“And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” Genesis 1:28
“And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.” Genesis 2:20
Adam, the head of the human race, sensed his uniqueness—there was no other like him. God was sensitive to this lack, for He said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.” Genesis 2:18
“And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.” Genesis 2:21,22
God did not make man after the order of the lower animals, but “in His own image.” Neither did He choose man’s companion or “help meet” from some other order of things, but made her from man—of the same substance. And He took this substance, not from man’s feet, that he might have an excuse to degrade, enslave, or trample upon her; nor from man’s head, that the woman might assume authority over man; but from man’s side, that the woman might stand at his side as man’s equal, side by side with him.
“And Adam said, This [is] now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” Genesis 2:23
The Two Become One
“Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” Genesis 2:24
“Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” Matthew 19:6
God performed the first marriage, joining these two, the epitome of His image, to make them one. Marriage has been the foundation of the family, the foundation of society itself, ever since.
Relationship of Husband and Wife
“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.” Ephesians 5:22, 23
“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it… So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself… Let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife [see] that she reverence [her] husband.” Ephesians 5:25–33
“Husbands love your wives, and be not bitter against them.” Colossians 3:19
“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 (manner of life) of the wives.” 1 Peter 3:1
“Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with [them] according to knowledge, giving honour 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
One of the most precious gifts in this world is a happy, close-knit family! One of the greatest joys in life is to have a successful marriage. Love is a true balm for the soul during times of great trouble and disappointment.
“Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.” 1 Corinthians 13:4–7
Marriage is the fusion of two characters that come to be one. It is designed to prepare a couple for the journey of life. The wife will feel protected by her husband, and he shall feel helped by his wife, especially in times of sickness or other troublesome times. An intimate bond must exist in the marriage relationship that lasts an entire lifetime.
In marriage, in the family life, it is very important to realize that at your side is the wife given to you by God Himself. Marriage is not a means of getting an infallible person, but the way of receiving a fitting helper given by God.
When we want to get married, we should not ask for a husband or wife who will never err, but rather we should expect to receive from God a husband or wife whom He considers to be the “help meet” offered to us by grace, due to no merit of our own.
“Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord.” Proverbs 18:22
“House and riches are the inheritance of fathers; and a prudent wife is from the Lord.” Proverbs 19:14
And any gift given personally by God cannot be other than good. “And God saw every thing that He had made, and, behold, it was very good.” Genesis 1:31
The wife that God gives you is the best one, because she is the most suitable helper for you. Certainly there are plenty of other women who have fine qualities too. But they are not the specific helper designed for you. One person’s qualities do not involve the chance of fitness as well, because fitness means that what you are missing can be completed by the qualities of your spouse.
The Submission of the Wife
By nature, women have a more affectionate heart; they are more sentimental, with a natural inclination to affection. But the Word of God does not tell the woman, first and foremost, to love her husband but rather sets aside her natural inclination and speaks to her in another way: “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.” Ephesians 5:22
Whenever God looks upon the family, He does not consider the woman as the head, but rather the husband, because God is the One who has established that order.
This submission on the part of the wife is possible only where there is a certain consistent frame of mind. “Giving thanks always for all things unto God.” Ephesians 5:20. That means not only for some things, but for all, because “all things work together for good to them that love God.” Romans 8:28. And the one who loves God loves also the order established by Him in all of life’s aspects, including the home.
The inspired word underlines, “Wives, submit yourselves unto your husbands as unto the Lord.” Ephesians 5:22 (emphasis mine). This is an important aspect of submission, which may help those wives who doubt the need to submit themselves. The word says to submit yourself “as unto the Lord.” If you respect God, being convinced that He has authority and you are willing to follow His advice, then don’t forget that He is telling you: “Submit yourself to your husband as unto Me,” or, “Submit yourself to your husband, because he is My representative before you; he is your head, and I am His head.” If a woman does not see in her husband the ideal dream, she should seek the Lord in prayer. What grace and blessings would exist in the home if this divine order were taken into account! “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.” Ephesians 5:23
Although this submission of the wife is part of the divine order in the faithful home, marriage does not destroy the individuality of the pair. The husband and wife become one flesh, but keep their own individuality. “We have an individuality of our own, and the wife’s individuality is never to be sunk into that of her husband.” –Mind, Character, and Personality, vol. 2, p. 426
“Neither the husband nor the wife should attempt to exercise over the other an arbitrary control. Do not try to compel each other to yield to your wishes. You cannot do this and retain each other’s love. Be kind, patient, and forbearing, considerate, and courteous. By the grace of God you can succeed in making each other happy, as in your marriage vow you promised to do.” –Ministry of Healing, p. 361
“But while you are to blend as one, neither of you is to lose his or her individuality in the other. God is the owner of your individuality. Of Him you are to ask: What is right? What is wrong? How may I best fulfill the purpose of my creation? ‘Ye are not your own; for ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.’ 1 Corinthians 6:19, 20. Your love for that which is human is to be secondary to your love for God.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 7, pp. 45, 46
The Husband’s Loving Attitude
“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ loved the church, and gave Himself for it.” Ephesians 5:25
“Husbands should study the pattern and seek to know what is meant by the symbol presented in Ephesians, the relation Christ sustains to the church. The husband is to be as a Saviour in his family. Will he stand in his noble, God-given manhood, ever seeking to uplift his wife and children? Will he breathe about him pure, sweet atmosphere?” –The Adventist Home, p. 117
“When the husband has the nobility of character, purity of heart, elevation of mind, that every true Christian must possess, it will be made manifest in the marriage relation…. He will seek to keep his wife in health and courage. He will strive to speak words of comfort, to create an atmosphere of peace in the home circle.”– The Adventist Home, p. 228
Even in those cases when our wives may not be fulfilling the conditions by which to be loved, we as husbands should follow the example of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord Jesus was not looking at what the church was, but at what it could become in the future, through His love and sacrifice. “He gave Himself for it,” not because it was holy, but “that He might sanctify it”; not because it was clean, but “that He might cleanse it”; not because it was worthy, but to make it worthy.
