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.

A Little Heaven…What Home should be…

“A Little Heaven to Go to Heaven In”

“Society is composed of families and is what the heads of families make it. Out of the heart are ‘the issues of life’; and the heart of the community, of the church, and of the nation is the household. The well-being of society, the success of the church, the prosperity of the nation, depend upon home influences.” The Adventist Home, 15

The members of the home, through their speech and interactions with each other, will prove to be a blessing or a curse. Thus, much is at stake in the home. Now, more than ever, Satan is attempting to sabotage this critical establishment of society that God Himself instituted in Eden. The goal of any home should be to provide “a little heaven to go to heaven in.” The Review and Herald, April 21, 1891.

“The family on earth should be a type of the family in heaven. The home that is beautified by love, sympathy, and tenderness is a place that angels love to visit, and where God is glorified. The influence of a carefully guarded Christian home in the years of childhood and youth is the surest safeguard against the corruptions of the world. In the atmosphere of such a home, the children will learn to love both their earthly parents and their heavenly Father.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 10, 206.

“The home in which the members are polite, courteous Christians exerts a far-reaching influence for good. Other families will mark the results attained by such a home, and will follow the example set, in their turn guarding the home against Satanic influences. The angels of God will often visit the home in which the will of God bears sway. Under the power of divine grace such a home becomes a place of refreshing to worn, weary pilgrims. By watchful guarding, self is kept from asserting itself. Correct habits are formed. There is a careful recognition of the rights of others. The faith that works by love and purifies the soul stands at the helm, presiding over the whole household. Under the hallowed influence of such a home, the principle of brotherhood laid down in the word of God is more widely recognized and obeyed.” The Adventist Home, 31.

The devil does not want you to have such a home. He is determined to destroy the happiness in your home. One of the principal ways he does this is by influencing the members of the family, including the husband and the wife, to speak in an unsanctified way to each other. Here is an inspired description of this transgression. Notice that Satan’s ultimate goal is to destroy the church by destroying the family.

 “Well does Satan know what heaven is, and what the influence of the angels is. His work is to bring into every family the cruel elements of self-will, harshness, selfishness. Thus he seeks to destroy the happiness of the family. He knows that the spirit governing in the home will be brought into the church.” The Upward Look, 163.

Another method Satan uses to attempt to destroy the happiness of the home is by leading the husband into a misunderstanding between what it means to be the head of the house and what it means to be God. God has absolute authority. When God told Abraham to kill his son, Abraham was under moral obligation to obey. But no human being, whether husband or wife or employer or ruler, has absolute authority. All human authority is to be subservient to God’s authority and under the rule of His government. The following statements clarify this subject that is widely misunderstood.

“If the husband is tyrannical, exacting, critical of the actions of his wife, he cannot hold her respect and affection, and the marriage relation will become odious to her. She will not love her husband, because he does not try to make himself loveable. The Lord Jesus has not been correctly represented in His relation to the church by many husbands in their relation to their wives, for they do not keep the way of the Lord. They declare that their wives must be subject to them in everything.

“But 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. He must be under the rule of Christ that he may represent the relation of Christ to the church. If he is a coarse, rough, boisterous, egotistical, harsh, and overbearing man, let him never utter the word that the husband is the head of the wife, and that she must submit to him in everything; for he is not the Lord; he is not the husband in the true significance of the term.

“If the wife should have the same mold of character as her husband, woe be to the children; the whole family would be a blot upon the earth. Instead of being a house-band, to bind the family together into the unity that is symbolized by the unity of Christ and the church, he will break every tie of affection, and the members of the family will be scattered, filled with bitterness and hatred one toward another.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 21, 215, 216.

Not only does the husband bear a critical responsibility to represent the character of Christ in his family relationships, every member of the family is to bear a degree of responsibility as well.

“Unless we control our words and temper, we are slaves to Satan. We are in subjection to him. He leads us captive. All jangling and unpleasant, impatient, fretful words are an offering presented to his Satanic majesty. And it is a costly offering, more costly than any sacrifice we can make for God, for it destroys the peace and happiness of whole families, destroys health, and is eventually the cause of forfeiting an eternal life of happiness.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 310.

We need to remember always that the words that we speak will be one of the major factors that determines our eternal destiny.

If our speech is to be reformed and changed, it must happen in this world before the coming of the Lord. This cannot be done in an instant and is why Ellen White told some people that they did not have a moment to lose. She cautioned that if they did not live long enough so that their speech could be reformed, they would be excluded from heaven. This idea is very unpopular today. Most people, including probably the vast majority of clergymen, believe and teach in effect that you can live like the devil without overcoming your character defects, but if the moment before you die you say, “Lord save me,” you will be saved. Wherever this idea originated it is not in the Bible and it is not true. The story of the thief on the cross does not substantiate this theory—see the description of that person who was saved at the 11th hour in The Desire of Ages, pages 749–751.

Notice how clearly the Spirit of Prophecy warns against the error of delay in self-reformation.

“Few have that genuine faith which works by love and purifies the soul. But all who are accounted worthy of everlasting life must obtain a moral fitness for the same. ‘Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is. And every man that hath this hope in Him purifieth himself, even as He is pure’ (1 John 3:2, 3). This is the work before you, and you have none too much time if you engage in the work with all your soul.

“You must experience a death to self, and must live unto God. ‘If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God’ (Colossians, 3:1). Self is not to be consulted. Pride, self-love, selfishness, avarice, covetousness, love of the world, hatred, suspicion, jealousy, evil surmisings, must all be subdued and sacrificed forever. When Christ shall appear, it will not be to correct these evils and then give a moral fitness for His coming. This preparation must all be made before He comes. It should be a subject of thought, of study, and earnest inquiry, What shall we do to be saved? What shall be our conduct that we may show ourselves approved unto God?

“When tempted to murmur, censure, and indulge in fretfulness, wounding those around you, and in so doing wounding your own soul, oh! let the deep, earnest, anxious inquiry come from your soul, Shall I stand without fault before the throne of God? Only the faultless will be there. None will be translated to heaven while their hearts are filled with the rubbish of earth. Every defect in the moral character must first be remedied, every stain removed by the cleansing blood of Christ, and all the unlovely, unlovable traits of character overcome.

“How long a time are you designing to take to prepare to be introduced into the society of heavenly angels in glory? In the state which you and your family are in at present, all heaven would be marred should you be introduced therein. The work for you must be done here. This earth is the fitting-up place. You have not one moment to lose. All is harmony, peace, and love in heaven. No discord, no strife, no censuring, no unloving words, no clouded brows, no jars there; and no one will be introduced there who possesses any of these elements so destructive to peace and happiness. Study to be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate, laying up for yourselves a good foundation against the time to come, that you may lay hold on everlasting life.

“Forever cease your murmurings in regard to this poor life, but let your soul’s burden be, how to secure the better life than this, a title to the mansions prepared for those who are true and faithful to the end. If you make a mistake here, everything is lost. If you devote your lifetime to securing earthly treasures, and lose the heavenly, you will find that you have made a terrible mistake. You cannot have both worlds. ‘What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul’ (Mark 8:36, 37)? Says the inspired Paul: ‘For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal’ (2 Corinthians 4:17, 18).” Testimonies, vol. 1, 705, 706.

In this world we are actually in an all or nothing warfare of which there is no escape. It is a war in which we either win everything or lose everything. Our speech in our families, to stress a point already made, will be one of the most decisive factors as to where our eternal destiny is going to be.

There is an excellent testimony written to “Brother M” in volume 2 of the Testimonies, pages 84–88, in which strong counsel is given that details many of the errors made within the family that prevent the home from becoming “a little heaven to go to heaven in.”

The concluding paragraph of this testimony provides food for thought that all who have a deep yearning for heaven—not just a heaven-like atmosphere in their homes, but an eternal abode—should give deep thought and make a matter of earnest prayer:

“If you lose heaven, you lose everything; if you gain heaven, you gain everything. Do not make a mistake in this matter, I implore you. Eternal interests are here involved. Be thorough. May the God of all grace so enlighten your understanding that you may discern eternal things, that by the light of truth your own errors, which are many, may be discovered to you just as they are, that you may make the necessary effort to put them away, and in the place of this evil, bitter fruit may bring forth fruit which is precious unto eternal life.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 88.

We may not carry all of the errors that Inspiration pointed out to Brother M in this testimony, but it is true for everyone that “if you lose heaven, you lose everything.” May God, in His providence, guide us as we seek to make our homes “a little heaven to go to heaven in.”

(Unless appearing in quoted references or otherwise identified, Bible texts are from the New King James Version.)

Pastor John J. Grosboll is Director of Steps to Life and pastors the Prairie Meadows Church in Wichita, Kansas. He may be contacted by email at:, or by telephone at: 316-788-5559.

Heaven on Earth

While the children of Israel were camped at Mount Sinai, Moses was called up to the mount. God said to him, “Let them make Me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them” (Exodus 25:8). A sanctuary is God’s house, a place where He longs to be. He desires that each home be a sanctuary, for He longs to be part of each one’s life and be present in every house.

In the book, Education, 258, we read this inspired comment: “It was in the mount with God that Moses beheld the pattern of that wonderful building which was to be the abiding place of His glory. It is in the mount with God—in the secret place of communion—that we are to contemplate His glorious ideal for humanity. Thus we shall be enabled so to fashion our character building that to us may be fulfilled His promise, ‘I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people’ ” (2 Corinthians 6:16).

We are called up into the mount, as Moses was, to behold the heavenly, because we also have something to build on earth that is like the heavenly pattern – the home, God’s masterpiece as far as an earthly temple is concerned. In the sanctuary of the home God wants to reveal His purpose to dwell with men.

In this mount with God, we are to contemplate His glorious ideal for humanity, but what is humanity made up of? “Society is composed of families.” The Adventist Home, 15. Often we think of the world as a whole, but it is divided up among nations. Most governments have their territory broken down into different divisions. We have the states, the counties, the smaller divisions, but as God looks at society, He thinks of it as grouped in families and those families are what the heads of families make them. “ ‘Out of the heart are the issues of life’  (Proverbs 4:23); and the heart of the community, of the church, and of the nation is the household.” Ibid. When we are dealing with the family, we are dealing with something very important and very precious to God.

When Moses was called up to the mount, he saw the temple of God and was told to make a copy of it here in this world. He accomplished that task. God recognized it and dwelt with His people during their wilderness wanderings and His presence was made manifest in that earthly copy of the heavenly sanctuary.

“Home should be made all that the word implies. It should be a little heaven upon earth.” Ibid.

Unfortunately that is not always the case and frequently, too many homes are a hell on earth. Then there are multitudes of homes that in a sense are neither heaven nor hell. The parents are ill-equipped and don’t know the best way to raise their children. Many of these homes are far from hell, but they are a long way from heaven.

We are told it is possible to experience a little heaven on earth; so why not take hold of it. After all, it has been bought and paid for by the death of Jesus. He rose and went back to heaven and is pleading for us in the heavenly sanctuary. Someday those who are faithful are going to heaven, but it will be enjoyed only by those who have already enjoyed heavenly principles on this earth. God offers us a little sample of it here if we would just taste and see whether we like it or not. If we do like it, He lets us have some more. His grace can provide an endless supply of heavenly principles. No fictitious manifestation from Hollywood or anything that money can buy can help us get there, for no eye has seen what the Lord has prepared for His people.

Though Moses spent many years in Egypt being educated the world’s way, it took another 40 years for God to prepare him to lead the children of Israel out of bondage. Pray that God will make us capable of and willing to cast much of what we have learned into the garbage can where it belongs and have that mountain top experience with Jesus and listen while He speaks and points out the right way. Our pattern is in heaven; that is the pattern of the Christian home. “Home should be made all that the word implies.”

“Every family in the home life should be a church, a beautiful symbol of the church of God in heaven.” Child Guidance, 480.

Fathers and mothers and children alike are to experience in each home a church life like the church of God in heaven. “All His [God’s] biddings are enablings.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 333. This experience doesn’t come naturally. It takes effort. To make our home like the pattern, we must behold it and then build just as Moses did. First he beheld and then went to work and built.

God said, “Let them make Me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them” (Exodus 25:8). Since “God is love” (1 John 4:8), if God dwells in the sanctuary, love abides there.

“Every home should be a place of love, a place where the angels of God abide.” The Adventist Home, 18.

On the veil at the entrance of the sanctuary that Moses built, as well as on the veil between the holy and the most holy, were embroidered angels. Angels were represented throughout the sanctuary. Your home also is to be a place where the angels of God abide. The more you sense the presence of the angel watchers, the more you will love what they love and hate what they hate.

God’s great purpose in our reproducing the heavenly plan here on earth is to enable us to know Him better. “And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent” (John 17:3). To know God is to have life eternal. We get to know Him through His word, the Bible; we know Him through the life of Jesus, and we know Him through His creation.

There is yet another way to know Him. One of the sweetest statements in Inspiration is in Steps to Christ, page 10: “Through … the deepest and tenderest earthly ties that human hearts can know, He [God] has sought to reveal Himself to us.” Think of the different human relationships we have. The relationship between parents and children is one of the best. If you had a wonderful mother and father, you would have many good memories. If somehow that pattern was marred through human frailty, remember God’s ideal still stands and can be revealed to you. The close relationship between parents and children is designed to reveal God.

