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Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage


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Dallas, Texas

Introduction.................................................................................5 Chapter I Difficult Questions Answered...............................................7 Chapter II Where Men Fail in Marriage...............................................21 Chapter III What Is It That Women Want Most in Men That They Marry?................................................................................25 Chapter IV The Troubled Marriage.......................................................31 Chapter V Divorce Is Not the Answer..................................................37 Chapter VI What Women Should Know About Husbands....................43

Here is a book with a wide range of information that has been needed. It is a compassionate and Biblical approach to a subject that affects the lives of the vast majority of mankind. For a long time it has been apparent to those engaged in the ministry of healing that the health of married people often has a definite relation to how well they are adjusted in their marriage relation. All kinds of frustrations and mental illnesses and neuroses develop as a result of a marriage that has become sick. Consequently to pray for the healing of such persons is to deal with the result rather than the cause. This book gives the history of marriage as a divine institution. It shows what the Bible says about divorce and remarriage. One chapter is given to explaining the causes of divorce. Other chapters include the following: Where men fail in marriage. What is it that women want most in men they marry? The troubled marriage. Divorce is not the answer. What women should know about husbands. There is a chapter that deals with difficult questions, among which are: Are some marriages not made in heaven? Is there a Scriptural reason for divorce? Does the Bible urge reconciliation for estranged couples? When is remarriage scriptural? What about abortions? What about artificial insemination? 5

Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage

These and many other questions are answered in this book. There is nothing like it in print containing so much information in so compact a form.

Chapter I

Difficult Questions Answered

1. Are Some Marriages Not Made in Heaven?

Question: Some say that their marriage was not really made in heaven. Therefore, they have a right to leave their present mates and find other partners. Answer: When one marries, he or she takes upon himself or herself the law of marriage, whether for better or for worse until death do us part. The above theory advanced by those who wish to change partners is mischievous in the extreme. To say because a marriage runs into trouble that it was not made in heaven, and therefore invalid, would give approval for all marital breakups. It would be a handy excuse for any married person who takes a fancy to another individual, to divorce his present mate and remarry. Perhaps their marriage was not made in heaven, since God was not consulted, but if it was made on earth, it is a marriage. This fact is clearly brought out by Paul in I Cor. 6:15-16.
Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid. What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh.

Here the apostle declares that a man who visits a harlot becomes as it were, one flesh with her. In Pauls statement he refers back to the original institution of marriage, when God said, For the two shall be one flesh. How much more then are actual marriage partners, even though incompatible, one flesh? 7

Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage

Nevertheless, two persons do not become man and wife until the marriage ceremony takes place and there is a pledge of vows, as may be seen by the Lords words to the woman at the well of Samaria. The Samaritan woman was married five times and Jesus recognized that each of the five mates was in turn her husband. Thou hast had five husbands, and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband. (Jn. 4:18) In the last case, she had apparently dispensed with the formality of marriage and was living with a man who was not her husband. Thus we see that marriage makes a man and woman husband and wife, regardless of whether it was in Divine will or not.

2. When Does a Married Person Have a Right to Divorce?

Question: When does a married person have a right to a divorce? Answer: As we have already noticed, a person has the right to a divorce where there has been fornication on the part of the other mate. This is clear in the following two passages of Scripture:
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. (Matt. 5:32) And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery. (Matt. 19:9)

Jesus makes it plain in these verses that where fornication has been committed, the innocent party has a right to a divorce. The marriage bond has been sundered by the act. However, the Scriptures clearly teach, and in fact, advise reconciliation. A divorce hurts too many people to not consider every possibility of a reconciliation before the fateful steps of breaking up the marriage are taken. It is highly advisable if the

Difficult Questions Answered

innocent party can find it in his or her heart to forgive the erring one, that they should be willing to restore the marriage. Nevertheless, if the sinning partner continues in his promiscuity, it may be necessary to dissolve the marriage. The possibilities of an innocent person being infected by a social disease alone would justify such a course.

3. When Does a Divorced Person Have a Right to Remarry?

Question: When does a divorced person have a right to remarry? Answer: Upon the death of a companion, the survivor of a previous marriage has the right to marry again. (I Cor. 7:39) If, however, the former mate is still living, a second marriage would be adulterywith one exception.
And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery. (Matt. 19:9)

Here, remarriage is said to be adultery except it be for fornication. The implication seems to be clear that remarriage in the case where the other spouse has already committed fornication, would not be adultery. Some insist that the words of Jesus do not infer this, but refer only to the right of divorce. But this is certainly an unfair construction of the Lords statement. We should never in a mistaken effort of trying to uphold a high standard, make the words of the Bible say something that they do not say. It is plain that the above verse is not referring solely to divorce but it includes also the act of remarriage. The act of divorce is not adultery; it is the act of remarriage! And Jesus is saying that remarriage is adultery, except in the case of fornication. We can put no other construction on the words of Jesus than that fornication breaks the marriage bond. However, God can forgive this, even as Christ forgave the woman caught in adultery. (Jn. 8:11) Reconciliation should be attempted even where fornication has been committed, if at all possible. Question: Some teach that fornication mentioned by Christ


Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage

refers only to immorality committed before marriage, and does not concern infidelity afterward. Answer: As we have shown elsewhere, this definition of fornication is unscriptural. Fornication is the inclusive word. It includes pre-marital sex experiences, and it also includes the acts of married persons. Paul spoke of the man who had his fathers wife, as committing fornication. (I Cor. 5) Other sex sins as sodomy, are spoken of as fornication (Jude 7). Fornication includes immorality in or out of marriage and in marriage definitely breaks the marriage bond. Question: Some teach that the words, except it be for fornication are not authentic, but were interpolated subsequently in the ancient manuscript by unauthorized persons. Answer: There is not an important doctrine in the Bible that has not been attacked on this ground. Those who contend for the above, have absolutely no evidence in their favor to bolster such a theory. This subterfuge is often resorted to by those whose ideas are at variance with the Word of God. But the Scriptures have always stood the test against critics and those who seek to undermine their authenticity.

4. A Wrong Use of the Exception

Question: As you have pointed out, Christ made one exception in which divorce is permissiblefornication. But by the very nature of the case, the sin is committed in secret. How then is definite evidence obtained of the infidelities of a mate without elaborate measures of detection? Then too, is it not possible that a person who tires of their partner may falsely accuse their spouse of breaking their marriage vow and therefore claim to have a right to divorce and remarriage? Answer: This is an important question and it is worthy of a frank answer. In the first place, mutual trust and confidence is essential to the success of any marriage. A wife or husband who entertains unfounded suspicions of a mates supposed extramarital adventures is committing a sin almost as serious as the act itself. Every married person should have complete trust in his

Difficult Questions Answered


companion until irrefutable evidence compels him to believe otherwise. It is not necessary to hire a private eye to run down an erring mate. God says, Be sure your sin will find you out , and this is certainly true concerning the sin of adultery and fornication. Although practiced in secret, there are many ways in which the sin may come out. God intends those who practice violation of the moral law to be exposed. It sometimes happens that the paramour may get under a burden of guilt and confess. Illicit love letters may fall into other hands than was intended. A telephone call may be intercepted by the wrong person. People may recognize the principles of an illicit affair in one of their clandestine meetings. Let every sinner know if he continues in evil, the truth will come out in time and he will be exposed before the world. The law of God is inexorable in its working. Jesus said, For there is nothing covered that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known. (Matt. 10:26) God said to David who had sinned, For thou didst it secretly; but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun. (II Sam. 12:12) Therefore, let mates believe in each other as long as it is possible. Let it not be said that a marriage partner was driven into the arms of another because of the unreasoned jealousies of a habitually suspicious person.

5. Divorce on Basis of Incompatibility Not Permitted in Scriptures

Question: You have said that the act of divorce is not adultery. Why then would it be a sin to divorce a mate who is incompatible, if the person who puts her away remains unmarried? Answer: Jesus says that the man who puts away his wife, causeth her to commit adultery. Thus if she remarries, the man who puts her away is accessory to her sin. Most people, if they have been married, are physiologically and psychologically adjusted to marriage. Hence, to put away a wife by divorce means that in most cases she will live a lonely, frustrated, and dissatisfied life, something she will tire of sooner or later. Statistics show that if a woman is young and has opportunity,


Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage

she will in most cases remarry. Such a second marriage, Jesus says (except in the case of fornication) is adultery. Paul alludes to this probability of a young woman remarrying in I Tim. 5:1112:
But; the younger widows refuse: for when they have begun to wax wanton against Christ, they will marry; Having damnation, because they have cast off their first faith.

6. Basis of the Exception

Question: What is the basic reason for which the Scriptures give the right of divorce where fornication has been committed? Answer: We have dealt with this elsewhere, but we repeat that fornication breaks the marriage bond. According to the law, he who commits fornication is guilty of death, and death frees a man or woman of the marriage. This, obviously, is the basis upon which Christ made the exception. But some ask, is this true in the New Testament? Has not the Law passed away? The answer is that the Law has indeed passed away as far as the righteous are concerned (II Cor. 3:7-11), but it is still in effect for the wicked, including whoremongers and those who defile themselves with mankind.
But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully; Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind.... (I Tim. 1:8-10)

According to this, the Law is made not for the righteous or even for the sinner who will repent and accept the righteousness of Christ. But it is still in force against whoremongers and those who persist in sin.

