It's becoming RARE to find truly HAPPY marriages today! Divorce is rending asunder marriages at an unprecedented rate — and for every divorce there are several other homes that are unhappy, miserable, wretched. It's about time we understood there are CAUSES for marital happiness. Put into practice those right CAUSES and you'll experience the right effects. This book brings you the true perspective of the modern Western marriage crisis — the incredible statistics about divorce and marital unhappiness — and gives you the TRUE HISTORY of marriage, along with the practical LAWS that make it work!
Why This Book Was Written
R's EASY TO FIND divorced people. Even easier to find people who know divorced people. And it's equally simple to obtain statistics on divorce; along with clamor from sociologists for "trial marriages" and "pair-bound" arrangements. But it's anything but easy to assess the heartbreak, the disappointment, the frustration and disillusionment behind this readily available mass of data. Regardless as to our modern, chic approach to divorce — our attempts to kid each other and ourselves that divorce is "not all that bad" — we're really convincing no one. Divorce is a cruel, heartless affair — taking obnoxious twists and turns through the deepest human emotions, but usually handled in grubby little offices in front of used-looking oaken desks. From the Mexican "quickies" to the sensationalized trips to Reno, Nevada, we try to kid ourselves divorce is a practical solution to otherwise insoluble problems. But one thing divorce is not. It's not happy.
In Search of Happiness
And everyone WANTS to be happy! Forget the nausea of singing the "Second Time Around," or the picture of the artificially smiling face of the newly freed spouse throwing her dime-store substitute ring into the Truckee River in Reno. That's just our window dressing. Just remember — they wouldn't have married in the first place if happiness hadn't been a result they were after. No one wants to live with heartbreak. We all want the pleasant things in life — no matter how "modern" or "stylish" our tastes. From simple sights and sounds to just plain physical comfort, we want happiness! We want excitement. Fun. Joy. We want stimulating companions — even intrigue and suspense. We want, in short, a really full and rewarding series of experiences; happiness. We most assuredly DO NOT want head colds, nausea, night sweats, physical pain or injury, economic failure and want, or loneliness and frustration. We don't want arguments and fights, or unpleasant scenes in public, or nasty, rebellious children. But something is terribly WRONG in all this. What, after all, are most of us getting out of life? Are we REALLY getting the FUN, the "KICKS," the deep and lasting satisfaction? Or are we getting the misery and wretchedness instead? Never make a mistake on this! People marry in search of happiness. They marry because they feel they're in LOVE. (Or they marry because at some time in the past they THOUGHT they were in love; and the marriage ceremony is to cover up an otherwise nasty social situation — a child without legally recognized parents.) Marriage, then, is open admission to the whole world this pair believe they have FOUND something in each other. They feel they have found the very person who will make them HAPPY — who will, somehow, by virtue of spending enough time in the intimate moments of life together, cause them to receive the joys, kicks, thrills, pleasures and happiness they seek. But what happens, in a broad MAJORITY of cases, is anything but happy. The divorce statistics prove it! And divorce is like an iceberg. You only see the surface — but the broad, hidden part underneath looms huge and unseen, just like the monstrous icy mountain that rent open the Titanic like a gargantuan can opener. For each actual divorce, there are several other couples who live together only because of necessity. That necessity may be children, financial security, pressure from church, social group or friends, any of which may cause mostly unhappy people to cling precariously to a "marital" state. But if the marriage is a hollow shell-a couple living like strangers in an unarmed truce — there's no happiness in it. The children, if any, are subjected to a home environment that is disastrous to their future well-being and character. You know of such cases. Perhaps you're living such a story, yourself. But whatever your state; whether single, engaged, married, or contemplating divorce, you need the vital information in this book. This is not psychological gimcrackery, or "pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps philosophy," but down-to-earth, practical, everyday truth every human being needs.
DIVORCE has ripped asunder every third home in the United States! Millions of children now grow up with foster parents, or no parents. Others are reared in unhappy homes, filled with sour, bitter, constant family strife. Uncountable books, magazines and newspaper articles have attacked the problem from every conceivable angle. Sociologists have attempted to uncover the cause of divorce, and marital counselors by the scores and hundreds have used every means at their disposal to save shattered marriages from divorce. All of these combined influences have seemed to have little, if any, effect.
Divorce a Gigantic Problem
Just how serious rs the divorce problem in the United States, Britain and Australia? The shocking statistics answer plainly. Divorce, with all its resulting heartache, court squabbles and homeless children, is one of the most monumental sociological problems of our times! As mentioned, in the United States, presently leading the world in divorce, one out of every three homes has known the heart-sickening experience of the divorce courts! The Family Service Association of America said, "Family breakdown is fast reaching epidemic proportions and now ranks as America's No. 1 social problem." In 1971 alone, there were about 770,000 divorces in the United States. Nearly one million children were directly affected by these proceedings. And according to the Census Bureau, fifteen million Americans have been through a marriage breakup. The current divorce rate is about seven times higher than it was 100 years ago! There are an estimated 100,000 desertions each year — all this in addition to the actual recorded divorces. The illegitimacy rate has tripled since 1938. Each year, there are more than 400,000 illegitimate babies born in the United States alone. Nearly one out of ten births is illegitimate. Another closely linked problem, that of juvenile delinquency, has nearly tripled since 1940. Besides these staggering facts on divorce and the home, many other serious problems in human relationships, problems of the family have been revealed by recent studies. The increasing divorce rate, and desertions, have contributed to the staggering number of children growing up in fatherless homes. There are now over 8.7 million such children under 18 years of age. Behind these cold statistics are human beings, whole families, whose lives have become distorted, twisted, wretched things! Little children crying "Mommy — don't leave me!" Boys and girls wondering what their choice will be when they are asked with which parent they would rather live, teen-agers knowing no homes, thousands of youths living with "foster parents" or being placed in institutions. Truly, as this Family Service Association has said, family breakdown is fast reaching epidemic proportions. LIFE magazine said, "No other civilized nation comes even close to the U.S. divorce rate. We have three times as many divorces each year, allowing for differences in population, as nations like England, France, Finland and Australia, and four to six times as many as Canada, Belgium, Norway and the Netherlands." Statistically, there is more than one divorce every minute in the United States.
Did you know the majority of murders are NOT committed by professional hoodlums in connection with a robbery? Did you know MOST murders are committed by "friends" or RELATIVES of the victims? And did you know that the Federal Bureau of Investigation reported that killings within the family make up about one fourth of all murders? Over one half of these involved spouse killing spouse (Uniform Crime Reports — 1970).
What's happening? Why such violence? Why so much anger, so much hatred between marital partners? Old-fashioned "tiffs" and "spats" between married couples have given way to fist fights, knifings, beatings, shootings! Husbands and wives involved in murder-suicide, or homicide, are increasingly in the news. But why? What terrible changes are occurring among our families? Why are so many marriages falling apart? What are the pressures that drive marital partners who once said they LOVED each other into the venomous vortex of hate? Millions of husbands and wives live together today as if total strangers. Divorce is on the increase. Separations, disappearances, desertions are commonplace. What about your home? What about your marriage? If you're not married — do you sincerely hope someday to become married — and then divorced? Do you look forward to a failure in one of the most serious steps in your physical lifetime? Of course not. If you 're presently divorced — do you know why? Do you know what happened to bring about such a tragedy? If you are one of the MILLIONS of couples who have deep marital troubles — whose lives are not really happy — don't be ashamed to admit it — and seek to do something about it, before it's too late. Our modern marriages are deteriorating. Couples today find it difficult to converse, to share, to sincerely blend together as a family unit. It's common, today, to see husband and wife sitting at a table in a restaurant — each staring at others about them, dolefully, disinterestedly — and see them silently finish their meal, pay the check, and leave. How many millions of families are there where all love real love — is gone? How many millions live like two chance acquaintances, each with his own separate life, each with his own separate thoughts, each going his own way? The point of all this is quite plain. Divorce is only the end step in a whole series of terrible mistakes. There need be no divorce whatever — quite literally — if the true cause of divorce were revealed; and, more importantly, the true CAUSE of marital happiness!