“His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the mighty God, The everlasting Father” (Isaiah 9:6). God is our Father. God gave the relationship between a father and his child for two reasons. The first is so the child growing up could learn to love his father and thus learn to know God. The second reason is so the father, in loving and training the little child, could learn to know how God feels.

Remember there was a man in the Bible who was especially set forth in that connection. The Bible says that Enoch walked with God 300 years after he begat Methuselah. It is not only the children who learn to know God through being in the home; it is also the parents, both the father and the mother, who learn to know God by being parents. All of us, whether we are men or women, as we think back to our childhood, can appreciate this verse in Isaiah 66:13: “As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you.” That verse sparks memories of my own mother who so lovingly attended to my hurts with salve and a kiss.

God says, “As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you.” He uses that picture to reveal Himself to us, using father love and mother love, not just the receiving of it on the part of the children, but the giving of it on the part of the father and mother. Dear parents, every time your heart goes out to your children, every time you are concerned about their behavior, every time you seek to comfort them in sorrow or to guide them in counsel, remember, you are not only to reveal God to that child; in that experience a revelation of God is to come to you. That is the great purpose of families.

This same purpose is true also with other relationships. Take the relationships between brothers and sisters. There are so many precious things in the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy about the relation of brother and brother and sister and sister and brother and sister and sister and brother – precious relationships. “There is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24). Jesus is set forth as our elder brother and those who know the joy of sharing in loving fellowship as brothers and sisters have a revelation of the character of God.

However, there is one relationship that is more intimate than any other—the relationship between husband and wife. Basic to the whole pattern of human life, the core and center of every successful family is the relationship between husband and wife. The relationship between parents and children is not the primary relationship. Neither is the sibling relationship. Primary to all other relationships is that between a husband and wife. It was the first relationship that God established on this planet between two individuals, Adam and Eve, who were joined in wedlock by the Creator Himself. The purpose of marriage was, “… to reveal Himself to us through the deepest and tenderest earthly ties that human hearts can know.”

Dear husbands, have you thought it through that the purpose of the marriage relation is to reveal God to you? Do you know that the purpose of the marriage relation is to reveal God to your wife through you? The purpose of marriage is that the husband and the wife shall know God as they could know Him in no other way. There are views of the character of God that you can get as a married man, a married woman, that cannot be understood in any other way. No matter how far up the ladder of achievement in successful married life you are, there is something glorious beyond. I tell you this from experience. I know that this is true.

As I think of my own experience and enter into the experience of any other people in the 40 years I have been in the ministry, this statement sums it up so wonderfully. “To gain a proper understanding of the marriage relation is the work of a lifetime. Those who marry enter a school from which they are never in this life to be graduated.” The Adventist Home, 105. You can never graduate from this course while you are alive. We are dealing with infinite riches with tremendous possibilities.

This relationship is not mere sentimentalism as is often expressed in many poems and love songs where most are dealing with people who have not made a serious commitment to each other. Today, many people are unable to weather the storms and trials that may arrive and are on their second, third or even fourth marriage. We surely need the guidance of the Lord in choosing our spouse. We need to come up into the mount with God and look at the pattern. After all, how could a carpenter put up a stable building if he never looked at the blueprint?

A healthy marriage takes work and prayer. Both partners must climb the mount and study for themselves what the Lord requires, then go together. Take time down on your knees to behold and then arise and build according to the pattern and you can experience heaven on earth.

Inspiration tells us, “There is not one marriage in one hundred that results happily, that bears the sanction of God, and places the parties in a position better to glorify Him.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 504.

Reading this can be discouraging, especially when the devil then whispers, Well that’s the trouble, you got the wrong mate. But friends, there is good news. There are glorious possibilities with the companion you have. Do not listen to the devil, for he is a liar.

Inspiration writes about a young woman beloved of God who was held in bondage to a godless youth. Her nervous system was shattered. “Her marriage was a deception of the devil. Yet now she should make the best of it.” The Adventist Home, 351. Here was a woman who had the word of the living God that her marriage was a deception of the devil, yet now she is to make the best of it. If she could do this, don’t you think you can make the best of your situation?

Many people become infatuated and are thus allured into marriage. Very soon they find out that they are incompatible, not realizing that almost everybody who has ever been married since Adam and Eve came out of Eden has been incompatible. One of the great purposes of marriage is to help people learn how to be compatible.

“Though difficulties, perplexities, and discouragements may arise, let neither husband nor wife harbor the thought that their union is a mistake or a disappointment.” Ibid., 106.

Martin Luther used to say, “You can’t keep birds from flying over your head but you can prevent them from making nests in your hair.” The devil may say that your problem is that you married the wrong person, but never harbor that thought. Don’t let it in even if it hollers around outside. Don’t open the door and argue with it or pay it any attention. Here is what to do instead.

“Determine to be all that it is possible to be to each other.” Ibid. What we learn in marriage is the science of love. Love is not selfishness, but is unselfishness. In marriage we are not to dwell on what I wish my companion would do for me, but how I can be all that is possible to be to my companion. The greater the incompatibility, the more need there is to get down to business and work at this job. This is how to make the best of it.

We are living in an age where it is easy to just throw up things to our partner and complain, but that is from the devil. Make the best of it. This best is not some second-rate thing, but the best. No matter how big a mess you have made of things, or what a miserable failure you or your companion are, the two of you together can have heaven on earth. God guarantees it. “Determine to be all that it is possible to be to each other. Continue the early attentions. … Study to advance the happiness of each other. … Then marriage, instead of being the end of love, will be as it were the very beginning of love. The warmth of true friendship, the love that binds heart to heart, is a foretaste of the joys of heaven.” Ibid.

“Remember, my dear brother and sister, that God is love and that by His grace you can succeed in making each other happy, as in your marriage pledge you promised to do.” Ibid., 112. God guarantees that you can succeed in making each other happy, but it will take the two of you together.

Men and women can reach God’s ideal for them if they will take Christ as their helper. “Higher than the highest human thought can reach is God’s ideal for His children.” Education, 18. “What human wisdom cannot do, His grace will accomplish for those who give themselves to Him in loving trust. His providence can unite hearts in bonds that are of heavenly origin. … Heart will be bound to heart in the golden bonds of a love that is enduring.” The Adventist Home, 112, 113.

Even for those couples who have experienced heaven on earth from the day they were married to the present hour, there is still something more wonderful ahead. Remember, no one graduates from this school of marriage. It is the work of a lifetime.

“Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given Himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour” (Ephesians 5:1, 2). Again this is the language of the sanctuary—the fragrant incense. “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it” (verse 25). When husbands love their wives, the wives will know better how to fit in to the part they are to play in the relationship. Christ’s love to each other is to be manifest in the home.

“So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.  For no man ever hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones.

“For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is the great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband” (verses 28–33). These verses are clearly referring to Christ and His church and husbands and wives.

“In early Christian usage, the term ‘mystery’ did not mean something that could not be understood, as it does today, but something that could be understood only by those who were initiated; that is, those who had the right to know.” A Commentary on Daniel and Revelation from The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 740.

“For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery” (Ephesians 5:31, 32, first part).

Only married people can understand this mystery, but just being married does not automatically initiate you and reveal this mystery to you. The successful marriage is one in a hundred, so 99 out of 100 couples that get married still do not know the mystery. Many get caught up with the fluff and bubble of the ceremony and then become disappointed, not realizing that the mystery is only unlocked by having a heart connection.

The challenge is, just as there is something more to the union with Christ than baptism, although it includes baptism, there is something more to the union of marriage than the physical experience of man and woman joined together. Certainly, it includes that, but if all people know is the physical side of marriage then they will miss the greatest blessing.

Jesus said, “Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 18:19). If any two people on earth have the right to claim this wonderful promise, it is the husband and wife.

Alone with God and each other get down on your knees and take this verse. Read it to each other and say, What is it that we want? What is it that we desire? Pick out your hardest problem and your greatest need, pick out your deepest longing and agree together to ask God for a miracle. For it is a miracle when two people can live together in happiness and love and that is what it takes to have heaven on earth. No matter how much you have already been blessed, why not reach up to get the richer gift and the larger blessing that is being offered and know what it means to be fully, completely blended. For each of us there are heights above that we have never yet reached.

Dear Lord, teach us the science of love, teach us the art of love. We need it for we are naturally selfish but teach us this wonderful experience, not just so we can get along together but so that we can know You, so that we can understand God, so that we can reveal God to our children and to others. Amen.

Elder W.D. Frazee studied the Medical Missionary Course at the College of Medical Evangelists in Loma Linda, California. He was called to Utah as a gospel medical evangelist. During the Great Depression, when the church could not afford to hire any assistants, Elder Frazee began inviting professionals to join him as volunteers. Thus began a faith ministry that would become the foundation for the establishment of the Wildwood Medical Missionary Institute in 1942. He believed that each person is unique, specially designed by the Lord, of infinite value, and has a special place and mission in this world which only he can fill. His life followed this principle and he encouraged others to do the same.


By Gordon Anderson

MEMORY VERSE: “For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” Galatians 5:14.

STUDY HELP: Thoughts for the Mount of Blessing, 134–137.

INTRODUCTION: “Man was not made to dwell in solitude; he was to be a social being. Without companionship, the beautiful scenes and delightful employments of Eden would have failed to yield perfect happiness. Even communion with angels could not have satisfied his desire for sympathy and companionship. There was none of the same nature to love and to be loved.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 46.


  1. As Adam was giving names to the different animals and birds, what lack in his own life did he become aware of? Genesis 2:20.

NOTE: “After the creation of Adam every living creature was brought before him to receive its name; he saw that to each had been given a companion, but among them ‘there was not found an help meet for him.’ Among all the creatures that God had made on the earth, there was not one equal to man. And God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.’ ” Patriarchs and Prophets, 46.

  1. How did God supply Adam’s need? Genesis 2:21–22.

NOTE: “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.

  1. What counsel are we given that would help us to avoid some of the problems that arise in marriage? 2 Corinthians 6:14–15.

NOTE: “No one who fears God can without danger connect himself with one who fears Him not. ‘Can two walk together, except they be agreed?’ Amos 3:3. The happiness and prosperity of the marriage relation depends upon the unity of the parties; but between the believer and the unbeliever there is a radical difference of tastes, inclinations, and purposes. They are serving two masters, between whom there can be no concord. However pure and correct one’s principles may be, the influence of an unbelieving companion will have a tendency to lead away from God… The marriage of Christians with the ungodly is forbidden in the Bible. The Lord’s direction is, ‘Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers.’ 2 Corinthians 6:14, 17, 18.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 174, 175.

  1. What counsel is given to husbands and wives? Ephesians 5:22–25, 28, 33.

NOTE: “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. Neither husband nor wife is to make a plea for rulership. The Lord has laid down the principle that is to guide in this matter. The husband is to cherish his wife as Christ cherishes the church. And the wife is to respect and love her husband. Both are to cultivate the spirit of kindness, being determined never to grieve or injure the other.” Testimonies, vol. 7, 46–47.


  1. How did Christ express the permanence which marriage should have? Matthew 19:4–6.

NOTE: “Examine carefully to see if your married life would be happy, or inharmonious and wretched. Let the questions be raised, Will this union help me heavenward? Will it increase my love for God? And will it enlarge my sphere of usefulness in this life? If these reflections present no drawback, then in the fear of God move forward. But 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.” Review and Herald, January 26, 1886.

  1. Why, according to the Lord, was divorce permitted? Matthew 19:8.

NOTE: “He referred them to the blessed days of Eden, when God pronounced all things ‘very good.’ 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, 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. 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. 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, 63–64.

  1. How did Jesus express the condemnation of heaven for many divorces? Matthew 19:9.

NOTE: “Among the Jews, a man was permitted to put away his wife for the most trivial offences, and the woman was then at liberty to marry again. This practice led to great wretchedness and sin. 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.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 63. “In cases of the violation of the seventh commandment, where the guilty party does not manifest true repentance, if the injured party can obtain a divorce without making their own cases and that of their children, if they have them, worse by so doing, they should be free. If they would be liable to place themselves and their children in worse condition by a divorce, we know of no scripture that would make the innocent party guilty by remaining. Time, and labor, and prayer, and patience, and faith, and a godly life, might work a reform. To live with one who has broken the marriage vows, and, covered all over with the disgrace and shame of guilty love, and realizes it not, is an eating canker to the soul; and yet, a divorce is a life-long, heart-felt sore. God pity the innocent party. Marriage should be considered well before contracted. Why! oh, why! will men and women who might be respectable, and good, and reach Heaven at last, sell themselves to the Devil so cheap, wound their bosom friends, disgrace their families, bring a reproach upon the cause, and go to hell at last? God have mercy. Why will not those who are overtaken in crime manifest repentance proportionate to the enormity of their crime, and fly to Christ for mercy, and heal, as far as possible, the wounds they have made? But, if they will not do as they should, and if the innocent have forfeited the legal right to a divorce, by living with the guilty after his guilt is known, we do not see that sin rests upon the innocent in remaining, and her moral right in departing seems questionable, if her health and life be not greatly endangered in so remaining.” Review and Herald, March 24,1868.

  1. What counsel did Paul give to those who are married to unbelieving partners? 1 Corinthians 7:12–16.

NOTE: “He who has entered the marriage relation while unconverted, is by his conversion placed under stronger obligation to be faithful to his companion, however widely they may differ in regard to religious faith; yet the claims of God should be placed above every earthly relationship, even though trials and persecution may be the result. With the spirit of love and meekness, this fidelity may have an influence to win the unbelieving one.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 175.


