Manuscript Releases, vol. 10 [Nos. 771-850]


MR No. 814—Marriage and the Christian Home

Ellen White at Her Granddaughter's Wedding—You each [Dores E. Robinson and Ella M. White] have an identity of your own, but in that identity there must be a unity. There is constantly to be a development of the faculties that God has given you, that you may improve, improve, and that you may indeed be looked upon by the heavenly angels with commendation. We care more for that than everything else beside. Let the light of heaven shine right in the home—and we believe it will—in every word and in every action. 10MR 179.1

You are not called to give up your identity; you each have an identity of your own. These may not always run in the very same channel, and yet there may be that blending that God requires. The husband is the houseband, the husband, the priest of the household, and the wife is the teacher, as she shall fill her place in the household, whatever may be her employment. If she has children to nurse and take care of, let me tell you there is a lesson there, Oh such a lesson, that God wants everyone to learn. The wife, united with the husband in the fear of God, is to be a strength and power in the church. God can make them thus. Well, then, how shall they blend? Counsel together. And if there be any difference of opinion, yet we would say, Counsel together, and the blessing of God will come right into the heart. 10MR 179.2

Christ was at the marriage in Cana. There He worked the miracle of turning the water into wine. Our Saviour ever honored the marriage relation and we want to say, wherever you may be, and whatever your circumstances may be, we have a God, One who loves us, One whom we can honor. If we would honor Him our lips should ever speak in wisdom. Here is the wife, the queen of the home—the blessing of God can rest upon her that she may be a sunshine, a sunbeam, in the house. Never, never, in any way, speak in a manner that would irritate. The voice is a talent: it is a talent of God. It is to be so cultivated that it will bring peace and harmony and light and love. 10MR 179.3

Here are these who are covenanted to the work of God. A great work is before us. Where their ministry will be we cannot say, but unitedly they can carry forward the work much better than separately. They can help one another; they can encourage one another; they can be a blessing to one another; and the Holy Spirit of God can rest on them as they bear the ministry to those who shall need their help. Both have an experience in this line; both feel an intense interest to cultivate the ability of talents which God has given to them to the very best and highest account; and if they are connected with the God of heaven, what a power they can be unitedly to blend together, to strengthen one another, and to carry forward the work of God intelligently. 10MR 180.1

I am very thankful today that I believe the Lord is present in this very assembly to accept this ordinance of marriage, and we thank you all that are here that you are present. We want to say to every one of you, There is a very great and a very grand work before us. We cannot discern it now. Time steals on, steals on so gradually, and the powers of darkness, like a thief, are watching their chance that they may make all the evil possible. 10MR 180.2

Now we are as men and women to stand in our allotted place, with the whole armor of righteousness on. To him that, what?—gives up to the powers of darkness, and yields to every influence?—No. “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame and am set down with My Father in His throne.” Now here is the work of overcoming. These do not give up this work, but they are blended together, to strengthen themselves in the work, and to go wherever the light of heaven shall shine upon their pathway. 10MR 180.3

We believe God will lead them; therefore we are fully in harmony with this unity, and we believe heaven is in harmony with it; therefore, these young people that have worked in the cause of God, that have tried to do His work, can now double their influence, increase their capabilities and their talents, by blending in the work of God. It is not a lesser work that is before them, but it is a higher, it is a more sacred, it is a more important work that they will have to do in the future than in the past; and may the blessing of God rest upon them right here. 10MR 181.1

I feel that it would be a privilege for me to bow, right here in this company, and plead with the Lord that His blessing may go with them. I know not when I shall see them again: perhaps never after I leave here. I am in my seventy-eighth year, and yet God has spared my life. There is a great work for us to perform, and I want that every one of us shall feel the importance of laying hold of that work intelligently, with hand put to hand, mind to mind, strength to strength, power to power, to carry forth the work of God, to seek and to save perishing souls. A little longer and He that is to come will come, and will not tarry. I want to offer a prayer here in this congregation before I shall leave: 10MR 181.2

(Praying) My gracious heavenly Father, I come to Thee at this time because Thou hast invited us. Thou hast said, Ask and ye shall receive, seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you. Now, my heavenly Father, I ask Thee, when difficulties and trials and opposition that they may have to meet in the work shall come, may they remember this threefold representation, asking, seeking, knocking, with the assurance that they shall be heard, and that the blessing of God will come to them. 10MR 181.3

We believe Thee, our Lord Jesus; we trust in Thee. We are so grateful that Thou hast thought upon us, and that Thou hast left the heavenly courts and that Thou hast come to our world to connect with humanity, that humanity might connect with Divinity, through believing in Thee. Oh, my heavenly Father, sweep back every mist and every cloud of darkness, that it may not interpose between this people and the promises which Thou has made to them. Thou hast given Thy life—a life of suffering and abuse, and oh, at last, at last, Thy body was nailed to the tree, and by crucifixion Thou hast died. Now, my Saviour, we want kept before us the great love that Thou hast manifested to us, that we might repose in Thy love. 10MR 182.1