Sociologists Search for the Cause
Some very revealing facts have been brought to light by recent studies of representative groups all over the world. For instance, it was found in London, England, that vast percentages of supposedly "happily married people" would very readily SWAP PARTNERS, and that great percentages of these married people openly admitted they would not marry their present mates again! Our marriages are going mad. Thousands live together who literally hate each other. Others just barely "tolerate" an unhappy marriage-disgruntled, frustrated, MAD most of the time. WHY? What is it that turned these marriages upside down? How does it come to be that two people, who, while only years before were breathing terms of endearment to each other — proposing, making marriage plans, caught up in the joys and thrills of young love — are now in the throes of anger and violence? What makes a marriage "go sour"? The answers are varied — and every one of them actually applies. For instance, it was found that in almost 90 out of 100 divorce cases the couples are head over heels in debt. Another major factor which has been singled out was the high incidence of younger marriages taking place in the world today. For example, last June's marrying couples averaged the youngest in the nation's history! It was proved divorce occurs six times more often among those who marry under the age of 21 than among the 21 — plus brides and grooms. Another major contributing factor in the high teen marriage divorce rate was, according to most authorities, that 40 percent were forced into marriage as a result of premarital pregnancy. Hugo A. Bordeaux, executive director of the Marriage Counseling Service, Baltimore, Maryland, said, "All over America, husbands and wives cannot talk to each other. This, I am convinced, is our No.1 marriage problem...." The Institute of Family Relations in Los Angeles lists sexual maladjustment as the leading cause of marital discord. One study of 500 consecutive unsuccessful marriages found all but one placed the blame on sex! An internationally conducted UNESCO poll recently revealed that 60 percent of American and European married women feel deceived, frustrated, unhappy and dissatisfied — mainly, they believe — because no one really understands them! These are just a few of the MAJOR causes cited by leading institutes and study groups for the rampant problems of divorce. All of them, to a certain degree, are absolutely true! However, no single ONE of them provides the whole answer. That answer 'will unfold as you read.
MAYBE it "embarrasses" you to admit it — but you live in a sex-crazed world! Literature is increasingly filled with sex. But what kind of sex? Fully fifty percent of the population of the world you'll meet belong to the opposite sex. Mutual attraction, courtship, love, marriage — the attraction for, and right and normal desire toward, a potential mate, if not an inordinate, illegal, lustful desire, is RIGHT in God's sight. But a refreshing story about two clean young people who grow to love one another, and become married to establish a home would be a miserable FLOP as a motion picture today. People lust to see WEIRD sex. They want perverted, distorted, illicit sex. And the writers, directors, actors and sponsors are going to give lustful society exactly what it wants.
Sex In Entertainment
Motion pictures concern themselves with every possible evil, investigating every twisted avenue of perversion — gnawing away at the vitals of home life. A normal, wholesome, "average" courtship with resultant marriage, and the establishment of a balanced HOME life would attract NO one. But DIVORCE? Triangles? Unfaithfulness? These are "box-office!" These sell seats. In nearly all entertainment media-marriage is stultified. The picture of middle-aged couples celebrating their golden wedding anniversary gratifies no one. But divorce is praised. No longer is the public shame connected with the admission that one partner or the other has utterly failed to live a peaceful and happy married life — but virtual popularity hinges on the number of unsuccessful marriages contracted. But in the words of J. Paul Getty, reputed to be one of the wealthiest men in the world, "I'd give away all my millions for just ONE successful marriage!" The world stares at the spectacle of the "Hollywood marriage-go-round" with near adoration. Jokes in magazines ridicule the married state; imply middle-aged husbands are better off without middle-aged wives. Broken homes, triangles, extramarital excursions and affairs — these are the spicy tales that sell movies, novels and magazine serials.
Attacks On Marriage
And not only is the attack against marriage coming from sheer sensual LUST, and the perverted entertainment media — but from church leaders, from "psychologists" and "marriage counsellors." Many openly advocate the complete abolition of the married state. They promulgate free "love" — meaning the animal license to openly cohabit with any and all members of the opposite sex, regardless as to children or other unfortunate consequences. Others advocate "marriages" between men. Man with man — living together in disgusting perversion — utterly condemned by their Maker! Yes, even religious leaders talk of permitting such perverted abominations. For example, a San Francisco gynecologist told a group of general practitioners there is "no such thing as a 'good' or 'bad' sex act." The doctors were told, "When love is 'mature,' each partner's welfare is as important to the other as his own...." And, according to the gynecologist, "this 'mature' kind of erotic love is possible between two people of the same sex!" But the Almighty Creator thunders at perverted, lust driven man, "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" (I Cor. 6:9-10).
But the scales of perversion have dipped so low today that GOVERNMENTS seek to "legalize" absolute PERVERSION, just as they thought to "legalize" DIVORCE! On October 28, 1965, the House of Lords approved a bill "permitting" homosexual acts between consenting adult males in private. The bill passed by a vote of 116 to 46. Think of it! Serious adult, "educated," leaders in government are unashamed at putting their names to bills — hoping to legislate that homosexuality is "legal." Puny man shakes his fist in defiance of his Creator, thinking to make laws in open rebellion against the really living laws of God. Is it any wonder families are decaying? According to the mayor's Citizens Antipornography Commission in New York City, "A veritable floodgate of obscenity [has been] opened in the last 12 months in the form of obscene pocket books, magazines and greeting cards, to such an extent that it is unbelievable." The group reported how the pulp sex novel, once thought to be the preserve of skid row drunks and derelicts, has now emerged from the underground to become an $18-million — a-year business. This year, by conservative estimate, the burgeoning industry will produce more than 500 titles probing the slimy depths of nymphomania, transvestitism, lesbianism, male homosexuality, sado-masochism, fetishism, incest and all other weird, twisted forms of perversion — which formerly were mentioned only in medical publications.
Sex In "Literature"
Any newsstand today is a colorful collection of unabashed sex. Titles shout out infidelity, murder, rape, homosexuality, sadism, triangles, and all assorted forms of weird, mixed-up perversion. Dozens of the more "respectable" publications carry articles regularly which treat with the same subjects, though in not quite so blatant a manner. And what is the steady reading diet of millions of married mates? What is their steady TV diet? What type motion pictures do they see? What type magazines, novels, comic strips do their minds dwell on? Simple. The only thing available. Sloppy illicit sex. Perverted sex. Weird sex. Free sex. Premarital sex. Extra — marital sex. Violence and sex. Intrigue and sex. Mystery and sex. War and sex. Would you like to "kid" yourself these things are not true? Help yourself. Believe whatever makes you "happy." That's your privilege. But for those who are not afraid of the PLAIN TRUTH on the subject — one of the major, continuing reasons for marital fights, arguments, brawls, disagreements, and final DIVORCE is the steady diet of SEX AND VIOLENCE being absorbed by the average marital partners.
Prophecy for Our Time
Look what your Creator PROPHESIED of our age! "This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous [lustfully yearning for something illegal, illicit!], boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, WITHOUT NATURAL AFFECTION (but with PERVERTED "affection"], trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away" (II Tim. 3:1-5). What better description of modern society? And even religion seems anxious to cooperate. Ministers have been telling their flocks lately it's perlectly all right to commit adultery. Some have openly advocated WIFE-SWAPPING! One actually claimed such abominable and adulterous practices had "saved" a marriage! By this, he meant the couple were at least living in the same house...But by NO means is their MARRIAGE "saved"! Yes, your Bible describes the crime and sex lust sweeping across the world today — and very pointedly labels God's people ISRAEL as chief offenders! (Write for the free book, The United States and the British Common wealth in Prophecy if you haven't yet proved our national identity. Worldwide mailing addresses are on the inside back cover.) Listen to the description Jeremiah was inspired to write. "How shall I pardon thee [Israel] for this? thy children have forsaken me, and sworn by them that are no gods: when I had fed them to the full [the United States possesses nearly fifty percent of the world's wealth, but represents only six percent of the world 's population!], they then committed adultery, and assembled themselves by troops in the harlots' houses. They were as fed horses in the morning: every one neighed after his neighbor's wife"! (Jer. 5:7, 8.) What a picture! And how absolutely TRUE! Like brute animals, men bray and neigh after other men's wives. Recent publications showed America's top industrialists and businessmen admitted most of them had extramarital affairs. God says, "Behold, ye trust in lying words, that can not profit. Will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely... And... stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, 'We are delivered' to do all these ABOMINATIONS?" (Jer. 7:8-10.)