7. Reconciliation Urged if Possible

Question: If fornication causes the marriage bond to be

Difficult Questions Answered


broken, would not God require the innocent one to secure a divorce? Answer: No. There is such a thing as the restoration of a broken marriage. If at all possible, it is best to forgive and forget. Of course, there must be true repentance on the part of the offender. There should be no repetition of the offense. The guilty one must realize the enormity of his sin not only against another human being, but against God. But also, there must be true forgiveness on the part of the wronged one. The one who forgives must be willing to forget, and never to bring the matter up again, else the possibility of permanent reconciliation is hopeless. These two points vital to a successful reconciliation are illustrated in the story of Christs forgiveness of the woman taken in adultery. The Lord forgave her, but He also said, Go and sin no more. If Christ can forgive, then human beings should be willing to forgive. In the matter of a divorce, there are many serious things to consider, such as children, financial complications, etc., before taking the fateful step. Although death was the penalty of adultery in the Old Testament, nevertheless, mercy had its place even in those days, if there was true repentance. Such was the case of David, who committed a most flagrant sin both in the committing of adultery with Bathsheba and the murder of her husband, Uriah, by sending him into the forefront of the battle to die. (11 Sam. 11) Davids true repentance is recorded in Psalms 51. God forgave him and he did not die. (II Sam. 12:13) Nevertheless, David reaped a bitter harvest for his indiscretions, and the sword never departed from his house. (Verses 10-11) At a time when a marriage seems about to break up because of the violation of the marriage vow, people desperately need the assistance of a Christian marriage counselor. The adulterer is often an emotionally disturbed person, who may still love his wife but is the victim of his own weaknesses and frustrations. Perhaps the wife is maladjusted and needs some special counseling herself. It is unfortunate that there are so few specially trained Christian counselors. The only remedy for this seems to be that pastors will themselves secure specialized training that will enable them to wisely counsel people in times of marital crisis.


Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage

8. Remarried Persons Not Permitted to Go Back to Former Partners

Question: Where there has been a divorce and remarriage and a second divorce, is it permissable for the original mates to go back together again? Answer: No. The Bible clearly teaches that where the divorced person takes another mate and then divorces again, he or she may not return to their original partner. It is an abomination to the Lord.
Her former husband, which sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after that she is defiled; for that is abomination before the Lord. And thou shalt not cause the land to sin, which the Lord thy God giveth thee for an inheritance. (Deut. 24:4)

It is true that some ministers who are poorly informed in the Scriptures but zealous for what they think is straight preaching, will demand that remarried people should separate and return to their first mates. But this is unscriptural. The misguided person who advocates this is only compounding more woe and guilt for people who are mixed up in their marriages. As we have seen from the above verse, even under the more liberal law of the Old Testament, such action is forbidden. If a husband obtained a divorce from his former wife for any other reason than fornication, then in marrying again he committed fornication. If his first marriage had not been broken until that time, then that act broke it. He is forbidden by the Scriptures to return to his first wife. This very definitely shows that remarriage breaks the previous marriage bond. Before remarriage, reconciliation is urged. After remarriage, reconciliation is forbidden. Divorce and remarriage have many unfortunate consequences, especially for the children, but it would do no good for a couple to separate under these circumstances and try to return to their former mates. The best they can do is to ask Gods forgiveness, throw themselves on His mercy, and serve Him in the future in all humility of Spirit. Some people teach that a remarried woman has two husbands. But the Bible does not say this. It says that the latter

Difficult Questions Answered


husband is her husband, and the other was her former husband. Except in aggravated cases, where there is a flagrant disruption or violation of a home, it seems that it is best for all concerned that the present mates should stay together. To do otherwise would only result in more unhappiness and bring further reproach on the cause of Christ. Remember too, that at the time of the new marriage, vows were made that are both legally and morally binding. If one were to separate, he could not Scripturally marry again. Moreover, Paul points out in I Corinthians 7, that many people do not possess the continency necessary to live single lives. This circumstance could lead to even greater sin. There are flagrant instances of the breaking up of a home. In such cases, it would appear that restitution is necessary before Divine forgiveness could be expected. John the Baptist told King Herod that he had no right to Herodias. He had stolen her from his brother Philip. John said, It is not lawful for thee to have her. (Matt. 14:4) For his faithful preaching, the wicked and vengeful Herodias successfully conspired to put to death the man of God.

9. Couples Who Are Willfully Childless

Question: A woman declares that she does not intend to have any children. Is this a sin? What does the Bible say? Answer: Gods command to man in the first chapter of Genesis was, Be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth. (Gen. 1:28) To refuse to have any children would be to disobey Gods command. A woman without a mothers instinct is in a sad state. Most women want at least some children. To deliberately refuse to have any, would appear to be an act certain to incur Divine displeasure. (Gen. 38:9, 10) Any woman who decides not to have any children, so that she can more conveniently make the rounds of society or indulge in its sensual pleasures and dissipation, is in the toils of Satan and does not know it. It is a well-known fact that the percentage of childless women appearing in the divorce courts is far greater than those


Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage

who have children. (There is of course no condemnation of those who desire children but find themselves physically incapable of having them. The Bible records, however, a number of instances in which women of faith sought God for healing from barrenness and became able to bear children. Witness Sarah, Rachel, Hannah, and others. There have been not a few cases of similar miraculous deliverances from barrenness in modern times in which the woman, afterward, proved able to bear fine, healthy children.)