The church is not perfect. It is Christ that will make it perfect.
True love does not look at existing virtues, but at those that could be.
If you want your wife to have a quality that she does not possess, you have to love her, so that she will be empowered to attain that quality. If you say, “I don’t love her because she doesn’t have that quality,” then you have understood nothing from the example of the Lord Jesus, who is the Head. He loved the church and gave Himself for it so that it may become as He wants it to be: “A glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” Ephesians 5:27
This love does not constitute a mere declaration nor is it a mere feeling, but is the result of supreme sacrifice which through faith can achieve even that which is humanly impossible.
We notice that the husband’s love for his wife is placed between two guide markers: a heavenly one (“as Christ loved”) and a human one (“as their own bodies”). “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, p. 46
The principle recommended in the Word of God to those who wish to establish a family, for a man to leave his father and mother and be joined unto his wife, has its origin in the love between Christ and His church. For the sake of those whom He loved “with an everlasting love” (Jeremiah 31:3), Christ left the heavenly family to rescue the human family “at the risk of failure and eternal loss.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 49
“Around every family there is a sacred circle that should be kept unbroken. Within this circle no other person has a right to come. Let not the husband or the wife permit another to share the confidences that belong solely to themselves.” –The Ministry of Healing, p. 361
Blessed Are the Pure in Heart For They Shall See God
“Drink waters out of thine own cistern, and running waters out of thine own well. Let thy fountains be dispersed abroad, [and] rivers of waters in the streets. Let them be only thine own, and not strangers’ with thee.” Proverbs 5:15–17
“Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.” 1 Corinthians 7:3, 4
“Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth . . . For the lips of a strange woman drop [as] an honeycomb, and her mouth [is] smoother than oil: But her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a twoedged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell.” Proverbs 5:18, 3–5
“Marriage [is] honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.” Hebrews 13:4
“For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are [the things] which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.” Matthew 15:19, 20
“But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. 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 5:28, 29
“Jesus takes up the commandments separately, and explains the depth and breadth of their requirement… He declares that by the evil thought or the lustful look the law of God is transgressed. One who becomes a party to the least injustice is breaking the law and degrading his own moral nature.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 310
“When the thought of evil is loved and cherished, however secretly, said Jesus, it shows that sin still reigns in the heart… As a man ‘thinketh in his heart, so is he;’ for out of the heart ‘are the issues of life.’” –Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, p. 60
“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God… Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make [them] the members of an harlot? God forbid. What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost [which is] in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” 1 Corinthians 6:9, 10, 15–20
“Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to [fulfil] the lusts [thereof].” Romans 13:13, 14
“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.” Galatians 6:7, 8
Separation and Divorce
“And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her. And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.” Mark 10:11, 12
“And unto the married I command, [yet] not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from [her] husband: But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to [her] husband: and let not the husband put away [his] wife.” 1 Corinthians 7:10, 11
“For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to [her] husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of [her] husband. So then if, while [her] husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.” “…only in the Lord.” Romans 7:2, 3; 1 Corinthians 7:39, last part. See also Malachi 2:16.
“This vow links the destinies of the two individuals with bonds which naught but the hand of death should sever… Although the laws of the land may grant a divorce, yet they are husband and wife still in the Bible light, according to the laws of God.” –The Adventist Home, pp. 340, 344
Polygamy and First Marriage
We believe that if those of native races accept the truth and are united by marriage to several wives, he must become free from these, except for the one to whom he was first married. This first wife is his rightful one. He is, however, duty bound by God to support the other wives. (see 1 Timothy 5:16; 2 Samuel 20:3; Malachi 2:14)
“Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ.” Philippians 1:27. AMEN.
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