And who "delivers" our peoples to commit acts of depravity? Who attempts to salve the conscience of people who flagrantly defy every law of God? Let God answer. "For from the least of them even unto the greatest of them every one is given to covetousness; and from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely." There's the answer!... "Were they ashamed when they had committed ABOMINATION? Nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore they shall fall among them that fall: at the time that I visit them they shall be cast down, saith the Eternal" (Jer. 6:13, 15). Countless married couples have marital difficulties. They turn to marriage counsellors, to their pastors and ministers for advice. What IS the advice some of them are receiving? Many are being told it is perfectly normal to commit adultery. That sexual deviation, depravity, abnormality or infidelity is sometimes "Goon" for their marriage! What are our families "told" by the magazine articles they read? What about the television husband-and-wife shows? What do the comics say? What do the newspapers tell us about the way other families are living? They talk constantly of sex. Of infidelity, unfaithful ness, unchastity; with a liberal sprinkling of lies, deceit, hypocrisy, crime, and perversion. Many modern-day movies and television plays are a continuing probe into the secret recesses of the minds of "normal" and "modern" people — people who lie, cheat, steal, commit adultery, and drift from one meaningless experience into another.
Can It Be "Justified"?
But somehow the whole thing seems ' justified" — because, after all, isn't everyone else doing it? And besides — all the reasons for the wrong acts are carefully highlighted. By the time the crime, or the rape, or the marital infidelity is revealed — the viewer is found to be sympathizing with the perpetrator's motives. No, the modern ministry is not ashamed — and neither does it blush. Rather, leaders of large, respected religious organizations unashamedly and openly advocate acceptance of homosexuals as perfectly "normal" members of society. Unfaithful mates are excused in their doctrines. Premarital sex experience is called "wholesome" or "good." Masturbation is called "normal" and "healthy." And if all this giant surge toward wild sexual abandon is normal — if it is healthy — then just what, we candidly ask, is abnormal, and unhealthy?
What Is True Love?
Like a great, black pall settling down over the entire world, SEX has come to influence everything. As I have shown, "Hollywood," American advertising, the novels and most entertainment media have snatched love from its high pinnacle of ecstatic beauty, to dash it into the slime of sheer human sensuality! People talk about "falling" in love! But actually, when it is thoroughly understood from God's Word, it is a total IMPOSSIBILITY to "fall m love" at first sight. Genuine love is a deep, serious, OUTGOING CONCERN. It is pointed AWAY from self, a desire to help, to serve, to GIVE to the 'one who is the object of that love. And NO one EVER just "happened" to want to GIVE THEIR LIVES, their energies, their time, labor, thoughts, cares, hopes and dreams to another human being. When you first meet someone, you say, "How do you do?" Or, "My name is..." accompanied with a friendly smile and, perhaps, a handshake. Then comes a period of acquaintance. First, of course, is the appearance of the other person. Then the voice, the eyes, mouth, features, stature. Gradually, in prolonged acquaintance, and long conversations, you learn about the background of the other person. Perhaps you ask, "What do you no?" Meaning, of course, What is your occupation? Then you begin to learn the opinions, personal feelings, likes and dislikes, philosophies, and perhaps even religion of the other person. Gradually, you can come to know another person. Love for another person, true love, does not just "hap pen" accidentally. Rather, it is the end result of coming to truly know another, and then admiring, deeply respecting, agreeing with the other — and a desire to GIVE of yourself — a desire to SHARE the experiences of life with the one who is loved. Remember, human nature is basically all get. But marriage is a partnership wherein each partner contracts with the other to GIVE. Almighty God has laid down basic laws in His Word which regulate marriage. It is God who invented marriage — and it is HE who has given the laws regulating marriage — laws insuring marriage will be a success! When those basic laws are violated, they exact an immediate penalty! As one marital counselor said recently, "You don't fall in love — you climb up to it!" How could a person "fall in love" with another individual merely upon sight alone? This is obviously nothing more than base, human, physical lust — which is directed totally toward the self — and is not love.
Sex as the Expression of Love
Actual statistics collected from many studies have PROVED that an overwhelming majority of unsuccessful marriages are directly attributed by the frustrated marital partners themselves to sexual maladjustment. Dr. R. L. Dickinson, in his book, Medical Analysis of a Thousand Marriages, states that 40 percent of women never attain satisfactory marital relationships. And is it any wonder? Since the normal marital relationship is merely the highest form of the expression of the outgoing LOVE of one marital partner toward another, is it any wonder so many marriages fail today? When this relationship — designed by an all-wise Creator as an outgoing expression of love becomes a selfish, purely physical, carnal desire to get — it becomes a major reason for failure in marriage, instead of a basic reason for happy married life! The basic, underlying CAUSE of all marital failure is failure to observe God's laws of marriage! It is a part of human nature to be selfish, wanting to GET instead of give! You need desperately to understand the sex laws Almighty God has established for marital happiness. Divorce is one of the great curses Almighty God promised would come upon us because of broken laws! How many of you have even remotely realized it is God who really "invented" marriage — who authorizes marriage, who literally binds husband and wife together as one flesh? How many of you have really known, and been taught the practical, workable LAWS that will GUARANTEE happy marriages? How many of you have really heard, and known, the God-revealed spiritual principles of sex in marriage? [Editor's Note: Ambassador College has published, as a public service, a free 236-page book, titled, The Missing Dimension in Sex. This important book makes plain the Missing Dimension in knowledge of sex and marriage. It makes plain the reason why this vital dimension has been missing! The publishers must, regrettably, refuse to send this book to unmarried minors. Although it is hoped that parents will recognize the urgency of placing this volume in the hands of their own adolescent [teen-age] children, that must remain solely the responsibility of the, parents. We offer you The Missing Dimension in Sex, entirely gratis, your FREE copy on request, postpaid. See addresses on the inside back cover.!
MANY husband-wife combinations, and "family groups" are presented to the gullible public through television, or from the glamorous movie screens, or from the colorful comic strips.
Our Laughable Home Life
Some of these "combinations" and "groups" have been characterized in both television and the movies, but all are well-known and very popular comic strip characters. Usually the dolt playing the part of the husband foolishly appears in his shuffling, bumbling, ignorant role as the brunt of every joke. Incapable, or else undesirous of earning a living, he may either be an unshaven, uncouth "hen — pecked" type, or he may be the young, struggling, incapable, inefficient and frightfully stupid "white-collar worker." Nearly always, the poor brute of a husband is scolded by his wife, impugned by his children, shouted at by his boss, and ridiculed by his mother-in-law. This common "husband" has become the source of tongue-in-cheek amusement from the growing children of today. They see his position as titular, but not the actual, head of the household, dismissed because of his utter unworthiness, and gleefully read the accounts of how his own children "put it over on Dad" and make him appear to be a fool. On the other hand, the woman of the family is nearly always pictured as the crisp, efficient, businesslike manager of the household affairs, who studiously maintains a martyred expression of pain over the antics of her incapable spouse. She silences him with a word, sends him off to work with a pat, awakens him from the couch so she can sweep under him, or drags him home by the ear as he strays into the neighborhood bar for a poker game. She busily settles every problem, manages the finances, and quiets the protesting and somewhat effeminate voice of "hubby" with a sharp look. These commonplace situations are enacted before amazingly naive eyes through many different media of entertainment — and are the real state of affairs in multiple thousands of homes today!
Family Life Falling Apart
The United States Senate, deeply concerned over the rise in juvenile delinquency and its causes, heard Judge Samuel S. Leibowitz contend that America's family life "has gone to pot." Judge Leibowitz told the committee that the children in Soviet Russia regard it as an honor to go to school and quoted authorities as saying many students in our country can hardly read or write. He pointed out that family life in America has changed greatly in the past 25 or 30 years. Such incidents as a pupil assaulting a teacher just didn't happen a quarter of a century ago, he contended. "We've been drifting away from God, from family life ... There has been a deterioration in the moral climate of our country. We countenance a philosophy of permissiveness. It is shocking... while we have the highest standard of living we at the same time have the highest crime and juvenile delinquency rate, and one marriage of three ends on the rocks — in the divorce courts." (Clipping, United Press Release.) Think of it! Americans and Britons chuckle over breakfast toast and coffee at the "humor" of comic strip families, and imitate in their own homes the situation that their Creator calls an abomination! Most of us have become so steeped in our own traditions, our own customs, that we have allowed our minds to become drugged to the real laws that regulate and guide a happy marriage. God says we have forgotten His laws. It will come as a shock to most to even realize there are definite laws which regulate marriage! Americans, Britons and the people of all nations have broken God's laws regarding family life (Rom. 3:23). God says of us, "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the LAW of thy God, I will also forget thy children" (Hosea 4:6). God is the one who instituted marriage in the first place. He is the one who gave laws to regulate that union, so man and woman could live together in real, deep-down happiness and joy! God is the Creator, God "created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him: male and female created he them" (Gen. 1:27). At creation, Almighty God saw it was not good for a man to be alone, but created a woman as a wife for him! God "blessed them," and God said unto them, "Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it" (Gen. 1:28). God said, "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh" (Gen. 2:24).
Laws Regulate Marriage
Since God invented marriage, it is Almighty God who ought to know how marriage should work, is it not? God set down certain laws and rules which regulate marital happiness. Man does not want to live God's way. Rather, God shows us that "the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be" (Rom. 8:7). Our normal, natural minds are hostile toward many of God's laws as they are revealed to us. That is, if we have carnal minds. For some reason, God's laws seem to be bad to most. We would rather hold to the way of human tradition, to go the way that seems to be so right to us — to live the way of modern society and the others around us, than to go God's way, and live according to the laws He has set in motion. God knew this would happen — and said, "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death" (Prov. 14:12; 16:25). Our way seems to be right to us — it's the way we want to go, the way of society, the way of self. But Almighty God says that way is going to lead to death! Human beings have been trying to govern themselves for nearly 6,000 years without interference from their Creator-following that which seems to be right to them! All of our present-day turmoil, crime, and marital unhappiness come from the natural mistakes of mankind trying to live in the way which seems so good to him. What we see around us, then, is the net result of man's natural-minded ways of living. Look at it! A world filled with hatred, the threat of total war with the ultimate weapons which could literally bring an end to all mankind, disease, crime, marital misery and divorce, suffering and death. Man's way, which seems so GOOD to him, does end in death.
The First Marriage
Can we learn a lesson from history? Let's look at the world's FIRST marriage for a moment — let's investigate the real HISTORY of marriage and find what is the real truth. In the first marriage God ever instituted, an overall pattern began to form which has led mankind on an ever — increasing landslide toward his present-day dilemma. Notice, when God put Adam and Eve on this earth, He revealed to them the basic laws of marriage: "And thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee," God said to Eve (Gen. 3:16). The Creator said, in His wisdom, that it was "not good that the man should be alone" and so declared He would "make him an help meet [fitting] for him" (Gen. 2:18). God then set a way before Adam and Eve. They, like you, were free moral agents. God showed them the way to life, the way of happiness, and of abundance — but they chose the wrong way! Here was the ideal marriage! They had everything "going" for them! It was a marriage designed by God. It was a marriage totally unique, unlike any other in many ways.
The man was a perfect physical specimen. Adam was undoubtedly in vital, virile, dynamic good health — with perfect muscular development, a good, sound, solid body that was flawless except for one missing rib! He had that rugged, masculine, self-assured look so many women admire in men. He was probably tall, muscular and athletic, carrying himself with an easy grace. Remember! Adam was the epitome of human physical perfection! He was directly molded and fashioned by the hands of the One who was the Creator of all the universe. But what of his wife? She, too, was created perfectly. She must have been a fantastic beauty — embodying every quality that could possibly be desired by any young woman. Athletic and supple, yet feminine and soft, perfectly formed, she was in perfect health, with one of the rarest of all combinations — beauty and intelligence! These two were perfectly suited for each other. Almighty God had created them so. It was He who had ordained that they should become ONE FLESH. This was a marriage thought out, planned and designed by Almighty God. It seemingly had every chance for success. Analyze it further. Their home was a fabulous paradise. Here was a young man who had the finest of all jobs, with unlimited opportunity for advancement. Further, he had no competitors. There was no one in sight who could possibly have wanted his job, or who could possibly have taken it away from him. He had the one elusive blessing so many men on earth search for in vain today — security! And, what is also very important, he was totally out of debt! He was in absolute financial solvency, owing no man anything. He was personally well acquainted with his Employer — to the point of spending hours with Him in long talks about his future. His Employer, who was God Almighty, took such special interest in this young man that He gave him personal inside tips on how to get ahead, how to be a complete success. Never could a young married couple have had more with which to begin! Think of it! No possible "in-law troubles," and they were not married too young. There were no cultural differences, no language difficulties, no religious conflicts, no racial problems. There were no conflicts in interests through heredity, environment and background-since they both started at the same time! In short, they had absolutely none of the handicaps confronting even the average well-mated couple of today, and had everything to indicate that a brilliant life and successful marriage lay ahead of them. Never, from that time to this, has any couple had more in their favor for a happy marriage.
The First Shattered Home!
Yet, in just a short time, this man lost his home. He lost his job! He lost his security, and with it, his self — respect! He failed in his marriage, he failed his Employer, and he failed his wife. Instead of obeying the laws Almighty God had established and revealed to Adam which would have guaranteed success and long life, and a happy marriage, Adam allowed his wife to disobey — and then followed meekly along in her disobedience. Think of it. He lost everything! His wife was a failure, too. She failed her husband, hindering him in his job, instead of helping. She was an influence in the wrong direction! The two were driven from their place of absolute security — their beautiful and fabulous environment which was their home. Almighty God reveals they became miserable failures at child rearing. They obviously fought. They argued. Each blamed the other for his failures. Their children grew up in a perfectly horrible atmosphere of struggle, hard work , frustration and bitter disappointment. Here was a man who was almost overnight stripped of his wealth and security, removed from his job in a high executive position, and driven out to become a hard — scrabble farmer, eking out a bare living in the fields. Nature became his enemy instead of his ally. The ground yielded thorns and thistles — he had difficulty making a good crop — and life became a miserable, tedious struggle. The children undoubtedly grew up hearing recriminations and family arguments — witnessing squabbles and brawls between their own parents.
And Look at Their Children
Then, as if life wasn't miserable enough — these parents finally lived to see one of their own dearly beloved boys brutally MURDERED by the other! They had reared the world's first delinquent — a hardened, selfish brute of a youngster, who grew up to kill his own brother! And yet — they had everything to begin with. Everything, that is, except one thing. Marriage, you see, is all give! But they were all get! The one big thing they both lacked was the Holy Spirit of Almighty God! Adam had to live to see his progeny involved in every evil imaginable. They turned to perversion, blood-lust, rape and murder. They cheated, fought and stole! They killed each other wholesale. Yes, what a mess of a marriage! Why did such a successful beginning come to such a horrible end?
Adam Followed Eve
Because Adam and Eve broke the inexorable laws governing happy marriage. They broke at least FOUR of the great Ten Commandments, directly, and all of them indirectly! (James 2:10-11.) Adam began to relinquish his God-given position as head of the home, allowing his WIFE to make the MOST IMPORTANT SINGLE DECISION OF THEIR ENTIRE LIVES! Eve began to "wear the pants"! "And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake ..." (Gen. 3:17). God expressly let Adam realize he was being punished because he had allowed his wife to usurp his divinely appointed office and begin to lead him around! God did not exonerate Adam, and lay all the blame at the door of the woman, nor did He begin a "battle of the sexes" or unjustly accuse one party and not the other. God held Adam directly responsible! That very first marriage began a trend which has continued until this present day. Mankind has never realized that there are laws that govern a happy marriage. People simply do not want to admit that God created the marriage union! And unless those laws of God are obeyed, marriages will fail!
GOD says there is a way that appeals to man — it seems "right" to the carnal, human mind. But that way of life ends in DEATH. Its fruits are EVIL (Prov. 14:12; 16:25). What about it? Are you afraid to admit the stark truth about the wretched lives of so many millions of our families? Are you afraid to be honest with yourself about your own marriage or the one you hope to enter some day? If you're not a spiritual and moral coward , if you're not afraid to admit these things are true — then it's time you learned what God says about marriage. Marriage is something that occurs only in the HUMAN family. But WHY? Just what IS there about marriage that makes it so UNIVERSALLY "sacred"? Stone Age tribes in New Guinea exact the penalty of death for fornication — premarital intercourse. Unfaithfulness among African tribes is punished swiftly and surely! Chastity before marriage is held up as of tremendous importance among the Nepalese. Why such universal belief in the "sacredness" of marriage? Why are weddings usually occasioned by ceremony? Why is marriage such a legal matter? Ever think about it? Because marriage is the foundation of EVERY society it's the backbone and muscle of a nation; the head and heart of a tribe; and it pictures a union on a spiritual plane! Laws govern marriage.
Laws Must Be Obeyed
And those laws are living. They're just as inexorable as the laws of physics or chemistry. Just as all-powerful as the law of gravity, or inertia, or the laws of thermodynamics. You can't SEE "gravity." But you can FEEL ITS EFFECTS! You can't "see" (though you can read about them) the laws of marriage — but the penalties are swift and sure when those laws are broken. God is the great LAW giver. He INVENTED marriage. Not only did God set invisible laws in motion which exact penalties when broken — He ordained tremendous rewards and blessings for obedience to those laws. It's the same in every facet of life! Your body is a marvelous mechanism. Obey the laws that govern its health and well-being, keeping fit by right foods, plenty of sunshine, fresh air, exercise and adequate sleep, and your body can experience radiant and joyous health — filled with vitality. But violate the laws of your body, and headaches, backaches, night sweats, hallucinations, fears, worries, aches and pains, colds, flu, arthritis, hernias, corns and bunions, constipation, fatigue, and a monumental host of strange diseases is the result. It's the same with your marriage! Do YOU resent one another? Do YOU argue, disagree, become disgusted, annoyed, irritated, short-tempered with your mate? Do YOU "get fed up" with the actions of your partner in life? Do certain personal habits of your mate irritate you? Do you fight? Do you brawl? Do you even curse one another? Millions do. And no wonder! They're smashing the laws of marriage — trampling underfoot the very rules of marriage that could produce such joys as they have never known before.
God Created Marriage
Animals don't marry. Humans do. And while marriage is PHYSICAL in nature — it was instituted by a SPIRIT Being, God the Father, and is SPIRITUAL in origin! When God first created man on this earth (and He did create man — and you can prove it!) He said, "It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make an help meet [perfectly FITTING; exactly compatible!] TO him" (Gen. 2:18). It was GOD who ordained marriage. He made man and woman to be perfectly compatible one toward the other — the perfect team — mentally, physically and spiritually. Since God invented marriage, it was He who had the prerogative to lay down the inexorable laws concerning it. Those laws protect the home — bind the partners together by a spiritual contract! Though societies demand licenses, blood tests, justices of the peace or ministers — it is God who binds the marital partners together for life. Notice it! "Have ye not read, that He which MADE them at the beginning made them male and female, and said, 'For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh'? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore GOD hath joined together [not man, or the lesser laws of man!], LET NOT MAN PUT ASUNDER"! (Matt. 19:4-6.) Marriage, then, is a physical union — but it is divine in origin, and it is a spiritual contract, high above the lesser laws of human societies. Once bound in heaven, that contract is unalterably in effect till death. Marriage is serious. Marriage is permanent. Marriage is for adults.
Why Is Marriage?
But WHAT IS MARRIAGE FOR? Is it really a passing social phenomenon? Only a temporary transition in social evolution? In the minds (?) of many a would-be sociologist — so it seems. Those who have ignorantly concluded there is no God — and there fore no great Lawgiver who ordained marriage and who binds it for life — seek to destroy the building blocks of society itself. BUT, there is a great Lawgiver who ordained marriage (James 4:12). Marriage is for much greater purposes than simple propagation of the races. Let's understand! God is a ruling family of persons! (Write for our free article "Is Jesus GOD?" for details.) In the beginning God said, "Let us make man in OUR image" (Gen. 1:26). The word used in the ancient Hebrew for our English word "God" was Elohim which is a uniplural word (collective noun), such as "group," "church," "family," and so forth. It means one God, but more than one Person composing that one God — just as a family is one family,' but may be composed of two, five, or more persons. Read carefully the first chapter of John and the first chapter of Hebrews. You'll see the clearest proof that the One who DID the commanding and creating revealed in the book of Genesis was the great One who later "emptied Himself" (Phil. 2:6-7) and "took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men"! Jesus prayed to His Father. He reveals a FAMILY relationship between Himself and His Father in heaven, calling us His children! Now notice a spiritual principle of vital importance! God inspired Paul to write HOW we may come to know more about the "hidden" things of God — HOW we may better understand His great plan; more about His GOD HEAD and office! "Because that which may be known of God is evident [margin] to them; for God has SHOWN it to them. For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead" (Rom. 1:19-20). God says you may understand more about Him, about His Godhead by looking at the material creation! So look at the material creation. Think about it.
Cycles In Nature
All life begins with a small germ; a seed, or life-giving sperm cell! A tiny grain of mustard seed; a bean; an acorn; or a human sperm cell. Thus a butterfly lays eggs; the eggs become larvae, the larvae become pupae, and the pupae hatch into butterflies. Bean seeds become stalks; the stalks flower, are germinated, and produce' bean seeds. The new seeds produce more stalks, and so on. All life is CYCLICAL! Boys and girls mature, and marry. They engender children, who mature and marry. All life is male and female. Even in plant life, whether spores or seed plants, there is still, however difficult to discern, that cyclical life character evident! Ignorant savages, instead of seeing the handiwork of a great and all-knowing God in the marvels of creation, began worshiping the creation itself. Evolution is just another form, dressed up in "modern" language and dress, of ancient pagan superstition about how the earth and all myriad life upon it might have begun. No new species are being formed today. No new life cycles are being started. It should be obvious to anyone that the cycle of life had to have a beginning. Somehow the chicken and the egg, the bean and beanstalk, the "'human parents and their little baby, all got started at some time in the past — and, furthermore, they all started at the same time, since life is interdependent. No life form lives or dies entirely to and for itself. Rather, each form of life is intricately balanced with, and dependent upon, other life forms. Looking to the physical creation, you see families! Whether mineral, plant, or animal, various kingdoms or families are evident. God reveals a definite pattern by His creation, to which His greatest creation of all, man, remains insensate. But among all these great "family" groups — MAN ALONE marries! And why? Simply because human beings are not equipped with instinct, but with MIND. Baby animals automatically, through instinct, take their place in the animal kingdom. But baby humans must be taught. This vital teaching and training of children is only one of many reasons why God established the marital state; the home. You were born for a GREAT PURPOSE — greater than the human mind can, of itself, ever imagine. (If you have not understood the almost fathomless truth about the very purpose in human life, be sure to write immediately for our FREE booklets, Why Were You Born? and Why Marriage!) That great purpose, as you will understand when you have really studied our free booklets, involves being BORN AGAIN — born of God! It involves becoming a member of the God family! God IS a family. He is working out a marvelous plan to enlarge His family, to recreate himself-adding to HIS family by the begettal of children — the very picture of human marriage.
Happiness — Result of Lawful Conduct
Space permits only the briefest mention of this truly awesome meaning in human marriage in this book. You need to learn much you were never taught about yourself, and about your marriage. God intends every human being to experience marriage! He had said, "It is not good that man should live alone," when He provided the perfect life's partner for Adam. Even though, for specific reasons and special jobs, God did not allow a small number of His servants to marry, it is, nevertheless, in His overall purpose that humans marry! The family is the BASIS of all society. It is the beginning of culture, of knowledge, of true religion, and of authority. It is the very essence of protection, of solidarity, of security, of love and warmth, of understanding — of mutual respect and equality. And God intended it so. Your home was your first protection. It was your first shelter, your first knowledge, your first happiness, your first experiences in life. But today, millions of children are born OUT of wedlock — without any home. Millions more are cast adrift by parents who rip apart a home. Other millions continue to live in a home torn asunder by strife, by lustful, hateful, perverted practices. Our homes are sick! Sick societies breed sick homes — it's a contagion. And whether people's "standards" change or not; whether "societies" change or not; the LAWS GOVERNING MARRIAGES DO NOT CHANGE! They remain inviolable — absolute! People can break those laws — societies can IGNORE those laws — but the penalty will be exacted, nevertheless!
GOD INSTITUTED marriage. He binds married couples together. Jesus said, "Have ye not read, that He which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain [two] shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, LET NOT MAN PUT ASUNDER"! (Matt. 19:4-6.) Marriage is a physical union. But it is a DIVINE INSTITUTION! And God Almighty stands back of it. It is NOT an accidental, changing phenomenon of ancient tribal customs — and it is not destined to become a "thing of the past." What are the laws that will protect the home? What kind of order should exist in the family? Who is in charge? Is marriage a 50-50 proposition? Should wives leave out the word "obey" when saying their marriage vows? Listen to what your Creator says about the government in the home — and compare. Think about it. Ask yourself whether your marriage is governed this way — God's way. Ask yourself whether you know many whose marriages are governed this way.
God's Government in the Home
Just as God has set offices in His Church for rulership and government (Eph. 4:11), so He has set offices in the home! Most people are totally ignorant of the God — appointed chain of authority that exists in the family, and hence are unconsciously reaping the results of breaking those appointed laws! God says, "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). And yet — most American women want the word "obey" taken out of the wedding ceremony! Just as most modern "religionists" want the word "obey" taken out of the entire Bible! God says the wife is to be subject to" the husband just AS the Church is subject to Christ. Because most professed Christians do not really consider themselves directly subject to Christ, who is their present, living Ruler, their Boss, they cannot bring themselves to see God's authority in the home! God says further, "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, AS UNTO THE LORD" (Eph. 5:22). How many wives are really willing to submit in God's way to their husbands? Whether "modern" 20th century women like to admit it or not, God Almighty made them to be subject to a man — and has decreed they CANNOT FIND HAPPINESS WITHOUT THAT SUBMISSION! Pa u l, inspired of God's Holy Spirit, wrote: "But I would have you know, that the Head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the Head of Christ is God" (I Cor. 11:3). Paul further explained that "The man is not OF the woman; but the woman OF the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man"! (I Cor. 11:8-9.) God's examples of holy women, who really knew the key to happiness, show this same truth. Peter writes, "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 [conduct] of the wives" (I Pet. 3:1). God describes the WAY these women lived, by showing the example of Sarah, who was Abraham's wife. "For after this manner [according to His divinely revealed ways] in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him 'Lord,' whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well ..." (I Pet. 3:5-6). Any such glowing example of Godly humility has become outdated and "old-fashioned" today. In other words — happiness for women has become outdated and "old-fashioned."
Is It All One-Sided?
But does God intend that women bow their necks under a domineering yoke of bondage and submit to just any kind of husband, regardless of his actions? Not at all. GOD ACTUALLY HOLDS THE MAN — WHOM HE ORIGINALLY PLACED IN AUTHORITY — RESPONSIBLE! Just as Jesus Christ is the most responsible person (together with God) alive today, He intends that the husband be the responsible head of his family! "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the Church, and gave Himself for it; that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of the water by the word" (Eph. 5:25-26). Christ gave Himself for the Church. Husbands are to love their wives in the same manner! "So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loves his wife loves himself" (Eph. 5:28). God is the protector, provider and ruler of His Church. So is the man to fulfill that office toward his wife. "But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel" (I Tim. 5:8). God demands of the husband that he be able to support and provide for his wife, and that he fulfill the great office and responsibility God has placed upon him. The husband is the literal head of the family; and, further, is head of it in exactly the same manner as Christ is Head of the Church. Few professing Christians will really understand this. Why? Simply because precious few professing "Christians" of today look upon Christ as their loving, forgiving, understanding, kindly, yet masterful, firm, strong, powerful ruler! They don't acknowledge Him as Boss over their lives! How does Christ RULE in His true Church? Remember, Christ is ruling over a group He has mercifully forgiven! Who composes the Church? Former crooks, criminals, perverts, sex deviates, liars, cheats, murderers, adulterers, fornicators, hypocrites, slanderers. Does that sound too strong? Let's ask God about it. Paul was inspired to write, "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. And SUCH WERE SOME OF YOU: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God" (I Cor. 6:9-11). God says, "For I will be merciful to their unrighteous ness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more"! (Heb. 8:12.) And what a tremendous statement. What if God had said, "For I will not be merciful — and their sins and iniquities will I remember forever!"? We would live our lives in terror of God, if He had. But God promises, "For as the heaven is high above the earth, so GREAT is His mercy toward them that fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath He removed our transgressions from us" (Psalm 103:11, 12). WHOM does Christ rule over? Human beings — filled with faults, shortcomings, and weaknesses! Former sinners. Yet He rules in LOVE, in deep understanding and patience — not condoning sins, but forgiving them when they're repented of! How should husbands "rule" over wives? As Christ rules the Church! That means deep understanding when unpleasant situations occur. It means overlooking some of the weaknesses, the faults, the mistakes. It does not mean condoning wrong conduct, but it means a totally different attitude in correcting such problems than most husbands possess. And how many husbands do you know who are just as patient, as understanding, as kind to their wives as is Christ to the Church? How many are just as firm in their absolute dedication to God's laws — yet just as forgiving when a sin has been repented of?
Some Not Capable
Some men are not capable of assuming this God-given responsibility as head of the house! Because of lack of training from their own parents, and because society has gotten away from the way of God, most men do not, or cannot shoulder their responsibility. Any man who is a drunkard, or a man who will not support his wife, or who refuses to accept the position God has demanded he accept has actually disqualified himself. Yet — that is between the man and God! It is NOT the place of the woman to bitterly indict the man for his sins, and then to assume HIS responsibility of being the breadwinner, the provider and protector of the home. Many women have decided it is their obligation to step into the "pants" of the family, and become its HEAD, because their husbands either are not capable, or else refuse to accept that responsibility! Such is not the case. She should do whatever is necessary for the temporary welfare of the house, but always with the goal of encouraging her husband to take over HIS responsibility, realizing it is not her place. The purpose of this chapter is not to give a blinded, bigoted harangue against women! God Almighty does not hold the woman as RESPONSIBLE for the abominable situation existing today as He does the man! Since man is to be the HEAD of the family — God holds the responsible one to blame for the breaking of that principle!
Through the hundreds of years of "doing what comes naturally" to the carnal mind, which is naturally hostile toward God (Rom. 8:7), we have made our own beds of misery — and are now lying in them. Our homes have been literally turned upside down! The man has refused to shoulder his burden and responsibility as head of the home, and the woman has tried to usurp his position and place herself at the head of the house. The result is self evident. Our cities teem with a restless, surging, vicious group of young hoodlums who have been reared under these very conditions, and, following the example of our entertainment media, and the example of their own mothers and fathers, they have come to totally disrespect all constituted authority. Police officers, dealing with child criminals, have revealed it is an underlying, basic lack of respect for any authority which is a root cause of delinquency. Authority begins in the home. Why are most women frustrated, miserable, unhappy? Because they have gotten out of their own element! "But I suffer NOT a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence"! (I Tim. 2:12.) Why are most men becoming more feminine, failing in their duties as fathers and husbands? Because they, too, have gotten out of their own element-into an unnatural element — trying to be a wife and a mother instead of the head of the home and a father! God says the man is to RULE his own house — well! "One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity. For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the Church of God?" (I Tim. 3:4-5.) Remember, God indicts the MAN when He says, "As for my people, CHILDREN are their oppressors, and women rule over them" (Isa. 3:12).
It is not at all unusual for men to be doing such household chores as sweeping, dusting, washing dishes, cooking and preparing meals, and a myriad of other wifely chores which rightfully belong to the woman! Of course it is not wrong for the man to help out his wile jf she becomes ill, or in a temporary circumstance! However, in anything other than an emergency, those tasks are women's tasks, and should be done by women! What about your home? Is it like many "modern" homes today? It is not uncommon for men to do the shopping, to care for the children, or get the meals, while the wife is staying out late in the afternoon with her job, or perhaps taking part in one of the many thousands of women 's civic organizations designed to make this world a "better" place to live. A lot of men are quivering, quaking, spineless jellyfish instead of men, and it's about time some of them wake up and realize it. Perhaps you have known of similar situations — perhaps you're LIVING in similar situations! What about it? Are you beginning to realize why there is so much unhappiness, emotional turbulence and ultimate divorce in the common American home? It is because of our national way of life — because we have turned our homes upside down!
God intends that the husband and wife be a team, working together toward the only worthwhile goal in life the Kingdom of God! Most people do not have that as a goal — but they could still be much happier if they observed God's divinely ordained laws of marriage! Marriage, it is said by most modern people, is a 50-50 proposition. That means each mate is to ideally "meet the other halfway" in their natural-minded selfishness. However, as is usually the case, there develops an unclear idea as to where that "middle line" actually is, and neither mate seems to be able to convince the other he or she is not meeting his or her side of the responsibility! Endless arguments develop over the other doing his share more fully. First of all, marriage is not a 50-50 proposition! God meant it to be a 100-100 proposition, whereby it's ALL the way for each partner, ALL the time. The husband is willing to give 100% to the wife, and the wife is willing to GIVE 100% to the husband. Mankind has jerked love from its original place of perfect giving, and pointed it toward SELF, making it mean, in our modern language, a "getting" and a receiving instead of a giving! Love, as advertised in our movies, novels, and comics, is all GET — pointed toward making the SELF happier. But — if a husband and wife are really in love, according to God's definition of love (who created love!) they will be willing to each GIVE to the other! If that were true, countless marriages that are threatening to break up, and end in divorce at this very minute could be saved! But a total lack of consideration seems to be the rule — with the woman trying to be a man, and the man trying to play the docile role of a homemaker! Whether modern women realize it or not, it is a heinous crime against their husbands, against their children, and a crime against their ALL-powerful CREATOR for them to leave the home to WORK and support the family. "That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers AT HOME..." or, as some translations render it, "HOMEMAKERS!" "... good, obedient to their own husbands, THAT THE WORD OF GOD BE NOT BLASPHEMED"! (Titus 2:4-5.) There! Did you notice it? Read it again. It is blasphemy against the sacred, inspired Word of God, which Word is going to judge you in the judgment, for a woman to forsake her God-appointed office of being the keeper of the home! That is the thundering command of your Creator, who grants you every sweet breath of air you draw into your lungs! But — only reading the truth of God, and nodding in silent agreement to it, is not going to make you any happier — nor will it solve your marital problems! You must DO something about it.
"you are at fault — and I am not going to budge one inch until YOU apologize, and say you 're sorry!" "No — you started it all," is the quick retort, "and you will have to apologize first!" Could this be your home?
What's Wrong Here?
Almighty God "invented" marriage. Therefore, God had the right and the prerogative to "regulate" marriage! In the beginning, God set down certain laws which, if they were obeyed, would result in happy, scintillating, interesting, full lives-the true abundance which all mankind is seeking, but in vain. God, the Originator of government, has established a government in the home! It is because of a lack of understanding of how this government works that many are not experiencing the happiness in marriage they really desire. From the previous chapters you have already come to understand the organization in the home. You know that the husband is to be the one in charge, the wife is to be obedient to the husband, and the children under their parents, and so on. But do you know how it works? Yes — what's wrong with an argument such as the one described? Who is really in the wrong?
The Husband's Obligation
First, let's notice that God said, through the Apostle Paul, "But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God." He went on to say, "For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man"! (I Cor. 11:3, 8-9.) Later, in writing his letter to the Church at Ephesus, the Apostle Paul was inspired to say: "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For th husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the Church: and He is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the Church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything"! (Eph. 5:22-24.) Notice the words "even as." The one distinguishing difference between the true Church and all others is its obedience to Christ! And, notice, God commands that the husband is to be the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the Church! Most of you women have thought these verses were all aimed at YOU. But they are not. While they are commands with regard to the status of the wife in the marriage — they are aimed directly at the man! God holds the man responsible! God is pointing these commands directly to the man, who is to BE the head! He is not the head merely because the wife "lets him" be the head — or because she accepts this as a "doctrine" and then belligerently says, "All right, I'll go along with it." For instance, in a study appearing in one of the major weekly news magazines some years ago, a very respected judge, who was quoted earlier, Samuel S. Leibowitz of the Kings County Court in Brooklyn, reported on a study he made in Italy. He found, in traveling all over Europe and in Italy, that the Italian home is one that seemingly has more government, and, as a result, the Italian society has less juvenile delinquency than any other country he had entered. He summed up his full experiences by saying America's delinquency problem could be solved in nine words. The nine words were, "Put father back at the head of the home!" True — in a way! But the very fact that he worded it in this way proves that some other power, some other source, some other person must do the "putting"! Even this, then, is a sad admission of the upside-down condition of most American homes today. God wants us to know that the wife is not the one to "put" her husband at the head of the home — but the husband is the one to put himself there!
A Wife's Responsibilities
Paul also wrote, "Wives, SUBMIT yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord" (Col. 3:18). But what if the husband is not "in the Lord"? Is the wife still to submit to him? We are told by the inspired Apostle Peter that we ought to "obey God rather than man"! That is, where the higher government and laws of God conflict with the lower powers and government of man, we are to obey God first, and then take whatever penalty man may wish to mete out. However, let's assume a hypothetical situation: the husband still has a lot of faults and bad tendencies. The husband, through forgetfulness, carelessness, or through sheer selfishness, tries the wife's patience almost beyond endurance by some of his habits or ways. The wife then decides that the husband is not acting "as it is fit in the Lord"! And therefore, begins to automatically assume that she does not have to respect, to obey, to submit herself unto him. Wives assume that the very second their husbands evidence the slightest ineptitude in their handling of the wives and homes, that this gives automatic and immediate permission for the WIFE to begin to berate the husband, to argue with him, to snap out at him his faults, and to begin to "wear the pants"! This is simply not true. Notice it. The Apostle Paul described a home where one member wasn't even trying to obey God! "But to the rest speak I, not the Lord [that is, he was not quoting a personal statement of Christ]: If any brother have a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away. And t he woman which has an husband that believeth not, if he be pleased to dwell with her, LET HER NOT LEAVE HIM! For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean ; but now are they holy" (I Cor. 7:12-14). Yes, "unfair" as it may sound to some women, and especially those who still have a great carnal tendency, God says that even if the husband is totally selfish — makes no "pretense" at being religious one way or the other, smokes, drinks heavily, and curses, but if he is "pleased to dwell with her," and if he is a husband providing for her and supporting her, and wants to keep on living with her as his wife — she is commanded on the authority of the sacred Word of God, to honor him, to reverence him, to be humble and submissive to him, and not to leave him. Rather, she is to be subject to him in everything-so long as his commands do not directly conflict with the higher commands of God.
Let's Answer These Questions!
Husbands, do all of you literally, diligently, faithfully, and honestly before God, treat your wives with the same care, mercy, love, consideration and dutiful solicitation for their welfare — just AS Christ does the Church? Do you care for them, protect them, provide for them, love them (and love means an outgoing concern) in the way you know Christ does His Church? The chances are — all of you men will have to unanimously say you fall short in this! And you wives — do every ONE of you absolutely honor, respect, hold your husbands in high esteem and even a little bit of "AWE"? Do you look upon them, and treat them with the deference and respect as you might Jesus Christ Himself in the flesh? Are you so concerned with the inspiration, the help, the productivity, the growth of your husband that you are a constant help, a strong and stable companion, a daily inspiration to him? Do you stand in abject fear of berating him, scolding him, nagging at him, in the same way you would fear to do such a thing to God Almighty Himself? Pretty strong questions, aren't they? No, every single one of us certainly falls short in these things! But we shouldn't!
A Formula for Love
Knowing the government in the home agreeing with it — is not enough! You must know how you should put it into effect. First, let me give you the usual procedure when a "family argument" develops. Usually, one party or the other has done something that is selfish, thoughtless, inconsiderate, or even deliberately wrong. Immediately the other party, regardless of which sex, will begin to berate, nag at, scold and condemn the actions of the other! This condemnation and scolding only leads to further condemnation and scolding, with an attempt at self-justification on the part of the other partner — and this leads to a chain reaction on the part of the opposite partner — and so it goes. To illustrate: "John" has had a long day at the office. Thoughtlessly, he neglected to call his wife when he stayed later with some friends, and the dinner got cold. "Mary" had had her hands full with the children, scorched her finger with the iron, had the soup boil over and burn on the element of the stove, and has seen her dinner get cold, on top of it all. When John comes home, Mary begins immediately, in a shrill and venomous manner, to berate him saying, "Well! It's about time you got home! You could have at least called me! Here I am, burdened down with the children, etc., etc." John stands there — taking it all in — coming to a slow boil! He reasons in his own mind, "Here I am, slaving at the office, bringing home the living, trying to provide for my wife, and instead of a comforting pat on the shoulder, a meal that she could have kept warm for me, and a comfortable atmosphere, I come home to THIS!"
Husband Should Take Charge
And so, instead of apologizing for his being late, and then taking the situation in hand, he begins to snap back at Mary — and a full-fledged family argument is under way! What should they have done? John should have immediately taken charge. He should have begun by APOLOGIZING for his misdemeanor — believe it or not! He should have said, "Dear, I'm awfully sorry I forgot to call — it was sheer negligence on my part , and I'll try to remember not to do it again — but" and then John should begin to show that regardless as to any wrong action, thoughtlessness, negligence, or even out-and-out deliberate SIN on his part — that "two wrongs never make a right!" Even though he should be willing to admit his mistake and his error, and to sincerely and lovingly apologize for it — he should take charge, and remind his wife that she, too, is guilty! He should say, "Come here," and go to their sofa and sit down, and open up his Bible — reading through some of the scriptures on husband and wife relationships, beginning by explaining that he is often at fault — that he does make mistakes — and that he does not want to attempt to JUSTIFY those mistakes. Of course, most of you wouldn't even know where to go to find those scriptures. If you want to learn more about the Bible, write in for our FREE Ambassador College Correspondence Course. The husband should also remind the wife of her responsibilities, and he should remind her that even if he were a drinking, smoking, swearing, poor excuse for a husband, who is not even making the slightest attempt to live a Christian life, he would still be her husband, and the head of the household. He should show the wife patiently and lovingly, that he is NONE of these things, that he IS trying, but that he does make mistakes!