  1. What counsel did Paul give to Christians who are aware of the nearness of Christ’s Second Coming? Hebrews 10:25.

NOTE: “The Israelites needed the benefits of assembling for worship and entering into covenant together to serve the Lord. In separating themselves from the place of worship divinely appointed, they lost much. God had servants whose lips he unsealed to speak words of warning, encouragement, and reproof, so that the light received from Heaven by one shone not for himself alone, but to lighten the path of others. God knows best what His people need. His words come down to us, in warning and instruction, ‘Not forsaking the assembling of yourselves together, as the manner of some is, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as ye see the day approaching.’ At the present day, as in ancient times, the people of God plead their own ease or convenience as an excuse for neglecting divine service. They will devise means to preserve the Christian name without making any sacrifice of time or means. God requires His people to maintain His worship. And those who are burdened with care and responsibility, should be the last to excuse themselves from religious privileges. They need wisdom from above. They need to be constantly reaching upward to lay hold on the divine arm, lest they stumble and fall.” Signs of the Times, July 28,1881.

  1. What testimony is given of the practice of the early Christian believers? Acts 2:42.

NOTE: “Everyone should feel that he has a part to act in making the Sabbath meetings interesting. You are not to come together simply as a matter of form, but for the interchange of thought, for the relation of your daily experiences, for the expression of thanksgiving, for the utterance of your sincere desire for divine enlightenment, that you may know God, and Jesus Christ, whom He has sent. Communing together in regard to Christ will strengthen the soul for life’s trials and conflicts. Never think that you can be Christians and yet withdraw yourselves within yourselves. Each one is a part of the great web of humanity, and the experience of each will be largely determined by the experience of his associates. We do not obtain a hundredth part of the blessing we should obtain from assembling together to worship God. Our perceptive faculties need sharpening. Fellowship with one another should make us glad. With such a hope as we have, why are not our hearts all aglow with the love of God? We must carry to every religious gathering a quickened spiritual consciousness that God and His angels are there, co-operating with all true worshipers. As you enter the place of worship, ask the Lord to remove all evil from your heart. Bring to His house only that which He can bless. Kneel before God in His temple, and consecrate to Him His own, which He has purchased with the blood of Christ. Pray for the speaker or the leader of the meeting. Pray that great blessing may come through the one who is to hold forth the word of life. Strive earnestly to lay hold of a blessing for yourself. God will bless all who thus prepare themselves for His service. They will understand what it means to have the assurance of the Spirit because they have received Christ by faith.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 362–363.


  1. What duty is an essential part of the Christian’s life? Galatians 5:14.

NOTE: “The World’s Redeemer clearly defines what our duty is. To the lawyer who asked Him how he should obtain eternal life, He said: ‘What is written in the law? How readest thou? And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself. And He said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live. But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbor?’ Then Jesus related the parable of the good Samaritan, and clearly showed that he is our neighbor who most needs our charity and help. We are to practice the commandments of God, and stand true to the relation which God has designed shall exist between man and his fellow man. It was never God’s purpose that society should be separated into classes, that there should be an alienation between the rich and the poor, the high and the low, the learned and the unlearned. But the practice of separating society into distinct circles is becoming more and more decided. God designed that those to whom He entrusted talents of means, ability, and gifts of grace, should be good stewards of His beneficence, and not seek to reap all the advantages for themselves. God does not estimate man by the amount of wealth, talent, or education that he may have. He values man in proportion as he becomes a good steward of His mercy and love.” The Southern Work, 37.

  1. In what way did Jesus show that this duty to our neighbor extends to little things as well as great deeds? Matthew 10:42.

NOTE: “Do not shut yourselves up to yourselves, satisfied to pour out all your affection upon each other. Seize every opportunity to contribute to the happiness of those around you, sharing with them your affection. Words of kindness, looks of sympathy, expressions of appreciation, would to many a struggling, lonely one be as a cup of cold water to a thirsty soul. A word of cheer, an act of kindness, would go far to lighten the burdens that are resting heavily upon weary shoulders. It is in unselfish ministry that true happiness is found. And every word and deed of such service is recorded in the books of heaven as done for Christ. ‘Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren,’ He declares, ‘ye have done it unto Me.’ Matthew 25:40.” Testimonies, vol. 7, 50.

The Divine Plan

“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth His handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.” Psalms 19:1–3.

Have you ever wondered why there are so many things in God’s creation that seem to be so similar? Take the similarity in construction of the solar system and of the atom. True, there are certain differences, but there are many basic principles that remain the same. Why?

Of course we know that it was the same Creator that created both the solar system and the atom. But couldn’t He have figured out different principles for different systems? Of course He could have.

But, besides all having the same Creator, we have a perfect Creator. And He created all things perfect. For many things there is only one perfect way of doing things. Thus, the perfect way of holding the solar system together is the same perfect way of holding the atom together.

Thus it is in our social nature. There are certain principles which God says were the very best for fulfilling social needs and thus He established the same principles in Heaven and on earth. The center of social life is the home and family.

“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.” Adventist Home, 26.

The principles of the home are divine principles. They are principles that are found in heaven. When these principles are followed the home becomes a sanctified home.

“So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them.” Genesis 1:27.

Man is created in God’s image—not so much physically (for “He is a Spirit.” John 4:24), but mentally, socially and spiritually. In this article we are dealing with primarily the social and we are going to seek to find the ideal for our social nature by looking at the pattern and copying it.

It is important that we copy the pattern exactly, in every detail—just as Moses was admonished to do with the sanctuary. “Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, ‘See,’ saith He,‘that thou make all things according to the pattern showed to thee in the mount.’ ” Hebrews 8:5. If we will spend the time in communion with God and in studying the pattern (the heavenly family), our homes will become sanctified—or, a sanctuary.

To be sanctified means to be set apart for holy use. When a home is sanctified, it becomes a sanctuary for God to dwell in. Thus we find that many of heaven’s principles for our homes are demonstrated even in the earthly sanctuary that Moses pitched. When we start realizing these principles of our homes being copied after the pattern of heavenly things, the whole Bible takes on meaning for home and family improvement. “God would have our families symbols of the family in heaven.” Adventist Home, 17.

Now we will look at some of the heavenly principles that our homes are to be patterned after.

The #1 Principle: LOVE—of course

This must be the basis for anything that is copied after heavenly things for “God is love.” 1 John 4:8. But the point is, what is true love? Is it a feeling, sentimentalism, a physical act? What is love? And how is it displayed?

True love is a principle—a sanctified principle. (A sanctified principle is one which has been set apart or established by God.)

“True love is a high and holy principle, altogether different in character from that love which is awakened by impulse, and which suddenly dies when severely tested.” Adventist Home, 50.

“Sanctified principle should be the basis of every action [in the marriage relation].” Ibid., 122.

Love is a heaven established principle. This love principle is the good, old, heaven established principle of give and take! Not the give and take that we find in the world, but the give and take that is based on oneness with others—to give to others as though you were giving to yourself and to receive from others as though receiving from yourself (to appreciate the gift as though it had been you that had made the sacrifice.) The world’s counterfeit to this is a give and take that is based on selfishness.

“Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.” Matthew 7:12.

God demonstrates His love by giving and we demonstrate our love to Him by taking (or, in others words, by accepting His gifts and obeying His instructions.)

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son.” John 3:16.

“If ye love Me, keep [accept] My commandments.” John 14:15.

The worldly, selfish way of giving commands is usually to bring glory and happiness to the commander. But Christ gave commands, instruction and Him-self, to bring happiness to the receiver.

“These things have I spoken unto you, that My joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” John 15:11.

Another way of saying “giving and taking” is to say “leading and submitting.” Leadership and submission is a universal and divinely established (sanctified) plan. It is a law of all social relationships in the whole universe. It is also a law of Satan, but his is based on force and selfishness rather than on voluntary compliance and on love for the other person.

Circles of Love

As with the solar system and the atom, so the same circle of love that is manifested by guidance and submission between God and parents, is the same circle of love God intended should exist between parents and children. In fact, so similar is the relationship that God is called “our Father” and Christ, like a mother, brought us all into the world by His creative power.

“That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” Matthew 5:45.

“As one whom his mother com-forteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem.” Isaiah 66:13.

God’s relationship to us is like the ideal parent-child relationship. Therefore, to truly understand how to correctly raise a child, where would we turn to for our understanding?

“Parents are entitled to a degree of love and respect which is due to no other person. God Himself, who has placed upon them a responsibility for the souls committed to their charge, has ordained that during the earlier years of life parents shall stand in the place of God to their children. And he who rejects the rightful authority of his parents is rejecting the authority of God.” Adventist Home, 293.

Where the problem comes in is that sin has messed up the “circle of love” pattern. Parents have never learned to submit themselves but expect their children to submit. (They expect of their children that which they are not willing to do themselves.) And because they themselves have never experienced the loving guidance of God, they do not know how to exercise loving guidance over their children. So the children are placed at a double disadvantage—they neither witness the example of their parents submitting to God nor do they experience the loving guidance which would cause them to want to submit, which God alone can teach to the parents. You can learn all the theory you want, but if you do not have a “circle of love” relationship with God—you know nothing about raising children correctly.

To Obey God or Man?

“When children have unbelieving parents, and their commands contradict the requirements of Christ, then, painful though it may be, they must obey God and trust the consequences with Him.” Adventist Home, 293.

“He that loveth father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me.” Matthew 10:37.

“But,” someone may say, “I thought we just finished reading in Adventist Home, 293, that ‘parents shall stand in the place of God to their children.’ ” The sentences before that said “during the early years.” As soon as the child is old enough to develop a “circle of love” relationship of his own with God, then he becomes accountable to God personally.

Does this mean that the child is no longer under duty to be submissive to his parents? “‘Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.’ This is the first commandment with promise. It is binding upon childhood and youth, upon the middle-aged and the aged. There is no period in life when children are excused from honoring their parents. This solemn obligation is binding upon every son and daughter.” Adventist Home, 292.

There should be no conflict between obeying God and obeying our parents. But because of sin this is not the case. As long as we can obey God, we are to obey our parents all of our lives. But in case there is a conflict between obeying God or our parents, we must obey God.

We submit the most completely to those we love the most. (In the worldly “circle of selfishness” people submit most completely to those whom they either fear the most or think they can benefit the most from.) If we truly love God the most, we will submit to Him.

Think through these texts in relationship to this question.

“Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.” Acts 5:29.

“Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.” Matthew 22:37, 38.

“He that loveth father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.” Matthew 10:37.

Thought Question:

Does “obeying God rather than man” just involve keeping the Sabbath and paying tithe or could it involve the social, physical and mental aspects of life as well as the spiritual?

Let us illustrate the principle of submitting to God or to man by a worldly example:

Suppose we have a lineman who works on an assembly line and he takes his orders from the foreman. The foreman takes his orders from the boss of the company. If a lineman does not have any relationship with the boss and only knows what the foreman tells him, then the foreman stands in the place of the boss to the lineman and the lineman is responsible for only what the foreman tells him. This is the way a child is responsible to his parents as to God until he has a relationship of his own with God.

But now, suppose the boss becomes acquainted with the lineman and gives him a direct order contrary to what the foreman has said, now who is he responsible to? The boss himself. However, because the foreman may have been in disagreement with the boss on one point does not excuse the lineman for disobeying the foreman on every other account. And also, because the foreman himself may not be in perfect compliance with the boss on every point does that change the lineman’s relationship to the foreman (except where there is a direct conflict of orders)?

Submission from Love or Fear

There are three different types of relationship to God:

  1. Nonsubmission
  2. Submission from fear
  3. Submission from love

Whichever type of relationship a parent has toward God, his child will tend to have the same relationship.

“Parents should themselves be converted and know what it is to be in submission to God’s will, as little children, bringing into captivity their thoughts to the will of Jesus Christ, before they can rightly represent the government that God designed should exist in the family.” Adventist Home, 306.

Who Loves First?

“Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” 1 John 4:10.

Just as God loves us first and thereby wins our affection, just so the parent loves the child first and gains his trust, and the child in turn loves the parent and submits to his loving guidance. The parent does not bring the child home from the hospital and tell him “you submit to my control now—I’m going to show you that I am in control and you are going to obey the fifth commandment and obey me.” No! He showers him with love and soon the child is returning the parents affections and submitting to their loving guidance.

Husbands and Wives

“Now we are down to the real thing,” someone is going to say. Yet, we have been talking about the principles of husbands and wives this whole time. As we have noticed before, the same principles of relationships exist throughout the universe and apply to the husband and wife as well.

“Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and He is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it; That He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word.” Galatians 5:22–26.

“So,” says the wife, “I am in the same relationship to my husband as a child.” Some of the same principles apply (as they do throughout the rest of the universe) but there are some real differences. Namely, that the wife is equal with the husband; whereas, in the relationships we have been talking about up to this point, we have had superior versus inferior beings. God is superior to the parents and the parents are superior to the child.

In this day of “equal rights,” submission is not a popular word. Liberation is the battle cry. Equality itself is an old established Bible principle.

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28.

“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.” Adventist Home, 25.

So how does equality fit in with this heaven ordained principle of guidance and submission as commanded in Ephesians 5:22–26? In the world, authority is based on superiority; but not so in heaven. Again, to understand this mystery we go to our heavenly pattern.

