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The Marriage Relation

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Sayings Of The Prophecy

” Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh [but] in vain.[It is] vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: [for] so he giveth his beloved sleep”.[Psalm 127:1-2]

Society is composed of families

Society is composed of families. And heads of families are responsible for the molding of society. If those who choose to enter the marriage relation without due consideration were alone to be the sufferers, then the evil would not be as great, and their sin would be comparatively small. But the misery arising from unhappy marriages is felt by the offspring of such unions. They have entailed upon them a life of living misery; and though innocent, suffer the consequences of their parents’ inconsiderate course. Men and women have no right to follow impulse, or blind passion, in their marriage relation, and then bring innocent children into the world to realize from various causes that life has but little joy, but little happiness, and is therefore a burden. {2Selected Messages pg 421.2}

 

It should henceforth be the life study of both husband and wife how to avoid everything that creates contention and to keep unbroken the marriage vows. {Adventist Home pg 85.1}

 

Let every family practice self-denial, doing all they can to improve their own condition.–Manuscript 78, 1900. {CME 45.5}

 

Marriage is a gift of God to man
God celebrated the first marriage. Thus the institution has for its originator the Creator of the universe. “Marriage is honourable”; it was one of the first gifts of God to man, and it is one of the two institutions that, after the fall, Adam brought with him beyond the gates of Paradise. When the divine principles are recognized and obeyed in this relation, marriage is a blessing; it guards the purity and happiness of the race, it provides for man’s social needs, it elevates the physical, the intellectual, and the moral nature. {Adaventist Home pg 25.4}

 

There should be Perfect Love and Harmony

God has ordained that there should be perfect love and harmony between those who enter into the marriage relation. Let bride and bridegroom, in the presence of the heavenly universe, pledge themselves to love each other as God has ordained they should…. The wife is to respect and reverence her husband, and the husband is to love and cherish his wife.Men and women, at the beginning of married life, should reconsecrate themselves to God. {Counsels for the Church Ch 129.2}

 

If the will of God is fulfilled, the husband and wife will respect each other and cultivate love and confidence. Anything that would mar the peace and unity of the family should be firmly repressed, and kindness and love should be cherished. He who manifests the spirit of tenderness, forbearance, and love will find that the same spirit will be reflected upon him. Where the Spirit of God reigns, there will be no talk of unsuitability in the marriage relation. If Christ indeed is formed within, the hope of glory, there will be union and love in the home. Christ abiding in the heart of the wife will be at agreement with Christ abiding in the heart of the husband. They will be striving together for the mansions Christ has gone to prepare for those who love Him. {Counsels for the Church pg 131.3}

 

Without mutual forbearance and love no earthly power can hold you and your husband in the bonds of Christian unity. Your companionship in the marriage relation should be close and tender, holy and elevated, breathing a spiritual power into your lives, that you may be everything to each other that God’s word requires. When you reach the condition that the Lord desires you to reach, you will find heaven below and God in your life. {Counsels for the Church pg 131.6}

 

Marriage should please and honor God

Let every step toward a marriage alliance be characterized by modesty, simplicity, sincerity, and an earnest purpose to please and honor God. Marriage affects the afterlife both in this world and in the world to come. A sincere Christian will make no plans that God cannot approve. {Adventist Home pg 49.1}

 

All who enter into matrimonial relations with a holy purpose–the husband to obtain the pure affections of a woman’s heart, the wife to soften and improve her husband’s character and give it completeness–fulfill God’s purpose for them.–MS 16, 1899. (Adventist Home pg 99.)
The home circle should be regarded as a sacred place, a symbol of heaven, a mirror in which to reflect ourselves. Friends and acquaintances we may have, but in the home life they are not to meddle. A strong sense of proprietorship should be felt, giving a sense of ease, restfulness, trust. {Adventist Home pg 177.2}

 