Have Family Prayer
Then after going through a thorough Bible study on the subject — after admitting his faults, and having his wife acknowledge hers, he should kneel down and lead in family prayer! He should begin by asking God's forgiveness for his own faults, for his thoughtlessness or his carelessness — and then he should ask God's forgiveness for the error of his wife! He should pray for their mutual understanding, that God will help them both to draw together, closer, in real love and harmony so they can serve Him! He should remind himself and his wife in their prayer to God that their heavenly Father is not the author of confusion, but of PEACE. He should pray from the heart, and really MEAN IT! If you husbands and wives will diligently follow this practice, never failing to settle these problems in God's prescribed way — you will begin to experience greater happiness and joy in your married lives than you ever did before!
Why is family life deteriorating so rapidly in our societies? Simply because the entire WAY OF LIFE of our modern "cultures" has totally changed. Families simply don't live as families enough. Take the entertainment picture. How many millions of families sit before the television set by the hours — oftentimes even including mealtime-with hardly a word passing between them except whatever is necessary for food, or turning the dial? Drive-in movies, restaurants, clubs, lodges, parties, novels, television, shopping trips; all these take their toll on our family life. How often do you enjoy an interesting evening together around a piano? How often do you teach your children some useful and constructive skill? How often do the parents play various constructive games with their children? If you do plan an evening out, or a short trip; is your family included? When you go to a restaurant — are the children with you? Think about it. Family life is being stifled in our modern societies -simply because many families have CEASED BEING families-and are becoming public gatherings of casual acquaintances.
Do You Know Each Other?
Parents don't know their childrens' friends; their studies in school; their hopes and dreams. Children don 't really know their parents- don't even know exactly what Dad does for a living. Don't know what kind of a day Mom lives. You don't believe it? Take a test. Ask your boy or girl exactly what kind of work you do. What are the problems you face — what are the various aspects of your labor? Ask your children to describe the mother's day at home. You may be surprised. Parents — ask your children what they did in school. With whom they did it. What did they learn by it? You'll find yourself in a discussion with your children if you do. Don't kid yourself. You know most of you are simply not living together as a family! So why be surprised, if you're having family difficulties? You can change. Any time. It's entirely up to you. Why not begin to include your family in nearly all your entertainment? Why not begin to really control your TV viewing? Why not begin to have meals together more, and make them interesting by deliberately creating interesting topics of conversation? Try living a day differently — starting tomorrow!
Your DIFFERENT Day!
First, prepare for the day, the night before. Go to bed early enough to get up about one-half hour or an hour earlier than you usually do, depending on circumstances, of course. Plan to spend that extra time around the breakfast table, and after, with your family! Wives, plan ahead what kind of "special" change you're going to put into the breakfast routine. Husbands, plan ahead how you'll spring out of bed, and regardless of how you feel, force yourself to say a cheerful and happy "good morning!" to your wife and children. Supervise your children's dressing, their hygienic measures — and do so with real cheer in your voice, teaching them how to do it better, more effectively. Bounce into the kitchen with a whistle, or a song make yourself enjoy the morning. Think about the activities of the day — don't just bury yourself in morning news, or papers, or worrying about the problems you'll face later. Think about the welfare of your own family first. Think philosophically! Ask your children why they got up. It'll tax your imagination — and surprise them! All right, why did you? So you can prepare to work, so you can prepare to come home; so you can be prepared to work again? Or is there a purpose in your living? When you ask — you'll have to find an answer. The results could be pretty interesting. Husbands, while you're on the job, put your whole being into it — but in an off moment, take time to think about your home, your family!
Don't Live "Accidentally"
Call your wife once in a while, if for no other reason than to tell her you love her, and how sweet she is to you. Think about doing something a little different for her on your different day. Take home a dozen roses, if you can afford it — or even a nice card, if you can't. Express yourself. You'll be amazed how much your wife will appreciate it. Wives, THINK about what your husband is doing FOR YOU during the day — plan to make his evening as relaxing, as interesting, as comfortable as possible. Too many couples live accidentally. They stumble through one necessary routine after the other — never really looking ahead, never really accomplishing anything deliberately, with planned thought, in advance. But your marriage is like a beautiful garden. It needs lots of careful attention — needs watering, cultivating, pruning, weeding out of wrong practices and habits. It needs diligent work — not just casual, accidental thoughtless happenstance. Why not TURN OFF YOUR TELEVISION set just for once — and force yourself to find some constructive, useful thing to discuss-or a game to play, or something to read aloud, or some music to play, or listen to? What about an old-fashioned ice-cream freezer? How about showing the children how to make it? Even your boys would like to learn a little about cooking, too, Mom-and they should! You'll be surprised how QUIET it gets around the home when your TV is turned off for one whole evening. And you'll be surprised how much it may tax the ingenuity of some of you to simply find something to do. Can we get the point? Happiness is NOT THE RESULT OF AN ACCIDENT. A successful marriage is not the result of a fortuitous match! Rather, it 's the end result of a lot of carefully thought-out, planned, diligent effort! It takes work! Marriage is a profession — and it takes a lot of SKILL to really succeed at any marriage.
Make GOD a Part of Your Home
And above all, quit leaving God out of your home and family! Begin a morning family worship hour — and make it a daily habit! Parents should select certain scriptures, and begin a regular series — so the children will know what to expect. The father and mother should select a certain portion of the Bible as a starting point. (How about reading some of the Proverbs aloud to your children — think of example s where you can apply them, and put them in simple terms so your children can really understand?) Then, even if you have to get up a few minutes earlier each morning, the whole family should be seated in the living room, or some other place, and the children be taught to sit quietly and attentively while the father opens the Bible and expounds and explains a few passages. The father should read the scripture, then rephrase it, expound it, enlarge upon it, explain it, put it in simple, easy-to-understand terms, give down-to-earth everyday examples of these principles in action, so your children will be sure to understand. Ask them questions about it, have them repeat the principles back to you. The mother should add her bit now and then, helping the children to understand. Remember, this should be done in perfect harmony. The father should lead, the mother follow second, and the children maintain their place as God has intended!
Have Family Prayer
Then, all should kneel, and the father begin a very brief oral prayer. He should mention the challenges of that particular day, the need of God's Work, and especially pray about those things pertaining to his own personal family! The mother should then follow his lead, adding whatever points she has thought of. The children, then, should be encouraged to pray-and perhaps their parents will even have to add certain words or remind them of things during the prayer — TO TEACH THEM TO PRAY! Jesus taught His disciples to pray! This does not have to be a literal hour in length! Usually, a family will not have this much time. But, depending upon the size of the family, it certainly should never go less than fifteen minutes! For a family of three to five, about fifteen to thirty minutes would seem to be a good average.
Don't Let Circumstances Intervene!
Every temptation on the face of this earth will come to try to keep you from doing this! The telephone will ring, friends will come, emergencies will arise, you will over — sleep, or something will happen. That is Satan 's way of trying to lead us off, and trying to get us to "slip up" on such a practice! We do not mean this should substitute for your earnest daily prayer. You should do your own personal praying in private, just with God and Christ alone! However, for just a few minutes each morning, you should have this daily ORAL prayer as a help to your whole family. Does it embarrass you to pray? Why? There's no "special" method. God hears you when you want Him to. Turn to some of the Psalms — see how David prayed. Read the fifth and sixth chapters of Matthew -see what Christ taught you. Get away from the formal ceremony of stereotyped prayers you learned from your parents and grandparents. TALK DIRECTLY TO GOD. He's really listening! (Write for our FREE article on "The Answer to Unanswered Prayer.") You know you'll find it pretty difficult to continue in a bad mood when you ask God to become a listening, active, living member of your household. Do you know God? Do you know His nature, His purpose, His promises to you, personally? If so-get busy and USE that knowledge. If you don't know these things — then get busy and prove them to yourself. But realize one vitally important fact. Any marriage based on God's laws, and any marital partners seeking God's help will never separate, will never end in divorce, will never result in violence. What is the foundation of your home? Is it your Creator? Or lust, jealousy, vanity and greed? Is it the Bible, and the laws of God, or the "ideas" of your friends, neighbors, parents, and business associates? Your marriage can be as happy as you want it to be. As successful as you're willing to have it. And no other human being on earth can change it — it's all entirely up to you!