These are lines of authority for choices that involve more than one being. God has given freedom to all and no one is to be a robot. But for things to involve more than one being, there are the lines of authority and submission that God set up.

Another real difference between the relation of husband and wife and that of parent and child is that parents are raising the child and helping him to form right character principles. But the husband is not raising the wife; they are to become one and are equal—and both are to help each other in character development. The principle of government between the husband and wife is so they can live together unitedly, work harmoniously and so learn to fit into the government of heaven.

“Your life would be much happier if you did not feel that absolute authority is vested in you because you are a husband and father.” Adventist Home, 225.

“You have peculiar views in regard to managing your family. You exercise an independent, arbitrary power which permits no liberty of will around you. You think yourself sufficient to be head in your family and feel that your head is sufficient to move every member, as a machine is moved in the hands of the workmen. You dictate and assume authority. This displeases Heaven and grieves the pitying angels. You have conducted yourself in your family as though you alone were capable of self-government. It has offended you that your wife should venture to oppose your opinion or question your decisions.” Ibid., 226.

“You think too much of your opinion; you have taken extreme positions, and have not been willing that your wife’s judgment should have the weight it should in your family. You have not encouraged respect for your wife yourself nor educated your children to respect her judgment. You have not made her your equal, but have rather taken the reins of government and control into your own hands and held them with a firm grasp. You have not an affectionate, sympathetic disposition. These traits of character you need to cultivate if you want to be an overcomer and if you want the blessing of God in your family.” Ibid., 227.

In the Godhead, we notice that the Father and the Son counsel together and make joint decisions, but the Father is still the head. This is the kind of headship the husband is to be. “But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.” 1 Corinthians 11:3.

Another difference between the husband-wife relationship and that of parent-child is that the husband and wife are not to keep any secrets from each other that they might share with someone else. They are to be united and as one flesh.

“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.” Adventist Home, 177.

“For the Father loveth the Son, and showeth Him all things that Himself doeth: and He will show Him greater works than these, that ye may marvel.” John 5:20.

But many times there are things that are not revealed unto the children. “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.” John 16:12.

Angelic Submission

The angels demonstrate this same principle of guidance and submission that is demonstrated between the Father and Son and should be demonstrated between husband and wife.

“Angels work harmoniously. Perfect order characterizes all their movements. The more closely we imitate the harmony and order of the angelic host, the more successful will be the efforts of these heavenly agents in our behalf. . . . Subjection and thorough discipline mark the movements of the angelic host.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 649, 650.

The reason the angels work so harmoniously together, as though they were one, is because they have perfect submission. They have all learned perfect submission.

There was only one that refused to learn submission—Lucifer. But watch this—for those who say the wife is supposed to be subject unto the husband in all things even to disobeying God—what happened to the angels that remained subject unto Lucifer in his rebellion?

Submission is a principle learned by all the angels—and it must be learned by all of the family—not just the wife. Submission is a universal principle and it is just as much a principle for the husband to learn as for the wife to learn. The only difference is who they are immediately subject to. Never can perfect harmony reign in a home until every member learns the principle of submission.

Thought Question:

What if one family member has not learned submission—do the other members still have a duty to learn it?

Submission is a universal principle, and regardless of what any other member of the family may do, every member that ever makes it to heaven will have to learn the true principles of submission. Lack of submission to Christ forced the angels out of heaven and we are definitely not going to be taken there until we learn the principle.

But is submission hard? Not if the one doing the guiding has the love of Christ. Christ loved us enough to die for us—and that while we were yet sinners (before we had learned to submit). He even loves us enough to take us back and forgive us after we committed spiritual adultery against Him. Here are lessons for us all. (Note, however, that there is such a thing as an unpardonable sin.)

Learning the Principle

Guidance and submission is based on true love. It is the outworking of this heavenly principle. If we learn true love, guidance and submission will be the natural result.

“All true obedience comes from the heart. It was heart work with Christ. And if we consent, He will so identify Himself with our thoughts and aims, so blend our hearts and minds into conformity to His will, that when obeying Him we shall be but carrying out our own impulses. The will, refined and sanctified, will find its highest delight in doing His service. When we know God as it is our privilege to know Him, our life will be a life of continual obedience. Through an appreciation of the character of Christ, through communion with God, sin will become hateful to us.” The Desire of Ages, 668.

When we learn of God, the submission of self will be but the carrying out of our own impulses. For guidance and submission to work it must be based on love and the only place we can learn true love is from God.

“Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.” 1 John 4:7, 8.

If you want more love, where is the only place you can find it? Can you find it from Hollywood, from worldly marriage counsellors, from worldly books?

And secondly, if you do not know God, can you know love? Can a Hollywood producer who does not know God or a worldly marriage counsellor who does not know God know about true love?

But more importantly, can your spouse or child know true love without knowing God? And what are you doing, therefore, to encourage them in their daily devotional life? But most importantly of all, can you know true love without knowing God through a daily relationship with Him?

This principle of true love is one which we will be learning more about throughout eternity. And as long as we are in a family on earth, we can daily learn more of the joys of this principle.

“To gain a proper understanding of the marriage relation is the work of a lifetime. Those who marry enter a school from which they are never in this life to be graduated.” Adventist Home, 105.

But this growing experience can only come through a daily relationship with God: through daily devotions. “Continual devotion establishes so close a relation between Jesus and His disciple that the Christian becomes like Him in mind and character.” The Desire of Ages, 251.

This includes prayer, Bible and Spirit of Prophecy study and meditation. If you are not having this relationship, you do not as yet know true happiness in marriage! “But,” you say, “not very many people have daily devotions that amount to anything.” That is true, and that is why, “There is not one marriage in one hundred that results happily.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 504.

But you can be the “one.” You can enjoy this happiness. You can have it if you will daily learn from the pattern.

“The sweetest type of heaven is a home where the Spirit of the Lord presides. If the will of God is fulfilled, the husband and wife will respect each other and cultivate love and confidence.” The Adventist Home, 15.


The earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. For He hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods. Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who shall stand in His holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart.” Psalms 24:1–4.

God is looking for a pure people. A people who are totally His and who have the pure character of Christ, unmixed and unadulterated by the sins and practices of the world.

“When the character of the Saviour shall be perfectly reproduced in His people, then He will come to claim His own.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers and Students, 324. The reason Christ has not yet come is because His character has not been reproduced in us. It is still mixed with impurities that should not be there. But when we represent Christ and our homes represent Christ’s home, then He will come to receive us unto Himself. It is time, brethren and sisters, that we take the impurities out of our lives and out of our homes. Shall we do it?


From time to time we hear of government inspectors finding other things in hamburgers besides beef. Some hamburger chain is trying to cut down on its costs and so they find some cheaper substance to mix with their beef. It may be a soy product or it may be a pork product, but whatever it is it should not be there and it is against the law. For when a product is labeled as “hamburger,” that signifies that it is all beef. Any added alteration makes it an adulterated product. This is what the government inspectors call it.

When you add an alteration to what something is supposed to be, it becomes adulterated or an adulteration. The dictionary says adulterate means: “To make impure by mixing in a foreign or inferior substance.” The Merriam-Webster Dictionary, 1974.

Thought Question:

If there is not a pattern or standard for a product (if there is no label), can you alter it? Can it become adulterated?

The Home Pattern

“Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it; That He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word.” Ephesians 5:22–26.

“God would have our families symbols of the family in heaven. Let parents and children bear this in mind every day, relating themselves to one another as members of the family of God. Then their lives will be of such a character as to give to the world an object lesson of what families who love God and keep His commandments may be. Christ will be glorified; His peace and grace and love will pervade the family circle like a precious perfume.” Adventist Home, 17.

The family is a symbol of heaven. Can you think of another symbol of heaven that God has given to this earth? Hebrews 8:5 says, “Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith He, that thou make all things according to the pattern showed to thee in the mount.” “It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.” Hebrews 9:23.

The sanctuary that Moses built was patterned after the exact same object which the home is patterned after. They are both patterned after and are a symbol of heaven.

Thought Question:

If you made two copies of the same thing, would they resemble each other?

Our families are to be built upon heaven’s plan and this Divine Plan for our families is graphically illustrated in the sanctuary. In fact, as the home is copied after heaven, as illustrated in the sanctuary, the home becomes a miniature sanctuary itself: a place patterned after heaven so closely that it becomes a little heaven on earth where God meets with His children.

God said: “And let them make Me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.” Exodus 25:8. “Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary: who is so great a God as our God?” Psalms 77:13.

“The subject of the sanctuary . . . should be clearly understood by the people of God.…Otherwise it will be impossible for them to exercise the faith which is essential at this time or to occupy the position which God designs them to fill.” The Great Controversy, 488.

God’s way, His Divine pattern, is found in the sanctuary. This is where He meets in a special way with His people. As our homes copy this pattern, they in-turn become miniature sanctuaries and God in-turn meets in a special way with its occupants there.

“From the sacredness which was attached to the earthly sanctuary, Christians may learn how they should regard the place where the Lord meets with His people. . . . The house is the sanctuary for the family.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 491.

Adventists used to be known as the Sabbath and Sanctuary people. The sanctuary was so important that it was the very first thing God presented and enjoined upon us as a people—even before the Sabbath message. We used to preach and preach and preach about the sanctuary, but now it has become almost a dead subject to some members.

Let us look at heaven’s pattern and maybe we will see some alterations that have been added in our families and in our homes.

The Sanctuary

Who was allowed in the different areas of the sanctuary?

Court…………………… Israelites

Holy Place ………………… Priests

Most Holy Place ……. High Priest

It is noteworthy to observe that the further into the sanctuary you go, the more beautiful, luxurious, and holy it becomes and the more exclusive it becomes. The Most Holy place was filled with gold and tapestries and exquisite workmanship which radiated with untold glory.

And what was it that kept other people out of the respective places? The veil. The veil was a curtain that hung in front of each compartment to keep people out who should not be in. The veil, or curtain, that was rent from top to bottom at the time of Christ’s death, signified that there was no more sanctity in the Most Holy Place. Without the veil, there was no sanctity or holiness! The veil kept out what was not supposed to be there. It kept out any added alteration: any adultery. The veil provided the protection that maintained the purity and holiness within.

No Guided Tours

Once upon a time there was a very good king in Judah. The Bible says that “he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord.” 2 Chronicles 26:4. His name was Uzziah and because he was such a good king the Lord permitted him to reign a very long time and gave him prosperity all around. No king since Solomon had been so prosperous and no king had ruled longer. “He sought God…(and) God made him to prosper.” “And God helped him against the Philistines.…And the Ammonites gave gifts to Uzziah: and his name spread abroad even to the entering in of Egypt; for he strengthened himself exceedingly.” “And he made in Jerusalem engines, invented by cunning men, to be on the towers and upon the bulwarks, to shoot arrows and great stones withal. And his name spread far abroad; for he was marvelously helped, till he was strong.”
2 Chronicles 26:5, 7, 8, 15.

He was a professional. He was the king. He had rights and privileges which no one questioned. So one day, he decided he wanted a guided tour of the temple. He wanted to see what all was in there. He wanted to take part in its services. The priests, not seeming to understand his profession and authority, tried to dissuade him, but he would not be turned aside from his heart’s desire.

Uzziah took the “censer in his hand to burn incense . . . (and) leprosy even rose up in his forehead before the priests in the house of the Lord, from beside the incense alter. . . . And Uzziah the king was a leper unto the day of his death, and dwelt in a several house, being a leper; for he was cut off from the house of the Lord.” 2 Chronicles 26: 19, 21.

What a severe punishment! And for one who had been so good for so long! But God said there would be no guided tours of the holy sanctuary. Only certain people were to go beyond the veils and anyone else was an added alteration to God’s heavenly plan.

Thought Question:

Why were these curtains covering things up? Why were others not allowed to go in? Was it because there was something bad going on in there? Why was only the High Priest allowed in the Most Holy place? Was there something “dirty” and unholy about the service?


No! It was quite the opposite. (There are doors that do cover up things because they are unholy and “dirty” but that is not the case here.) These veils formed a sacred enclosure. Within each enclosure was found a more intimate and personal relationship with God until the high priest himself, alone, stood personally face to face before God.

It was totally holy for the right people, but totally unholy for all others. But remember, the sanctuary is but a symbol of heaven and of heaven’s relationship with us (like the home is).

Each individual can have a sanctuary relationship with God. (See Testimonies, vol. 5, 491.) Each individual can have the same personal relationship with God that the high priest illustrated. Each of us can enjoy all of God’s riches as though they were meant just for us. Each of us can receive the blessing of Christ’s sacrifice as though it was done just for us.

“The relations between God and each soul are as distinct and full as though there were not another soul upon the earth to share His watchcare, not another soul for whom He gave His beloved Son.” Steps to Christ, 100. That is worth memorizing!

And as the sanctuary represents Christ’s plan of government—His love—for us, so our homes and families do the same thing. “Through the… deepest and tenderest earthly ties that human hearts can know, He [God] has sought to reveal Himself to us.” Ibid., 10.

What are the “deepest and tenderest earthly ties that human hearts can know?” Mrs. White says that “The family tie is the closest, the most tender and sacred, of any on earth.” The Ministry of Healing, 356.

As in the sanctuary, so there are certain expressions of love and service that are perfectly proper within the church but which would be improper outside of the church body—such as foot washing. This is represented by the court.

