The Review and Herald

1022/1902

September 19, 1899

Christianity in the Marriage Relation

EGW

Those professing to be Christians should not enter the marriage relation until the matter has been carefully and prayerfully considered from an elevated standpoint, to see if God can be glorified by the union. Then they should duly consider the result of every privilege of the marriage relation, and sanctified principle should be the basis of every action. RH September 19, 1899, par. 1

Before increasing their family, they should take into consideration whether God would be glorified or dishonored by their bringing children into the world. During every year of their married life, they should seek to glorify God by their union. They should calmly consider what provision can be made for their children. They have no right to bring children into the world to be a burden to others. Have they a business that they can rely upon to sustain a family, so that they need not become a burden to others? If they have not, they commit sin in bringing children into the world to suffer for want of proper care, food, and clothing. RH September 19, 1899, par. 2

In this fast, corrupt age, these things are not considered. Lustful passion bears sway, and will not submit to control, although feebleness, misery, and death are the result of its reign. Women are forced to a life of hardship, pain, and suffering, because of the uncontrollable passions of men who bear the name of husband—more rightly could they be called brutes. Mothers drag out a miserable existence, with children in their arms nearly all the time, managing every way to put bread into their mouths, and clothes upon their backs. Such accumulated misery fills the world. RH September 19, 1899, par. 3

There is but little real, genuine, devoted, pure love. This precious article is very rare. Passion is termed love. Many a woman has had her fine and tender sensibilities outraged, because the marriage relation allowed him whom she called husband to be brutal in his treatment of her. His love she found to be of so base a quality that she became disgusted. RH September 19, 1899, par. 4

Very many families are living in a most unhappy state, because the husband and father allows the animal in his nature to predominate over the intellectual and moral. The result is that a sense of languor and depression is frequently felt, but the cause is seldom divined as being the result of their own improper course of action. We are under solemn obligations to God to keep the spirit pure and the body healthy, that we may be a benefit to humanity, and render to God perfect service. The apostle utters these words of warning: “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.” He urges us onward by telling us that “every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things.” He exhorts all who call themselves Christians to present their “bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God.” He says, “I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” RH September 19, 1899, par. 5

The Lord has given me a view of some of the corruptions everywhere existing. Wickedness, crime, and sensuality exist even in high places. Even in the churches professing to keep God's commandments there are sinners and hypocrites. It is sin, not trial and suffering, which separates God from his people, and renders the soul incapable of enjoying and glorifying him. It is sin that is destroying souls. Sin and vice exist in Sabbath-keeping families. Moral pollution has done more than every other evil to cause the race to degenerate. It is practised to an alarming extent, and brings on disease of almost every description. RH September 19, 1899, par. 6

Parents do not generally suspect that their children understand anything about this vice. In very many cases the parents are the real sinners. They have abused their marriage privileges, and by indulgence have strengthened their animal passions. And as these have strengthened, the moral and intellectual faculties have become weak. The spiritual has been overborne by the brutish. Children are born with the animal propensities largely developed, the parents’ own stamp of character having been given to them. The unnatural action of the sensitive organs produces irritation. They are easily excited, and momentary relief is experienced in exercising them. But the evil constantly increases. The drain upon the system is sensibly felt. The brain force is weakened, and memory becomes deficient. Children born to these parents will almost invariably take naturally to the disgusting habits of secret vice. The marriage covenant is sacred; but what an amount of lust and crime it covers! Those who feel at liberty, because married, to degrade their bodies by beastly indulgence of the animal passions, will have their degraded course perpetuated in their children. The sins of the parents will be visited upon their children, because the parents have given them the stamp of their own lustful propensities. RH September 19, 1899, par. 7

Many parents do not obtain the knowledge that they should in the married life. They are not guarded lest Satan take advantage of them, and control their minds and their lives. They do not see that God requires them to control their married lives from all excesses. But very few feel it to be a religious duty to govern their passions. They have united themselves in marriage to the object of their choice, and therefore reason that marriage sanctifies the indulgence of the baser passions. Even men and women professing godliness give loose rein to their lustful passions, and have no thought that God holds them accountable for the expenditure of vital energy, which weakens their hold on life, and enervates the entire system. RH September 19, 1899, par. 8

The marriage covenant covers sins of the darkest hue. Men and women professing godliness debase their own bodies through the indulgence of the corrupt passions, and thus lower themselves beneath the brute creation. They abuse the powers that God has given them to be preserved in sanctification and honor. Health and life are sacrificed upon the altar of base passion. The higher, nobler powers are brought into subjection to the animal propensities. Those who thus sin are not acquainted with the result of their course. Could all see the amount of suffering that they bring upon themselves by their own sinful indulgence, they would be alarmed; and some, at least, would shun the course of sin that brings such dreaded wages. So miserable an existence is entailed upon a large class that death would be preferable to life; and many do die prematurely, their lives sacrificed in the inglorious work of excessive indulgence of the animal passions. Yet because they are married, they think they commit no sin. RH September 19, 1899, par. 9

Men and women, you will one day learn what is lust, and the result of its gratification. Passion of just as base a quality may be found in the marriage relation as outside of it. The apostle Paul exhorts husbands to love their wives “even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.” “So ought men to love their wives as their bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church.” It is not pure love that actuates a man to make his wife an instrument to minister to his lust: it is the animal passions, which clamor for indulgence. How few men show their love in the manner specified by the apostle: “Even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; that he might [not pollute it, but] sanctify and cleanse it,” “that it should be holy and without blemish.” In the marriage relation, this is the quality of love that God recognizes as holy. Love is a pure and holy principle; but lustful passion will not admit of restraint, and will not be dictated to or controlled by reason. It is blind to consequences; it will not reason from cause to effect. Many women are suffering from great debility and settled disease because the laws of their being have been disregarded; nature's laws have been trampled upon. The brain nerve power is squandered by men and women, being called into unnatural action to gratify base passions; and this hideous monster—base, low passion—assumes the delicate name of love. RH September 19, 1899, par. 10