Introduction: Among the sins of Noah’s day that led God to destroy the world was the almost universal flouting of God’s standards for marriage, sexual relations, and the home. “As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of [the coming of] the Son of Man” (Luke 17:26). Today we are seeing that fulfilled. In this lesson we will study about God’s plan for marriage and the home. Again we will quote from the Spirit of Prophecy (the writings of Ellen White) to shed additional light on the Bible. AH refers to a compilation of her writings on the home called Adventist Home.
1. With what were the antediluvians obsessed? Matt. 24:37-39 [Note: “There is in itself no sin in eating and drinking, or in marrying and giving in marriage . . . if that which is lawful is properly treated, and not carried to sinful excess. But in the days of Noah, men married without consulting God, or seeking His guidance and counsel.” So it is at the present day. And marriage ceremonies are “made matters of display, extravagance, and self-indulgence.” AH 121, 100. The Further-study verses are 1 Cor. 7:29-31; Luke 17:26-30]
2. Who established the institution of marriage? Gen. 2:21-24 [Matt. 19:4-6]
3. Are religious orders made more holy by celibacy? Heb. 13:4a [Ans: “Marriage is honorable among all.” 1 Tim. 4:1-3]
4. While marriage is honorable, what does the Bible call those who engage in sex outside of marriage? Heb. 13:4b [Note: “Fornicators” (KJV-“whoremongers”) is from the Greek word “pornos” from which we get the word “pornography.” This verse warns against all sexual relations outside of marriage. 1 Cor. 6:9, 10]
5. On what basis did the antediluvians choose marriage partners? Gen. 6:1, 2 [Note: The descendants of Seth were called the “sons of God” (See 1 John 3:1). They married the descendants of Cain, who were unconverted. This resulted not in the conversion of the unconverted spouses, but in the apostasy of the “sons of God.” Gen. 24:1-3; 26:34, 35; 28:1]
6. What counsel does God give about marriage between a believer and an unbeliever? 2 Cor. 6:14-18 [Deut. 7:1-3]
7. Should one already married to an unbeliever seek a divorce? 1 Cor. 7:13 [1 Peter 3:1]
8. Christ set forth only one legitimate reason for divorce. What was it? Why do you think He considered this reason legitimate? Matt. 19:5, 6, 9 [Note: The Bible does not require the innocent party to divorce the unfaithful marriage partner. In some cases forgiveness can be granted, and trust reestablished. 1 Cor. 7:10-15, 39; Mark 10:11, 12; Deut. 24:1-4]
9. Marriage is not always ideal (as in the case of Paul) and young people should not be hurried into this sacred relationship. But when entered into in the fear of God, how does marriage help to preserve the purity of society? 1 Cor. 7:1-3 [Note: The spouse is to render what is “due.” “Marriage . . . in this degenerate age . . . covers vileness of every description . . . [as] previous to the flood.” God never designed that marriage should cover base lust. “The fact that all the relations of life are of a transitory nature should have a modifying influence on all we do and say.” AH 121, 122. 1 Cor. 7:5, 8, 9; Col. 3:18, 19; Ps. 24:3, 4; 2 Peter 1:4]
10. How important is it that we control our eyes and our thoughts? Matt. 5:27-30 [Note: The antediluvians gave full rein to evil thoughts (Gen. 6:5). Doubtless they enjoyed sensual songs, pictures, and jokes. Col. 3:5-8]
11. How is the spiritual life affected if wives are not honored and understood? 1 Peter 3:7 [ 1 John 4:7-8]
12. What is God’s ideal for the husband-wife relationship? Eph. 5:22, 25 [Note: God took Eve from Adam’s side to be his “helper comparable to him” (Gen. 2:18, NKJV), not his slave. She was to be submissive to his godly affections and Christian leadership as an equal partner. They were to be “one.” Gen. 2:18, 24]
13. What two commandments in the Decalogue deal with the home? Ex. 20:12, 14 [Matt. 19:16-19]
14. In what way may parents show true love to their children? Prov. 13:24 [Note: Discipline and love must always go together. Eli is an example of one who mistook indulgence for love, and did not discipline his sons. 1 Sam. 3:13; Titus 2:4; Ps. 127:3]
15. What disposition in children is a sign of the last days? 2 Tim. 3:1, 2 [1 Tim. 3:2-5; Isa. 8:18]
16. How does Paul summarize the ideal parent-child relationship? Eph. 6:1-4 [Col. 3:20, 21]
Commitment: Today’s society is like Noah’s. Jesus said, “I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil” (John 17:15). Will you determine, by God’s help, to be pure in both thought and deed; and to fulfill your Christian duty as a husband, wife, parent, or child?
STEP 3 (Lessons 21-30): Becoming Part of Christ’s Remnant People
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