Within the family there is more intimacy and devotion that is sacred and holy—but only as it remains in the family. This is like the Holy Place of the sanctuary.

But it remains for the husband and wife to receive the full glory of intimacy—and only within the veil. Is this exclusiveness because there is something that is unholy about marriage and its ordinances of love and service? No, Paul says:

“Marriage is honourable in all [some religions teach that it is not], and the bed undefiled; but [he quickly adds] whoremongers and adulterers [ones that have added alterations to the marriage—added a person that should not be there] God will judge [as He did Uzziah].” Hebrews 13:4.

Within the Most Holy

Within the Most Holy Place of the family, God would teach us that we are to give our allegiance to only one. We are to be all to God and He will be all to us. And so there is to be only one man for each woman and only one woman for each man. They are to be all to each other. (See Adventist Home, 177; 1 Corinthians 7:3, 4.)

“For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to
his wife: And they twain (2) shall be
one flesh?” Matthew 19:5. (To see how this teaches us about God, read
John 17:21–23.)

Christ said that they twain shall be one. Not they three or they four but they twain. Any third party to this union is an added alteration that is contrary to the pattern (or label). Around this sacred institution God has placed a “sacred circle” to maintain its purity and any third person makes it impure.

Thought Question:

Who all are excluded from this principle? Kings? Professionals? Friends? Parents?

(For further reading, read what Mrs. White says about physicians preserving “those barriers of reserve [the sacred veil] that should exist between men and women” in Counsels on Health, 363–365.)

Around every married couple and around every family God has put a veil, a sacred circle, which must be preserved. “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.

“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, 177.

“And they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain; but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let no man put asunder.” Matthew 19:5, 6. God formed the union between man and woman in the garden of Eden. It was one of the two sacred institutions that were established even before sin.

God made man and woman with certain essential characteristics which would draw them together into this circle of love—into partnership—into being one.

God made man to notice (his wife!)

God made woman to be noticed (by her husband!)

It is as this plan is carried out in the home that the two become one. This is sacred and holy within the Most Holy Place of the home. But God made this blending to be carried on between two people, only, and around these two people he has put a sacred veil. Any third party within this enclosure is an added person and is adultery.

Thought Question:

God made man to notice his wife. Would the husband noticing another woman be, in actuality, introducing a third party into the relationship—and therefore committing adultery?

Christ understood this principle (for He had established it). He said: “But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” Matthew 5:28.

Have you ever wondered why Christ did not mention women looking at men, but only men looking at women? This is man’s special problem, not woman’s. When a woman looks at another man, she is hoping that he will notice her.

God put into man the desire to notice his wife and any third party is adultery. (And any “third party” attraction of the husband lessens the attraction he should have for his wife.)

And yet, just as Satan has perverted the Sabbath institution so he has perverted the marriage institution. The seventh commandment is just as rarely kept today as the fourth. But those who go to heaven will be keepers of the commandments; the seventh as well as the fourth.

All around the devil has attractions which lead men to look at and notice other women than their wives. The whole television industry is built upon immorality—upon showing attractive women to catch men’s attention. Immorality is so common today that we take it for granted. But the chosen, peculiar people of God are going to be a pure, unadulterated people; keepers of the seventh commandment. They are likened to virgins. (Revelation 14:4.)

But if any man is going to escape the corruption that is in the world, he is going to have to have a veil in front of his eyes! We will have to be as a people that have ears and hear not and have eyes and see not.

Christ said that if you do not have this veil in front of your eyes, it would be better to cut out your eyes—because that would be the only way that you could be saved.

“And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.” Matthew 5:29.

The television “eye” in the living room is more precious to many people than would be their own right eye. But most people, if they are ever going to be saved at all, are going to have to cut this eye out from their life—because most of us do not have a good enough veil to block all the “third party” sexuality that comes over the screen. (Plus there are other commandments that are broken on television.)

The beginning of Lucifer’s fall was the desire to invade the sacred veil that enshrouded the Father and the Son. He wanted to be included in their councils and to be a third party into their relationship. We must learn to respect the veil God has put around man and woman before we can be trusted in heaven.

A Woman’s Problem Too

Listen! Do you think this is only a man’s problem. No, it is just as much a woman’s problem but it is in a different area. Because God made man to notice and He made woman to be noticed. The woman’s problem is in seeking to be noticed rather than in noticing!

The man’s veil must be in front of his eyes, but the woman’s veil must be in front of her body and conduct. The woman’s dress and demeanor are her covering veil (not a wedding ring—that does not cover nearly enough).

“Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands.” 1 Peter 3:1–5.

Notice that after telling women to be subject to their “own husbands” Peter immediately goes into the dress question and into conduct and the “adorning” and “putting on of apparel” and “chaste conversation.” These are a woman’s veil.

And remember, did the veil around the temple say to “come in” or “stay out”? The woman must resist the attentions and attractions of “third party” men or she is allowing a third party into the marriage relation and is also committing adultery.

“Any woman who will allow the addresses of another man than her husband, who will listen to his advances and whose ears will be pleased with the outpouring of lavish words of affection, of adoration, of endearment, is an adulteress and a harlot.” Testimonies to Ministers, 434.

Have you ever wondered why the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy talk so much about woman’s dress and not about man’s? It is for the same reason that the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy talk so much about man’s “eyes” and not about woman’s. They each have their particular veil to keep, in order to preserve the sanctity of the marriage. And the devil has made it equally hard on each of them.

Have you, as a man, ever wondered why women have such a problem with their dress—but do you always guard your eyes? Or do you as a woman ever wonder why men have such a problem with their eyes—and yet, you have not mastered the dress problem?

A woman’s demeanor and dress are her veil. What would you think of someone in the sanctuary taking a pair of scissors and cutting off some of the veil in front of the Most Holy Place? Think about it.

The Home Is a Symbol of Heaven

Let us now remember, that as the sanctuary is a symbol of heaven, so is the home. As in the home there is to be no “third party” in the marriage relation, so there is to be no third party in our relation with God. “Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.” Exodus 20:3.

God is all sufficient. He wants to be all to us (as the wife and husband are to be to each other. (Adventist Home, 177.) God wants us to have an exclusive relationship with Him only. No courting with the devil. No enticing glances. No attracting. No lust.

“No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” Matthew 6:24. It is time to break away from our besetting sins and become wholly married to God. Then He will come back and claim us as His own.

The Lord is waiting to reproduce His character in us and to reproduce His home in ours; to establish His sanctuary in our midst. “And the heathen shall know that I the Lord do sanctify Israel, [they will have sanctified homes], when My sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for evermore.” Ezekiel 37:28. When the sanctuary is reproduced in our homes and in our church, then Christ “will come to claim His own.”

What God Hath Joined

The first institution ever established on earth was the family. Before governments or churches, before sin or sacrifices, even before the Sabbath—the family was instituted in Eden.

“God celebrated the first marriage. Thus the institution has for its originator the Creator of the universe. ‘Marriage is honorable;’ 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.” The Adventist Home, 25, 26.

The family was the center of God’s creation. It was not the Sabbath (Mark 2:27), or the tree of life, and certainly not the tree of knowledge. It was not Adam; it was not Eve, but it was Adam and Eve together as a family. The family was the center of creation and today it is still the center of creation. The center of all society, and the center of every nation, and the center of the church is the family.

“Society is composed of families, and is what the heads of families make it. Out of the heart are ‘the issues of life’; and the heart of the community, of the church, and of the nation is the household. The well-being of society, the success of the church, the prosperity of the nation, depend upon home influences.” The Adventist Home, 15.

As the last act of creation week and as the first institution on earth, God established marriage and created the family. God is the creator of this institution—He is the manufacturer. (Matthew 19:6.) And one of the reasons why marriage has not been working in the twentieth century is that man has forgotten the family’s Creator. Man has been trying a do-it-yourself job with the marriage institution.

There is a sign that hangs in many repair shops: “When all else fails, try the manufacturer’s instructions.” That is the sign that should hang in more marriage chambers and in more pastor’s offices and in the waiting rooms of marriage counselors. But is it not a shame that we have to try everything else first, and make a total mess of things before we will try God’s way (if we will then).

“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to Me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.” Hosea 4:6.

Peter said: “Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them [your wives] according to knowledge, giving honor unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.” 1 Peter 3:7.

Oh, you mean this can even hinder prayers from being answered? That is what it says. If we are not living up to the “manufacturer’s instructions,” not only will the home be a failure, but God will not answer the prayers that ascend from that family. The way the family is run is not a take it or leave it situation. The family is a sacred institution to be honored according to the laws of God, just as is the Sabbath.

Thought Question:

If the marriage institution is to be run according to the Law of God, can these laws be learned from worldly sources any more than the true laws of the Sabbath can be learned from worldly sources?

Besides it being a duty to God to follow the manufacturer’s instructions in the marriage, and besides it being necessary for prayers to be answered, it is also the only way that will make the marriage work. There is only one way that marriage will work! Only one!

There are several different answers to home government, but only one that works. Is it so hard to understand? When a person makes a car to run on gasoline, that is the only substance that will make it run. Oh, sure, there are many things you can put in the gas tank, but only one substance will make it run.

That is exactly the way it is with marriage and that is exactly the reason marriages are not working right today. God has the answers, the only answers for running a home, but we want to try every other way. We want to find out the answers from every other source but the manufacturer. And the world’s principles of home management and the manufacturer’s principles are opposite. They do not go together! They do not mix. There is no worldly university in the land where you can go and find out God’s principles of how to run a home. And even if it is an Adventist teacher or counselor that learns his principles from worldly sources, they are still wrong principles and they still will not work.

How many answers are there to the equation 2 + 2? Only one? Isn’t that narrow minded? Three point nine is very close, wouldn’t that work? How about 3.99999? Only one right answer? Yes, but let me ask you friend, how many wrong answers are there? Many. There are always many wrong answers. That is why there are so many churches and that is why there are so many philosophies and “answers” to marriage problems, and that is why so few homes work. They work just to the proportion that they are run according to God’s principles.

The Devil Has An Advantage Over God

God has only one answer, but the devil has many. He has one for every personality. And he will have one that just fits your personality. He can manufacturer one that might even seem better than God’s plan. That is why we have to manage our homes by faith. We must study God’s way and follow it—not from feeling, but from principles. Let us throw out all the worldly books on marriage—whether written by Adventists or non-Adventists—and come to the true source of knowledge.

“Those who would have that wisdom which is from God must become fools in the sinful knowledge of this age, in order to be wise. They should shut their eyes, that they may see and learn no evil. They should close their ears, lest they hear that which is evil and obtain that knowledge which would stain their purity of thoughts and acts. And they should guard their tongues, lest they utter corrupt communications and guile be found in their mouths.” The Adventist Home, 404.

The Story of Eve

In the beginning God made man, but He saw that he was lonely. God does not want anyone to be lonely, so He made a companion for Adam. Using a very graphic illustration, as God often does, He took a rib from Adam’s side to make a helpmeet for him. She was not to rule over him, neither was she to be trampled under foot, but she was to be loved, guided and protected. She was an equal and yet God made her the weaker vessel and ordained that Adam should be her rightful protector—to protect her equality, purity and happiness.

God made Eve weaker than Adam—not just physically, but emotionally. God made Eve to want to be noticed and He knew that this desire could be taken advantage of. Adam was to see that no one took advantage of this attribute. In later years after sin, it would be part of Adam’s job to protect Eve from needlessly exposing herself to temptation by the way she dressed and enticed other men. Adam would better understand than Eve the wondering and lusting eye of man and the subtlety of his words and compliments. He would understand from experience that: “Chaste simplicity in dress, when united with modesty of demeanor, will go far toward surrounding a young woman with that atmosphere of sacred reserve which will be to her a shield from a thousand perils.” Education, 248.

But even in the Garden of Eden there were dangers to beware of. They were to be a veil and a wall of protection to each other.

“The angels warned them of Satan, and cautioned them not to separate from each other in their employment, for they might be brought in contact with this fallen foe. The angels enjoined upon them to closely follow the directions God had given them, for in perfect obedience only were they safe. And if they were obedient, this fallen foe could have no power over them. “Satan commenced his work with Eve, to cause her to disobey. She first erred in wandering from her husband. . . .” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 1, 20.

The instruction to remain by the side of her companion was especially given to Eve (Patriarchs and Prophets, 53), but unconsciously she wandered from Adam’s side.

“On perceiving that she was alone, she felt an apprehension of danger, but dismissed her fears, deciding that she had sufficient wisdom and strength to discern evil and to withstand it.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 53, 54.

Eve was a mature woman, and wise enough to take care of herself, or so she thought. But Satan came in an unsuspecting way. He came through a close and trusted acquaintance—an animal friend of theirs—and “with subtle praise of her surpassing loveliness” began to play on her natural, God given feelings of wanting to be noticed. And it worked.

Two Trees

There were two trees in the Garden of Eden. One was a tree of life and the other was a tree of knowledge. That is not to say that the tree of life did not contain knowledge. It just did not contain as much knowledge—it presented only one side of things. But the tree of knowledge presented both sides of the picture and offered many answers to life.

The serpent was found in the tree of knowledge. He first commenced to recognize Eve’s true qualities. But as she received the attentions from another than her husband, her confidence and love for that one was increased. And as the serpent offered his own personal testimony as to the help this knowledge had brought him, Eve was induced into partaking of this knowledge herself.

“Eve really believed the words of Satan, but her belief did not save her from the penalty of sin. She disbelieved the words of God, and this was what led to her fall.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 55.

