Let me tell you something. When you asked God for wisdom, and He handed you a big black book over 1000 pages long. What did you do? Did you say it was too hard, and give up? Or did you look for someone to read it for you, and give you the quick run down on what it says? We are in the end of a spiritual war. Don’t you think it’s time to read the manual? The best thing you can do is pick up the book, read it, and if you need help, find someone who is able to explain how to understand scripture.

Ellen White on Marriage (part 1) Tender Ties That Bind

Tender Ties That Bind.–The family tie is the closest, the most tender and sacred, of any on earth. It was designed to be a blessing to

Ellen White James

Ellen White James

mankind. And it is a blessing wherever the marriage covenant is entered into intelligently, in the fear of God, and with due consideration for its responsibilities.
Every home should be a place of love, a place where the angels of God abide, working with softening,
subduing influence upon the hearts of parents and children.
Our homes must be made a Bethel, our hearts a shrine. Wherever the love of God is cherished in the soul, there will be peace, there will be light and joy. Spread out the word of God before your families in love, and ask, “What hath God spoken?”

He who gave Eve to Adam as a helpmeet performed His first miracle at a marriage festival. In the festal hall where friends and kindred rejoiced together, Christ began His public ministry. Thus He sanctioned marriage, recognizing it as an institution that He Himself had established. . . .
Christ honored the marriage relation by making it also a symbol of the union between Him and His redeemed ones. He Himself is the Bridegroom; the bride is the church, of which, as His chosen one, He says, “Thou art all fair, My love; there is no spot in thee.”  {AH 26.2}

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A Happy or Unhappy Marriage?–If those who are contemplating marriage would not have miserable, unhappy reflections after marriage, they must make it a subject of serious, earnest reflection now. This step taken unwisely is one of the most effective means of ruining the usefulness of young men and women. Life becomes a burden, a curse. No one can so effectually ruin a woman’s happiness and usefulness, and make life a heartsickening burden, as her own husband; and no one can do one hundredth part as much to chill the hopes and aspirations of a man, to paralyze his energies and ruin his influence and prospects, as his own wife. It is from the marriage hour that many men and women date their success or failure in this life, and their hopes of the future life.
I wish I could make the youth see and feel their danger, especially the danger of making unhappy marriages.  {AH 43.2}
Marriage is something that will influence and affect your life both in this world and in the world to come. A sincere Christian will not advance his plans in this direction without the knowledge that God approves his course. He will not want to choose for himself, but will feel that God must choose for him. We are not to please ourselves, for Christ pleased not Himself. I would not be understood to mean that anyone is to marry one whom he does not love. This would be sin. But fancy and the emotional nature must not be allowed to lead on to ruin. God requires the whole heart, the supreme affections.

A Safe Marriage Alliance.–It is only in Christ that a marriage alliance can be safely formed. Human love should draw its closest bonds from divine love. Only where Christ reigns can there be deep, true, unselfish affection.

Counsel to a Newly Married Couple.–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. . . .  {AH 95.1}
Both of you need to be converted. Neither of you have a proper idea of the meaning of obedience to God. Study the words, “He that is not with Me is against Me; and he that gathereth not with Me scattereth abroad.” I sincerely hope that you will both become true children of God, servants to whom He can entrust responsibilities. Then peace and confidence and faith will come to you. Yes, you may both be happy, consistent Christians. Cultivate keenness of perception, that you may know how to choose the good and refuse the evil. Make the word of God your study. The Lord Jesus wants you to be saved. He has wonderfully preserved you, my brother, that your life may be one of usefulness. Bring all the good works possible into it.  {AH 95.2}
Unless you have an earnest desire to become children of God, you will not understand clearly how to help each other. To each other ever be tender and thoughtful, giving up your own wishes and purposes to make each other happy. Day by day you may make advancement in self-knowledge. Day by day you may learn better how to strengthen your weak points of character. The Lord Jesus will be your light, your strength, your crown of rejoicing, because you yield the will to His will. . . .  {AH 95.3}
You need the subduing grace of God in your heart. Do not desire a life of ease and inactivity. All who are connected with the Lord’s work must be constantly on guard against selfishness. Keep your lamp trimmed and burning. Then you will not be reckless of your words and actions. You will both be happy if you try to please each other. Keep the windows of the soul closed earthward and opened heavenward.  {AH 96.1}
Men and women may reach a high standard, if they will but acknowledge Christ as their personal Saviour. Watch and pray, making a surrender of all to God. The knowledge that you are striving for eternal life will strengthen and comfort you both. In thought, in word, in action, you are to be lights in the world. Discipline yourselves in the Lord; for He has committed to you sacred trusts, which you cannot properly fulfill without this discipline. By believing in Jesus, you are not only to save your own souls, but by precept and example you are to seek to save other souls. Take Christ as your pattern. Hold Him up as the One who can give you power to overcome. Utterly destroy the root of selfishness. Magnify God, for you are His children. Glorify your Redeemer, and He will give you a place in His kingdom.  {AH 96.2}