10. What About Abortion?

Question: What about abortion? Answer: Abortion is the deliberate crime of a mother who takes the life of her own unborn offspring. No more heinous and revolting sin can be imagined. We may consider the crime of Adolph Eichmann, who with no compunction, thought to remove the people of another race from the earth, or that of a criminal who shoots down in cold blood those who stand in his way of escape from arrest, or the underworld mobster who kills to remove a rival, who invades his territory; but none of these compare with the utter hideousness of the sin of a mother who destroys her offspring, so she may have more liberty to pursue her own selfish interests. While accurate abortion records are difficult to obtain, it is generally conceded that hundreds of thousands of criminal abortions are performed annually in the United States. A recent article in the Saturday Evening Post gives evidence that infanticide is on the increase, and the number of illegal abortions is rising to an appalling level. It is held by some that the act of abortion is not the same if performed before the quickening, but there is no time after conception when it can be said that the child does not have life. In Oscar Lowrys A Virtuous Woman, he relates an account sent to him by a physician concerning a woman who had visited him, asking him to perform an abortion.
The mother stepped into the doctors office carrying a

Difficult Questions Answered bright and beautiful baby, a year old. Seating herself near the doctor, who was her family physician, she said, Doctor, I want you to help me out of trouble. My baby is only one year old, and I have conceived again, and I do not want to have children so close together. What do you expect me to do? asked the physician. Oh, anything to get rid of it for me, she replied. After thinking seriously for a moment the doctor said, I think I can suggest a better method of helping you out. If you object to two children so near together, the best way would be to kill the one on your lap and let the other one come on. It is very easy to get at the one on your lap, and it makes no difference to me which one I kill for you. Besides, it might be dangerous for you if I undertook to kill the younger one. As the doctor finished, he reached for a hatchet which was used to cut kindling, and continued by asking the mother to lay the baby out on her lap, and turn her head the other way. The woman almost fainted away as she jumped from her chair and uttered just one word, murderer! A few words of explanation from the doctor soon convinced the woman that his offer to commit murder, was no worse than her request for the destruction of the unborn child. In either case it would be murder; the only difference would be in the age of the victim.


It is a well known fact that criminal abortions usually performed by quack doctors in haste in ill-equipped offices, are many times more dangerous to the mother than normal childbirth. It is the general testimony of legitimate physicians that even though the mother survives the shock of this terrible outrage against God and nature, she is often doomed to a life of suffering and misery, physically, mentally, and morally. What effect has an attempted but unsuccessful abortion on the unborn child? Here we enter into a field of conjecture. What evidence is available leads us to believe that the consequences of the attempt, are in some way passed on to the child. During the trial of Guiteau, the murderer of President Garfield, it was brought out that the mother of the assassin had made several unsuccessful attempts to destroy the life of her unborn child. Where the attempt of abortion is unsuccessful, the effects induced on the unborn child may be fearful indeed. Brain damage could result in epilepsy or feeble-mindedness, a circumstance to ever remind the parents of their wanton crime. It has been estimated that 32 per cent of epileptics owe their


Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage

affliction; to the use of poisonous drugs in attempted abortion by their mothers. Abortions make husband and wife equally guilty participants in crime. How can murderers expect to build a successful marriage?

11. Sodomy
Question: What has the Bible to say about Sodomy? Answer: All sexual perversions are condemned by the Scriptures. Sodomy, or homosexuality, received its name from the behavior of the men of Sodom who proposed to violate Lots male guests. (Gen. 19:5) Deuteronomy 23:17 declares that there shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite of the sons of Israel. The Apostle Paul, in Romans, declares Gods reprobation of the heathen because of gross sins, of which sodomy was marked as the outstanding evil. Because they forgot God, He gave them up to vile affections.
For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. (Romans 1:26-27)

There is no defense for the perversion of Sodomy. Those who practice it may expect swift judgment from God. Those who have fallen into this abominable practice should realize the terribleness of their crime against God and nature, and thoroughly repent, lest the judgment of God come upon them as it came upon the inhabitants of Sodom.

12. Problems of Inductees

Question: I am soon to be inducted into the Army. At present I am engaged to a young lady. Should we get married before I am called up?