Let Thy blessing rest, we pray Thee, upon Dores; let it rest upon Ella; and we ask Thee that Thou wouldst take charge of them, that Thy Holy Spirit would rest upon them. May they have an eye single to Thy glory, and may they bear in mind Thy words, “He that will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” Oh, when oppressed, when weighed down, open the clear light that the sunshine of Thy glory may shine upon them, and that they indeed may reflect Thy light to the world. The light that Thou shalt give them, may they impart. 10MR 182.2

I ask Thee, Lord, that this congregation that is here this evening may realize the presence of God, our Saviour, with the crown of life presented before us, and encouraging us to put on the whole armor of God, and to fight the battles of the Lord, and be prepared that when He shall come in His glory, they may say, “Lo, this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He will save us” (Isaiah 25:9). 10MR 182.3

Bless this people; bless this sanitarium; let the glory of God be revealed; let the light of heaven shine upon them here; and may prosperity attend the medical missionary work. We pray Thee to sanctify the people and those that shall come here. Thou, the mighty Healer, can help them. Thou canst save them, if they will give their hearts to Thee. We ask Thee to let Thy power and Thy blessing rest upon the people. Encircle them in the arms of Thy mercy, and love them freely. O my Saviour, who is like unto Thee? None, none that can save to the uttermost but Thee. We give ourselves to Thee this evening. Wash away our sins; cleanse us in the blood of the Lamb; and may we be present when the family shall assemble in the kingdom of God, and we become members of the royal family and children of the heavenly King; and then we shall strike the golden harp and fill all heaven with music and songs to the Lamb. 10MR 183.1

We give ourselves to Thee this evening. Accept us as Thy denominated people, and Thy name shall have all the glory. Amen.—Manuscript 170, 1905, 2-6. (“Marriage and the Christian Home,” remarks spoken at the wedding of Dores E. Robinson and Ella M. White at Sanitarium, Calif., May 1, 1905.) 10MR 183.2

True Marriage Not a Lottery—I wish to present before you some things existing in yourself that have been at the foundation of the sorrow and disappointment which you unjustly charge upon others. I have often read these words: “Marriage is a lottery.” Some act as if they believed the statement, and their married life testifies that it is such to them. But true marriage is not a lottery. Marriage was instituted in Eden. After the creation of Adam, the Lord said, “It is not good that the man should be alone: I will make him an help meet [suitable] for him” (Genesis 2:18). When the Lord presented Eve to Adam, angels of God were witnesses to the ceremony. But there are few couples who are completely united when the marriage ceremony is performed. The form of words spoken over the two who take the marriage vow, does not make them a unit. In their future life is to be the blending of the two in wedlock. It may be made a real happy union, if each will give to the other true, heart affection. 10MR 184.1

But time strips marriage of the romance with which imagination had clothed it, and then the thought finds entrance into the mind through Satan's suggestions, “We do not love each other as we supposed.” Expel it from the mind. Do not linger over it. Let each, forgetful of self, refuse to entertain the ideas that Satan would be glad to have you cherish. He will work to make you suspicious, jealous of every little thing that shall furnish the least occasion, in order to alienate your affections from each other. Life is a real matter, and it can be made unbearable by the husband and wife. When the romance is gone, let each think, not after a sentimental order, [but] how they can make the married life what God would be pleased to have it. 10MR 184.2

Life is a precious gift of God, and is not to be wasted in selfish regrets or more open indifference and dislike. Let the husband and wife talk things over together. Renew the early attentions to each other, acknowledge your faults to each other, but in this work be very careful that the husband does not take it upon himself to confess his wife's faults or the wife her husband's. Be determined that you will be all that it is possible for you to be to each other, and the bonds of wedlock will be the most desirable of ties. Let not the thought be entertained for one moment that you are bound by irrevocable vows to one whom you cannot love. It is as a terrible nightmare for two persons to be apparently living as one through a lifetime, and yet be in reality as two. 10MR 185.1

The evil is always increased when either the wife or the husband, finding someone who appears to be a congenial spirit, ventures to whisper to this trusted one the secrets of the married life. The very act of making known the secret confirms the existence of a condition of things that would not be at all necessary if the husband and wife loved God supremely.—Manuscript 112, 1894. (“Marriage and Unselfishness,” March 1894. From DF 360.) 10MR 185.2

One of the Signs of the Last Days—Please read the first chapter of First Corinthians. Paul directs his words “unto the church of God which is at Corinth.” [1 Corinthians 1:2-10 quoted.] 10MR 185.3

My brother E, remember that the woman who receives the least manifestation of affection from a man who is the husband of another woman, shows herself to be in need of repentance and conversion. And the man who allows his wife to occupy the second place in his affections is dishonoring himself and his God. This thing is one of the signs of the last days. But surely you do not desire to fulfill this sign. This is the part that the wicked are to act. Christ will take charge of the affections of those who love and honor God, causing them to center upon proper objects. 10MR 185.4

My brother, your wife has her faults, but so have you. She is your wife still. She is the mother of your children, and you are to respect, cherish, and love her. Guard yourself carefully that impurity may not abide in mind or heart. 10MR 186.1

