives, completely apart from sex, without any phobias about their bodies or others' bodies, without being afraid of physical contact; in fact, actually making such contact a very important part of their interaction with others. Embracing, caressing, patting‚ stroking, squeezing, massaging, hand-holding, hugging, being naked in front of each other, all these things are very normal, and if absent, there is a sense of loss and abnormality. Countries where a culture is lacking in affection produce many more neurotic, sexually deviant, violent, problem people, as some scientific studies have proven. (See Christian Digest #10‚ "Affection," pg.5.)

Affection Should Be Prevalent in Our Homes

3. In the area of affection, as in all other areas, Dad has set a good example for us by being a warm, loving person, openly demonstrating his love for us by lots of sweet affection. We are saddened at the lack of affection in our Homes, and we know that each of you will want to do all you can to remedy the situation. Affection in our Homes should be as common as our saying, "I love you" or, "Praise the Lord" or, "Thank You Jesus" or, "Let's pray."

4. Of course, we realize that we have some big hurdles to overcome, and one of the biggest ones is people's jealousy. I think that one thing that will overcome that to some degree will be to put limits on the affection and set a certain standard for the affection we display, and put a certain interpretation on our affection—what it means and what it doesn't mean.

5. For example‚ hearing their mate say, "I love you" to everybody in our Family Homes doesn't usually bother jealous people too much. Because‚ unlike its usage in the System where it is used primarily in only one way‚ in a romantic sense, in the Family it is used in a much broader way, much more than just in the romantic sense. It refers to the very sweet, Godly love that we all have one toward the other. This is the sense in which we most often use this phrase in the Family. So our frequent daily use of this phrase with all our brothers and sisters, no matter who they may be‚ does not usually evoke strong feelings of jealousy, even in those who tend to be very jealous, since they understand the meaning with which the phrase "I love you" is being used. They know that it is for everyone, that it's across the board, and they do not interpret it as anything particularly connected with sex. They know that their mate's saying "I love you" is not going to automatically lead to them going off to bed with whoever they said it to.

6. I think that normal sweet affection should be employed in the Family the same way as we use the phrase "I love you." It should just be normal, natural and across the board, and if it is, then it won't mean or be interpreted to mean anything more than that. We'll make it so it definitely doesn't mean that. Regardless of whether somebody wants it to mean that, we're going to say, "Look, nobody should take this kind of affection to mean anything more than it is: Just sweet affection, our loving each other as members of the same Family, just doing what is the natural thing for those who love one another to do. So don't take it as anything else!"

7. Affection between our Family members should be as natural as when you say "hello" to somebody when you see them and "goodbye" when you leave. And if you're going to give somebody a hug, it shouldn't be a hug like this, where the two people are standing five feet apart! (Fam: The A-frame hug!) It should be a nice, normal, natural hug, with genuine love‚ not sex, as the main motivation.

8. I believe that most of our Family can handle affection properly and do it in a clean loving spirit, and not a lustful spirit. They're going to have to, as the Word says, "keep their bodies in subjection."

9. Some women are just too particular, and some men are just too lustful and sexy in a sort of carnal, fleshly spirit‚ so they'll all have to work on their shortcomings. And everybody's going to have to work on their jealousy and they're just going to have to start lovingly showing sweet, Godly natural affection to each other! Because I'm afraid that in many of our Homes, almost worldwide now, we've allowed people who have jealousy battles to keep us back from being the very openly loving and affectionate Family we should be, and I think that's very sad.

Affection Should Not Be

Reserved Only for the Bed!

10. We not only need lots more public affection amongst our Home members throughout the day during their daily activities, but from what I've heard, many of our men need to show our women more affection behind closed doors as well. I'm not referring only to the affection which should be part of their sex and actual lovemaking, but also the loving affection which should be manifested before and after, which shows unselfish love and outgoing concern for the one they're with.

11. Apparently, a problem that a lot of men seem to have is that they don't want to have a date or be with a woman unless they can fuck. But when a man conveys that kind of attitude or message to a woman‚ what kind of signal does that send to her? It's a very obvious signal: "I'm only with you for what I can get out of it." If that's his attitude, then it's pretty obvious to the woman that he only wants to be with her for sex and for his own selfish pleasure.

12. The only time some people are affectionate and loving, kiss and cuddle and put their arms around someone is when they are in bed having sex. "Brethren, this ought not so to be!" (Jam.3:10). We should be affectionate in season and out of season!

13. The affection that you show your mate while out of bed is important too. This kind of affection will be less sexual, but it means a lot, especially to a woman. That kind of nonsexual affection is a signal that shows your partner that you really love and care. So being affectionate when it's not connected with lovemaking is important, when you're showing others that you know that they're there and that they mean something to you. And that's what we want to promote amongst all of the Family, regardless of whether they love each other in a romantic way or not.

14. I think we need to teach all our people that they need to be with each other sacrificially for what they can give each other, much more than what they can get out of it. That's so basic! It's like going back to teaching kindergarten or first grade! We need to teach our people that one of the reasons the Lord allows them to have these relationships is so they can learn something about real sacrificial love.—And that the Lord does not approve of people being in relationships just out of selfish motives. Whatever we do, we're supposed to do all we do out of love for God and others, and love is the most important thing.

15. If we have real love, we're going to love the person for that person, not just for what they can give us in a sexual way. After all, you can always do it yourself. It's not like you can't be relieved sexually unless you fuck somebody. Real love is much stronger than merely sex. Sex and sexual intercourse can be‚ and should be, if possible, a wonderful and important part of real love; but real love is much, much more than sex. People can sometimes be so much in love that they can do without sexual intercourse forever if they have to. Some people have even married knowing they couldn't have sex, like getting mated to a person who is handicapped or paralyzed. Even if they can't fuck, that doesn't stop them from loving a person and wanting to live with them. Real love doesn't take into account whether someone is going to satisfy your sexual needs or not. Real love is much greater than that.

16. Of course, with real love between a man and a woman, sex usually comes along with it. Thank the Lord for the extra bonus. That certainly makes it a lot nicer and fulfilling, but sexual intercourse isn't an inherent part of real love. It's an added supplement or bonus that usually comes with it, and is very nice, and can be one important way of communicating and staying close together. But it's not an absolutely necessary part of real love.

Affection Works Wonders!

25. After the Summit '93 meeting, some of our leadership visited some Homes in which they suggested that people start being more affectionate. Upon following this suggestion‚ there was a whole change of spirit in the Homes, with the members feeling more liberated, more happy‚ more able to communicate with each other‚ more tolerant of each other's faults and peculiarities, happier in their work and a whole host of other advantages that resulted from just a little more display of open affection between the Home members.