Gospel to restore its purity and beauty

Jesus pointed His hearers back to the marriage institution as ordained at creation. . . . Then marriage and the Sabbath had their origin, twin institutions for the glory of God in the benefit of humanity. Then, as the Creator joined the hands of the holy pair in wedlock, . . . He enunciated the law of marriage for all the children of Adam to the close of time. That which the Eternal Father Himself had pronounced good was the law of highest blessing and development for man. Like every other one of God’s good gifts entrusted to the keeping of humanity, marriage has been perverted by sin; but it is the purpose of the gospel to restore its purity and beauty. Men and women, at the beginning of married life, should reconsecrate themselves to God. . . . {Faith I Live By Pg 253.5}

 

Marriage Should conform to the directions given in the Scripture

Instituted by God, marriage is a sacred ordinance and should never be entered upon in a spirit of selfishness. Those who contemplate this step should solemnly and prayerfully consider its importance and seek divine counsel that they may know whether they are pursuing a course in harmony with the will of God. The instruction given in God’s word on this point should be carefully considered. Heaven looks with pleasure upon a marriage formed with an earnest desire to conform to the directions given in the Scripture. If there is any subject that should be considered with calm reason and unimpassioned judgment, it is the subject of marriage. If ever the Bible is needed as a counselor, it is before taking a step that binds persons together for life. But the prevailing sentiment is that in this matter the feelings are to be the guide, and in too many cases lovesick sentimentalism takes the helm and guides to certain ruin. It is here that the youth show less intelligence than on any other subject; it is here that they refuse to be reasoned with. The question of marriage seems to have a bewitching power over them. They do not submit themselves to God. Their senses are enchained, and they move forward in secretiveness, as if fearful that their plans would be interfered with by someone. {Counsels for the Church 115.3}

 

Marriage has received Christ’s blessing, and it is to be regarded as a sacred institution. True religion is not to counterwork the Lord’s plans. God ordained that man and woman should be united in holy wedlock, to raise up families that, crowned with honor, would be symbols of the family in heaven.And at the beginning of His public ministry Christ gave His decided sanction to the institution that had been sanctioned in Eden. Thus He declared to all that He will not refuse His presence on marriage occasions, and that marriage, when joined with purity and holiness, truth and righteousness, is one of the greatest blessings ever given to the human family.–ST, Aug. 30, 1899.{Daughters of God pg 180.3}

 

The wife is to respect her husband. The husband is to love and cherish his wife; and as their marriage vow unites them as one, so their belief in Christ should make them one in Him. What can be more pleasing to God than to see those who enter into the marriage relation seek together to learn of Jesus and to become more and more imbued with His Spirit? {Adventist Home pg 114.2}

 

In the married life men and women sometimes act like undisciplined, perverse children. The husband wants his way, and the wife wants her way, and neither is willing to yield. Such a condition of things can bring only the greatest unhappiness. Both husband and wife should be willing to yield his or her way or opinion. There is no possibility of happiness while they both persists in doing as they please. Unless men and women have learned of Christ, His meekness and lowliness, they will reveal the impulsive, unreasonable spirit so often revealed by children. The strong, undisciplined will will seek to rule. Such ones need to study the words of Paul: “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” {Adventist Home pg 118.4}

 

A sacred circle

There is a sacred circle around every family which should be preserved. No other one has any right in that sacred circle. The husband and wife should be all to each other. The wife should have no secrets to keep from her husband and let others know, and the husband should have no secrets to keep from his wife to relate to others. The heart of his wife should be the grave for the faults of the husband, and the heart of the husband the grave for his wife’s faults. Never should either party indulge in a joke at the expense of the other’s feelings. Never should either the husband or wife in sport or in any other manner complain of each other to others, for frequently indulging in this foolish and what may seem perfectly harmless joking will end in trial with each other and perhaps estrangement. I have been shown that there should be a sacred shield around every family. {Adventist Home pg 177.1}

 

The marriage vow . . . links the destinies of the two individuals with bonds which nought but the hand of death should sever. {Faith I Live By pg 253.3}

 

Counsel to the Husband

The husband is the head of the family, as Christ is the head of the church; and any course which the wife may pursue to lessen his influence and lead him to come down from that dignified, responsible position is displeasing to God …The husband should maintain his position in his family with all meekness, yet with decision. {1Mind Character Personality pg 161.1}

 