A strain of spiritualism is coming in among our people, and it will undermine the faith of those who give place to it, leading them to give heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. Let all who have been listening to seducing fables stop right where they are. The Lord has guarded and kept them, and He will be a father to them if they will act as obedient children. 10MR 186.2

We are just God's little children. All pomposity, all masterly effort to gain the supremacy, is unbecoming to us. [1 Corinthians 1:25, 27-31 quoted.] 10MR 186.3

These plain words are spoken that there may be no misunderstanding. 10MR 186.4

Paul continues: [1 Corinthians 3:1-17 quoted.] 10MR 186.5

Brother E, your case was presented to me some time ago, but I have delayed writing, thinking that I might see you and talk with you. You are being imprisoned with a dangerous sentimentalism, and this has nearly spoiled you and the one who has permitted you to make her your favorite. You need not ask God to bless you in pursuing this course. In this matter, your mind has been worked by the enemy, who stands ready to control those who give place to spiritualistic affection. 10MR 186.6

You have a wife, and you are bound to her by the law of God. “You have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.... It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery” (Matthew 5:27, 28, 31, 32). 10MR 187.1

May the Lord help you is my prayer. Now is the time to fight the good fight of faith; now is the time to wrestle against the prompting of the natural heart. Now is your time to be as true as steel to your marriage vows, refusing in thought, word, or deed, to spoil your record as a man who fears God and obeys His commandments. You have been imbibing spiritualistic ideas. But if you will now turn wholly to God, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ will be imparted to you, and truth will triumph in your life.—Letter 231, 1903, pp. 2-7. (To a prominent worker, October 5, 1903.) 10MR 187.2

Sacredness of the Family Circle—At the feasts which the world provides, the richest provisions are usually placed before the guests first, but on this occasion [the marriage at Cana] the best was kept till the last. When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water which was made wine, he at once detected the difference between this and that which he had before drunk. It was superior, the best he had ever placed in his lips. Calling the bridegroom, he “saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine: and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now” (John 2:10) 10MR 187.3

Christ desired this figure to represent the marriage supper of the Lamb, and He would have the symbol as perfect as possible, with all the objectionable features which usually attend a marriage festival dropped out. 10MR 188.1

What Christ does is fully done, and this is the plan on which His servants are to work. In the waterpots filled by His word there was more wine than was required for the feast. By this He would teach us that the provision which the Saviour's grace and righteousness makes for us is full and abundant. Those who come to Him for the bread of heaven and the water of salvation will always be supplied. He does “exceedingly abundantly” above all that can we can ask or think. 10MR 188.2

Christ came to our world to cause heavenly light to shine amid the moral darkness. He came to make men and women understand that the marriage institution is sacred. His presence at Cana gave high endorsement to this ordinance. The wife is to respect her husband. The husband is to love and cherish his wife; and as their marriage vows unite them as one, so their belief in Christ should make them one in Him. What can be more pleasing to God than to see those who enter into the marriage relation seek together to learn of Jesus and to become more and more imbued with His spirit? 10MR 188.3

The home is an institution of God. God designed that the family circle, father, mother, and children, should exist in this world as a firm. The father is to act as priest in his own house. He is the “house-band’” and what his influence will be in the home will be determined by his knowledge of the only true God and Jesus Christ whom He has sent. “When I was a child, “Paul says, “I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things” (1 Corinthians 13:11). The father is to stand at the head of his family, not as an overgrown, undisciplined boy, but as a man with a manly character and with his passions controlled. He is to obtain an education in correct morals. His conduct in his home life is to be directed and restrained by the pure principles of the Word of God. Then he will grow up to the full stature of a man in Christ Jesus. 10MR 188.4

Affection cannot be lasting, even in the home circle, unless there is a conformity of the will and disposition to the will of God. All the faculties and passions are to be brought into harmony with the attributes of Jesus Christ. If the father and mother in the love and fear of God unite their interests to have authority in the home, they will see the necessity of much prayer, much sober reflection. And as they seek God, their eyes will be opened to see heavenly messengers present to protect them in answer to the prayer of faith. They will overcome the weaknesses of their character and go on to perfection. 10MR 189.1

The voice is an entrusted talent, and it should be used to help and encourage and strengthen our fellowmen. If parents will love God and keep the way of the Lord to do justice and judgment, their language will not savor of sickly sentimentalism. It will be of a sound, pure, edifying character. Whether they are at home or abroad their words will be well chosen. They will descend to no cheapness. They are bought with a price, and they are to glorify God in their body and spirit which are His. They belong to God, and their deportment is to be consistent. 10MR 189.2

Christ has made every provision that every parent who will be controlled by the Holy Spirit will be given strength and grace to be a teacher in the home. This education and discipline in the home will have a molding and fashioning influence. There should be no fermented wine to tempt the appetite of the children. If you are under the control of the Spirit of God, you will put all the energy of your being into what you do, and a sanctifying influence will pervade the home. Blemishes in your character will be overcome and parents and children will grow up to the full stature of the measure of the fullness of Christ.—Manuscript 36, 1899, 1-4 (“The Marriage at Cana.” March 21, 1899.) 10MR 189.3