26. This is not surprising, because affection is a sign of your love; it's a physical manifestation of love that others can see and feel. It helps them to know you care about them, that they're important to you. It shows them that you know they're there and they count. Affection has proven to be an amazing help in overcoming heartaches and serious emotional and even physical difficulties. Science has demonstrated that an affectionate touch causes the brain to manufacture and release certain neurochemicals that can dispel a "bad mood" and make the recipient of the touch feel much better. For more on the amazing powers and qualities of affectionate touching, see Christian Digest #10‚ "Affection."

27. God bless and help us all to be more affectionate! "Love never fails!" So you can't go wrong by being more loving, amen? GBY! ILY! Affectionately yours, Mama.

(Terrific! I really agree!—D.)

Family Discipline Guidelines

ML #2919:101-104, Lifelines 21

Discipline Without Favoritism

101. When disciplining, we must consider the needs of the child, and not let personalities, prejudice, personal feelings or opinions cause us to show favoritism, or not be fair and evenhanded with the children in our care.

102. "We need to all ask the Lord to give us an impartial love for our children.—Love that can only come supernaturally from the Spirit of God! But it is possible, and some of our Family Members do manifest this impartial love for the Family's children, loving children born to other Family Members just as much as children that they have borne themselves. This is a supernatural love, and must come from the Lord. It often does not come easily, so we should pray for it.

103. "Many parents have difficulty even loving their own children impartially, and unfortunately and very sadly, some show favoritism to some of their children over the others. To me‚ that is one of the saddest things I can think of, as it must deeply hurt the children who are not so favored. And the next saddest thing is for our Family Members to show their own children partiality in front of other Family children.

104. "In all the times that I have observed Dad with my two flesh children, when he was with those children along with children of other Family Members, I never once saw him show favoritism or partiality to David and Techi over Davida or others. Of course, if you're with your flesh children privately, that's one thing, and that's not hurting others. Or if you give your children special attention on Family day or parent time while other parents are giving their children special attention, that, of course, is perfectly all right and is not showing partiality or favoritism. But when you are with any of our Family children, you should try to treat them in a manner that will cause none of them to feel unjustly isolated or put down or neglected or shown less love than the others." (Maria, ML #2670:42-44, GN 460.)

Libby's Homegoing

ML #2936, DB 12

1. (Mama: ) When I heard about Libby's Homegoing, I didn't cry; I was so glad to know that she was freed from the pain and weights of this world, and was now so happy in her wonderful Heavenly Home. But do you know when I did cry?—When I heard she had died alone and lonely and in pain, feeling misunderstood and misjudged. I felt so sad when I heard how our folks‚ as well meaning as they were, hadn't had compassion on her when she was sick, but instead belittled what she was going through and sort of chided her for being so weak, and had a rather self-righteous attitude toward her. And then she died.

2. I suppose that's a lesson that those folks there will never forget. They said they were influenced by the doctor's diagnosis‚ where he generally took the attitude that there was nothing seriously wrong with her and that she should just get out of bed and start working and not let it become such a big deal.

3. You know, I'd rather err on the side of being too lenient with people and even letting them get away with things than to be too hard on them and too critical and too self-righteous, possibly accusing them falsely and making the very difficult time they are already going through even harder by my criticism and my accusations that they are not doing enough or they are not working hard enough or they are not fighting hard enough.

4. This message about Libby says: "I think we all got somewhat duped by the doctor's diagnosis that it was just a 'normal migraine headache' that she had to put up a little fight against in order to pull out of." I wonder if those who felt this way have ever experienced a so-called "normal migraine headache," let alone an abnormal migraine headache?

5. I'll tell you, dear folks, when someone tells us they are sick, or starts acting that way, we'd better take it seriously. If you later find out they weren't sick after all and they were just using this as an excuse for getting out of something, that's their problem and the Lord will teach them their lessons in whatever loving way He knows is best. But at least you will have shown them love and consideration and compassion‚ even if they didn't deserve it. Isn't that what God does with us on a daily basis?—Continually showing unmerited mercy and love toward each of us, His undeserving and often wayward children. If every time we tried to get around the "rules" or tried to avoid doing His will He slapped us flat on our backs and lambasted and berated us for our failures‚ we couldn't have stood it. If God had thrown the whole weight of the law at us when we broke it‚ we wouldn't be around today.

6. Don't you believe what God's Word says?—That love is the most important thing? If we have learned to pray, if we have learned to witness, if we have learned to organize a Home, but we have not learned to have love, it is a shame and a reproach to us!

7. Don't worry about Libby now! Everything is wonderful for her! Praise the Lord! The Lord took her quickly and the excruciating physical pain that she felt is all gone now, and her "light affliction which was but for a moment" is forgotten and erased by the most beautiful experience imaginable, as she has inherited a "far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory" (2Cor.4:17). And the equally great pain that she felt at being misunderstood and misjudged by those of her Family, who should have been weeping with her, sleeping with her‚ waking with her and helping to bear her burdens with understanding and compassion is also all gone and forgiven and forgotten in the joy that she feels at being with Jesus in her Heavenly Home. She doesn't want to make her loved ones feel badly, but she hopes that through her experience, others can be spared unjust criticism, misunderstanding and misinterpretation.

8. I don't think those who knew about Libby's situation in her last days need this chiding, I think they have already learned their lesson. And Jesus—and Libby—have forgiven them.

9. But what about you? How often do you critically and self-righteously point a finger of condemnation at someone without knowing all the facts‚ or without stopping to "put yourself in their place," or "walk a mile in their shoes"? What if you knew that tomorrow would be their last day on Earth and they would leave this life with your condemning words ringing in their ears? You'd do all you could to be good to them, wouldn't you? Or what if you knew that tomorrow would be their last day in the Family and they'd leave with your unloving behavior etched vividly in their minds? You wouldn't let that happen, would you? In both cases, your unloving attitude would be just as stinging and hurtful—except that the effects of the one would have lasted for only a short time until the Lord wipes all the tears away!—While the effects of the other would remain to haunt them, the memory of how their loved ones failed them when they needed their support the most. Only God knows how responsible you may have been and how great an influence your unloving attitudes had on their leaving the Lord's work.

10. This lesson is not for any of our folks who made mistakes in their attitude toward Libby. They don't need this. I'm sure they have learned their lesson, they have been forgiven, and for their sakes, I wish I didn't have to bring it up. I feel very bad having to add to their sorrow by this public highlighting of this situation. I love these dear ones and I would not want to do anything to hurt them.

11. However, in order to teach all of you others a lesson, and to perhaps save you from having to learn it by your own sad experience, we are allowing you to learn through the sad experiences of these. Therefore‚ "throwing stones" should be the last thing you do, and pointing the finger of condemnation should be the furthest thing from your mind. Instead, you should thank these folks for learning this lesson so that you may learn it, too. And you should pray for any who misjudged Libby—that they will be freed from their pain and their condemnation, and that out of this breaking and the ashes of failure, the beautiful lilies will grow‚ and they will be strengthened to serve in love and newness of life.

