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"...for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God."
--1 Corinthians 2:10b Mo Letters from David Berg and the Children of God / The Family

Marriage and the home

Includes marital relations and parental duties

1. Marriage:

A. God has ordained and blessed marriage:

Gen.2:18 - The Lord God said, It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him
Pro.5:18 - Be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth
Pro.18:22 - Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord
Eccl.9:9a - Live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest all the days of thy life...which He (God) hath given thee
Mat.19:4,5a - (God) made them male and female...for this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and cleave to his wife

B. Marriage is the solution to many problems:

1Cor.7:2 - To avoid fornication (sexual immorality), let every man have his own wife, and every woman her...husband
1Cor.7:9 - Let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn
1Tim.5:14 - I will that younger women marry, bear children, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully

C. It gives strength and companionship:

Gen.2:18 - God said, It is not good that man should be alone
Eccl.4:9-11 - Two are better than one...they have a good reward
1Pet.3:7 - Heirs together of the grace of life

D. Marriage is a commitment:

Ezk.16:8 - I sware unto thee, and entered into a covenant with thee...and thou becamest mine
(See also Hos.2:19,20)

2. A husband's responsibility toward his wife:

A. The husband is to tenderly love his wife:

Eph.5:25 - Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it
Eph.5:28 - So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies
Eph.5:33a - Let every one of love his wife even as himself
Col.3:19 - Husbands, love your wives and be not bitter against them

B. The husband is to honour, praise and please his wife:

1Pet.3:7 - Husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife...the weaker vessel
Pro.31:28 - Her husband also (arises up), and he praiseth her
1Cor.7:33 - He that is married careth... how he may please his wife

C. He is to listen to and heed his wife's wise counsel:

Judg.13:19-23 - [Manoah's wife wisely explained that there was no need to fear]
1Sam.25:9-33 - [Abigail, the wife of Nabal, wisely pacified David]
2Sam.20:1,2,7,13b-22 - [Wise woman of Abel "went unto all the people in her wisdom" and spared her city from destruction]
2Ki.4:8-10 - [Woman of Shunem] said to her husband...[Elisha] is an holy man of God. Let us make (him) a chamber
(See also 2Sam.14:1-15and; Dan.5:10-12; Mat.27:19.)

3. A wife's attributes and responsibilities:

A. The Bible's description of a virtuous wife:

Pro.11:16 - A gracious woman retaineth honour
Pro.12:4 - A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband
Pro.19:14b - A prudent (wise, understanding) wife is from the Lord
Pro.31:10-12 - Who can find a virtuous woman? her price is far above rubies (See all of Pro.31:10-31)
Pro.31:26 - She openeth her mouth with wisdom: and in her tongue is the law of kindness
1Tim.3:11 - Their wives (should) be grave (reverent), not slanderers
Tit.2:4 - Teach the young women to be sober (serious)
Tit.2:5a - To be discreet (wise), chaste...good, obedient

B. Her duty to guide the home and children:

1Tim.5:14 - Marry, bear children, guide the house
Psa.128:3 - Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine
Pro.14:1a - Every wise woman buildeth her house
Pro.31:27 - She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness
1Tim.3:11 - Even so must their wives be...faithful in all things
Tit.2:4 - Teach the young love their children
Tit.2:5a - To be...keepers at home (homemakers)

C. Examples of how wives should not be:

Pro.7:11 - She is loud and stubborn, her feet abide not in her house
1Tim.5:13 - They learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house...tattlers and busybodies

D. Virtue is more important than physical beauty:

Pro.11:22 - As a jewel of gold in a swine's snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion (good judgment)
Pro.31:30 - Beauty is vain, but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised
1Pet.3:3-5 - Whose adorning let it not be outward...(but) the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit which is (very precious)

4. Duties of wives toward their husbands:

A. To be a companion:

Pro.31:11 - The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her
Mal.2:14b - She (is) thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant

B. To love and please their husbands:

Pro.31:12 - She will do him good and not evil all days of her life
1Cor.7:34b - She that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband
Tit.2:4 - Teach the young women their husbands

C. To be subject unto the husband:

1Cor.11:3 - Know, that...the head of the woman is the man
1Cor.11:8,9 - Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man
Eph.5:33b - (Let) the wife see that she reverence her husband
Col.3:18 - Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord
(See also Tit.2:5; 1Pet.3:1a.)

