“Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’?So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” (Matthew 19: 4-6)
“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. Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth. Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love. And why wilt thou, my son, be ravished with a strange woman, and embrace the bosom of a stranger?” (Proverbs 5:15-20)
The Holy Injil speaks positively about sex in marriage. “Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled” (Hebrews 13:4). God intended sexual relations in marriage to strengthen the bond between husband and wife. The Holy Injil teaches: “‘A man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’.… So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate” (Matthew 19:5–6). Husband and wife are joined together and become one flesh.
God has ordained that there should be perfect love and perfect harmony in marriage relation. The husband and wife pledge to love each other as God has ordained for them to do. God Himself gave Adam a companion. He provided “an help meet for him”[Genesis 2:18] a helper corresponding to him, one who was fitted to be his companion, and who could be one with him in love and sympathy. 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.
“Marriage is honorable”[Hebrews 13:4]; 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.
God made from the man a woman, to be a companion and help meet for him, to be one with him, to cheer, encourage, and bless him, he in his turn to be her strong helper. All who enter into matrimonial relations with a holy purpose–the husband to obtain the pure affections of a woman’s heart, the wife to soften and improve her husband’s character and give it completeness–fulfill God’s purpose for them.
Mutual love and respect is the power of marriage, God intended that in marriage that the one man and one woman will cling together for eternity, to support, cheer and encourage each other.
Great care should be taken in the choice of companions. 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.
Most men and women have acted in entering the marriage relation as though the only question for them to settle was whether they loved each other. But they should realize that a responsibility rests upon them in the marriage relation farther than this. They should consider whether their offspring will possess physical health and mental and moral strength. But few have moved with high motives and with elevated considerations which they could not lightly throw off–that society had claims upon them, that the weight of their family’s influence would tell in the upward or downward scale.
The choice of a life companion should be such as best to secure physical, mental, and spiritual well-being for parents and for their children–such as will enable both parents and children to bless their fellow men and to honor their Creator.
It is often the case that persons before marriage have little opportunity to become acquainted with each other’s habits and disposition; and, so far as everyday life is concerned, they are virtually strangers when they unite in marriage. Many find, too late, that they are not adapted to each other, and lifelong wretchedness is the result of their union. Often the wife and children suffer from the indolence and inefficiency or the vicious habits of the husband and father.
The world is full of misery and sin today in consequence of ill-assorted marriages. In many cases it takes only a few months for husband and wife to realize that their dispositions can never blend; and the result is that discord prevails in the home, where only the love and harmony of heaven should exist. By contention over trivial matters a bitter spirit is cultivated. Open disagreements and bickering bring inexpressible misery into the home and drive asunder those who should be united in the bonds of love. Thus thousands have sacrificed themselves, soul and body, by unwise marriages and have gone down in the path of perdition.
Let a young woman accept as a life companion only one who possesses pure, manly traits of character, one who is diligent, aspiring, and honest, one who loves and fears God.
Before giving her hand in marriage, every woman should inquire whether he with whom she is about to unite her destiny is worthy. What has been his past record? Is his life pure? Is the love which he expresses of a noble, elevated character, or is it a mere emotional fondness? Has he the traits of character that will make her happy? Can she find true peace and joy in his affection? Will she be allowed to preserve her individuality, or must her judgement and conscience be surrendered to the control of her husband? . . . Can she honor the God’s claims as supreme? Will body and soul, thoughts and purposes, be preserved pure and holy? These questions have a vital bearing upon the well-being of every woman who enters the marriage relation. Let the woman who desires a peaceful, happy union, who would escape future misery and sorrow, inquire before she yields her affections, Has my lover a mother? What is the stamp of her character? Does he recognize his obligations to her? Is he mindful of her wishes and happiness? If he does not respect and honor his mother, will he manifest respect a nd love, kindness and attention, toward his wife? When the novelty of marriage is over, will he love me still? Will he be patient with my mistakes, or will he be critical, overbearing, and dictatorial? True affection will overlook many mistakes; love will not discern them.
While women want men of strong and noble characters, whom they can respect and love, these qualities need to be mingled with tenderness and affection, patience and forbearance. The wife should in her turn be cheerful, kind, and devoted, assimilating her taste to that of her husband as far as it is possible to do without losing her individually. Both parties should cultivate patience and kindness, and that tender love for each other that will make married life pleasant and enjoyable.
Love is a precious gift, which we receive from God. Pure and holy affection is not a feeling, but a principle “Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’…‘Love your neighbor as yourself…” (Matthew 22: 37-40). In fact, those who are actuated by true love are neither unreasonable nor blind.
Let those who are contemplating marriage weigh every sentiment and watch every development of character in the one with whom they think to unite their life destiny. Let every step toward a marriage alliance be characterized by modesty, simplicity, sincerity, and an earnest purpose to please and honor God. Marriage affects the after life both in this world and in the world to come. A sincere believer will make no plans that God cannot approve.
In your life union your affections are to be tributary to each other’s happiness. Each is to minister to the happiness of the other. This is the will of God concerning you. 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.
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. It is by faithfulness to duty in the parental home that the youth are to prepare themselves for homes of their own. Let them here practice self-denial, and manifest kindness, courtesy, and sympathy. Thus love will be kept warm in the heart. Marriage, instead of being the end of love, will be only its beginning.