12. Pray also for yourselves who have often been just as guilty, but without seeing so clearly the fruit. Weep for your lack of love, often displayed in criticism, impatience, condemnation, coldness, lack of understanding or selfishness. Pray that God will forgive us and heal our land! And that Libby will not have died in vain. And that these precious ones will not have suffered needlessly by this public sample.

13. And lest you self–righteously point the finger at these folks in disapproval, thinking, "How could they be that way?" think of the times you've been less than loving yourself! Think of the times you've been harsh with people, unjustly accused them, criticized them, bawled them out and left them in a pool of tears. Would you have acted differently if you had known that they would not be with you the next day? And how about those you treated with a lack of concern and lack of understanding, those who did die the next day?—Died in hope, died in faith and left our fellowship because they felt that love was gone.

14. Will you commit yourself right now to make a sincere and wholehearted effort to love others as Jesus has loved you, to love them because "the love of Christ constraineth you" (2Cor. 5:14), to let Jesus shine through you to show each member of your Family His compassion and His concern and His understanding that they so desperately need for the big job that they have to do?

15. Will you make it your prayer daily to say, "Jesus, please help me to have love today for those I work with, for those I teach, for those I talk to. If I don't accomplish another thing today, help me to have shown love to each person I encounter—a hug and touch for those who need affection; compassion for those who need to know I understand; patience for those who are confused and doubting; wisdom for those who need to share their heart but don't know how; tolerance with those who seem not to be trying hard enough; prayer for those who are burdened; loving care and understanding for those who are sick; a helping hand to those who are struggling with some task."

16. And one more thing: If you can't figure out what someone's problem is, and you are tempted to criticize or harshly judge them for their physical‚ emotional or spiritual problems—or whatever kind of problems they may be—don't lean to your own understanding. You young people, talk to and pray with your shepherds about it. You teamworks, ask the Lord about it. Everyone, please try to have the Lord's merciful point of view and understanding of the problem. You have a great God Who loves and cares and delights in answering your questions. Ask Him to show you what the real problem is and its solution, and He will!

17. I received a report one time about someone who was seriously ill. I told the writer of the report, "Don't wait until she dies, ask the Lord for specific words for her now. Why learn about the situation after the fact? Let's give her 'roses' now while she is still alive. Give her God's instruction now while she can do something about it. Give her His comfort and encouragement that can be His healing touch." And they did ask the Lord!—And they learned a lot when He spoke! And one of the most important things He said was to love. To love that weaker member, to care for her. To spend time with her, to help her. "Now abideth faith, hope and love, these three. But the greatest of these is love" (1Cor.13:13).

18. If you want to know what Dad's and my greatest wish for each of you would be, it would be that you all have fervent love one for another, that you love one another as Jesus has loved you. By this shall all men know that you are His disciples‚ if you have love one to another—love not for an hour nor just for a day‚ but always. Love that never stops, love that never lets go, love that holds on. Love that pulls others through‚ carries over, looks beyond. Love that bears, that carries, that heals. Love that never runs out, that knows no boundaries.

19. Will you commit yourself to praying daily for Jesus to fill you with His love today so that you can pour His healing balm upon all you meet and do unto others as you would want them to do unto you?—That, in place of misunderstanding and self-righteousness, a critical spirit, an insensitive attitude‚ a selfish outlook, a murmuring spirit, a belittling and disrespectful air, a harsh judgmental viewpoint, and unprayerful opinion, He will give you His mind and His heart, which are loving, caring, compassionate, understandingconcerned, giving, sacrificing, full of faith, wanting to see others happy.

20. Jesus said, "I came to seek and save that which is lost ... even as My Father hath sent Me, so send I you" (Luk.19:10; Jn. 20:21).

21. The little sheep that is lost in the brambles may be any one of your brothers and sisters, any one of your Family who may be lost in discouragement, lost in confusion, lost in condemnation, lost in doubts, lost in weariness‚ lost in pain.

22. Can you not take up Jesus' commission to heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils? Heal the sick in body and spirit by your loving words. Cast out the devils of doubt and condemnation through your understanding love. Raise the dead whose hope has died by expressing faith and confidence in them. Cleanse the "lepers" who feel unclean, undeserving, unrecognized, unwhole, by your unconditional love and acceptance. "Freely ye have received, freely give" (Mat.10:8).

23. Remember the old proverb, which is just as true as always, "Love begins at home."

24. There are so many right there in your Home who need your love right now. Tomorrow may be too late. Please don't fail them!

The Summit '96 Letters, Part 1

ML #3063:86-92, Lifelines 23

Judge Not by Outward Appearance! —See with the Lord's Eyes and His Love!

86. (Mama: ) Please make sure all you shepherds remind yourselves how much easier it is to pour into the young people who are outgoing, more vocal‚ who contribute more, who are less shy, who come up to you wanting to talk, etc. But remember, some of the shy ones or those who are less outgoing are the young people who may need you the most. They'll need you to delve into those deep waters and wisely and understandingly draw them out.

87. Some of the flashy, showy types of personalities may seem very eager and happy to accumulate a lot of knowledge and a lot of leadership tips, etc. But if some may not outwardly seem to be getting as much out of things‚ it may be just because they are shy and feeling inferior and a little out of place and intimidated by their more flashy peers. But some of these may turn out to be the ones who will be even better shepherds—more understanding, more wise, more loving, more stable, more persevering. They may be around long after some of the others "throw in the towel." Well, I hope that none of your folks there will ever do that, but you never know. We may not be able to use them all as shepherds, but we have to pour into them as though we will be able to. We have to have the faith that the Lord will use them.

88. But please help the CROs to try to understand that as hard as it may be, they must try to see each of these young people with the Lord's eyes and with the Lord's Love and try not to be partial just because it is easier to like some people than others. To do this, you have to pray very hard for the Lord's Love and understanding. It's very important that those in the Lord's leadership don't let their natural feelings get in the way of showing the Lord's Love to everyone equally. Of course, you understand when I say "equally" you can't give every single person the exact same amount of time and the same attention, etc. But I don't have to go into a sermon about this because you understand what I am talking about.

89. This is also an important principle that you need to get across to the young people in some way or another: the importance of giving to all of our folks impartially and not being guilty of favoring some above others just because you like them better or they do more for you, etc. I think some leadership has been very guilty of this in the past. Favoritism for the wrong reasons has been quite a problem, so I would imagine that some of the examples the young people have seen along these lines have not been very good.

90. This is an important point for leaders who are traveling around seeing a lot of folks. Amy mentioned that when they were visiting the Homes in Russia‚ our boys had a tendency to zero in on certain girls that they particularly liked, and she had to talk to them several times about it. Sometimes it wasn't just girls they liked, sometimes it was people they felt more comfortable with that they gravitated to and spent more time with. So this can be a problem too. People who are easier to talk to, people who seem like they want you around more, people who seem to have more of a vacuum are of course the ones you are going to naturally want to spend more time with.