You may truly believe Satan, you may have true confidence and trust in your friends’ and acquaintances’ testimonials and theories, but this will not save you from the consequences of a broken home. What will save you is belief in Christ and His word. “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” Not knowledge from the tree of knowledge, but knowledge from the tree of life.

“The serpent plucked the fruit of the forbidden tree and placed it in the hands of the half-reluctant Eve.” (Being half-reluctant did not save her either.) “Perceiving no evil results from what she had done [receiving the fruit], Eve grew bolder.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 55, 56. Eve did not rush into things. She took them a step at a time. As she saw that there was no harm resulting from what she had done and as she saw the fruit was good for food, she ate.

And low and behold, the serpent was right.

“As she ate, she seemed to feel a vivifying power; and imagined herself entering upon a higher state of existence.” Ibid.

The serpent was right! Now she had a personal testimony of her own to give to her husband! “Look what it has done for me.” This knowledge (this book, this course, this magazine, etc.) has really helped me. This is what you need to help you in your problems. And if you do not have any problems it will still make life better.

“Ah,” says Adam, “I don’t believe that fruit will really help you.” “But have you tried it?” replied Eve. “You cannot criticize something you have not tried!” (That argument gets more people than any other.) “Just try it and see for yourself. Be more open minded. Try it with an open mind and you will find that it is true.” And so Adam fell, too.

Get the Good and Reject the Bad

The tree was a tree of knowledge of good (and a little bad). Why should not Eve get all of the good she could? Would God deprive her of that? Why should not she just eat the good part of the fruit and leave the bad?

And so we have the same philosophy today in marriage books and in almost every other source of information. “You cannot expect anything to be perfect, so go through the book (or course) and get what good there is in it and leave the rest.” When we follow this counsel, we usually end up doing as good a job as Eve.


And so the devil works today mixing truth and error. He is not always as bold as he is in the religion of Taoism where they teach that the whole universe came into existence through the blending of good and evil (yang and yin), and it is only as these two qualities are maintained in equilibrium that peace and health are preserved.

The Mormons teach the same thing in just a little less blatant form. They teach that sin had to be in order for us to ever understand righteousness, happiness and purity. They, like Satan, teach that sin was a necessity in order for righteousness to exist. Sin was a necessity; God’s program would have never worked without Satan; there had to be a blending of the two.

All such philosophy is straight from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. To put the finishing proof on where this philosophy came from, Mormons teach that Jesus Christ Himself came down and told Joseph Smith that He had changed the Sabbath to Sunday. Who was this? Who is trying to change God’s law? As in Daniel 7:25, the devil is the originator of any such teaching.

And yet Adventists will study “Fascinating Womanhood” without any qualms—and it is straight from Mormonism! Oh, but there is so much good in it! So was there in the tree of knowledge of good (and evil.) Oh, but I got such a benefit! So thought Eve. Oh, but I will just get the good and discard the evil! You will do as good a job at that as did Eve.

We have been feasting at the tree of knowledge of good and evil and that is why we are having so many marriage problems in our church. And the devil enjoys it, for he knows that the heart… of the church…is the household. The well-being…of the church…depend(s) upon home influences.” The Adventist Home, 15.

As long as he can keep this situation existing in the church; as long as he can keep Adventists feasting on the tree of knowledge of good and evil so they will not be able to have good homes, Satan knows that he can prevent Jesus from coming. But there is coming a time when the church and the families that are “the heart” of the church will be purified.


The results of eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil can be seen all around. We can see it in the lukewarm state of our church. We can see it in the divorce rate among Seventh-day Adventist couples. (But the actual divorces are only the mere tip of the iceberg of the marriage problems. More than any other place, we can see the results in our philosophies, practices and thinking.)

Mrs. White says: “It is not in harmony with the instructions given at Sinai that gentlemen physicians should do the work of midwives. The Bible speaks of women at childbirth being attended by women, and thus it ought always to be.” Counsels on Health, 365. Notice, that this problem of women going to women for their female problems (both mental and physical) is not just a matter of modesty—it is a matter of keeping or breaking God’s law.

And if you think this might just be an isolated quotation, see the shaded box with just a few more of the many times Sister White wrote on this subject.

Sister White applies the same principle for female health-care workers and male patients.

“Women physicians should utterly refuse to look upon the secret parts of men. Women should be thoroughly educated to work for women, and men to work for men. Let men know that they must go to their own sex and not apply to lady physicians. It is an insult to women, and God looks upon these things of commonness with abhorrence.” Ibid.

Why have I included all of this counsel from God’s prophet on this delicate and unpopular subject? Only for the reason that we stated at the beginning: this was only an example to show how much we have been influenced by the world’s knowledge of good and evil. How many today even consider this subject when they choose a physician? There are even some people that feel that it is not a woman’s job to deliver babies and deal with female problems. All such thinking is a gross perversion of the devil and must be cleaned out of our midst before we will be a pure people for God to come and take home. We have a long ways to go, don’t we? We have been feasting at the tree of knowledge of good and evil—it is time we come back to the tree of life.

This was but an example so obvious that no one could miss it and so simple that all can understand it. It is an example of mixing good with evil. It is good to treat people and maintain health, but it is bad to do it in an immoral way.

In this world of sin, God’s ways are always hard—they are contrary to the popular way of doing things. The Sabbath is not popular either. But God’s ways can be followed if we really want to follow them. It just depends how badly we want to follow. If we want excuses, we can find them. If we want to find reasons for not following God’s plan, the devil will supply us with what we want. If we want another way than God’s way, there are plenty. But if we are determined to follow God’s way and only God’s way, we can do it—and we will have successful homes. “Whatever is to be done at His command may be accomplished in His strength. All His biddings are enablings.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 333.

Thought Question:

The example of following the world’s customs of male-female relationships in medicine was just an example. In how many other areas do you suppose we have been influenced by eating of the tree of knowledge of good (and a little evil)?

Friends, we do not have to go to the tree with the serpent in it for our knowledge. We have the tree of life and it is all sufficient. The tree of life was symbolic of Jesus and the fruit was symbolic of His words. Jesus also likened His words to another kind of sustaining food—the bread of life. He said, “Labor not for the meat which perisheth [the worldly sources of knowledge], but for the meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you.

“My Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is He which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.…And Jesus said…I am the bread of life; he that cometh to Me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on Me shall never thirst.

“Verily, verily I say unto you, He that believeth on Me hath everlasting life. I am that bread of life…I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever.

“As the living Father hath sent Me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth Me, even he shall live by Me. This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live forever.

“It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life.” John 6:27, 32–35, 47–51, 57–58, 63.

The tree of life is where we should be feasting. From this tree we can find all the answers for our homes today. This is the sacred institution of God, created in the Garden of Eden along with the Sabbath. “The Sabbath and the family were alike instituted in Eden, and in God’s purpose they are indissolubly linked together.” Education, 250.

If you can go to the world to learn how to keep the Sabbath, then you can go to the world to learn how to keep the marriage. If the Sabbath is just a matter of convenience, than so is keeping the marriage institution.

Eating from the Tree of Life

But friend, it is not just important that we do not eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. It is just as important that we do eat of the tree of life. The home is based on true love. What should be in the home is true, sanctified love. This is the basis of a sanctified home. And this can only be found at the tree of life.

“Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.” 1 John 4:7, 8.

If you love, you know God.

If you do not love, you do not know God.

If you know God, you love.

If you do not know God, you do not love.

Therefore, if you want more love, where is the only place you can go to find it? God is the only one you can get love from and if you do not know Him, you do not have it.

The only way you can have love is to know God. The only way you can have love daily is to know God daily. The only way you can know God is through devotions (prayer, meditation and the study of His word). Friend, if you are not having daily devotions, you do not have a good home! No gimmicks will work. No courses will work. No books will work. Only daily communing with God will work. Make the choice today to start having daily devotions always. Make this your first work.

“The presence of Christ alone can make men and women happy. All the common waters of life Christ can turn into the wine of heaven. The home then becomes as an Eden of bliss; the family, a beautiful symbol of the family in heaven.” The Adventist Home, 28.

The Galling Yoke

“Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.” Matthew 22:29, 30.

To many people this is one of the greatest promises in all the Bible. These are the two verses that have given countless scores of miserable people, who are held in bondage by their marriage vows, strength to continue. While some-especially the naïve youth who think that marriage is just bliss-think this is a most discouraging passage, Jesus saw that it was the very promise that some people needed. Most people would be happier unmarried. For most people marriage is a galling yoke.

“Few have correct views of the marriage relation. Many seem to think that it is the attainment of perfect bliss; but if they could know one quarter of the heartaches of men and women that are bound by the marriage vow in chains that they cannot and dare not break, they would not be surprised that I trace these lines. Marriage, in a majority of cases, is a most galling yoke. There are thousands that are mated but not matched. The books of heaven are burdened with the woes, the wickedness, and the abuse that lie hidden under the marriage mantle. This is why I would warn the young who are of a marriageable age to make haste slowly in the choice of a companion. The path of married life may appear beautiful and full of happiness; but why may not you be disappointed as thousands of others have been?” The Adventist Home, 44.

Most of the success we observe in marriage is a put-on, and so few know it. It seems like everyone thinks they are the only ones that are putting on and everyone else is lucky enough to have a lot better marriage-but of course they are not going to let anyone else know that their marriage is not what it should be. (And they should not. What they should do is just get down to business and correct the situation, but the trouble is they do not know how or where to go. No one has told them that God has the only answer.)

Not only does the public not know about the galling yoke that is weighing down so many of their acquaintances, but many times even their spouses do not know. The poor people are carrying a most heavy load all by themselves. To these people, Christ’s promise is a most blessed assurance. But until Christ’s promise is fulfilled in heaven, they need help-they need someone to direct them to the source of happiness. They need someone of their own sex whom they can trust, and who has the answers, and who has true purity and understanding. This is where many Adventist women can fill a great role. While there are sometimes godly pastors who the men can counsel with, often there are few godly women that other women can go to for counsel in times of need. (It might interest you to know that this is where both E.J. Waggoner and A.T. Jones began to get off track. They had a burden for helping women with their problems and they got themselves and these other women into problems.) We need more women counselors. For those who would like to gain the knowledge necessary to do this, a good place to start is with the section on the home, in The Ministry of Healing.

Marriage-Like a Taste of Heaven or Hell?

To most people, marriage is a galling yoke. Is it any wonder that Paul said: “Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman. For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that. I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I.” 1 Corinthians 7:1, 7, 8.

“Satan is constantly busy to hurry inexperienced youth into a marriage alliance. But the less we glory in the marriages which are now taking place, the better.” The Adventist Home, 80.

Why did they say these things? Were Paul and Mrs. White sour on marriage? No. Paul is the same author who wrote Ephesians 5 and Hebrews 13:4, and Mrs. White wrote many beautiful passages, about what marriage can be, in The Adventist Home. They were not down on marriage, they knew what a beautiful institution it was intended to be and which it can be. But they also knew how things usually are. They understood that the devil has more to do with many marriages than Christ. They understood that marriage is usually a symbol of hell rather than heaven. They have seen some of the “heartaches of men and women that are bound by the marriage vow in chains that they cannot and dare not break.” They knew that “marriage, in the majority of cases, is a most galling yoke.” This is why they warned “the young who are of marriageable age to make haste slowly. . . . The path of marriage life may appear beautiful and full of happiness; but why may not . . . [they] be disappointed as thousands of others have been?”

Paul was not sour on marriage, but his heart must have bled as he was shown the misery that has resulted from the marriage institution. What was intended to be a blessing has turned into a curse for many.

If Paul and Mrs. White warned against marriage, what should be our counsel to others?

“In this age of the world . . . the fewer the marriages contracted, the better for all, both men and women.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 366.

It is so easy when a married couple achieves a home which is a little heaven on earth, to want every other single friend to have the same experience. But the prophets have encouraged us to make haste slowly and the fewer marriages the better. Let us give the same counsel.

God’s Way

For most people marriage is a galling yoke. But suppose you are one of the rare people who follow God’s counsel and have a little heaven in your home and you wish that your happy marriage could continue throughout eternity. Do not worry, God never takes anything away but what He gives something better. In 1 Corinthians 2:9 we read about heaven, “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him.”

But as to what God has prepared for our family relation in heaven, the silence is golden. We are not to speculate. “The secret things belong unto the Lord our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.” Deuteronomy 29:29. (See also Selected Messages, Book 1, 173.)

While a majority of marriages are a galling yoke, even most of the minority that are left are not heaven. While many marriages are not yet a perfect hell, they are far from being a heaven either. “There is not one marriage in one hundred that results happily, that bear the sanction of God, and places the parties in a position better to glorify Him.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 504. Oh, they may experience a few thrills along the way, but the real peace and lasting happiness and security of heaven are not there.

Some might say: “Only one in one hundred? Why, no wonder my marriage is lousy, I do not have a chance.” Yes, it is true that less than one in a hundred have happy homes, but that is because less than one in a hundred follow God. But every couple can have perfect happiness at home if they choose. And it works much better if they choose together.

Every couple can achieve all that God intended for their home if they choose together. Choose together, study together, work at it together, pray about it together and claim Matthew 18:19 together. “Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of My Father which is in heaven.” And in all your togetherness, maintain your individual relationship and devotions with God. He claims your highest service. Never forget Matthew 6:33: “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

What If Only You Choose?