The wife is to respect her husband. The husband is to love and cherish his wife; and as their marriage vow unites them as one, so their belief in Christ should make them one in Him. What can be more pleasing to God than to see those who enter into the marriage relation seek together to learn of Jesus and to become more and more imbued with His Spirit? {Adventist Home pg 114.2}

 

The husband should manifest great interest in his family. Especially should he be very tender of the feelings of a feeble wife. He can shut the door against much disease. Kind, cheerful, encouraging words, will prove more effective than the most healing medicines. This will bring courage to the heart of the desponding and discouraged, and the happiness and sunshine brought into your family by kind acts and encouraging words, will pay you ten-fold. The husband should remember that much of the burden of training his children rests upon the mother. She has much to do with moulding their minds. This should call into exercise the tenderest feelings of the father, and with care should he lighten the burdens of the wife. He should encourage her to lean upon his large affections, and direct her mind to Heaven, where there is strength and peace, and a final rest for the weary. {4bSpiritual Gifts pg 95.2}

 

When husbands require the complete subjection of their wives, declaring that women have no voice or will in the family, but must render entire submission, they place their wives in a position contrary to the Scripture. In interpreting the Scripture in this way, they do violence to the design of the marriage institution. This interpretation is made simply that they may exercise arbitrary rule, which is not their prerogative. But we read on, “Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.” Why should the husband be bitter against his wife? If the husband has found her erring and full of faults, bitterness of spirit will not remedy the evil. {Adventist Home pg 117.2}

 

Many have entered the marriage relation who have not acquired property, and who have had no inheritance. They did not possess physical strength, or mental energy, to acquire property. It has been just such ones who have been in haste to marry, and who have taken upon themselves responsibilities of which they had no just sense. They did not possess noble, elevated feelings, and had no just idea of the duty of a husband and father, and what it would cost them to provide for the wants of a family. {2Selected Messages pg 421.1}

 

Let the father, as priest of the household, lay upon the altar of God the morning and evening sacrifice, while the wife and children unite in prayer and praise. In such a household Jesus will love to tarry. {Child Guidance pg 518.4}

 

It was not the design of God that the husband should have control, as head of the house, when he himself does not submit to Christ.—Manuscript 17, 1891 (Manuscript Releases, vol. 21, pp. 214, 215).

 

Husbands should be careful, attentive, constant, faithful, and compassionate{Counsels for the Church 135.5}

 

Counsel to the Wife

The question is often asked, “Shall a wife have no will of her own?” The Bible plainly states that the husband is the head of the family. “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands.” If this injunction ended here, we might say that the position of the wife is not an enviable one; it is a very hard and trying position in very many cases, and it would be better were there fewer marriages. Many husbands stop at the words, “Wives, submit yourselves,” but we will read the conclusion of the same injunction, which is. “As it is fit in the Lord.” {Adventist Home pg 115.3}

 

It is the duty of the wife to yield her wishes and will to her husband. Both should be yielding, but the Word of God gives preference to the judgment of the husband. And it will not detract from the dignity of the wife to yield to him whom she has chosen to be her counselor, adviser, and protector. –1T 307, 308 (1862). {1Mind Character Personality pg 161.1}

 

I am acquainted with a number of cases where the women have thought their marriage a misfortune. They have read novels until their imaginations have become diseased, and they live in a world of their own creating. They think themselves women of sensitive minds, of superior, refined organizations. They think themselves great sufferers, martyrs, because they imagine their husbands are not so refined, possessing such superior qualities that they can appreciate their own supposed virtue and refined organizations. These women have talked of this, and thought upon it, until they are nearly maniacs upon this subject. They imagine their worth is superior to other mortals, and it is not agreeable to their fine sensibilities to associate with common humanity. These women are making themselves fools; and their husbands are in danger of being drawn in to think that they possess a superior order of minds. {Pamphlets 011 pg 35.1}

 

A wife and mother cannot make home agreeable and happy unless she possesses a love for order, preserves her dignity, and has good government; therefore all who fail on these points should begin at once to educate themselves in this direction, and cultivate the very things wherein is their greatest lack. {Adventist Home pg 22.3}

 