91. We have to remember that sometimes when people don't seem like they have a vacuum, it's just that they don't know how to express it. Sometimes‚ even when they don't have as much of a vacuum, you know that they need it and you have to give it to them anyway, and sometimes they are the ones who need it the most. So there are a lot of factors involved, but the thing that is the most important is just to pray desperately that the Lord will help us not to neglect the people who may need our love and our care and our input the most, in favor of those who we have more fun pouring into and who maybe we think are more potential.

92. We can probably look back on our history and realize that a lot of the ones who we thought were the most potential and had the most leadership ability are now no longer with us!—While some of the ones who we didn't think had as much potential have stuck around and done well.

Living the Lord's Law of Love, Part 5

ML #3205:117-133, GN 808

Your Responsibility to Live the Law of Love in All Your Daily Activities

117. (Mama:) A responsibility that goes along with what we've just been talking about is the responsibility to live in a loving manner—not just in sex, but in all of our daily activities. I've covered this pretty thoroughly earlier in this series, but I want to mention it again because it's something that we can all stand to improve in greatly. And this is something that even you senior teens who've chosen to not partake of sexual sharing yet can work on. You don't have to be having sex to be learning about the Law of Love, because you can concentrate on putting it into effect in many other areas of your lives besides in bed!

118. For example, loving without partiality shouldn't be limited to sexual activity, but should include things like inviting others to join in your activities, Word or prayer time, praise time, conversations, get-outs, hang–around times, etc., especially if they aren't ones that you would normally have that kind of fellowship with. Another example would be to try to dance with everyone on dance nights, not just those you're friends with or are attracted to. In other words, don't play favorites or exclude people; instead, include everyone and make them feel loved and cared about.

119. The same goes with giving simple affection: Be equally affectionate to everyone in your Home, not just your friends, because when you leave someone out it can really hurt. To be ignored in that way can add to people's inferiority complexes and comparing battles, which most of you know is really a bummer!

Your Responsibility to Love Without Partiality

120. Since we're talking about loving without partiality‚ I want to include a very important point, one which is at the heart of the Law of Love. This is something that was covered earlier in this series, so I'll just touch on it briefly here. One of the responsibilities of the Law of Love is to help a brother or a sister in need. If they have a sexual need, the Law of Love compels us to fill that need, even if we aren't personally attracted to them. At times this can be difficult to do, I know, but difficult or not, it's part of the Law of Love.

121. Again‚ if we're going to receive the benefits of the Law of Love, like the freedom to share sexually, then we must be willing to fulfill the responsibilities as well, and giving to a brother or sister in need is one of those responsibilities. Our Charter Members have made a commitment to not have sex with outsiders, in order to protect the Family. That means that they need to have their sexual needs met by those of us in the Family; that's their only option. To take care of our brethren sexually is part of our duty to the Lord and our service to them in love. "Inasmuch as you have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, you have done it unto Me" (Mat.25:40). If this aspect of the Law of Love is difficult for you, I suggest you review Part 2 of this series and ask the Lord to help you understand the importance of giving love to your brethren impartially.

122. It would make the Lord sad if you applied the wonderful freedom He gives you by sharing only with those you are attracted to, or worse yet, with those you hope to receive something from in return. It's common in the world for people to dole out sexual favors to further their own agenda. For example, someone might try to score with someone close to the "top" for motives of prestige‚ or to try to tap into their power and position‚ or to obligate them so as to receive special treatment. I hope none of you would be guilty of such behavior. Those are the wrong motives! But if you find that you're more "available" for people with position or authority than those without‚ then you might want to check your heart. Man looketh on the outward appearance. But remember, Jesus said: "In that you have done it unto the least of these, My brethren, you have done it unto Me."

123. (A note to you senior teens: What I'm sharing here about giving love and sex to your brethren in need is something you'll have to put in perspective according to the decisions you personally have made about whether you feel you're ready to have sex or not. I explained in Part 4 of this series that when you senior teens start sharing sexually is your own personal decision, and no one should pressure you or make you feel obligated to have sex if you're not ready for it or don't feel comfortable about it. So you'll have to remember that as you read this section of the Letter.

124. (I don't want you to feel that not only do you have to start having sex right away, but you have to have sacrificial sex at that. You'll need to operate according to your own faith. But even if this makes you who are not having sex feel a little awkward‚ I need to include this very important point in this Letter, because it's something that those who are having sex need to learn! Okay, back to the point about loving without partiality.)

125. I have a little advice from Dad that I think might help you have more faith for sharing sexually with others, even if you don't have a big sexual attraction for them. In prophecy, Dad shared a little testimony about the times he shared with women who he wasn't so attracted to. He said:

126. (Dad speaking: ) Sure there will be some times when it's a little bit more sacrificial than others. I've told you that there were some of our girls that I shared with, so-called "sacrificially." Maybe they weren't exactly my type, or maybe their personality wasn't exactly the kind I preferred to be around—but that didn't change my religion any‚ that didn't change my Christian faith any, that didn't change my conviction any, and that didn't change my love for them any. I went right ahead and gave'm my time and my love, and I showed them just as much love and affection as I did those whose personalities were more akin to my preferences. And you know what? I enjoyed it! We had a great time! You know why?—Because I was doing it as unto the Lord. (End of message from Dad.)

127. (Mama: ) I think this concept of "sharing sacrificially," having some kind of sexual fellowship with those you're not attracted to, is a very new thing for many of you young people. From what I can tell, there's very little sharing being done amongst you of the second generation simply for the sake of taking care of someone in need. I have a feeling many of you even think the principle of sacrificial sharing is strange, and you're quite turned off by the whole idea.

128. I understand that it's difficult for you, and it doesn't come naturally to have sex with someone when there's no "chemistry" between you and the other person. But I want to remind you that when Dad first taught us about the sexual side of the Law of Love, the main purpose was to give love sacrificially, and it remains so today. When we began to live the Law of Love fully, the purpose was to minister to unsaved outsiders and win their souls for the Lord, as well as to minister to our brethren who needed and deserved to have their sexual needs met, regardless of whether there was any physical attraction there or not!

129. Believe me—and if you ask our first-generation FFers I'm sure they'll back me up on this point—when we spent those many nights FFing, we weren't judging which men were worthy of our spending time with them in the bed of love by how attracted we were to them in the flesh. That had absolutely nothing to do with it! We judged the situation according to their spiritual hunger and their need and appreciation for the Lord's love and message. Of course, sometimes our sexual encounters in FFing were pleasant right from the start, and there was a mutual physical attraction, which was nice. But other times, when we were with someone who was not at all to our liking‚ the time spent together with that person making love would often be very special and surprisingly pleasurable, because the Lord's love would come through so strongly.