But what happens if your partner does not care? If this is the case, you may not be able to have a happy home, but you can have happiness through Christ and you can bear the burden silently and quietly, pouring out your burdens only to God, until the day that Christ gives you something better than marriage. If you are called to suffer for Christ’s sake, rejoice. For Christ said, “And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after Me, is not worthy of Me.” Matthew 10:38.

Whenever one person decides to follow Christ all the way (in the marriage relation as well as in all other affairs of life) and the other person has not decided to do so (even though the other person may be a Seventh-day Adventist) there is always friction. Not because the one following Christ has brought friction, but because the other person is resisting Christ and His way. Jesus said: “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.” Matthew 10:34-36.

We do not live in a world of peace. Even when we are following God ourselves, we are not always going to have an ideal home situation. Jesus was accused and spit upon and beaten and crucified, not because He had done wrong, but because others had done wrong. We do not always receive our just reward in this life-either for good or for evil.

“The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord. It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?” Matthew 10:24, 25.

“Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for My sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” Matthew 5:11, 12.

These texts apply as much to the home as anywhere else. This life is a preparatory period for the one above. We do not need to expect that we will go through without trials. If we could get to heaven without having any trials, we would not feel that we had any right to the place. “Would you enter heaven if you could without suffering, and dwell in the presence of that Jesus, who suffered so much for us? . . . O, it would be no place for you. Any other place would be far preferable. You would feel that you had no right there.” Review and Herald, February 17, 1853. But when we get to heaven, we will have passed through trials and overcome, and we will feel we have a perfect right to the city. (See Early Writings, 17.)

However, remember, many people suffer trial and heartache, not for Christ’s sake, but because of their own stubbornness and fanaticism. The only suffering that results in blessing is that which is suffered for Christ’s sake.

Our duty, as we follow Christ, is not to be loved, but to love. Our duty in our home, as we seek to follow Christ’s example, is not to be loved, but to love. (1 John 4:7-10.) This, all of us can do. We may not all receive love, but we can all give love. Our duty is to love, and we must trust God to supply us with the love we all need. This is a matter of developing faith, and God will not let us down.

“And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for My sake, and the gospel’s, But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.” Matthew 10:29, 30.

Our duty is to learn to love. We must love first, not for reward, but because Christ first loved us. We must trust and wait for the reward from Christ. As we show this unselfish love, in many cases, we will win the affection and love of our partners over to us.

The apostles spoke of this. Paul said, “For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy. For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?” 1 Corinthians 7:14, 16. Peter also admonished, “Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives.” 1 Peter 3:1.

No, not everyone will be won, but, the more loving we become, the greater the probabilities. And if it does not happen, count yourself a partner with God-His love is rejected all of the time.

The Work of Sanctification

But what happens when you both decide to follow God by patterning your home after His? Will you have heaven the next morning? No. You can and will have heaven, on this earth, in your home, and it can start tomorrow (today even), but it will be a growing process. It will be a growing process that will not end in this life. You can have sanctified homes, but, “there is no such thing as instantaneous sanctification. True sanctification is a daily work, continuing as long as life shall last.” Sanctified Life, 10.

“Sanctification is not the work of a moment, an hour, or a day. It is a continual growth in grace.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 340.

“The Scriptures plainly show that the work of sanctification is progressive.” The Great Controversy, 470.

“Sanctification is the work of a lifetime.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 65.

The sanctification of the home is the work of a lifetime. Let none think they have arrived. No matter how much happiness you may have experienced in your home today, you can experience more tomorrow. No matter how much sorrow you may have experienced in your home today, you can, in the future, have a sanctified, happy home-if you start the process of sanctification today. “With God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26.

Have faith in God. Trust your life to Him. He will not let you down. He is as concerned about you as if you were the only person on the face of the universe. (Steps to Christ, 100.)

Enter this school toward a sanctified home, today. You can do this by having daily devotions (prayer, mediation and the study of God’s word), by learning of God’s character and then treating your spouse and children as God treats you. Pattern your relationships after the heavenly.

“To gain a proper understanding of the marriage relation is the work of a lifetime. Those who marry enter a school from which they are never in this life to be graduated.” The Adventist Home, 105.

The articles on the family we have printed these last four months have been but a brief introduction. There is so much more we have not covered: communication, finances, recreation, the relation of healthful living to the home, excess and insufficiency of the physical union, and much more. But the answers are in God’s word-in the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy. Are you studying these books? (A five-minute glance is not studying.) We should have books like The Adventist Home worn out.

Read no faster than you can assimilate. If all you can absorb at one time is one sentence, spend your whole hour of study on that one sentence, praying and pleading with God to make it a part of your life. God’s word is not to be read as a story book, it is to be eaten, digested and absorbed into our lives as fruit from the tree of life. Every word that Christ has given to us is for our happiness and the success of our homes. (John 15:11.)

And along with your reading, pray. Pray to God as you would talk to a friend. Learn to enjoy communion with Him, and soon the fifteen minutes, the half hour, the hour that you are spending in prayer with God, in the morning, will be the most precious part of the day. Tell Him your burdens and joys, your desires and heartaches. He will listen and He will help. He will walk with you all day long. He will sanctify you and He will sanctify your home, with the peace and joy of heaven.

“It is in accord with the will of God that man and wife should be linked together in His work, to carry it forward in a wholeness and a holiness. They can do this.

“The blessing of God in the home where this union shall exist is as the sunshine of heaven, because it is the Lord’s ordained will that man and wife should be linked together in holy bonds of union, under Jesus Christ, with Him to control, and His spirit to guide. . . .

“God wants the home to be the happiest place on earth, the very symbol of the home in heaven. Bearing the marriage responsibilities in the home, linking their interests with Jesus Christ, leaning upon His arm and His assurance, husband and wife may share a happiness in this union that angels of God commend.” The Adventist Home, 102.

Bible Study Guides – A Christian Home

May 15, 2004 – May 21, 2004

Memory Verse

“My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother.” Proverbs 1:8

Suggested Reading: The Acts of the Apostles, 203, 204; Testimonies, vol. 1, 697–706; vol. 2, 414–419; vol. 3, 527–534.


“Upon fathers and mothers rest to a large degree the responsibility for the mold of character that their children receive. . . . If parents will teach their children to conduct themselves according to the principles of the Word of God, these children will unconsciously teach others what it means to be Christians. Let parents maintain true Christian dignity before their children, and they will be greatly aided in their work of upbuilding the kingdom of Christ.” This Day With God, 307.

1 What instruction is given to the husband and wife in the home? Ephesians 5:22–25, 28–33.

note: “Marriage, a union for life, is a symbol of the union between Christ and His church. The spirit that Christ manifests toward His church is the spirit that the husband and wife are to manifest toward each other. If they love God supremely, they will love each other in the Lord, ever treating each other courteously, drawing in even cords. In their mutual self-denial and self-sacrifice they will be a blessing to each other. . . .” The Adventist Home, 95.

2 What admonition is given parents in reference to their children? Ephesians 6:4; Colossians 3:21.

note: “The children in every family are to be brought up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Evil propensities are to be controlled, evil tempers subdued; and the children are to be instructed that they are the Lord’s property, bought with His own precious blood, and that they cannot live a life of pleasure and vanity, have their own will and carry out their own ideas, and yet be numbered among the children of God. The children are to be instructed with kindness and patience. . . . Let the parents teach them of the love of God in such a way that it will be a pleasant theme in the family circle, and let the church take upon them the responsibility of feeding the lambs as well as the sheep of the flock.” Child Guidance, 42.

3 What instruction is given children concerning their duty toward their parents? Exodus 20:12; Colossians 3:20. Compare Ephesians 6:1, 2.

note: “Our obligation to our parents never ceases. Our love for them, and theirs for us, is not measured by years or distance, and our responsibility can never be set aside. . . .

“Parents are entitled to a degree of love and respect which is due to no other person. . . . The fifth commandment requires children not only to yield respect, submission, and obedience to their parents, but also to give them love and tenderness, to lighten their cares, to guard their reputation, and to succor and comfort them in old age.” My Life Today, 278.

4 What further admonition is given children in this matter by Solomon? Proverbs 1:8; 13:1.

note: “This young man has made light of his father’s authority, and despised restraint. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. It lies at the foundation of a proper education. Those who, having a favorable opportunity, have failed to learn this first great lesson, are not only disqualified for service in the cause of God, but are a positive injury to the community in which they live.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 208.

“Patiently and perseveringly will the godly mother instruct her children, giving them line upon line, and precept upon precept, not in a harsh, compelling manner, but in love; and in tenderness will she win them. They will consider her lessons of love, and will happily listen to her words of instruction.” Review and Herald, August 8, 1899.

5 What example of obedience to and care of parents is left by the Saviour? Luke 2:51; John 19:25–27.

note: “Notwithstanding the sacred mission of Christ, His exalted relationship with God, of which He was fully aware, He was not above performing the practical duties of life. He was the Creator of the world, and yet He acknowledged His obligation to His earthly parents, and at the call of duty, in compliance with the wishes of His parents, He returned with them from Jerusalem after the Passover, and was subject unto them.” Lift Him Up, 32.

“The eyes of Jesus wandered over the multitude that had collected together to witness His death, and He saw at the foot of the cross John supporting Mary, the mother of Christ. . . . The last lesson of Jesus was one of filial love. He looked upon the grief-stricken face of His mother, and then upon John; said He, addressing the former: ‘Woman, behold thy son!’ Then, to the disciple: ‘Behold thy mother!’ John 19:27. John well understood the words of Jesus, and the sacred trust which was committed to him. . . . The perfect example of Christ’s filial love shines forth with undimmed luster from the mist of ages. While enduring the keenest torture, He was not forgetful of His mother, but made all provision necessary for her future.” The Story of Redemption, 224.

6 How should the youth regard the aged? Leviticus 19:32; 1 Timothy 5:1. Compare 11 Kings 2:23, 24.

note: “God has especially enjoined tender respect toward the aged. He says, ‘The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness.’ Proverbs 16:31. It tells of battles fought, and victories gained; of burdens borne, and temptations resisted. It tells of weary feet nearing their rest, of places soon to be vacant. Help the children to think of this, and they will smooth the path of the aged by their courtesy and respect, and will bring grace and beauty into their young lives . . . .” Education, 244.

“We have in our ranks too many who are restless, talkative, self-commending, and who take the liberty to put themselves forward, having no reverence for age, experience, or office. The church is suffering today for help of an opposite character—modest, quiet, God-fearing men, who will bear disagreeable burdens when laid upon them, not for the name, but to render service to their Master, who died for them. Persons of this character do not think it detracts from their dignity to rise up before the ancient and to treat gray hairs with respect. Our churches need weeding out. Too much self-exaltation and self-sufficiency exists among the members.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 340.

7 What important counsel is given the young in Ecclesiastes 12:1? See also Lamentations 3:27.

note: “Teach your children that youth is the best time to seek the Lord. Then the burdens of life are not heavy upon them, and their young minds are not harassed with care, and while so free they should devote the best of their strength to God.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 397.

“Children and youth should begin early to seek God; for early habits and impressions will frequently exert a powerful influence upon the life and character. Therefore the youth who would be like Samuel, John, and especially like Christ, must be faithful in the things which are least, turning away from the companions who plan evil and who think that their life in the world is to be one of pleasure and selfish indulgence. Many of the little home duties are overlooked as of no consequence; but if the small things are neglected, the larger duties will be also. You want to be whole men and women, with pure, sound, noble characters. Begin the work at home; take up the little duties and do them with thoroughness and exactness. When the Lord sees you are faithful in that which is least, He will entrust you with larger responsibilities. Be careful how you build, and what kind of material you put into the building. The characters you are now forming will be lasting as eternity.” The Adventist Home, 297.

8 What reminder is also given to the youth? Ecclesiastes 11:9, 10; 12:14.

note: “Dear young friends, that which you sow, you will also reap. Now is the sowing time for you. What will the harvest be? What are you sowing? Every word you utter, every act you perform, is a seed which will bear good or evil fruit and will result in joy or sorrow to the sower. As is the seed sown, so will be the crop. God has given you great light and many privileges. After this light has been given, after your dangers have been plainly presented before you, the responsibility becomes yours. The manner in which you treat the light that God gives you will turn the scale for happiness or woe. You are shaping your destinies for yourselves.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 363.

“A little time spent in sowing your wild oats, dear young friends, will produce a crop that will embitter your whole life; an hour of thoughtlessness, once yielding to temptation, may turn the whole current of your life in the wrong direction. You can have but one youth; make that useful. When once you have passed over the ground you can never return to rectify your mistakes. He who refuses to connect with God, and puts himself in the way of temptation, will surely fall. God is testing every youth.” Ibid., vol. 4, 622, 623.

9 What will aid the young to live a Christian life? Psalm 119:9, 11.

note: “We know the dangers and temptations that beset the youth at the present time are not few or small. . . . We live in an age when to resist evil calls for constant watchfulness and prayer. God’s precious Word is the standard for youth who would be loyal to the King of heaven. Let them study the Scriptures. Let them commit text after text to memory, and acquire a knowledge of what the Lord has said. . . . And in trial let the youth spread out the Word of God before them, and with humble hearts, and in faith, seek the Lord for wisdom to find out His way, and for strength to walk in it. . . .” My Life Today, 315.