Only in her Saviour can the wife find wisdom, strength, and grace to meet the cares, responsibilities, and sorrows of life. She should make Him her strength and her guide. Let woman give herself to Christ before giving herself to any earthly friend, and enter into no relation which shall conflict with this. Those who would find true happiness must have the blessing of Heaven upon all that they possess and all that they do.{Adventist Home pg 67.3}

 

The wife should have culture of mind and manners that she may be qualified to rightly train the children that may be given her. {Adventist Home pg 87.1}

 

In view of the individual responsibility of mothers, every woman should develop a well-balanced mind and pure character, reflecting only the true, the good, and the beautiful. The wife and mother may bind her husband and children to her heart by an unremitting love, shown in gentle words and courteous deportment, which, as a rule, will be copied by her children. {Child Guidance pg 67.5}

 

The wife is to grace the family circle as a wife and companion to a wise husband. At every step she should inquire “Is this the standard of true womanhood?” and “How shall I make my influence Christlike in my home?” The husband should let his wife know that he appreciates her work.{Daughters of God pg 181.1}

 

Polygamy

God has not sanctioned polygamy in a single instance. It was contrary to his will. He knew that the happiness of man would be destroyed by it. Abraham’s peace was greatly marred by his unhappy marriage with Hagar. {1Spirit of Prophecy pg 94.1}

 

Polygamy had been early introduced, contrary to the divine arrangement at the beginning. The Lord gave to Adam one wife, showing His order in that respect. But after the Fall, men chose to follow their own sinful desires; and as the result, crime and wretchedness rapidly increased. Neither the marriage relation nor the rights of property were respected. Whoever coveted the wives or the possessions of his neighbor, took them by force, and men exulted in their deeds of violence. They delighted in destroying the life of animals; and the use of flesh for food rendered them still more cruel and bloodthirsty, until they came to regard human life with astonishing indifference. {Patriarchs and Prophets pg 91.3}

 

Polygamy was practiced at an early date. It was one of the sins that brought the wrath of God upon the antediluvian world. . . . It was Satan’s studied effort to pervert the marriage institution, to weaken its obligations and lessen its sacredness; for in no surer way could he deface the image of God in man and open the door to misery and vice. {Conflict and Courage pg 36.5}

 

The sin of Jacob, and the train of events to which it led, had not failed to exert an influence for evil–an influence that revealed its bitter fruit in the character and life of his sons. As these sons arrived at manhood they developed serious faults. The results of polygamy were manifest in the household. This terrible evil tends to dry up the very springs of love, and its influence weakens the most sacred ties. The jealousy of the several mothers had embittered the family relation, the children had grown up contentious and impatient of control, and the father’s life was darkened with anxiety and grief. {Conflict and Courage pg 72.2}

 

Relatives

We cannot serve God and the world at the same time. We must not center our affections on worldly relatives, who have no desire to learn the truth. We may seek in every way, while associated with them, to let our light shine; but our words, our deportment, our customs and practices, should not in any sense be molded by their ideas and customs. We are to show forth the truth in all our intercourse with them. If we cannot do this, the less association we have with them the better it will be for our spirituality. {Adventist Home pg 462.1}

 

Be careful how you relinquish the government of your children to others. No one can properly relieve you of your God-given responsibility. Many children have been utterly ruined by the interference of relatives or friends in their home government. Mothers should never allow their sisters or mothers to interfere with the wise management of their children. Though the mother may have received the very best training at the hands of her mother, yet, in nine cases out of ten, as a grandmother she would spoil her daughter’s children, by indulgence and injudicious praise.{Child Guidance pg 288.1}

 

Adultery and Fornication

The apostle plainly outlined the result of turning from a life of purity and holiness to the corrupt practices of heathenism. “Be not deceived,” he wrote; “neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, . . . nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.” He begged them to control the lower passions and appetites. “Know ye not,” he asked, “that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God?” {Acts of the Apostles pg 306.3}

 

For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication.” “For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.” {Acts of the Apostles 262.1}

 

The Lord presented before Israel the results of holding communion with evil spirits in the abominations of the Canaanites: they were without natural affection, idolaters, adulterers, murderers, and abominable by every corrupt thought and revolting practice.{2Mind Character Personality 608.2}

 

It was the prevalence of this very sin, fornication, among ancient Israel, which brought upon them the signal manifestation of God’s displeasure. His judgments then followed close upon their heinous sin; thousands fell and their polluted bodies were left in the wilderness. {Counsels on Health 567.3}

 

Our bodies belong to God. He paid the price of redemption for the body as well as the soul. “Ye are not your own; for ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” 1 Corinthians 6:19, 20. “The body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body.” Verse 13. {Counsels on Health pg 586.2}

 

God gave only one cause why a wife should leave her husband, or the husband leave his wife, which was adultery. Let this ground be prayerfully considered. {Adventist Home pg 342.2}

 

“He that is joined unto the Lord”–bound up with Christ in the covenant of grace–“is one spirit. Flee fornication.” 1 Corinthians 6:17, 18. Do not stop for one moment to reason. Satan would rejoice to see you overthrown by temptation. Do not stop to argue the case with your weak conscience. Turn away from the first step of transgression.Would that the example of Joseph might be followed by all who claim to be wise, who feel competent in their own strength to discharge the duties of life. A wise man will not be governed and controlled by his appetites and passions, but will control and govern them. He will drawn nigh to God, striving to prepare mind and body to discharge aright the duties of life. {Counsels on Health pg 588.1}

 

In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus declared plainly that there could be no dissolution of the marriage tie, except for unfaithfulness to the marriage vow. “Every one,” He said, “that putteth away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, maketh her an adulteress: and whosoever shall marry her when she is put away committeth adultery.” Matthew 5:32, R.V. . . . {Faith I Live By pg 253.3}

 

A woman may be legally divorced from her husband by the laws of the land and yet not divorced in the sight of God and according to the higher law. There is only one sin, which is adultery, which can place the husband or wife in a position where they can be free from the marriage vow in the sight of God. Although the laws of the land may grant a divorce, yet they are husband and wife still in the Bible light, according to the laws of God. {Adventist Home pg 344.2}

 

Even some who profess to keep all the commandments of God are guilty of the sin of adultery. What can I say to arouse their benumbed sensibilities? Moral principle, strictly carried out, becomes the only safeguard of the soul{Counsel on Diet and Foods pg 63.3}

 

Even if an engagement has been entered into without a full understanding of the character of the one with whom you intend to unite, do not think that the engagement makes it a positive necessity for you to take upon yourself the marriage vow and link yourself for life to one whom you cannot love and respect. Be very careful how you enter into conditional engagements; but better, far better, break the engagement before marriage than separate afterward, as many do. {Counsels for the Church pg 123.3}

 

Marriage has received Christ’s blessing, and it is to be regarded as a sacred institution. True religion does not counterwork the Lord’s plans. God ordained that man and woman should be united in holy wedlock, to raise up families that, crowned with honour, would be symbols of the family in heaven. And at the beginning of His public ministry Christ gave His decided sanction to the institution that had been sanctioned in Eden. Thus Satan has tempted human beings to disregard the law of marriage as a thing unholy, but at the same time he has opened the door for the indulgence of human passion. Thus have come into existence some of the greatest evils which curse our world,–adultery, fornication, and the murder of innocent children born out of wedlock. {Bible Echo, August 28, 1899 par. 5}

 

Health of family

To the health and happiness of the whole family nothing is more vital than skill and intelligence on the part of the cook. By ill-prepared, unwholesome food she may hinder and even ruin both the adult’s usefulness and the child’s development. {Adventist Home pg 89.3}

 

Come to your family with a cheerful countenance, with sympathy, tenderness, and love. This will be better than expending money for medicines or physicians for your wife. It will be health to the body and strength to the soul. Your lives have been very wretched. You have both acted a part in making them so. God is not pleased with your misery; you have brought it upon yourselves by want of self-control. {Adventist Home pg 111.2}

 

Let the homemakers resolve to live on a wiser plan. Let it be your first aim to make a pleasant home. Be sure to provide the facilities that will lighten labor and promote health. {Adventist Home pg 24.1}

 “Where no counsel [is], the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors [there is] safety”.[Proverbs 11:14]