Bible Study – Marriage—a Divine Institution

This We Believe 

May 1 – 7, 2022

Key Text

“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” Genesis 2:24

Study Help: Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 63–65


“As the Creator joined the hands of the holy pair in wedlock, saying, A man shall ‘leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one’ (Genesis 2:24), He enunciated the law of marriage for all the children of Adam to the close of time.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 63, 64



1.a. After Adam named every animal, what event took place? Genesis 2:18, 21, 22. How does God regard marriage? Hebrews 13:4

Note: “God celebrated the first marriage. Thus the institution has for its originator the Creator of the universe. … 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.”

“Eve was created from a rib taken from the side of Adam, signifying that she was not to control him as the head, nor to be trampled under his feet as an inferior, but to stand by his side as an equal, to be loved and protected by him. A part of man, bone of his bone, and flesh of his flesh, she was his second self, showing the close union and the affectionate attachment that should exist in this relation.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 46



2.a. What event shows that the Lord approved the marriage institution? John 2:1, 2

Note: “Christ came to our world to cause heavenly light to shine amid the moral darkness. He came to make men and women understand that the marriage institution is sacred. His presence at Cana gave high endorsement to this ordinance.” Manuscript Releases, Vol. 10, 188

“Christ came not to destroy this [sacred and holy] institution, but to restore it to its original sanctity and elevation. He came to restore the moral image of God in man, and He began His work by sanctioning the marriage relation. He who made the first holy pair, and who created for them a paradise, has put His seal upon the marriage institution, first celebrated in Eden.” Ibid., 203

“In both the Old and the New Testament the marriage relation is employed to represent the tender and sacred union that exists between Christ and His people, the redeemed ones whom He has purchased at the cost of Calvary.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 64

2.b. What do the Scriptures say about a happy home? Psalm 128

Note: “The Scriptures state that both Jesus and His disciples were called to the marriage feast [at Cana]. Christ has given Christians no sanction for saying, when invited to a marriage, We ought not to be present on so joyous an occasion. By attending this feast Christ taught us that He would have us rejoice with those who rejoice in the observance of His statutes. He never discouraged the festivities of mankind when they were carried on in accordance with the laws of heaven. A gathering that Christ honored by His presence, it is right that His followers should attend. After attending this feast, Christ attended many others, sanctifying them by His presence and instruction.” The Signs of the Times, August 30, 1899

 ‘If our happiness consists in making others happy, we are happy indeed. The true disciple will not live to gratify beloved self, but for Christ, and for the good of His little ones. He is to sacrifice his ease, his pleasure, his comfort, his convenience, his will, and his own selfish wishes for Christ’s cause, or never reign with Him on His throne.’ ” Testimonies, Vol. 1, 85, 86

“Marriage, a union for life, is a symbol of the union between Christ and His church. The spirit that Christ manifests toward the church is the spirit that husband and wife are to manifest toward each other.” Ibid., Vol. 7, 46



3.a. The Bible specifies joint obligations on husband and wife. Sometimes husbands cite the wives’ obligations forgetting that there are mutual obligations, and one spouse cannot be held hostage to fulfill their obligations if the other spouse is not fulfilling theirs. What are these joint obligations? Ephesians 5:22–31; Colossians 3:19

Note: “The Lord has constituted the husband the head of the wife to be her protector; he is the house-band of the family, binding the members together. … Christ’s authority is exercised in wisdom, in all kindness and gentleness; so let the husband exercise his power and imitate the great Head of the church.” The Faith I Live By, 259

3.b. Specify the right attitudes in contrast to the wrong ones in a husband and father. Genesis 18:18, 19; Ephesians 6:4; Hebrews 12:7–9

Note: “The father should enforce in his family the sterner virtues—energy, integrity, honesty, patience, courage, diligence, and practical usefulness. And what he requires of his children he himself should practice, illustrating these virtues in his own manly bearing.” The Ministry of Healing, 391

“It is no evidence of manliness in the husband for him to dwell constantly upon his position as head of the family. It does not increase respect for him to hear him quoting scripture to sustain his claims to authority. It will not make him more manly to require his wife, the mother of his children, to act upon his plans as if they were infallible.” Manuscript Releases, Vol. 13, 82

“Many husbands do not sufficiently understand and appreciate the cares and perplexities which their wives endure, generally confined all day to an unceasing round of household duties. They frequently come to their homes with clouded brows, bringing no sunshine to the family circle. If the meals are not on time, the tired wife, who is frequently housekeeper, nurse, cook, and housemaid, all in one, is greeted with faultfinding. The exacting husband may condescend to take the worrying child from the weary arms of its mother that her arrangements for the family meal may be hastened; but if the child is restless and frets in the arms of its father, he will seldom feel it his duty to act the nurse and seek to quiet and soothe it. He does not pause to consider how many hours the mother has endured the little one’s fretfulness, but calls out impatiently, ‘Here, Mother, take your child.’ Is it not his child as well as hers? Is he not under a natural obligation to patiently bear his part of the burden of rearing his children?” The Adventist Home, 224, 225 [Emphasis author’s.]