Difficult Questions Answered


Answer: Ordinarily the answer is, No. After the wedding is the time young people should be together, not apart. This is the period when they need to adjust one to another and lay the foundation for a lasting marriage. During wartime a large number of couples rushed into marriage. While some people stood the test of separation, the marital casualties soon proved to be frightening. At one time, almost one half of these marriages went on the rocks. The Lord, recognizing this need of newlyweds to be together, especially during the first year, gave Israel the following statute:
When a man hath taken a new wife, he shall not go out to war, neither shall he be charged with any business: but he shall be free at home one year, and shall cheer up his wife which he hath taken. (Deut. 24:5)

13. Artificial Insemination

Question: What about artificial insemination? Answer: The artificial insemination employing the sperm of a party outside the marriage is no more nor less than adultery. While it is not cohabitation, it involves two persons, whose identity is intended to be withheld from each other, entering into an agreement to produce an illegitimate child. The act is illegal, illicit, and immoral when considered from all angles. 1. The husband may agree, but later, after he has considered the matter thoroughly, resent being led into this unwholesome agreement to have his wife bear another mans child. 2. One has no way of knowing what kind of wild blood is being introduced into the family. 3. Despite precautions, it is always possible that the unknown donor will trace the identity of the family from which the wife is to bear his child. It could give opportunity for blackmail. If the man wants to learn this, it would not take much of a detective to find out. And there are some shady operators in the trade who are willing to work on any mission for a price. 4. There is always the chance that the child will find out


Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage

the circumstances of his birth. No one would be happy to discover his birth to be a result of this method of securing conception. Artificial insemination is a wanton disregard of the law of God, pure and simple, and is adultery. 5. Some sincere people have doubted that artificial insemination is adultery since the parties involved are unknown to each other and presumably are never to meet. But they fail to understand that the human being has a tri-fold nature and adultery can be committed in any of the three spheres of his nature. Man is body, soul (mind) and spirit. Fornication or adultery as Paul says is primarily a sin involving the body. He that com- mitteth fornication sinneth against his own body. (I Cor. 6:18) However, Christ showed that adultery could also be committed in the mind (the soul apart from the body). But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. (Matt. 5:28) Artificial insemination is committing adultery in the sphere of the spirit. Human personality or spirit comes from the male when the sperm meets the ovum; the awesome event of a human person made in the image of God then begins existence. Artificial insemination is a deliberate act that accomplishes this event, outside the bonds of wedlock, thus making it possible for a woman to bear the child of a man other than her husband. The reputed growing popularity of artificial insemination is another proof of mans reckless daring to take the laws of God into his own hand.

Chapter II

Where Men Fail in Marriage

Just as women have their weaknesses, so men have their weaknesses. A woman may do everything possible to make a marriage a success, but if the man makes little attempt to cooperate, it is virtually impossible to have a happy marriage. Let us notice some of the more common failings of men.

1. Selfishness
It is generally conceded by marriage counselors that a man is more apt to be selfish. He is more demanding, more inclined to think of his own bodily comfort, often at his wifes expense. If a man is not careful, he will get so tied up in his business that he has no time to spend with his wife. Business is important, but part of a mans business is fulfilling his duty in providing companionship for his wife. Sometimes a man has work that takes his evenings. He should, if possible, have a room where he can bring his work home, and be accessible to his family. It is a comfort to his wife to know her husband is near at hand and not off in a distant office. There are many ways in which a man can show selfishness. He wants things at a time he chooses, often without regard to his wifes preferences. He expects his mate to be competent as a manager of the budget, a housewife, companion, mother and cook, without regard to how he fulfills his obligations. Such selfishness may often be seen in exaggerated form in young husbands. A young man will urge a woman into marriage until finally she consents. Afterwards, he begins to weigh the responsibilities, and when the bills commence to come in, and financial problems mount up, he may take off without the ceremony of saying, farewell, and leave the wife to bitterly 21


Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage

reflect on her folly of having been persuaded to marry a youth with a complete absence of manhood, let alone common decency. Since a woman s future is so bound up in the integrity of her husband, she should consider the matter well, before she puts her life at the mercy of an irresponsible person, who may cast her aside as casually as a straw boss would dismiss an employee who falls out of his favor.

2. Domineering Tendencies
Some women are domineering over their husbands. But when a man is given to this undesirable trait, he is practically insufferable. He may be of the calculating kind and begin to evaluate the marriage in the terms of an investment. He may even ask himself, Might I have done better? He rarely thinks to ask himself if he is a jewel of a husband. Nowhere does this unpleasant characteristic show up in a man more quickly, than in the matter of his handling of the family purse. His attitude is that he earned the money, so he carries it all and doles it out in driblets to his unhappy wife who must do the best she can to make ends meet, while he congratulates himself for his imagined generosity. He forgets that marriage is a partnership and that his wife in her long hours of work, is contributing just as largely as he, to the familys welfare. Sometimes a man, because of his attention to his own selfish interests, stops attending church, leaving his wife to carry on the spiritual responsibilities of the home by herself. Bad as this is, it is not to be compared with the man who sells himself to the devil to the extent that he forbids his wife to attend church at all. In such case, the wife is not to be blamed but commended if she flatly refuses to go along with this atrocious display of perversity. It is exceedingly unfortunate, when Christian women who wish to obey Gods Word in the matter of tithing, find that their penurious and tight-fisted husband will not cooperate. She cannot compel him to pay tithes, of course, and so she should not allow herself to be under bondage. God is merciful and when He sees the desire to do right, he reckons according to what is in

Where Men Fail in Marriage


the heart. He does not require the impossible. However, many women whose husbands are not Christian, are able to tithe, and do, receiving Gods special blessing on them.