D. Submit out of love for Jesus:

Eph.5:22 - Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord
1Pet.3:1-6 - Wives, be in subjection to your own husbands [with]...a meek and quiet the sight of God

5. Spiritual ministries not restricted to men:

A. Women's place in spiritual ministries may equal or surpass men's:

Gal.3:28 - There is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus
Rom.2:11 - There is no respect of persons with God

B. Women disciples and leading workers of the early church:

Mk.16:9 - [Mary Magdalene was honoured by being the first person to see Jesus after His resurrection] (See also Lk.8: 1-3; Jn.20:1-18.)
Jn.19:25 - [When all His male followers except John fled and hid, faithful women stayed with Jesus at His crucifixion] (See also Mat.27:55,56)
Rom.16:1,2 - I commend to you Phebe...receive her in the Lord...assist her in whatsoever business she hath need of you
Rom.16:3,4 - Priscilla and Aquila my helpers [Priscilla, the wife, was often respectfully mentioned first Acts 18:2,18]
1Cor.16:16 - Submit yourselves unto... every one [women in cluded] that help eth w/ us, and laboureth (Also 1Thes.5:12,13)
Phi.4:3a - Help those women which laboured with me in the gospel
(See also Rom.16:6,12a,13; 1Tim.5:1,2; 2Tim.4:21.)

C. Paul's personal preferences were not intended to be taken as law:

1Cor.14:34,35 - (Compare with Joel 2:28; Acts 2:17.)
1Tim.2:12 - (Compare with 1Cor.7:6,12a,25)

D. Wives who were honoured and exalted:

Judg.13:1-10 - [Angel appeared to Manoah's wife twice, later to him]
1Sam.25:38,39 - [God slew wicked Nabal, but honoured his wife, Abigail, by having her marry David, future king of Israel]
2Ki.4:8-37 - [The "great woman of Shunem", not her husband, was the honoured one in this story] (See also 2Ki.8:1-6)
Lk.1:26-35 - [Archangel Gabriel appeared to Mary first; three months later to Joseph Lk.1:56; Mat.1:18-21]
Lk.1:46-48 - [Mary prophesied:] All generations shall call me blessed
(See also Judg.4:17-23; 5:24; 2Sam.20:1,2,7,13b-22.)

E. Women prophetesses, anointed of the Spirit:

Exo.15:20,21 - Miriam the prophetess [sang a victory song]
Judg.5:1-31 - [The victory song of the prophetess Deborah, and Barak] Lk.1:39-55 - [Elizabeth and Mary, filled with the Spirit, prophesied]
Lk.2:36-38 - Anna, a prophetess... served God night and day
Acts 2:17 - I will pour out of My Spirit upon all flesh: your sons and your daughters shall prophesy (See also Joel 2:28)
Acts 21:8,9 - Philip...had four daughters...which did prophesy

F. A woman who judged and ruled God's people:

Judg.4:4 - Deborah, a prophetess...judged Israel at that time
Judg.5:6,7 - The inhabitants of the villages ceased...until Deborah arose...a mother in Israel (See Judg.4:1-10,23,24)

6. Harmony and marital peace:

A. Harmony is important to a Christian marriage:

Col.2:2 - comforted, being knit together in love
1Tim.3:4,5 - If a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?
1Pet.3:7 - Heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered
1Pet.4:8 - Have fervent charity (love) among yourselves: for (love) shall cover the multitude of sins
(See also Tit.2:5)

B. Arguments should be avoided:

Pro.17:9 - He that covereth (over) transgression seeketh love
Pro.17:14 - Leave off contention, before it be meddled with
Pro.21:19 - It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman (See also Pro.25:24)
Pro.27:15 - A continual dropping (dripping) in a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike (See also Pro.19:13b)
Phi.2:3 - Let nothing be done through strife
Col.3:13 - Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any have a quarrel against any (See also 1Pet.3:9)

C. What marital strife and disharmony does to the home:

Pro.14:1 - Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh (pulls) it down (See also Pro.24:3)

7. Marriage and lovemaking:

A. Sex in marriage is pure, holy and ordained of God:

Heb.13:4a - Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled
1Cor.7:28a - If thou marry, thou hast not sinned (See also vs.36)