Christ came not to destroy this 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.  {AH 99.2}
He who gave Eve to Adam as a helpmeet performed His first miracle at a marriage festival. In the festal hall where friends and kindred rejoiced together, Christ began His public ministry. Thus He sanctioned marriage, recognizing it as an institution that He Himself had established. He ordained that men and women should be united in holy wedlock, to rear families whose members, crowned with honor, should be recognized as members of the family above.  {AH 99.3}
Jesus Wants Happy Marriages.–The divine love emanating from Christ never destroys human love, but includes it. By it human love is refined and purified, elevated and ennobled. Human love can never bear its precious fruit until it is united with the divine nature and trained to grow heavenward. Jesus wants to see happy marriages, happy firesides.

Learn about what Jesus taught about the relationship He needed on His way to the cross.
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Be as true as steel to your marriage vows, refusing, in thought, word, or deed, to spoil your record as a man who fears God and obeys His commandments.  {AH 104.1}

The Enemy Will Seek to Alienate.–Satan is ever ready to take advantage when any matter of variance arises, and by moving upon the objectionable, hereditary traits of character in husband or wife, he will try to cause the alienation of those who have united their interests in a solemn covenant before God. In the marriage vows they have promised to be as one, the wife covenanting to love and obey her husband, the husband promising to love and cherish his wife. If the law of God is obeyed, the demon of strife will be kept out of the family, and no separation of interests will take place, no alienation of affection will be permitted.  {AH 106.3}

Men and women can reach God’s ideal for them if they will take Christ as their helper. 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. Love will not be a mere exchange of soft and flattering words. The loom of heaven weaves with warp and woof finer, yet more firm, than can be woven by the looms of earth. The result is not a tissue fabric, but a texture that will bear wear and test and trial. Heart will be bound to heart in the golden bonds of a love that is enduring.
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.  {AH 118.2}

Maintain Family Privacy.–Oh, how many lives are made bitter by the breaking down of the walls which inclose the privacies of every family, and which are calculated to preserve its purity and sanctity! A third person is taken into the confidence of the wife, and her private family matters are laid open before the special friend. This is the device of Satan to estrange the hearts of the husband and wife. Oh, that this would cease! What a world of trouble would be saved! Lock within your own hearts the knowledge of each other’s faults. Tell your troubles alone to God. He can give you right counsel and sure consolation which will be pure, having no bitterness in it.  {AH 337.3}
When a woman relates her family troubles or complains of her husband to another man, she violates her marriage vows; she dishonors her husband and breaks down the wall erected to preserve the sanctity of the marriage relation; she throws wide open the door and invites Satan to enter with his insidious temptations. This is just as Satan would have it. If a woman comes to a Christian brother with a tale of her woes, her disappointments and trials, he should ever advise her, if she must confide her troubles to someone, to select sisters for her confidants, and then there will be no appearance of evil whereby the cause of God may suffer reproach.  {AH 338.1}

Counsel to One Contemplating Divorce.–Your ideas in regard to the marriage relation have been erroneous. Nothing but the violation of the marriage bed can either break or annul the marriage vow. We are living in perilous times, when there is no assurance in anything save in firm, unwavering faith in Jesus Christ. There is no heart that may not be estranged from God through the devices of Satan, if one does not watch unto prayer.


 

Your health would have been in a far better condition had your mind been at peace and rest; but it became confused and unbalanced, and you reasoned incorrectly in regard to the matter of divorce. Your views cannot be sustained on the ground from which you reason. Men are not at liberty to make a standard of law for themselves, to avoid God’s law and please their own inclination. They must come to God’s great moral standard of righteousness. . . .  {AH 342.1}
God gave only one cause why a wife should leave her husband, or the husband leave his wife, which was adultery. Let this ground be prayerfully considered.  {AH 342.2}

A Wife Urged to Change Disposition, Not the Marriage Status.–I have received a letter from your husband. I would say that there is only one thing for which a husband may lawfully separate from his wife or a wife from her husband, and that is adultery.  {AH 345.1}
If your dispositions are not congenial, would it not be for the glory of God for you to change these dispositions?      A husband and wife should cultivate respect and affection for each other. They should guard the spirit, the words, and the actions so that nothing will be said or done to irritate or annoy. Each is to have a care for the other, doing all in their power to strengthen their mutual affection.  {AH 345.3}
I tell you both to seek the Lord. In love and kindness do your duty one to the other. The husband should cultivate industrious habits, doing his best to support his family. This will lead his wife to have respect for him. . . .  {AH 345.4}
My sister, you cannot please God by maintaining your present attitude. Forgive your husband. He is your husband, and you will be blessed in striving to be a dutiful, affectionate wife. Let the law of kindness be on your lips. You can and must change your attitude.  {AH 345.5}
You must both study how you can assimilate, instead of differing, with one another. . . . The use of mild, gentle methods will make a surprising difference in your lives.