4.a. How does the Bible describe a true, virtuous, Christian wife? Proverbs 18:22; 19:14; 31:10, 11, 30

Note: “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. 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.” Testimonies, Vol. 1, 307, 308

“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.’ Manuscript Releases, Vol. 13, 74

4.b. What injunction does the Lord direct to the queen of the home? 1 Peter 3:1, 2; Philippians 2:14

Note: “While the mistress of the household may perform her outward duties with exactitude, she may be continually crying out against the slavery to which she is doomed, and exaggerate her responsibilities and restrictions by comparing her lot with what she styles the higher life of woman, and cherishing unsanctified longings for an easier position, free from the petty cares and exactions that vex her spirit. She little dreams that in that widely different sphere of action to which she aspires trials full as vexations, though perhaps of a different sort, would certainly beset her. While she is fruitlessly yearning for a different life she is nourishing a sinful discontent and making her home very unpleasant for her husband and children.

“The true wife and mother will pursue an entirely opposite course from this. She will perform her duties with dignity and cheerfulness, not considering that it is degrading to do with her own hands whatever is necessary for her to do in a well-ordered household. If she looks to God for her strength and comfort, and in His wisdom and fear seeks to do her daily duty, she will bind her husband to her heart, and see her children coming to maturity, honorable men and women, having moral stamina to follow the example of their mother.” The Health Reformer, August 1, 1877



5.a. In harmony with the word of God, how long does the marriage vow bind husband and wife? Mark 10:6–12; Romans 7:1–3; 1 Corinthians 7:39

 Note: “This [marriage] vow links the destinies of the two individuals with bonds which nought but the hand of death should sever.” Testimonies, Vol. 4, 507

“What of the marriage relation today? Is it not perverted and defiled, made even as it was in Noah’s day? Divorce after divorce is recorded in the daily papers. This is the marriage of which Christ speaks when He says that before the Flood they were ‘marrying and giving in marriage’ (Matthew 24:38).” Manuscript Releases, Vol. 7, 56

5.b. If there is separation between husband and wife and no adultery has been committed, what are the two alternatives? Malachi 2:13–16; 1 Corinthians 7:10–14

 Note: “Jesus came to our world to rectify his [man’s] mistakes and to restore the moral image of God in man. Wrong sentiments in regard to marriage had found a place in the minds of the teachers of Israel. They were making of none effect the sacred institution of marriage. Man was becoming so hardhearted that he would for the most trivial excuse separate from his wife. …

“Christ came to correct these evils, and His first miracle was wrought on the occasion of the marriage. Thus He announced to the world that marriage, when kept pure and undefiled, is a sacred institution.” Manuscript Releases, Vol. 10, 198

5.c. Because of various kinds of sin, some marriages must be dissolved. What does the Bible say about remarriage in such an instance? Matthew 19:3–9

Note: “Dear Brother D: I hoped the change which seemed to take place in your wife at the meeting in Chicago would be lasting, and was so grateful to our heavenly Father when I heard her confession, for I thought that a most severe task was lifted from my shoulders; but the … dangers and difficulties which she will create if her whims are gratified, are almost incredible to those who do not understand the spirit which actuates her. …

“However earnestly her husband may endeavor to pursue a straightforward course to serve God, she will be his evil angel, seeking to lead him away from righteousness. In her own estimation she is the idol he must worship; in fact, she is Satan’s agent, seeking to occupy the place where God should be. She has followed the impulses of her own unconsecrated heart until Satan has almost complete control of her. …

“Unless there is a change, a time will come soon when this lower nature in the wife, controlled by a will as strong as steel, will bring down the strong will of the husband to her own low level. … In this case it is not the woman whom Brother D is dealing with, but a desperate, satanic spirit. The Lord has a work for Brother D to do; but if he is overcome by these outbursts on the part of his wife, he is a lost man, and she is not saved by the sacrifice. …

“His best course with this child-wife, so overbearing, so unyielding, and so uncontrollable, is to take her home, and leave her with the mother who has made her what she is. Though it must be painful, this is the only thing for him to do, if he would not be ruined spiritually, sacrificed to the demon of hysterics and satanic imaginings. Satan takes entire control of her temper and will, and uses them like desolating hail to beat down every obstruction. Her husband can do her no good, but is doing himself incalculable harm, and robbing God of the talents and influence He has given.

“Sister D is determined to rule or ruin. I was shown that she has so thoroughly yielded herself into Satan’s hands that her husband fears for her reason, but he will make one of the gravest mistakes of his life if he permits himself to be controlled by Satan through the device of his wife. I tell you plainly, she is controlled by demons, and if these evil spirits have their way, your liberty, Brother D, your manhood, is gone; you are a slave to her caprices. … She is just as much possessed by a demon as was the man who tore and cut himself when Jesus cast out the devils. … Brother D must let Satan rage, and not allow himself to be cut off from religious privileges because his wife desires it.” Testimonies on Sexual Behavior, Adultery, and Divorce, 7678. (See Testimonies on Sexual Behavior, Adultery, and Divorce, 7678 for Mrs. White’s complete counsel to Brother D.)



1    How does the Bible describe the creation of the woman?

2    When only can a wedding be a truly joyous occasion, and why?

3    How can a husband improve his relationship with his wife?

4    How can a wife improve her relationship with her husband?

5    What is the evidence that God in His wisdom designed marriage to be a lifelong vow?

Copyright 2000, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.