Marriages That Heaven Cannot Bless—Instituted by God, marriage is a sacred ordinance and should never be entered upon in a spirit of selfishness. Those who contemplate this step should solemnly and prayerfully consider its importance, and seek divine counsel that they may know whether they are pursuing a course in harmony with the will of God. The instruction given in God's Word on this point should be carefully considered. Heaven looks with pleasure upon a marriage formed with an earnest desire to conform to the directions given in the Scripture. 10MR 190.1

We read in God's Word: [2 Corinthians 6:14-16 quoted]. If we follow Christ, His Holy Spirit will work and speak through us and we will be living epistles, known and read of all men. [2 Corinthians 7:1: Leviticus 26:11, 12: and 1 Corinthians 3:16, 17 quoted.] 10MR 190.2

Once let the barrier which the Lord has erected in regard to the marriage relation be broken down, and unless this transgression against the law of God is seen in its true colors, the sacredness of the marriage relation will not be appreciated, and steps will be taken which show an utter disregard for the Word of God. 10MR 190.3

The truth of God is to be held as more precious than anything else, and the man who will sacrifice truth to obtain a wife reveals that his appreciation of the law of God is of a very low grade, and that self-gratification rises superior to a “Thus saith the Lord.” Of a man who will put his own impulses before the Word of God a woman may well be afraid, for he has no just appreciation of what marriage means. He who obtains his wife by disloyalty to God cannot expect the blessing of God to rest upon his marriage. He practices a lie in order that he may avoid detection, violates the law of God that he may gratify an unholy passion or indulge his fancy, and he cannot be happy. He who is not true to his God cannot be true to his wife. 10MR 191.1

Convicted of sin, he may repent of his action in yielding up the truth in order to obtain his wife, and may return to his obedience to the fourth commandment. But by doing this he places his wife in a most unfavorable position. She opposed the truth so strongly that she refused to marry one who believed it, and in order to gain her consent he dishonored God by giving up the Sabbath, leading her to believe that this would be always so. Now that he has changed, it will be very hard for him to make up for his lack of honesty. How distrustful he should be of himself! How careful he should never, by word of action, to give her cause for a further lack of confidence. If thoroughly converted, he will do all in his power to be a faithful husband and father, bearing with meekness whatever opposition he may receive from his wife, remembering that she is placed in a hard position by being united to one who believes a truth she would not receive. 10MR 191.2

He will give her no occasion to think that he enjoys the society of young ladies more than he does that of his wife. He will abstain from the very appearance of disloyalty to his wife. He will not leave her to bear the larger share of the family cares, increasing her burdens by his exacting faultfinding ways, but as increased responsibilities come, he will be tender and thoughtful, seeking to relieve her of all unnecessary suffering or anxiety. Even if she is not all he might desire a wife to be, he will remember that he has given her cause for a lack of confidence in him, and he is not all that a woman desires in her husband. He promised that if she would marry him he would give up the Sabbath, and believing this she married him. This promise he has broken, and if he would once more gain his wife's confidence, he must be faithful and true in every particular, in small matters as well as in larger responsibilities. 10MR 191.3

My brother, this is the course you should have pursued, but has it been so? Did you ask counsel and guidance of God before marrying your wife, or did you follow your own way? You bound yourself to love and cherish a woman who only accepted you on the condition that you would give up the Sabbath of God. But the man who yields to impulse and his own unconsecrated passions and selects an unbeliever for his wife, yielding up the claims of God, promising to give up the Sabbath if she will marry him, takes a step that will bring unhappiness into his family. He sells his birthright for a mess of pottage. And the woman who trusts her life to such a man will never feel the respect for him that a woman ought to feel for her husband. Every marriage engagement should be carefully considered, for marriage is a step taken for life. Both the man and the woman should carefully consider whether they can cleave to each other through the vicissitudes of life as long as they both shall live. 10MR 192.1

But you chose between God and your wife, and made the choice by becoming disloyal to God. You determined to have your own way, and you sold the Lord God in a very cheap market. By this act you brought upon your Christian life the reproach of disloyalty. You imperiled your soul by buying your wife, and the result has been as might be expected. 10MR 192.2

Your object gained, you did what you had intended to do after you were married. You again accepted the Sabbath. But how did your wife regard this? What effect did it have upon her? A stumbling block was laid directly in the way of her regarding favorably your profession of faith. Having violated the law of God to obtain a wife, you were not happy in your marriage relations. Your wife did not forsake you, but you forsook her, leaving to her the care and responsibility of two sons. After you had been absent three years, you irreverently and recklessly disregarded the marriage relation by placing your love, or your fancied love, upon another, and sought to take another wife. Of how much confidence is a man worthy who will thus leave his wife and children and seek to contract a second marriage? Even before your wife obtained a divorce, you placed your affections upon another. 10MR 193.1