3. The Double Standard

Men are also the ones who have set up the double standard. It is good for a woman to be pure, they say, but it is not so necessary for them. A woman should come to the marriage altar, a virgin, but a man may sow his wild oats and do as he pleases in his youth. In marriage a woman must never be unfaithful, but a man may be expected to wander on occasions in search of adventures that violate the marriage vow. The law of God sets no such double standard. In the Old Testament, both the man and the woman who committed adultery were declared worthy of death. But where a man took advantage of a woman, in a locale where her cries could not summon help, she was accounted innocent while the man was condemned to die by stoning. Unfortunately, many modern women who have protested loudly against the double standard, use it only as an excuse to share in mans vices and excesses. As a result, today, we see on every hand the shocking degradation of womanhood. The safeguards are all being taken away. Adultery and unfaithfulness have become so commonplace as to be hardly worthy of a second notice. The corruption of the days of Noah is surely being repeated in full measure. God has only a single standard. It is a pity that women do not demand that their men rise up to the standard of Gods Word, rather than for them to sink with them into the mire of degradation and depravity.

4. Criticism
Some husbands are given to criticism. It has been said that the wife who considers herself her husband's severest critic, is not his best friend. And of course this habit is no better in the husband. Ones best friend is a tactful critic and a strong


Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage

booster. A husband who knocks a wife without giving her a boost is not going to win her favor. The man who belittles his wife in public is cruel and sadistic. Besides humiliating her, he will, if he continues, succeed in undermining every last vestige of faith in herself. Sometimes a man after he has achieved some business success, will become severely critical of the woman with whom he has lived, when the years were lean. He will criticize her conversation, her unsophisticated ways, her fading looks, or the fact that she isnt as glamorous as other women. Of course, what has been said is no excuse for the woman who fails to keep pace with the man, because she is indolent and satisfied to stand still. The woman is foolish indeed if she allows criticism to make her so stubborn that she refuses to change. She should put away her handkerchief and stop crying, and start improving herself. However, she should do this from motives of self-improvement, not because he has been harping at her.

Chapter III

What Is It That Women Want Most in Men That They Marry?

Sometime ago there was an article in the Readers Digest with the above title. It is a good subject. As the article brought out, men are too often defective in the virtues which contribute so much to a womans happiness and, therefore, to the strength of the marriage bond. Briefly, let us review these seven qualities which the writer, David Mack, declares women desire most in their life partners. In doing so, we shall also call attention to some things that some women do which hinder these virtues from developing in their men.

1. Tenderness
This is the quality that women desire most to find in their life partners. Unfortunately, it is true that some men possess only a superficial veneer of civility, and underneath they are largely devoid of these delicate sensibilities. Still, the great majority of men can be induced to show tenderness for the woman who knows how to draw it out of them. But the woman who tends to be quarrelsome and who bickers over petty things, will gradually quench any tender emotions in the man. Men are inclined to be tender to those who are tender in return. Married persons are people, and their responses under varying stimuli can be pretty well anticipated. For example, what is the average persons reaction to an outside acquaintance who manifests an ugly attitude to them? A sharp-tempered woman ordinarily would not receive tenderness from any type of husband for very long.

2. Courtesy


Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage

Women often complain that after the courtship, men lapse into a boorish indifference. This is a sad situation. It is unfortunate if a man develops bad manners toward his wife. A woman, however, should not make the mistake of confusing the superficial amenities set forth in an Emily Post book with the true spirit of courtesy. A man who overlooks or forgets whether he should go through the door last or down the aisle first, no doubt commits a breach of etiquette. He should be instructed in an inoffensive and good-natured way, and not as if he had cheated his wife out of half of her life. Knowledge of etiquette by the husband is a good thing, but it is not nearly so important as that he should always speak kindly to his wife. Nevertheless, if she falls into the habit of giving way to little temper tantrums and acts like a child at times, she may expect to be repaid in her own coin. Courtesy in the home can be expected only where both parties in a marriage make a practice of it. Now, in saying that marriage partners should at all time show courtesy to each other, does not mean that problems will not arise in which there is a difference of opinion. Certainly, these need be discussed. The worst thing that could happen is for resentments to be buried and to continue to build up until an explosion takes place. Nor should a marriage partner seek release by a series of petty tantrums, such as can be expected from children. How much better to sit down as adults and frankly talk a problem through. In the business world, problems come up every day. The usual way with which these are dealt, is that individuals involved, sit down together and talk them over until the proper solution is found. Why should not married couples also do that?

