LOVE, MARRIAGE AND FAMILY; THE DESIRE OF GOD.
“Love knows no limit to its endurance, no end to its trust, no fading of its hope; it can outlast anything. It is, in fact, the one thing that still stands when all else has fallen” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8). I begin by defining what love is biblically. I wish to stress the point; “It is, in fact, the one thing that still stands when all else has fallen,” which means that the love that comes from God should be the same love between partners. In marriage, the love of husband to the wife should stand when everything else is gone hence the vow- for better for worse. “The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love; therefore with loving-kindness have I drawn thee” (Jeremiah 31:3), the love of Christ unto us is everlasting and hence when He instructs husbands to love their wives as Christ loves the church, we are expected to love everlasting our families.
Wives submit to your husbands is an instruction given because family unions are a kind of “heaven” within the earth. Ellen G White wrote in letters to young lovers’ page 10 saying, “The warmth of true friendship and the love that binds the hearts of husband and wife are a foretaste of heaven. God has ordained that there should be perfect love and perfect harmony between those who enter into the marriage relation. Let bride and bridegroom in the presence of the heavenly universe pledge themselves to love one another as God has ordained they should.”—In Heavenly Places, 202. Marriage should be a treasure that if anything we should keep and respect. When Adam was thrown out of the Garden of Eden, he was given the Sabbath and marriage to go with. I tend to think that the only test for us today and if anything that stands on our path to salvation is our ability to keep the Sabbath and honor marriage.
Why marriage? Or is it necessary?
In Genesis 3:28 the Bible records the following words, “And the Lord God said, it is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him”, the only thing in the creation story God said was not good was for man to stay alone. It is necessary for us to go into marriage because it holds a special place in the ministry of Christ. In the Ministry of Healing page 357-358 Ellen white records, “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. 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.” Song of Solomon 4:7. Christ “loved the church, and gave Himself for it; that He might sanctify and cleanse it; . . . that it should be holy and without blemish.” “So ought men to love their wives.” Ephesians 5:25-28. The family tie is the closest, the most tender and sacred, of any on earth. It was designed to be a blessing to 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.”
Children in family.
At the centre stage of life is the gift of children of which God commanded that-be fruitful and multiply- and should be cared according to what He expects of their parents. As a parent you have the responsibility to make sure your children are molded according to God’s commands. In the book Adventist Home page 162, it clearly states the following to parents, “A Precious Trust—Children are committed to their parents as a precious trust, which God will one day require at their hands. We should give to their training more time, more care, and more prayer. They need more of the right kind of instruction…. Remember that your sons and daughters are younger members of God’s family. He has committed them to your care, to train and educate for heaven. You must render an account to Him for the manner in which you discharge your sacred trust.”
Still in the book Adventist Home page 163 it advices clearly on parents to raise families in good time limits and the children should be educated and taken good care of. “Parents should not increase their families any faster than they know that their children can be well cared for and educated. A child in the mother’s arms from year to year is great injustice to her. It lessens, and often destroys social enjoyment and increases domestic wretchedness. It robs their children of that care, education, and happiness which parents should feel it their duty to bestow upon them.”
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, depends upon home influences. Marriage should be guarded and the everlasting love prevails in our families for these are the greatest gifts we will ever have.