In taking this step, you saw no further ahead in regard to the importance of it than when you first showed your disloyalty to God in order to gain your object. You showed that you had no experimental knowledge of God, but that your desire to please self overbalanced your desire to please God. Under such circumstances could your second marriage have borne the signature of heaven? Would you have been a faithful husband and a wise father? Your first marriage was a violation of the law of God. By seeking to contract another while your wife was still living, you dishonored God and showed that you either had not a sound religious faith, or were not of a sound mind. 10MR 193.2

The divorce obtained by your wife was no more than could be expected. The man who will give up his loyalty to God in order to obtain a wife will not be loyal to his wife, and you yourself have laid the foundation of your trouble. The course you have pursued in your home life has been a mistake from the beginning, and your wife has reason to consider that she and the children would be happier without your company. Were I to hear of any woman proposing to enter into the marriage covenant with you, I would feel it my duty to warn her against it, for you have in your disposition the attributes of a tyrant. You expect a woman to submerge her will in yours, preserving no individuality of her own. The spirit you manifested in your connection with your wife's mother was not as God would have it, but was directly against the principles contained in His holy Word. You are critical and exacting, and you have a harsh, cruel spirit. In your married life you have not pursued a course which would keep your wife's love or win her to the truth, and you need much of the softening influence of the spirit of the meek and lowly Jesus in your life, that you may not bring a reproach upon the truth which you profess.—Letter 17, 1896, pp. 1-6. (To a church member who had married out of the church, and been divorced, May 10, 1896.) 10MR 194.1

Comments on Family Situations in Australia—Mr. T is a carpenter by trade. They have eight children. Mrs. T said, “This preaching we are having is wonderfully different from anything we have ever heard, and the Bible is a new book to us. We seem to be quite slow of understanding, but we think we must keep the Sabbath. It is a very important step. We want to understand it more thoroughly. If it is the truth, what else can we do than to obey?” I told her I would send her Steps to Christ. She said, “Please send us writings that are simple, and easy to be understood, for we are so ignorant in regard to these new and wonderful interpretations of the Scriptures. I am perplexed with the cares of a large family. We are all in good health. Our diet is very simple. We have much to be thankful for, but I am hasty in temper and become impatient when I think my children are doing wrong. Will you pray for me especially, and understand I am thinking and trying to understand my duty?” 10MR 194.2

We had a most precious season of prayer with the family, and we know that angels of God were in the midst of us. There is help in Jesus for all such souls. These have since come out decided on the truth, with several others. 10MR 195.1

I have thought of the request of Sister T many times since. She said, “Oh, I want that precious faith that seems so positively necessary for me. Do send me something simple that my mind can grasp, that I can take hold of this faith to believe Jesus is a present help in every time of need.” We find this is the great want of the soul—something that the needy, longing soul can grasp, something easy to be understood. The great reason why many do not lay hold of this truth is that it is so easy. They think they must do some great thing, and that God expects them to go through some wonderful process in order to be converted, but when we present the truth as it is, in its beautiful simplicity, they stand amazed. “Is that all?” they inquire. 10MR 195.2

We need to make the way of life just as clear as it is in Jesus, that all may see the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Simply to take God at His word seems so easy they hardly dare accept it. 10MR 195.3

The Lord gave me much freedom in speaking to these assembled under the tent, an intelligent-looking people that listened with deep interest. Brother M came twelve miles to the meeting with his wife. She has been a bitter opposer, and the features speak the bitterness of the spirit within, but we have hope she will yet go with her husband and daughter. Her daughter, about 18 years old, first took her stand, saying, “Father, I must keep the Sabbath.” He said, “Daughter, if you feel it is your duty, do this, and I will support you in so doing.” Next the father took his position firmly upon the truth. He called his large family together, grown-up boys and smaller children, and told them he had decided that the seventh day is the Sabbath, blessed of God and enjoined upon the human family to keep, that he would rejoice if his children and the mother also would all unite with him: but if they did not do this, they must understand that no work was to be done on his premises on the Sabbath. He has two large fruit orchards. He said that the horses must not work, his children must not work, for thus saith the commandment. The Bible must now be his guidebook. “Now,” said he, “you know my word is law, and I shall expect you to refrain from all labor on my premises on the seventh day.” We have strong hope that others of the family will unite with the father and the daughter. I could see that while I was speaking the opposing wife was somewhat affected. We hope for good. Brother M is a thoroughly converted man. His wife is a Wesleyan Methodist, and this class are generally bitter as gall against the truth.—Manuscript 23, 1894 (New South Wales, April 9, 1894.) 10MR 196.1

A Marriage Ceremony in Australia—About 11:00 a.m. Tuesday our large dining room was prepared for the wedding ceremony [of Carrie Gribble and Brother Hickox]. Brother [G.B.] Starr officiated in the service, and it passed off nicely. The request was made by Brother Hickox that Sister White should offer prayer after the marriage ceremony. The Lord gave me special freedom. My heart was softened and subdued by the Spirit of God. On this occasion there were no light jests or foolish sayings. Everything was solemn and sacred in connection with this marriage. Everything was of an elevating character and deeply impressive. The Lord sanctified this marriage, and those two now unite their interest to work in the mission field, to seek and to save them that are lost. God will bless them in their work if they walk humbly with Him, leaning wholly upon His promises.-Manuscript 23, 1894. (New South Wales, April 9, 1894.) 10MR 196.2