130. The same is true when sharing sexually with the brethren. If you reach out to someone in need, I think you'll be surprised at what a fulfilling and satisfying experience it can be. You might not be burning inside with sexual passion, they might not kiss or touch you just the way you like, they might not have the physical attributes that you prefer, but if you're open to giving them what they need and you love them with the Lord's love, you might find something much more valuable than just sexual passion, perfect kisses, or the kind of body or physical appearance that turns you on. You'll feel their great appreciation‚ you'll know how much it meant to them to have that time of intimate contact with you, you'll have the satisfaction of being a channel for the Lord's love‚ and you'll know that you made someone's life happier!

131. Just like Dad taught us, when you forget about trying to find happiness for yourself and you try to make others happy, then happiness will find you. Sometimes "sacrificial sharing" with someone who is lonely or who doesn't get much attention can be the most rewarding kind of sharing in the spirit‚ because since there's less of the things of the flesh, you have to be more desperate with the Lord, and the person you're with is so very appreciative. All of this works together to bring more of the Lord's Spirit into the encounter.

132. So if you haven't ever tried giving love to someone just because they need it, even if there doesn't seem to be anything in it for you, I suggest you try it—even if you only start out slowly, with a walk while holding someone's hand, giving a sweet hug and a few kisses‚ having a little cuddle time, or having an affectionate dance. A little love goes a long, long way, especially with those people who really need it! And if you start out slowly, you'll soon discover it's not as difficult as you thought, and you'll probably soon have the faith to give more.

133. (A word of caution: Please remember that no one should feel forced or pressured to have sexual contact with someone else. Although sacrificial sharing is something that the love of God should constrain us to do, it is still a personal decision, and no one should force someone else to share with them or make them feel bad or condemned if they don't want to. You might consider yourself to be very "needy‚" but someone else might not feel the same, and it's very wrong for you to push your program or make someone feel obligated. Love must be given freely and cheerfully, even if sacrificially. So I don't want to hear of anyone using this counsel as leverage to get what you want, or to try to get more than the giver feels he or she can give.)

Living the Lord's Law of Love, Part 7

ML #3207:112, 145–146, GN 810

112. (Jesus speaking:) I do not mean for any to be left out or lacking. I call you to live the vision of "One Wife‚" to love without partiality. Partiality and singling out one over the others strikes at the very foundation of the oneness and unity that I wish for My Family to have. I have room enough for all, and I call you to unite, to love without partiality, to leave none out, for all are Mine and all are thine whom I give unto your care.

145. (Jesus speaking:) The greatest, most long–lasting and deepest solution to the single mothers' needs is the pure and total enactment of the "One Wife" vision. Even parenting teamworks, as good as they are, have their drawbacks and their weaknesses. That is why the ultimate goal, the complete vision, and the deeper, longer-lasting and more fruitful solution is living the "One Wife" vision, which is where each Home is a giant parenting teamwork where all bear the needs and feel responsible for their brethren—be they married couples, singles, single mothers, young people or children. Living the "One Wife" vision is the ultimate answer!

146. This minimum requirement of a parenting teamwork is a steppingstone, a stopgap measure. It's training the Family to open up and reach out, to enlarge the borders of their tents. It's training the Family to learn to give more, to be more responsible, to not be so selfish. But even this minimum responsibility will not provide the complete answer that the Family needs‚ and that is why I don't require responsibility for a greater length of time, because I'm still pushing the Family toward the "One Wife" vision. I will not be satisfied until the Family reaches that goal, until they have grown to understand, accept and take responsibility for their greater marriage in its totality. (End of message from Jesus)

Living the Lord's Law of Love, Part 11

ML #3211:49-93, GN 814

What It Means to Put the Greater Family First!

49. (Dad speaking: ) Putting the greater marriage first doesn't mean you need to minimize your ties to your personal family, but it means giving the greater marriage the proper importance. It does not mean you must forsake the marital unit, but you are to embrace the far greater concept of marriage. It means that instead of drawing a circle around your own little family that will shut others out, you are to draw a circle that brings others in. For example, it doesn't mean loving your own children less, but it means taking the children of others into your arms‚ your heart, your lives, and trying to love them as much as you love your own. It means bringing others up to the level of your personal marriage relationship and your personal individual family—bringing them up to the level of love, understanding‚ sympathy, concern, and all the things you naturally feel for your personal family.

50. This is a complicated concept, because the Lord wants us to love others as we love ourselves. He wants us to be considerate of their needs, to give of our time, strength‚ love, and prayer, to do what we can to make sure all our mates are well cared for, happy and complete, as much as possible. On the other hand, He purposely, distinctly, and within His will gives you greater natural feelings for your personal family, for your one wife or mate, and also for your own children. He does that because He knows we all need some personal touch in our lives. Children need personal attention and personal love, to feel like they belong to somebody, that they have a place. They need to feel the security, comfort and warmth of the family unit.

51. So there's a place for both—the personal, individual family and the greater family. Each has its purpose‚ and you can love one without neglecting the other.

52. I would say the tendency of most people, of course, is to have a deeper love for their personal family, their immediate mate and their own children. Our priorities usually center around our own mates and our own children—not only because of our natural selfishness and independence, but also because of God-given desires and burdens that He's put in our hearts to care for and protect our individual family units.

53. It's very natural and understandable to be more concerned about your own mate and your own children—that they have their needs supplied, that they are happy‚ that they feel loved and content and challenged. It's good to love your mate and children in this way, and it's part of your duty as a husband or wife or father or mother.

54. People of the world are also concerned for their immediate family. But it takes the supernatural love of Jesus, the miraculous grace of God, to try to love others as much as you love your personal family, and to care as much about their personal needs and their feelings of happiness, security, contentment and challenge.

55. It takes the supernatural love of the Lord to care as much for a single mother and the needs of her children as you do for your own wife and your own children. It takes a supernatural vision in the spirit to see that single mother and her children as being your wife and your children in the spirit. It takes the supernatural love of God to be moved with compassion for that single brother or sister, and to reach out and give them what they need—whether it's a shoulder to cry on, a prayer‚ some time of communication, or lovemaking.

56. All of this requires the work of the Spirit. You can't do it on your own. You have to be strong in the Spirit, strong in faith, strong in love, strong in sacrifice. That's why so few people in the Family fully understand the principle of "One Wife" or the concept of the greater marriage, because very few people want to make that kind of sacrifice. And the sacrifice I'm talking about is not forsaking or minimizing or mistreating your own individual family, but it's broadening the borders of your tents and giving more love and more concern, bringing others in and making them feel a part.

57. It's sad that the Family has gotten quite separate, quite selfish these days. The married couples are quite exclusive in their relationships and there is a lot of loneliness. Many people feel quite alone. You know, it's a natural God-given desire to want to belong to a family, a team‚ or some kind of body where you feel like you have a place and you make a difference, where people want you as an individual, they need you, and you make a meaningful contribution.

58. That's why companies that make all the employees feel important and needed and crucial to the success of the business are often very profitable. The employees are very loyal and they'll work hard and sacrifice willingly, because that feeling of oneness and belonging is a great motivation. It's a much better motivation than just money, promotion or glory, because it's a God-given desire‚ something that the Lord has put in the heart of man.

59. It's sad that even in some of our Homes people feel like they don't belong. They feel a little bit like outsiders, and like something is missing. They're there and they do their part, they fulfill their duties, but they wonder who really cares. Sure, they make a difference on the schedule of Home duties, and they take part in the witnessing and the training of the children and the JJT and the raising of finances, but they don't really feel like an integral part of a team or a body or a marriage.

60. I guess that's why there's so much moving from Home to Home. People don't stick together for long or dig in to pioneer and nurture and build a strong, lasting work for the Lord. They're always flitting from here to there, from one Home to another or one field to another.

61. What I really think they're looking for is just to belong. They want to find their place and those they can feel close to. They want to be somewhere where they feel accepted, needed and wanted—somewhere where if they left‚ it would really make a difference and they'd be missed as an individual, as a person, not just as someone to fill in the schedule, or help raise funds‚ or clean the house, but that their particular gifts, their talents, their personality, their sense of humor, their strengths, even their weaknesses and their individual or funny ways would be missed.

62. To put the greater Family first means to love your brethren with as much love as you can possibly muster up! It means, by God's grace, to give your brethren‚ your mates, your teamworkers, your co–workers, your friends, that single mother, that single brother or sister, and all the children as much love, attention‚ recognition and appreciation as you possibly can.

63. Remember, when you feel like you're doing all you can to muster up the love, that's when you must let the love of Christ constrain you! It all has to be a miracle of the Lord's love! The supernatural love of God is love enough to love anybody—and that's what it'll take to live the Law of Love. This is what it's all about—loving others with His supernatural love. But you're going to find that if you just step out and obey, He'll give you the love you need.

64. This is what He wants to do; He wants to love others through you. He has no hands but your hands, no arms but your arms‚ no mouth but yours to speak His words of love and encouragement. Right now it might seem impossible to you, but if you'll just give God a chance to love others through you, He'll do all the rest. He'll do what you can't do. His love will constrain you and move you to love others in a way you never thought possible before. As you put Him first and love the Family with His love, He will pour down His grace upon you—grace enough to love others‚ because it'll be His supernatural love working through you.

65. Each of you needs to ask the Lord to help you to love others as much as you love your own immediate family. That's the spirit of "One Wife" and putting the greater marriage first: When you're willing to expand your exclusive private relationship and reach out to others; when you're willing to sacrifice some of the private time you would have together to include others; when you're willing to open up your heart‚ mind and time to include other children when you're tutoring your own, or teaching them to read, or doing a science project with them, or reading them a story, or helping them to learn a new language, or just having fun, fellowship or get-out with them.

66. It's so easy to be private and exclusive; that's the natural way of man. It takes something supernatural to be giving, open, unselfish, and to love others as you love your own personal family. But it's not an impossibility! The Lord can do it! You just have to work at it and be willing to try. And above all you have to ask the Lord for His supernatural grace and love.

67. Now some people are called to make a decision that requires them to put their personal family in second place to the will of God. Sometimes people, especially shepherds and leaders or those with unusual callings, are asked to make great sacrifices for the sake of their ministry. You look at our leadership today and you see that many of them spend a lot of time away from their loved ones or their lovers or their children, and they do that for the greater good of the Kingdom and the Family. In many ways I guess it does look like they're putting their personal family in second place, and I think they are, because what has first place in their hearts is a desire and willingness to do the Lord's will no matter what the cost. If He asks them to do something to serve the Family, to shepherd the Family, to pioneer, to feed the Family or to strengthen the Family, and it requires a sacrifice of the time that they would normally have with their individual family‚ then they're willing to do that.

68. In such cases, they do put their family in second place. But you can be sure that the Lord blesses such sacrifices—both for the mate who must leave to fulfill the Lord's will and for the mate and children who stay back. And even though such sacrifices are difficult, and sometimes it may even look like the children or the mate suffer as a result, you can be sure, and I guarantee, that the Lord will bless such sacrifices in ways both seen and unseen. It might not always seem like it to those involved, but in the long run the Lord will more than repay—you can never outgive God!

69. The Lord asks all Family members to make sacrifices to one degree or another. Just like the example of the leader or shepherd above, the Lord will ask something of you personally in order to promote His Kingdom and His love and the unity He's trying to bring about, and to help you to be the loving Family He wants you to be.

70. For example, say you're a young couple with small children and you're looking forward to spending your family day together having a picnic‚ a little quiet time, a little personal communication, and giving a little individual attention to your own children after a busy week. But then the Lord lays it on your heart that the single mother in your Home and her children would like to go with you to the park on your picnic. She's been lonely and her children would enjoy the fellowship.

71. In that case, the Lord in a way is asking you to put your personal family and even your personal desires in second place for that time, so that you can open your lives and your time and your attention to someone who is in need. But you see, you're not really loving your immediate family less—you're loving the others more than you were previously if or when you tended to have a more exclusive outlook! You're trying your best to love the single mom and her children as much as you love your own, by drawing a circle to bring others in.

72. Here's another example: Maybe you as a couple had planned to go to bed early and have a time of lovemaking, but instead it turns out one of your co–workers is having a big battle with loneliness and is really missing a friend that he or she used to be very close to. So instead of having your personal time together, you invite your co-worker in for some Word time, fellowship time, and prayer time together. Or you go out for a walk together. Or you even have your mate go spend time in fellowship and lovemaking with that person who is lonely. This is another example of how you put your own personal desires and your personal family in second place. But it doesn't mean you love your mate less; it means you try to love that lonely person and give some of the time, attention and love to him or her that you would normally enjoy or that you had previously been enjoying exclusively.

73. It means that you open your lives together to others, that you hear the heartcries of those around you. This doesn't mean you have to love your immediate family less‚ and of course these times of reaching out to others need to be balanced with the genuine needs of your personal family and marriage and the investment of time you need to give them too. Of course you will still need time alone with your personal family, and you do not need to feel you always have to invite others along.

74. But take it from me, I can guarantee that if you'll begin to look at the needs of others‚ as you begin to look outward, as you become more sensitive to the needs of others around you, you're gonna find that the time you spend sacrificing to meet the needs of others is not really a sacrifice at all. You're gonna find it doesn't have to harm your marriage or your own personal family to help meet the needs of others around you—someone who has less than you, someone who is needy. You're gonna find that, instead of it being a sacrifice, you'll have the Lord's blessing and reward for your giving. You're gonna discover the great benefits there are in living His Law of Love, and that you never lose by giving!

75. That's what I did. I always opened my home and my arms to others. I drew a circle to bring others in! That's why we have the Family today. There's always room for one more! There's always room to reach out to others and include them in your circle of love and fellowship. Pray and let the Lord lead. Pray and ask Him how to find the balance, and He'll make it clear.

76. Naturally, you won't be able to meet everyone's needs the same; the important thing is to be open to who the Lord is leading you to reach out to! That's why He gave us the Family! We're one body! And everyone's needs should be getting met, and everyone should be doing their part to make that happen in whatever way or in whatever capacity the Lord is leading you to. If the Lord is speaking to your heart to reach out to those around you, you'd be wise to listen and follow His leading. Try it, and discover the great benefits it will bring to your life and the lives of others.

77. So you see‚ putting your greater marriage first does not mean you're putting your private marriage down to a place of lesser care, or to a place where your mate or children will be harmed. It means that you bring others up to a place of greater care, and you're willing to let your own desires and personal preferences take second place to the needs of others at times.

78. I know this isn't easy‚ but that's what living "One Wife" is all about. And you can be sure that the Lord will bless your efforts and reward you. It may not happen immediately, and it may not be in the way that you expect, but some way‚ somehow, the Lord will make it pay. He'll show you that you never lose by giving—by giving love, care, and attention to others, as you give to your own loved ones‚ your mate, your children, and those closest to you. (End of message from Dad)

79. (Mama:) This good talk from Dad really helps to clarify some points that I think we've misunderstood. It seems many had previously concluded that to have the greater marriage in first place, you have to somehow lessen your love for your mate and children in your private marriage. That idea, of course, is not very inviting. Now you can see that the point is that you are to try to include others in your circle of love. Instead of putting your personal families down to a place of less love, you bring others up to a place of more love!

80. The whole point of living "One Wife" is to spread more love, more concern, more caring and sacrificial sharing. It doesn't make sense to think we would have to love our personal families less in order to accomplish this. That's not it at all! We are to continue to love our mates and children as much as ever, but we should try to love others impartially, which can only be done by a miracle of God! Of course, that's the ideal, the goal we can reach for. We won't always make it, but we can try! I'm sure we'll grow in love as we exercise our giving, sharing and loving muscles.

81. You couples might be tempted to think that in order to reach out to others like this, it will mean you will have a whole lot less time with your mate or children. Though you may be giving some of your time to others‚ broadening your marriage or parenting teamwork in this way does not have to detract from or lessen the care you give your own children or mate. It is not meant to weaken your marriage and family relationship.

82. Of course, as Dad pointed out, the needs and heartcries of those around you should be balanced out with the genuine needs of your marriage and the investment you need to make in your personal relationship. But as you begin to look outward and become more sensitive to others' needs, you may find that some of the personal time you have been accustomed to having together as a couple or family can be shared or even given to others without causing harm to your marriage or nuclear family. When giving in this way, to meet the needs of someone who has less than you or someone who is especially needy at the time, you can be sure of the Lord's blessing and reward.

83. Because there are so many different circumstances, I'd suggest you couples openly and honestly discuss this prospect of opening your lives up more to others. Take the time to evaluate and assess your marriage and how it presently stands. Go to the Lord together‚ seek His counsel, and get His leading to see if you need to invest a little time to strengthen the foundation of your marriage. Or‚ if you feel your marriage is pretty stable, if you feel secure with each other's love, seek the Lord on how you can begin including others more in your circle of love, whether it's reading with others, fellowshipping with others, reaching out to spend intimate time with others in need, or a combination of these and other activities. The Lord is able to make these things clear if you'll ask Him and be faithful to follow His leading.

84. Reaching out to others in these ways does not mean that your love together is lessened, but it's a broadening of your love as you draw a circle to bring others in. Through the Law of Love series and this further explanation of the "One Wife" vision, the Lord and Dad are trying to help us come to the realization that some of our former mindsets might need to change. One of our CROs explained this as follows, which I thought was very well put:

85. When we married couples spend time away from our mates in order to spend time with others, or we spend time together reading or fellowshipping with someone else rather than just spending time doing these things together alone, as a couple, it doesn't need to mean a lessening of the love the married couple has for each other, or a deterioration in the marriage relationship.

86. If we couples look at it realistically‚ we'll probably have to agree that we do have some time together that is "extra" or "comfortable" or just what we've gotten used to. Of course‚ that's what married life is about‚ just having the other "around" and loving their presence, and it does hurt for this to change. It can feel like a lessening of the love we've had together or putting it down to a lesser degree in order to reach out to others and include others more. But perhaps some of what we've gotten used to, although nice and we love and value it, is really "extra" when put in the context of the little that others may have, especially singles, and also in context with the goal the Lord's set for us of living the "One Wife" vision, with each in the Family being one of our mates in our greater marriage.

87. So some aspects of our married lives will have to change‚ and one aspect will probably be the amount of time we married couples actually spend together, or at least spend alone together. But this shouldn't be confused with what the Lord and Dad said about how living the "One Wife" vision does not mean that our love for our mates and children in our private marriage is lessened, that it isn't putting our personal families down to a place of less love‚ that we are to continue to love our mates and children just as much as ever.

88. It seems that what it means is a realization that some of what we've become accustomed to as far as time and life together as a married couple, the actual time we're used to spending together alone, as an individual couple, is quite selfish and non-inclusive of others and largely based on System values. It is true that couples do need time together for the reasons the Marriage GNs brought out, but that being exclusive and protective isn't of the Lord or His way‚ and this is the change of attitude we need to have.

89. So living the "One Wife" vision is going to mean a change in the time we spend exclusively with our mates. And in order to make this possible, so that it doesn't result in our feeling that it means a lessening of our love for our mates or putting it down to a lesser level, it seems we need to change our attitudes regarding what is actually necessary and what are those things that we've just become accustomed to but which aren't really necessary. It seems that many of our present attitudes and our sense of values along these lines are like bad habits that we didn't realize before, but which are a result of our own selfish natures, as well as the input and acceptance of System values all our lives, and we now need to change how we view these things.

90. Regarding this whole "time spent with each other" aspect for married couples, it seems that the readjustment of our thinking along these lines is important in order to bring the "One Wife" vision to pass without our thinking that we're losing something we had before, and thus maybe thinking that it does indeed mean a lessening of the love we have or show to each other. (End of comments from CRO.)

91. (Mama:) This CRO makes some very valid points here. Please ask the Lord if you need to change your expectations regarding what you've come to feel is actually necessary in your personal marriage and family situation. It's possible that some of you have become accustomed to a certain standard as far as personal or private time together that might be a bit exaggerated, and perhaps you need to adjust somewhat how you view these things, in order to be able to enlarge your circle of love.

92. Another helpful tip might be for you couples to seriously evaluate your time and seek the Lord for ways to best utilize the time you do have, both together and with others. Whether it is genuinely difficult to find the needed time together as a couple‚ due to ministries and responsibilities, or whether you have become accustomed to a standard that is exaggerated, as mentioned above, the Lord is able to help you find the balance and help you make the most out of your time together and with others. It always helps to schedule your time in order to get the most out it. So ask the Lord to show you ways you can adjust and accommodate to fit in everything you need to do in order to have the necessary time both together and with others.

93. As you work on finding a good balance between strengthening and enjoying your marriage and reaching out to others‚ you will need to go back to the Lord often in prayer. I suggest you seek Him often to know when to reach out, to whom, how much and in what way. Also seek Him about when it is necessary to have time alone with your mate and children. As you seek Him for ways to put these principles of "One Wife" into practice in your lives‚ He will faithfully lead you each step of the way. This is an ongoing process. It's not something you pray about once and then forget about. You don't just give once and then stop giving. Keep praying to know what He wants you to do and how He wants you to show love. Pray about every aspect of how to put the "One Wife" vision into practice in your life‚ and He will lead you and strengthen your marriage, your family and your circle of love.

Jewels on Comparing

ML #3326:82-84, GN 932

Of Favoritism …

82. (Jesus speaking: ) You've made Me a proud Father, and you are My favorite child. Each of My children is My favorite‚ for I don't rate My children and My brides in a way that you could comprehend. You are each My rarest and most priceless jewel. You are all My most precious bride. I could find no one better than you, for in your own special way you are each My favorite and My dearest, and I love each of you the most. I love none less. I love you all differently, yet the most you could ever be loved.

83. There is no comparing of My love. I don't love one person more than another, and I don't care for one more than another. I plan each of your lives differently, and the things you go through are tailor-made for each of you, because I want you to have what's best.

84. Don't feel that you're being passed by, left behind, or brushed aside. This will never be the case. My hand is on each of your lives and I know each of you. My plan for you will be fulfilled. I will never pass you by, brush you aside‚ or leave you behind. Although you may feel that way at the moment, it's only because you don't see the whole picture; you don't see the future. (End of message from Jesus.)

Partiality and Favoritism

Word Topics

Definitions: Partiality is to be inclined to like one more than another; biased. Favoritism is showing favorable treatment of some to the neglect of others.

1. Partiality and favoritism are carnal, worldly traits.

* 1 Corinthians 3:3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying‚ and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? 4 For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another‚ I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?

* Galatians 5:19,20 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; 20 … hatred, variance [discord], emulations [jealousy]‚ wrath, strife. … [See also Titus 3:3.]

2. Playing favorites always bears bad fruit.

* Genesis 25:27,28 [Favoritism of each parent led to bickering and deceit which eventually resulted in Esau's determination to kill his brother.] And the boys grew: and Esau was a cunning hunter, a man of the field; and Jacob was a plain man, dwelling in tents. 28 And Isaac loved Esau, because he did eat of his venison: but Rebekah loved Jacob. [See Genesis 27:6-41 for more of this story.]

* Genesis 29:30b [Jacob favored his wife Rachel over his other wife Leah, which led to long-standing jealousy and animosity between the sisters.] And he [Jacob] loved also Rachel more than Leah.

* Genesis 37:3,4 Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colors. 4 And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him‚ and could not speak peaceably unto him.

* Genesis 43:34a [Joseph favored his brother Benjamin over his other brothers.] And he [Joseph] took and sent messes [portions of food] unto them from before him: but Benjamin's mess was five times so much as any of theirs.

* 1 Samuel 1:4-6 And when the time was that Elkanah offered, he gave to Peninnah his wife, and to all her sons and her daughters, portions: 5 But unto Hannah he gave a worthy [double] portion; for he loved Hannah: but the Lord had shut up her womb. 6 And her adversary [Peninnah] also provoked her sore, for to make her fret‚ because the Lord had shut up her womb.

3. Partiality and favoritism are often selfishly motivated — for personal gain or to win the favor of others.

* 1 Samuel 8:3 [The Prophet Samuel's spoiled and corrupt sons took bribes as judges in Israel‚ causing the people to lose faith in their government.] And his sons walked not in his ways, but turned aside after lucre, and took bribes, and perverted judgment. [See verses 5-7.]

* Amos 5:12 For I know your manifold transgressions and your mighty sins: they afflict the just‚ they take a bribe, and they turn aside the poor in the gate from their right.

* Luke 6:32-34 For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? For sinners also love those that love them. 33 And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? For sinners also do even the same. 34 And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? For sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again. [See also Matthew 5:46-47.]

* Jude 16 These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men's persons in admiration because of advantage.

4. The impartiality and fairness of a loving God:

* 2 Chronicles 19:7b For there is no iniquity with the Lord our God, nor respect of persons, nor taking of gifts.

* Job 34:19b Him [God] that accepteth not the persons of princes, nor regardeth the rich more than the poor? For they all are the work of His hands.

* Matthew 5:45b For He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good‚ and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

* Romans 2:11 For there is no respect of persons with God. [See also Acts 10:34.]

* Ephesians 6:8,9 Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free. 9 And, ye masters, do the same things unto them [servants], forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in Heaven; neither is there respect of persons with Him.

5. We are not to base friendship or respect upon success or wealth.

* Leviticus 19:15 Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honor the person of the mighty: but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbor.

* 2 Chronicles 19:6 And said to the judges, Take heed what ye do: for ye judge not for man, but for the Lord, Who is with you in the judgment.

* Proverbs 22:2 The rich and poor meet together: the Lord is the Maker of them all.

* James 2:1-4,9a My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons. 2 For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring‚ in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment; 3 And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool: 4 Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts? ... 9a But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin.

6. We are not to base our love for others on natural abilities or attributes.

* 1 Corinthians 12:20–26 But now are they many members, yet but one body. 21 And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. 22 Nay, much more those members of the body‚ which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: 23 And those members of the body‚ which we think to be less honorable, upon these we bestow more abundant honor; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. 24 For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honor to that part which lacked: 25 That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. 26 And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honored‚ all the members rejoice with it.

* Deuteronomy 1:17a Ye shall not respect persons in judgment; but ye shall hear the small as well as the great.

* Romans 12:16a Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate.

* Romans 14:1 Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations.

7. God's Law of Love overcomes partiality.

* John 13:34,35 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. 35 By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, if ye have love one to another.

* John 15:12 This is My commandment‚ That ye love one another, as I have loved you.

* Romans 12:9a,10 Let love be without dissimulation [hypocrisy]. … 10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another.

* Romans 12:18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.

* Romans 13:9b,10 If there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. 10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbor: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

* Philippians 2:2 Fulfill ye my joy‚ that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.

* 1 Timothy 5:21 I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality.

* James 3:17,18 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. 18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

* 1 Peter 1:22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned [sincere] love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently.

* 1 Peter 3:8 Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous.

8. Impartiality strengthens unity.

* Acts 4:32 And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common. [See also Acts 2:44,45.]

* 1 Corinthians 1:10 Now I beseech you, brethren‚ by the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

* 1 Corinthians 12:25 That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.

* Ephesians 4:16 From Whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

* Colossians 2:2a That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love.

* Colossians 3:15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.

[See also Cliques‚ page 130 of Word Topics.]

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