B. It was ordained for the procreation of the race:

Gen.1:27,28 - Male and female created He them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, "Be fruitful, and multiply"
Mal.2:15 - Did not He make (them) one? Wherefore one? That He might seek a godly seed
(See also Jer.29:6)

C. In marriage, man and woman are joined as "one flesh":

Gen.2:23 - (She) is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh
Mk.10:6-8 - God made them male and female...a man (shall) cleave to his wife; and they shall be one flesh (See Gen.2:24)
1Cor.6:16b - Two, saith He, shall be one flesh
Eph.5:31 - A man...shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh

D. Conjugal pleasures a gift from God:

Pro.5:18 - Let thy fountain be blessed with the wife of thy youth
Pro.5:19 - Let her breasts satisfy thee at all times, and be thou ravished always with her love
Song 7:6-12 - How pleasant art thou, O love, for delights
(See also Psa.19:5; Song 1:1,4,13; 2:3,6,16,17; 4:6,1016; 5:4,5; 8:3,14.)

E. Sex is a marital right, not to be used to punish or reward:

1Cor.7:3 - Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband
1Cor.7:4 - The wife hath not [exclusive] power over her body, but the husband [also]
1Cor.7:5 - Defraud (deprive) ye not one the other, except it be with (mutual) consent for a time

F. Husbands should treat wives with honour and love, not merely as sexual objects:

1Thes.4:4,5 - Possess his vessel (wife) in...honour; not in the lust of concupisence (excessive desire)

8. Marriage vs. celibacy:

A. Those who forbid marriage are in error:

1Tim.4:1-3a - Some shall depart from the faith...forbidding to marry

B. Even priests, bishops and church officials are advised to marry:

Ezk.44:21,22 - [Priests given specific instructions on how to marry]
Lev.21:10a,13 - [Even the high priest was instructed to marry]
Mat.8:14 - [Even the apostle Peter, considered "the first Pope" by some, was married] (See also 1Cor.9:5)
1Tim.3:2 - A bishop then must be...the husband of one wife (See also 1Tim.3:11,12)

C. Celibacy and forbidding to marry can lead to problems:

Gen.2:18 - God said, It is not good that the man should be alone
1Cor.7:9 - Let them marry: for it is bet ter to marry than to burn
Rom.1:27 - Men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another

9. Divorce, remarriage, marital infidelity and forgiveness:

(Regarding the Scriptures on divorce, remarriage, infidelity and forgiveness, there are such wide differences of opinion, interpretation and application between leading Christian theologians and denominations today, the editors felt it best to refrain from outlining them here in order to avoid appearing dogmatic about such a sensitive and personal issue. Some churches believe that the New Testament forbids divorce and remarriage in any form. Others feel that the passages in question are to be applied as guidelines tempered with love, mercy, understanding and judicial allowances. There are many sincere Christians on both sides of the fence, so the editors felt that the task of doctrinally defining this point was best left to the reader's personal faith and conviction. "Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind." Rom.14:5b.)

10. Parental duties towards their children:

A. Parents should teach children in love:

Eph.6:4 - Fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord
Col.3:21 - Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged

B. They should teach them God's Word:

Deut.6:7 - Thou shalt teach them (God's Words) diligently unto thy children (See also Deut.4:9; 11:18,19.)
Deut.31:12,13 - That their children...may learn to fear the Lord
Psa.78:5 - He commanded our fathers that they should make them known to their children
Pro.22:6a - Train up a child in the way he should go
Jn.21:15b - Feed My lambs

C. The father should provide their needs:

2Cor.12:14 - The children ought not to lay up (provide) for the parents, but the parents for the children
1Tim.5:8 - If any provide not for his...own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel
(See also Acts 20:35; Eph.4:28.)

D. The father should govern his children with authority:

1Tim.3:4 - One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity (reverence)
1Tim.3:12b - Ruling their children and their own houses well

E. Parents should chastise children when necessary:

Pro.13:24 - He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes (promptly)
Pro.19:18 - Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying
(See also Pro.22:15; Pro.23:13.)

F. The bad fruit of being an indulgent parent:

1Sam.3:13 - His sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not
1Ki.1:1,5,6 - His father had not displeased him at any time...saying, "Why hast thou done so?" (See also vs. 16-21)
Pro.29:15b - A child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame
Lk.15:12,13 - [Father of the prodigal son gave him his share, and the son then went off and wasted it with riotous living]

G. The misguided family structure of "permissive societies":

Isa.3:4,5 - Children [will] be their princes, and babes shall rule over them...child behave proudly against the ancient
Isa.3:12 - Children are their oppressors, and women rule over them

H. Beware of partiality:

Gen.25:28 - Isaac loved Esau, because he did eat of his venison: but Rebekah loved Jacob (See also Gen.27:6-17)
Gen.37:3,4 - Israel loved Joseph more than all his children...his brethren saw [it and] hated him (Also Gen.48:21,22; 42:4.)
1Tim.5:21 - Without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality

I. Examples of parental concern for children:

(See Gen.37:14; 2Sam.18:29; Est.2:11.)

J. Examples of motherly love:

(See Gen.21:15,16; Exo.1:22 - and 2:1,2 - and Heb.11:23; 1Sam.1:22-28 - and 2:18,19; 1Ki.3:23-27; 2Ki.4:17-20,27; Isa.49:15a; Mat.15:22-28; Jn.19:17,18,25.)

K. Examples of fatherly love:

(See Gen.37:33-35; 2Sam.12:15-18; Mk.5:22,23; Lk.15:20-24.)

11. A word of caution to parents:

A. Love and care makes a true parent, not merely flesh parenthood:

1Ki.3:26,27 - Her (heart) yearned upon her son...Then the king answered... she is the mother thereof
Est.2:7,20 - [Esther's uncle raised her as his own daughter]
(See also Pro.29:21)

B. God blesses the children of obedient, godly parents:

Deut.12:28 - Observe...all these Words...that it may go well with thee, and with thy children
Pro.20:7 - The just man walketh in his integrity: his children are blessed after him
(See also Psa.144:12)

C. God may punish parents by afflicting their children:

Exo.34:7b - Visiting iniquity of the fathers upon the children (See also Exo.20:5; Num.14:18.)
Job 21:19 - God layeth up (the punishment of) his iniquity for his children
Jer.32:18 - Thou...recompensest the iniquity of the fathers into the bosom of their children after them
(See also Num.14:33; Lev.26:39; 2Sam.12:13-18; 24:17; Isa.14:21)

D. Severe warning against offending children's faith:

Mat.18:6 - Whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in Me, it were better...that a millstone
1Cor.8:9,11,12 - When ye...wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ (See also Rom.14:13-21)

12. The importance of training your children right:

A. Children will often be no better than their parents:

Ezk.16:44 - As is the mother, so is her daughter

B. Good influence of parents:

1Ki.9:4 - Walk before Me, as David thy father walked, in integrity of heart, and in uprightness (See also 2Chr.17:3)
2Chr.26:4 - He did that which was right in the sight of the Lord...(as) his father...did (See also 2Chr.20:32)
2Tim.1:5 - The unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother...and thy mother

C. Evil influence of parents:

1Ki.22:52 - He did evil...walked in way of his father...and mother
2Chr.22:3 - His mother was his counsellor to do wickedly
Jer.9:14 - (They) have walked...after Baalim, which their fathers taught them
(See also Ezk.20:18; Amos 2:4; Mat.14:8.)

13. Parents as "good shepherds":

A. Parental responsibility to protect their children:

Exo.2:1,2 - [Moses' mother defied Pharaoh and hid her baby] (See also Heb.11:23)
2Ki.11:1-3 - [Baby Joash's aunt hid him from the wicked queen]
Mat.2:13-22 - [Joseph was warned of God to flee into Egypt with Mary and baby Jesus, and only to return when it was safe]

B. Parents' responsibility to defend their children:

Jn.10:11-13 - The good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep
Neh.4:14b - Remember the Lord...and fight...for your sons and daughters

C. God will help you:

Isa.49:24,25 - I will contend with him that contendeth with thee, and I will save thy children

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Copyright (c) 1998 by The Family International

James Arendt
James Arendt

My name is James Arendt. I was raised in the Hegewisch neighborhood on the southeast side of Chicago, Illinois, served in the USAF from 1970 to 1974, and became a full-time missionary for Christ living 40 years in Japan, 3.5 years in Russia, and a few months in other countries such as Finland, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, South Korea, Taiwan and mainland China where I also served the King of Kings, Jesus, as an Ambassador for His Kingdom.

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