Marriage, and Christ's First Miracle—[John 2:1, 2; 1:1-15: Genesis 1:26-31 quoted.] 10MR 197.1

He who gave Eve to Adam as a helpmeet performed His first miracle at the marriage festival. In this festal hall, where friends and relatives rejoiced together, He commenced His public ministry. 10MR 197.2

By His presence at this gathering, our Saviour sanctioned marriage, recognizing it as an institution He Himself had formed. In the beginning, when the Sabbath law was given to man, the marriage law was also given. Then God bestowed on man His two great gifts—woman as a helpmeet, and the Sabbath as a day of rest. 10MR 197.3

Marriage has received Christ's sanction and blessing, and it is to be regarded as a sacred institution. True religion does not counterwork the Lord's plans. God ordained that woman should be united with man in holy wedlock, to raise up families that would be crowned with honor, who would be symbols of the family in heaven. 10MR 197.4

Priests and popes have made laws forbidding priests to marry, and secluding them in monasteries. These laws and restrictions were devised by Satan to place men and women in unnatural positions. Thus Satan has tempted human beings to disregard the law of marriage as a thing unholy, but at the same time he has opened a door for the indulgence of human passion. Thus have come into existence the greatest evils that curse our world—adultery, fornication, the murder of innocent children born out of wedlock. 10MR 198.1

Christ knew all about the human family, and at the beginning of His public ministry He gave His decided sanction to the marriage He had sanctioned in Eden. Thus He witnessed to all that He will not refuse His presence on marriage occasions, and that marriage, when joined with purity and holiness, truth and righteousness, is one of the greatest blessings ever given to the human family. 10MR 198.2

Jesus came to our world to rectify [man's] mistakes and to restore the moral image of God in man. Wrong sentiments in regard to marriage had found a place in the minds of the teachers of Israel. They were making of none effect the sacred institution of marriage. Man was becoming so hardhearted that he would for the most trivial excuse separate from his wife, or if he chose, he would separate her from the children and send her away. This was considered a great disgrace, and was often accompanied by the most acute suffering on the part of the discarded one. 10MR 198.3

Christ came to correct these evils, and His first miracle was wrought on the occasion of the marriage. Thus He announced to the world that marriage, when kept pure and undefiled, is a sacred institution. 10MR 198.4

The Scriptures state that both Jesus and His disciples were called to this marriage feast. Christ has given Christians no sanction to say, when invited to a marriage, “We ought not to be present on so joyous an occasion.” By attending this feast Christ taught that He would have us rejoice with those who do rejoice in the observance of His statutes. He never discouraged the innocent festivities of mankind when carried on in accordance with the laws of heaven. A gathering that Christ honored by His presence, it is right that His followers should attend. After attending this feast, Christ attended many others, sanctifying them by His presence and instruction. 10MR 198.5

The feast was in progress, and an important point in the ceremony had been reached, when it was discovered that the supply of wine had failed. Mary at once went to Jesus, saying, “They have no wine.” She had an interest in this ceremony, and Christ had ever been to her a wise counselor. The answer was, “Woman, what have I to do with thee?” This should be, “What hast thou to do with me?” This was not in any sense disrespectful. Christ was always respectful, kind, and courteous to all, but He was especially so to His mother. Christ was engaged in His Father's work, and He must follow the dictation of no one but God. 10MR 199.1

Mary understood His words as encouragement, not rebuke, and she said to the servant, “Whatsoever He saith unto you, do it” (John 2:5). 10MR 199.2

“And there were set there six water pots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece” (verse 6). In those days the Jewish religion was composed largely of forms and ceremonies. A certain amount of washing was required by the law, but they carried this matter to an extreme, prescribing certain forms never required by God, and making a tedious process of that which was intended to cleanse and refresh. Seeing the stone jars standing there, Christ bade the servants fill them to the brim. This was done, and He said, “Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it” (verse 8). [John 2:9, 10 quoted.] 10MR 199.3

The wine created by Christ at this time was the best wine those present had ever tasted. But it was free from all fermentation. Christ Himself had forbidden the use of fermented drink, saying, “Do not drink wine nor strong drink, thou, nor thy sons with thee, when ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die: it shall be a statute forever throughout your generations: And that ye may put difference between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean; And that ye may teach the children of Israel all the statutes which the Lord has spoken unto them by the hand of Moses” (Leviticus 10:9-11). 10MR 200.1

Fermented liquor confuses the senses and perverts the powers God has given. He is dishonored when men have not sufficient respect for themselves to practice strict temperance. Fermented wine is not a natural production. The Lord never made it, and with its production He has nothing to do. When Paul advised Timothy to take a little wine for his stomach's sake, and often infirmities, it was the unfermented juice of the grape he meant. 10MR 200.2

The use of fermented wine caused Nadab and Abihu to confuse the sacred and the common, and death was their penalty. After this, severe restriction was placed on those connected with the sacred service. They were prohibited from touching wine or using grapes in any way, that they might avoid the consequences of becoming familiar with fermented wine. When food or drink which bewilders the brain is placed in the mouth, the destroyer sees his opportunity to enter and dethrone reason. Be assured that Paul never advised Timothy to use what the Lord had prohibited. 10MR 200.3

Some who claim to be Christians clothe themselves with fig leaves and feel at liberty to use intoxicating drinks, and they claim to be in harmony with Christ in this particular. But Christ did not set the example they claim to imitate. Be assured that Christ would not have made intoxicating wine on the occasion of His first miracle. He gave to those present a safe drink to give to all humanity—the pure juice of the grape. 10MR 201.1

Christ never placed a glass of fermented liquor to His lips or to the lips of His disciples. Drunkenness was rare in Palestine, but Christ looked down the ages and saw in every generation what the use of wine would do for the users. Therefore at this [marriage] feast He set a right example. 10MR 201.2

He did not give publicity to His action, and at first only a few knew of the embarrassment of the governor. But after the wine made by Christ was brought in, great astonishment was expressed by the guests regarding its superiority over the wine first placed before them. The knowledge of the miracle became known, and the very work Christ desired to see done was accomplished. The faith of the disciples was confirmed. This miracle was to them a convincing testimony that He was the world's Redeemer. 10MR 201.3

Christ's future work shows the influence of this miracle. [John 4:46-54 quoted.] 10MR 201.4

Christ did not touch the water in the jars. He simply looked upon it, and it at once became like wine fresh from the cluster. Only a few days before, Christ had refused to work a miracle to satisfy His hunger. He was weak and emaciated, for He had been without food for forty days and forty nights, but He would not command the stones to become bread to satisfy His appetite. To the temptation of the enemy, He answered, “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). Neither would He accept a challenge to imperil His life by casting Himself down from the pinnacle of the Temple to prove that He was the Son of God. In answer to the challenge, He said, “It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God” (verse 7). But on the occasion of the wedding feast, Christ desired to show that marriage is not forbidden by God. 10MR 201.5

The divine love emanating from Christ never destroys human love, but includes human love, refined and purified. By it human love is elevated and ennobled. Human love can never bear its precious fruit until it is united with the divine nature and trained to grow heavenward. Jesus wants to see happy marriages, happy firesides. The warmth of true friendship and the love that binds the hearts of husband and wife is a foretaste of heaven. 10MR 202.1

God has ordained that there should be perfect love and perfect harmony between those who enter into marriage relation. Let bride and bridegroom, in the presence of the heavenly universe, pledge themselves to love one another as God has ordained they should. Let no draught of unkindness chill the atmosphere which should exist. 10MR 202.2

The wife is to respect and reverence her husband, and the husband is to love and cherish his wife. As the priest of the household, the father should bind his wife and children to his heart. The wife should feel that the large affections of her husband sustain her before the children are born, and after their birth he should cooperate with her in the management of the little ones, who should be wisely, tenderly, lovingly educated. 10MR 202.3

The family relationship should be sanctifying in its influence. Christian homes, established and conducted in accordance with God's plan, are a wonderful help in forming Christian character. Families here should be a symbol of the great family above. Parents and children should unite in offering loving service to Him who alone can keep human love pure and noble. [Ephesians 5:22, 23 quoted.] If this instruction had been heeded by those who enter into the marriage relation, the home life would be pure and elevated, garrisoned by a holy love. 10MR 202.4

Christ came not to destroy the law, but to fulfill its every specification. He came to pull down and destroy the works of oppression that the enemy had raised up everywhere. It was in perfect harmony with His character and work to make known the fact that marriage is a sacred and holy institution. 10MR 203.1

God made from the man a woman, to be a companion and helpmeet for him, to be one with him, to cheer, encourage, and bless him, and he in his turn to be her strong helper. All who enter into matrimonial relations with a holy purpose—the husband to obtain the pure affections of a woman's heart, the wife to soften and improve her husband's character and give it completeness—fulfill God's purpose for them. 10MR 203.2

Christ come not to destroy this institution, but to restore it to its original sanctity and elevation. He came to restore the moral image of God in man, and He began His work by sanctioning the marriage relation. He who made the first holy pair, and who created for them a paradise, has put His seal upon the marriage institution, first celebrated in Eden, when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy.—Manuscript 16, 1899, 1-11. (“The Marriage at Cana of Galilee,” February 19, 1899.) 10MR 203.3

Earthly Family a Type of the Family in Heaven—“And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee: and the mother of Jesus was there: And both Jesus was called, and His disciples, to the marriage” (John 2:1, 2). 10MR 204.1

The joyous festivities of a Jewish wedding were preceded by solemn religious ceremonies. In preparation for their new relationship, the parties performed certain rites of purification, and confessed their sins. 10MR 204.2