We must keep close to the word of God. We need its warnings and encouragement, its threatenings and promises. We need the perfect example given only in the life and character of our Saviour. Angels of God will preserve His people while they walk in the path of duty, but there is no assurance of such protection for those who deliberately venture upon Satan’s ground. An agent of the great deceiver will say and do anything to gain his object. It matters little whether he calls himself a spiritualist, an “electric physician,” or a “magnetic healer.” By specious pretenses he wins the confidence of the unwary. He pretends to read the life history and to understand all the difficulties and afflictions of those who resort to him. Disguising himself as an angel of light, while the blackness of the pit is in his heart, he manifests great interest in women who seek his counsel. He tells them that all their troubles are due to an unhappy marriage. This may be too true, but such counsel does not better their condition. He tells them that they need love and sympathy. Pretending great interest in their welfare, he casts a spell over his unsuspecting victims, charming them as the serpent charms the trembling bird. Soon they are completely in his power, and sin, disgrace, and ruin are the terrible sequel.  {CH 459.1}
Our only safety is in preserving the ancient landmarks. “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” Isaiah 8:20.

The signs of Christ’s coming are fast fulfilling. Satan sees that he has but a short time in which to work, and he has set his agencies to work to stir up the elements of the world, that men may be deceived, deluded, and kept occupied and entranced until the day of probation shall be ended and the door of mercy be forever shut.  {CT 414.1}

Both at the marriage feast and upon the cross, the love expressed in tone and look and manner interpreted His words.  {DA 146.1}

The gift of Christ to the marriage feast was a symbol. The water represented baptism into His death; the wine, the shedding of His blood for the sins of the world. The water to fill the jars was brought by human hands, but the word of Christ alone could impart to it life-giving virtue. So with the rites which point to the Saviour’s death. It is only by the power of Christ, working through faith, that they have efficacy to nourish the soul.  {DA 148.4}
The word of Christ supplied ample provision for the feast. So abundant is the provision of His grace to blot out the iniquities of men, and to renew and sustain the soul.  {DA 149.1}

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. To the mind of Jesus the gladness of the wedding festivities pointed forward to the rejoicing of that day when He shall bring home His bride to the Father’s house, and the redeemed with the Redeemer shall sit down to the marriage supper of the Lamb. He says, “As the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee.” “Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; . . . but thou shalt be called My Delight; . . . for the Lord delighteth in thee.” “He will rejoice over thee with joy; He will rest in His love, He will joy over thee with singing.” Isa. 62:5, 4, margin; Zeph. 3:17. When the vision of heavenly things was granted to John the apostle, he wrote: “I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to Him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife hath made herself ready.” “Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb.” Rev. 19:6, 7, 9.  {DA 151.1}

If Christ indeed is formed within, the hope of glory, there will be union and love in the home. Christ abiding in the heart of the wife will be at agreement with Christ abiding in the heart of the husband. They will be striving together for the mansions Christ has gone to prepare for those who love Him.  {FLB 252.5}
Only where Christ reigns can there be deep, true, unselfish love. Then soul will be knit with soul, and the two lives will blend in harmony. Angels of God will be guests in the home, and their holy vigils will hallow the marriage chamber. [SEE THE ADVENTIST HOME, CHAPTER 18, “MARITAL DUTIES AND PRIVILEGES,” PAGES 121-128.]  {FLB 252.6}

The marriage vow . . . links the destinies of the two individuals with bonds which nought but the hand of death should sever.  {FLB 253.2}
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. “Every one,” He said, “that putteth away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, maketh her an adulteress: and whosoever shall marry her when she is put away committeth adultery.” Matt. 5:32, R.V. . . .  {FLB 253.3}
Jesus pointed His hearers back to the marriage institution as ordained at creation. . . . 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, . . . 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.  {FLB 253.4}
Men and women, at the beginning of married life, should reconsecrate themselves to God. . . .  {FLB 253.5}
Where the Spirit of God reigns, there will be no talk of unsuitability in the marriage relation.  {FLB 253.6}
Though difficulties, perplexities, and discouragements may arise, let neither husband nor wife harbor the thought that their union is a mistake or a disappointment. Determine to be all that it is possible to be to each other. Continue the early attentions. In every way encourage each other in fighting the battles of life. Study to advance the happiness of each other. Let there be mutual love, mutual forbearance. Then marriage, instead of being the end of love, will be as it were the very beginning of love.

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. Eph. 5:23.  {FLB 259.1}
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, even as Christ is the head of the church and the Saviour of the mystical body. Let every husband who claims to love God carefully study the requirements of God in his position. 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.  {FLB 259.2}
The husband should remember that much of the burden of training his children rests upon the mother. . . . This should call into exercise his tenderest feelings, and with care should he lighten her burdens. He should encourage her to lean upon his large affections.  {FLB 259.3}
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.  {FLB 259.4}
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. . . . In their mutual self-denial and self-sacrifice they will be a blessing to each other. . . .  {FLB 259.5}
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. Marriage does not lessen their usefulness, but strengthens it.

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