3. Sociability
Wives want their husbands to be companions. But their mates often come home and sit down in what seems to be a bored silence. There is sometimes a reason for that. Perhaps the husband has had some unpleasant experiences during the day. He may be weary from toil and the pressures that have come upon him. This is the time for the wife to show her skills. What does the adventuress do when she wants to snare a man? She sits

What Is It That Women Want Most in Men That They Marry?


down and makes herself agreeable, listens, and draws her quarry out. But have we not all seen wives who constantly interrupt the husband when he begins a conversation. When he starts to talk, the woman thinks of something that Johnny has done, and cuts him off. No wonder he does not warm up to conversation when he is constantly interrupted. Of course, a woman has a lot of things to preoccupy her, but there are times when she should give her attention to making amiable conversation with her husband. Yet it is true that some men are just plain boors and they warm up to almost nothing. They are so churlish that it is almost impossible to speak to them. Such a man was Nabal. (I Sam. 25:17)

4. Understanding
A woman is delighted when a husband anticipates her needs, remembers the wedding anniversary, gives her exactly what she wants on her birthday. But do not expect this if you form the habit of telling him in the early years of marriage that you are going to buy the present yourself. If the wife does that very often, her husband will develop a false sense of security in this respect. By the time the wife begins to realize it would be better for him to buy the gift even if it turned out to be the wrong size and had to be exchanged, he may be completely out of practice. A woman will not be blamed for a little subtility in this respect. The average husband likes to remember these important dates, but distractions often cause him to forget. If he is forgetful, he will not be offended and may appreciate it if the wife happens to say in a casual manner, Well, it is just two days until our anniversary. How the time does fly! The worst manners that a wife can show is to ridicule her husband because he has made some slight infraction of the social law. Deflate a man and you wound his ego. He may not say anything, but he will harbor resentment. But it will be asked, Should not a wife correct a man who makes these social mistakes? Yes, if her womans intuition tells her how to go about it. She should not act like a juvenile who likes nothing better than to be able to point out the ignorance of


Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage

a playmate. A wife should not talk down to her husband like a pedagogue would instruct a small boy. In a good-humored way, the wife can show him what he did wrong. Usually, if a mans ego is not deflated in the attempt to help him, he will be willing to learn. What is said here concerning the woman is true also of the man. Married couples should use the greatest of tact and charitableness in correcting each others little faults. If a man cannot be corrected without it resulting in a quarrel, it is better that nothing be said. Its pretty hard to make your husband over by scolding him. The man or the woman who uses a razor-edged tongue on his or her mate may expect to get the same thing in return. Some husbands never learn. Some wives never learn.

5. Fairness
A wife has a right to expect the husband to be fair with her. If he is spending money on his hobbies and pleasures, the wife should equally share with him. The old idea of a man carrying all the money and doling it out to his wife by pinch-penny methods is a crude throwback to unenlightened days of the past. She should have some money she can call her own. It is humiliating to her to have to give an account for every penny she spends. While the wife is not the head of the home, yet she is not an inferior being. Her standard of living should neither be higher nor lower than that of her husband. A woman, however, should be careful to stay within the budget upon which both agree. Some women ignore the budget and spend what they please, and let the husband worry about paying the bills. And some husbands are likewise guilty. In either case, the day of reckoning must come.

6. Loyalty
Women are often hurt because of a lack of loyalty on the part of the husband. We do not speak of loyalty in the same sense as fidelity. Infidelity in marriage is a betrayal. But husband and wife should not only be faithful, but loyal to each other. Belittling the wife in front of others, or speaking contemptuously of her relatives or her mother cannot but wound her feelings. Such an attitude toward the wifes mother who

What Is It That Women Want Most in Men That They Marry?


raised her and paid the bills for bringing her to womanhood, is the grossest breach of good manners. Criticism of the wifes relatives should be avoided and, of course, vice versa. Occasionally, relatives make a nuisance of themselves or become meddlesome in affairs that do not concern them, and it may require great forbearance on the part of either partner under such circumstances. Neither husband nor wife should ever belittle the other, let alone in front of others. This does not mean that a little goodnatured banter is not permissable. Married people should have a sense of humor. Some people, however, are awkward in their attempts to do this, and if they find that these efforts at humor are not well received, they should refrain from the practice.