10 How may all obtain true knowledge? Proverbs 2:1–6.

note: “We must turn away from a thousand topics that invite attention. There are matters that consume time and arouse inquiry, but end in nothing. The highest interests demand the close attention and energy that are so often given to comparatively insignificant things.

“Accepting new theories does not in itself bring new life to the soul. Even an acquaintance with facts and theories important in themselves is of little value unless put to a practical use. We need to feel our responsibility to give our souls food that will nourish and stimulate spiritual life. [Proverbs 2:2–11, A.R.V.; 3:18 quoted.]

“The question for us to study is, ‘What is truth—the truth that is to be cherished, loved, honored, and obeyed?’ ” The Ministry of Healing, 456.

11 What does the Lord ask of the young? Proverbs 23:26.

note: “The Saviour of the world loves to have children and youth give their hearts to Him. There may be a large army of children who shall be found faithful to God, because they walk in the light, as Christ is in the light. They will love the Lord Jesus, and it will be their delight to please Him. They will not be impatient if reproved; but will make glad the heart of father and mother by their kindness, their patience, their willingness to do all they can in helping to bear the burdens of daily life. Through childhood and youth, they will be found faithful disciples of our Lord.” Messages to Young People, 333.

12 What great work is to be wrought in homes before the Lord comes? Malachi 4:5, 6.

note: “I [Ellen White] am instructed to urge upon our people most earnestly the necessity of religion in the home. Among the members of the household there is ever to be a kind, thoughtful consideration. Morning and evening let all hearts be united in reverent worship. At the season of evening worship, let every member of the family search well his own heart. Let every wrong that has been committed be made right. If, during the day, one has wronged another, or spoken unkindly, let the transgressor seek pardon of the one he has injured. Often grievances are cherished in the mind, and misunderstandings and heartaches are created that need not be. If the one who is suspected of wrong be given an opportunity, he might be able to make explanations that would bring relief to other members of the family.

“ ‘Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another,’ that ye may be healed of all spiritual infirmities, that sinful dispositions may be changed. Make diligent work for eternity. Pray most earnestly to the Lord, and hold fast to the faith. Trust not in the arm of flesh, but trust implicitly in the Lord’s guidance.” Review and Herald, November 8, 1906.

The Ten Commandments, Part XIV – ’Til Death Do us Part’

In this series, we have been studying the Ten Commandments as recorded in Deuteronomy 5, and we have discovered that there are some changes and some additions in comparison to Exodus 20. Deuteronomy 5 is a pastoral rendering of the law by Moses in one of his Sabbath sermons to the children of Israel, just before they crossed over the Jordan River.

In this article, we will be studying the seventh commandment as found in Deuteronomy 5:18. In this text, it contains one extra word from that which is recorded in Exodus 20:14. “Neither shalt thou commit adultery.” The additional word is neither, which connects this text to the commandment that is given in verse 17: “Thou shalt not kill.”

The first three commandments given in the second table are very specific in their order. They center around the home and on the lives of those who make up the home. The fifth commandment, you may recall, tells us how we are to relate to that place, to those people, where life begins and where relationships have their origin—the home. The sixth commandment unfolds the sacredness of human life.

Just as the sixth commandment points to the value of human life, the seventh commandment points to the place of sexuality in human life. Writing on this commandment, one biblical scholar stated that sexuality is enormously wondrous and enormously dangerous. The danger of sexuality is that it is capable of evoking desires that are destructive of persons and of communal relations.

When the ancient Israelites interpreted the commandment about adultery, they understood it in a very limited sense: it was a prohibition against sexual relations with the wife of another man. The violation of another man’s wife was viewed so seriously that it was a capital offense. Leviticus 20:10 reads, “And the man that committeth adultery with [another] man’s wife, [even he] that committeth adultery with his neighbour’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.”

A Sacred Gift

Human life centers in more than just one person; it centers in two people—the male and the female. Each is uniquely different, but when they are brought together, the Bible tells us, they become “one flesh.” Genesis 2:24. They form a beautifully composed unit of oneness. Human sexuality is a gift from God that is sacred and that is meant to be reserved for nurturing the lives of a man and a woman together into the bonds of an everlasting unity. The seventh commandment deals with the guarding of that relationship of oneness from any outside source of interference, so that the happiness and the perpetuity of the home and the family can be maintained on the earth.

God made provision for everything that would affect the human family so as to promote the greatest safety and harmony. The most intimate, the most binding, the most sacred of all human relationships is marriage, and it is upon this relationship that the very existence and the perpetuity of the human race depend. Marriage is a divine ordinance, older than any other human institution. Marriage is older than man’s fall and sin. Marriage is as old as Eden and the creation of man and woman.

After God had finished the creation of all animal life on the sixth day, He saw that “it was very good.” Genesis 1:31. When God said that “it was very good,” this included everything about the human creation. It included the very fact that God has placed in His Law a commandment that deals with sexuality. Sexuality is very good, as far as God’s pronouncement is concerned. What has happened, however, is that sexuality, as a result of sin, has become something nasty and bad in the minds of many people, and it is taught and perpetuated that way.


In Genesis 1:28, God commands the first man and woman whom He created to “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth.” The process of obeying this command is a sexual process—man and woman, sperm and egg, coming together in union form a new creature, ordained by God, blessed by God through the sanctity of marriage. No problem was considered that would affect this process, until sin came on the scene. When sin entered the Garden of Eden, almost immediately a shame came upon Adam and Eve, the Bible says, because “they were naked.” Genesis 3:7. Selfishness set in, and the divine plan that God had ordained turned into human purpose and was driven by human emotions. Adultery is the supreme example of selfishness—I need this for me; my wife or my husband does not meet my needs.

Great changes began to take place in that which God had pronounced as “very good.” One of the human family became subjugated by the other. Man held the rule, and woman became subjugated by man. God’s plan was distorted. The earth became wicked and violent, and, as a result of that violence, God destroyed everything upon the earth except that which was contained in the ark.

God designed the commandment that forbids adultery for the human family to protect husband and wife and to safeguard the rearing of children who had respect for God and for the human race. The seventh commandment is in God’s Law for this purpose.

A Sensitive Subject

Sex is a very sensitive subject because we have been subjected to unbalanced and false information. Very early on, in the Christian church, tampering began to take place, as far as sexuality was concerned, in the human mind. The church began to tamper with other commandments, and we know the result of that as far as the Sabbath/Sunday issue is concerned. We, as Seventh-day Adventists, have focused on that aspect of the tampering of the commandments. But, in reality, even though the wording of the seventh commandment was not tampered with, the understanding and the application of sexuality in the human family was.

By the fifth century, a monk in the Catholic Church by the name of Augustine began to set the tone for Christian thinking that would continue for centuries. Orders of monks came into being as well as convents for nuns and a distorted view of what God had pronounced “very good.” They began to teach and believe that chastity was the most favored position that the human race could hold. Such beliefs were taught in the schools of the church. The leaders began to destroy any and all documents and arts that had any reference to sexual matters. This is why, to a large extent in the European areas where Catholic influence has been felt, we have very little understanding of sexuality in earlier centuries. We have to go into areas where the Catholic influence was not felt to really understand the teachings that were going on at that time.

Out of this period came the Victorian era. The Victorian era is responsible for negatively impacting more people psychologically than perhaps any other era that has come to pass in this earth’s history. Today, we are still feeling the results of the Victorian era concerning sexuality. Generally, the first references children hear regarding their sexual organs are terms such as icky pooh and nasty. That comes from the Victorian mentality, and such thoughts have messed up innumerable people.

So, sex is indeed a very sensitive subject, because we have never fully understood what the Bible has to say about sex. We have never been able to come completely out of the Victorian era, which contended that sex is wrong, that it should not be preached about or discussed.

In Your Heart

Jesus said, “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery. But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” Matthew 5:27, 28.

Jesus expands on these verses from the Sermon on the Mount telling what this commandment is prohibiting. It is not just the overt behavior of adultery that is being prohibited, but also the very disposition within us that underlies such behavior—the lust within us that gives rise to the kind of leers that veritably “undress” another person in order to feed the fires of our fantasized desires.

If you admire something long enough, you will soon want it. And if you want something long enough and bad enough, you will probably find a way to get it. We need to be careful, because sin starts in the mind. So the sin begins in looking and in thinking about that which is forbidden. The mind is the incubator of almost every deed that is done.

Ellen White counsels: “Our meditations should be such as will elevate the mind. ‘Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.’ [Philippians 4:8.] Here is a wide field in which the mind can safely range. If Satan seeks to turn it to low and sensual things, bring it back. When corrupt imaginings seek to gain possession of your mind, flee to the throne of grace, and pray for strength from heaven. By the grace of Christ it is possible for us to reject impure thoughts. Jesus will attract the mind, purify the thoughts, and cleanse the heart from every secret sin. ‘The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God; . . . casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.’ [11 Corinthians 10:4, 5.]” Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, 136.

Adultery Lifestyles

Adultery is more than living a Clinton lifestyle. There is long distance adultery; the Internet opens up the possibilities for cyber adultery. This is a sin. Imagine spending hours tantalizing and playing with another human. And how do you even know if you are talking to a male or a female? If a married person allows his or her mind to fantasize about another person, they are playing with a fire that might just burn up their marriage. Your marriage gets torched when you are in the chat room dabbling with another person. Do not play with fire unless you want to spend some time in the burn unit. You know, I am sure, when the burn unit will occur. The New Testament is just as clear as the Old Testament when it says that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6:9, 10; Galatians 5:21.) Do not be deceived. Neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers will be in the kingdom of heaven. The Bible is very plain on this.

Another kind of adultery is pornographic adultery. You get burned when you allow your mind to feast on pornographic images, which come onto your computer screen or into your mailbox. You need to avoid these temptations. Job had it figured out, when he said, “I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?” Job 31:1. That is a good covenant to make.

We need to eliminate anything that stirs us up with this type of temptation. Maybe we need to clean out the magazines in our houses. Maybe we need to get rid of some of the videos in our houses. Maybe we need to call the cable company and cancel certain channels, or, better yet, get rid of the television! We need to get our Bibles and read them.

Heed the counsel given in 1 Corinthians 7:2, 3: “Let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.”

And then there’s another type of adultery. We would call it premarital adultery, or fornication or cohabitation. Did you know that individuals who cohabit and then marry are 33 percent more likely to divorce than if they had not?

Purity is also expected if you are unmarried. Fornication includes those who live together before marriage. A girl who is shacked up with her boyfriend is very likely to suffer physical abuse. A child who lives in such a home with his or her mother’s boyfriend is 73 times more vulnerable to experience fatal abuse than a normal child. (See Maggie Gallagher, The Abolition of Marriage, Regnery Publishing, Washington, D.C., 1996, 31.)


Adultery does have consequences that are not usually shown in the fictitious world of movies, television soaps, or make-believe stories and books. Those things teach us that adultery is all love and fun, and everything is fine. But, I will tell you that eternal life is certainly jeopardized. Health is endangered. Happiness is squandered. Your reputation is cheapened. Your marriage is often irreparably destroyed. Your children suffer the consequences for generations to come. Your family name will be dragged into the dirt. Can you really afford adultery?

Breaking the seventh commandment produces broken homes and poverty. Almost 75 percent of American children living in fatherless households will experience poverty before the age of 11, compared to only 20 percent of those raised by two parents. Such children tend to drop out of school and develop emotional or behavioral problems, commit suicide and fall victim to child abuse or neglect. Males from such households are more likely to become violent criminals. In fact, men who have grown up without dads currently represent 70 percent of the prison population serving long-term sentences. (See Michael G. Moriarty, The Perfect 10, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1999, 113.)

Consider as well the other commandments that are broken when adultery occurs. Adultery is stealing; it steals the love from another; it steals someone’s spouse away. Adultery destroys trust, and jeopardizes the family. Adultery is a living lie. It is done without the knowledge of the spouse. Adultery is coveting someone who does not belong to you.

A Symbol

In faithful, lifelong committed relationships—those in which the partners say, and really mean, “ ’til death do us part”—we have the opportunity to mirror something that is divine. We have the opportunity to mirror in our own relationships that same quality of faithfulness with which, throughout our lives, God relates to us.

By being faithful to your spouse, you are enhancing your ability to be faithful to God. The purpose of the seventh commandment is to build an atmosphere where two people can experience the highest joy and deepest intimacy as they both grow more and more into the fullness of the image of Jesus Christ. God’s commitment and fidelity to us is eternal. He created us, too, for fidelity. God wants to protect that bond, but Satan works overtime to destroy the Christian home, because it represents that connection.

This seventh commandment is about chastity, faithfulness, and the overcoming of lust. Yet the truth of the matter is that these qualities in our relationships are too difficult for us to accomplish all on our own. You see, the rest of society is just too heavily invested in tempting us away from these. So to come anywhere near succeeding at them, we need to understand the value and worth of chastity, faithfulness, and the overcoming of lust, and ask God to help us obtain and maintain His virtue in our lives each day.

“Let every one who desires to be a partaker of the divine nature, appreciate the fact that he must escape the corruption that is in the world through lust. There must be a constant, earnest struggling of the soul against the evil imaginings of the mind. There must be a steadfast resistance of temptation to sin in thought or act.” Review and Herald, June 12, 1888.

The apostle Paul writes, in 1 Thessalonians 4:3: “For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality.”

To be continued . . .

A retired minister of the gospel, Pastor Mike Baugher may be contacted by e-mail at: