Recently I received a surprise visit on the Sabbath from an old school friend who is not in the Church. After she had left I felt guilty of breaking the Sabbath by talking about material things. What should I have done?
Unconverted friends do come to visit on the Sabbath occasionally. If our friends come on the Sabbath, should we dismiss them just because it is the Sabbath day? What should we talk about? First, guide the conversation with your unconverted friend so that it becomes constructive. For example, you can talk about world news. This would be obeying Christ's command to watch world news (Mat. 25:13), although you need not necessarily refer to scriptures to antagonize your unconverted friend. As it is the Sabbath day, you naturally should have your Bible and notes in plain view — do not be ashamed to admit that you have been studying the Bible. The open Bible on the table will invariably send your unconverted friends away rapidly! Or they may become interested in what you are studying. Tell them what it is if they ask. Your keeping of the Sabbath is a SIGN that sets you apart from those who follow this world. Undoubtedly you may have to face questions about the Sabbath. Tell your guests only the minimum. You may have to explain this is just not the day on which to socialize and do business. Tell them to come again on Sunday or another day when you can devote more time.
My husband complains that I spend too much time praying and studying the Bible, and that I don't spend enough time with him. Can we pray and study the Bible too much?
One of life's most important lessons is the proper use of TIME. Husbands are to provide for their own house (I Tim. 5:8), and to love their wives (Eph. 6:25). Wives are told to submit themselves to their husbands (Eph. 5:22), and to not be idle (Prov. 31:27). All of these things require TIME. Solomon said, "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven" (Ecc. 3:1). There is a time to pray and to study. But, we must find the right time for prayer and study. We should find time to pray when unconverted members of the family are either away or preoccupied. We express love to them, not by running to the prayer closet every time they come in the house, but by spending time in sincere, earnest prayer when they aren't there. When they are home, that time can be used to show our love to them, to be an example of good Christian living. If we neglect the unconverted members of our family by spending excessive time in idle praying while they are home, we will only succeed in driving them further from God, and our prayers will have been in vain. Do spend the time you need in fervent prayer. Prayer is needed to draw close to God and to grow in faith, but spend your time in prayer when unconverted members of your family won't be constantly noticing it. Remember it is the kind of earnest prayer and Bible study that count-not idle time spent in prayer to be noticed by others.