A most interesting part of the ceremony took place in the evening when the bridegroom went to meet his bride and bring her to his home. At the house of the bride a company of invited guests awaited the appearance of the bridegroom. As he approached, the cry went forth, “Behold the bridegroom cometh: go ye out to meet him.” The bride, clothed in pure white, her head encircled with flowers, received the bridegroom, and accompanied by the guests they went from her father's house. By torchlight, with impressive display, with sounds of singing and instruments of music, the procession slowly proceeded to the house of the bridegroom, where a feast was provided for the guests. 10MR 204.3

For the feast the best food that could be secured was provided. Unfermented wine was used as a beverage. 10MR 204.4

It was the custom of the time for marriage festivities to continue several days. On this occasion, before the feast ended it was found that the supply of wine had failed. When a call was made for more wine, Jesus’ mother, thinking that He might suggest something to relieve the embarrassment, came to Him and said, “They have no wine” (John 2:3). 10MR 204.5

Jesus replied, “Woman, what have I to do with thee? Mine hour is not yet come” (verse 4). Jesus loved and honored His mother, and His words were not spoken disrespectfully. Notwithstanding His reply, Mary felt assured that He would do something to help them in their perplexity. 10MR 204.6

The active part that Mary took in this feast indicates that she was not merely a guest, but a relative of one of the parties. As one having authority, she said to the servants, “Whatsoever He saith unto you, do it. And there were set there six water pots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins a piece. Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them to the brim” (verses 5-7). 10MR 205.1

Christ did not touch the water, nor approach the jars. He simply said to the servants, “Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it. When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine,” with glad surprise he said to the bridegroom, “Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now” (verses 8-10). The bridegroom made no reply. He knew not whence this wine had come. 10MR 205.2

In answer to the inquiries that arose, the servants gave an account of the miracle by which water had been changed to wine of the purest flavor. 10MR 205.3

The action of Christ at this time was left on record for all ages, that men might see that Christ did not fail even in such a perplexity as arose on this occasion. Yet He never worked a miracle to help Himself. A few days before this He had refused to satisfy His own hunger by changing a stone into bread at Satan's suggestion. He refused to secure popular favor by casting Himself from the dizzy height of the Temple into the surging crowds below, saving Himself from injury by the exercise of His divine power. 10MR 205.4

“This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth His glory; and His disciples believed on Him” (verse 11). This action increased the confidence of these humble fishermen whom He was preparing to lay the foundation of His new kingdom. Throughout Palestine an interest was awakened in Christ and His work.... 10MR 205.5

By His presence Jesus honored the marriage ceremony. The active interest that He manifested on this occasion showed that He came not to put a cloud over the happiness of the family and the guests. Jesus was in full sympathy with the pure joy to be found in this occasion. By His presence He showed Himself to be in harmony with the blessed institution of marriage. And He gave His sanction to every gathering that is pure, and lovely, and of good report. 10MR 206.1

Jesus did not enforce celibacy upon any class of men. He came not to destroy the sacred relationship of marriage, but to exalt and restore it to its original sanctity. He looks with pleasure upon the family relationship where sacred and unselfish love bears sway. 10MR 206.2

The family on earth should be a type of the family in heaven. The home that is beautified by love, sympathy, and tenderness is a place that angels love to visit, and where God is glorified. The influence of a carefully guarded Christian home in the years of childhood and youth is the surest safeguard against the corruptions of the world. In the atmosphere of such a home, the children will learn to love both their earthly parents and their heavenly Father. 10MR 206.3

The husband is to be the “house-band,” the priest of the family. Like Abraham, he is to be a faithful instructor of his household. And he is to cherish and respect the mother as the guide and educator of their children. 10MR 206.4

The education of the child for good or for evil begins in its earliest years. The children should be taught that they are a part of the family firm. They should be trained to act their part in the home. They are not to be continually waited upon; rather, they should lighten the burdens of father and mother. As the older children grow up, they should help to care for the younger members of the family. The mother should not wear herself out by doing work that the children might do and should do. 10MR 206.5

Parents, fit your children to become members of the Lord's family. Give them an education such as they can continue in the school above. Do not allow them to be careless or disrespectful. Unless you discipline yourselves, you will be unable properly to discipline your children. Train the voice, that you may cultivate a kindly tone. Refrain from all scolding and fretting. In the home no unkind words should be heard. 10MR 207.1

Let the clothing for your children be simple, and such as can be easily made and frequently changed, that they may cultivate a love for cleanliness and order. Ruffles and ornaments are unnecessary. Their care consumes precious time, and brings unnecessary worry, thus tending to create an atmosphere of gloom and sadness. 10MR 207.2

Oh, how many more souls might be saved to enter the kingdom of Jesus Christ if parents would do thoroughly the work that should be done in the home school. 10MR 207.3

In some cases it would be better if children had less work in the school and more training in the performance of home duties. Above all else they should be taught to be thoughtful and helpful. Many things to be learned from books are far less essential than the lessons of practical industry and discipline.—Manuscript 126, 1903, 1-3, 6-7. (“Christ at the Marriage Feast,” October 26, 1903.) 10MR 207.4

White Estate

Washington, D. C.,

August 19, 1980.