7. Honesty
Of course, a marriage cannot last long if husband and wife are dishonest with each other. However, this book is dealing with the subject from the Christian standpoint. Marriage partners are not even Christians if they are dishonest with each other in the marriage vows. In marriage, there is no place for little white lies. Something disintegrates in the character when a person can reconcile lying with a clear conscience. On the other hand, mates should not invade the privacy of the other. For example, it is best to let both husband and wife open their own mail, the contents of which, in most cases, they will share afterward with their partners. If a marriage has deteriorated so far that one of the partners must censor the mail of the other or spy on his activities, it is in bad order. In a wholesome marriage, each partner will give to the other a certain amount of privacy. The seven virtues just mentioned are all important to a happy marriage. The husband will certainly not have them all perfectly. The wife, however, by her own winsome and womanly conduct, may do much to inspire and draw out the good qualities in her mate.

Chapter IV

The Troubled Marriage

But what about the marriage that is in trouble? We must be realistic. The fact is that there are some couples who do not seem to be wholly successful in their marriage. Sometimes it appears that one partner will do everything possible to make the marriage a success, but the other one will not put forth the same effort. Particularly this is true in some Christian homes where one mate has a distinctly different spiritual outlook. It is distressing to a consecrated wife, if the husband adopts a standard substantially below hers and indulges in things of a decidedly worldly character. On the other hand, not a few times have we seen a godly ministers heart broken because his wife lives a worldly and self-indulgent life. The above circumstances usually reflect an unhappy marriage, although neither party may contemplate a divorce. The more spiritual mate may yearn and pray that the differences will be resolved and that love and harmony in the home will be restored. But here is the inevitable question: If this hope is not realized immediately, what should be done to make ones life as normal as possible? In dealing with this subject there are many things that could be said. Human beings are complex. Life is complex. Advice given to one person is not always suitable for another. But we will make these suggestions. Let us assume that you have done everything reasonably possible to secure an understanding with your partner, yet you have not been wholly successful. A worldly person might take the way out by divorce. But you will not do this, for it is not the Christian way, and in the long run would probably prove to be a mistake, even from the natural standpoint. Let us also assume that you are not only praying and holding on to God, nothing 31


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doubting of the eventual outcome, but also trying to win your partner by your patience and sweetness.

1. First of all, do not let your spirit be affected.

It is important that regardless of what may happen in your marriage, that you continue to be a wholesome individual, intent to fulfill your role in life; that you are not going to be sidetracked from Gods plan for you by any one, even if that one is your mate; that under no circumstances are you going to let your spirit be affected. No one grows old if their spirit stays young, but many, alas, are old at thirty because their spirit has aged. If you take to brooding and fretting and becoming absorbed in your frustrations, your personality will deteriorate. Therefore, do not retreat into morbid introspection or begin to pity yourself. Remember, many great Christians have had to bear the cross of an erratic or unpleasant partner. It is a fact that for most of us, this world does not offer an unbroken Paradise. We all have some sorrows. Abiding joy and happiness in this life is to be found only in Christ. The Psalmist declares that most believers are going to experience trials and tribulations, some of which come most unexpectedly; yet, he also says there is for those who rest in God, a place of peace, where nothing shall upset or offend them.
Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them. (Psalms 119:165)

2. Work to bring out the best in your partner.

If your partner has developed certain traits that are undesirable and which have brought a rift in your marriage, avoid as much as possible doing anything that will rouse these negative tendencies. On the other hand, it is likely your mate has at least some good qualities. Exploit these. Praise him or her for them. Let your conversation center on things in which there is general agreement. Avoid bickering and quarreling over differences. Contention will not change the situation, but usually

The Troubled Marriage


only makes it worse. And by all means dont develop a neurosis yourself. All conduct in the home should be based on the laws of common courtesy. I would say that a great deal of marital friction has its beginning simply because one mate takes the marriage for granted, and becomes discourteous. Naturally, the other person will resent such conduct, and soon a rift begins. Why should not married persons be as courteous to each other as they are to strangers? Why should they conduct themselves in such a way as to say, "You are mine now until death do us part; you are going to have to put up with my sharp temper from now on? The following words of wisdom every married person should take to heart:
How careless we are in observing the amenities among our close relatives (especially a mate) on whom we feel we can depend no matter how unpleasant we may be, and how careful with our acquaintances, who will not put up with such nonsense. There is an advantage in being obliged to earn affection one receives in the married state.

Though initial love may come at first sight, deep affection is something that must be earned. The discovery that one has an uncongenial mate is disconcerting to say the least. There are a lot of unpleasant people in the world, so therefore, according to the law of averages, there are going to be many uncongenial marriage partners. If both parties should be of that nature, the marriage may well go on the rocks. Usually, however, one partner is more understanding than the other. It is up to that person to take the lead in attempting to save the marriage. The strategy is to try to bring out the best in the partner, not the worst.

3. Dont try to make marriage your all-inall.

Happy are those who are able to realize the full potentialities of marriage. But it takes two to make a fully successful union. Some people do not seem to have the temperament to make marriage what it ought to be. They are too self-centered, too


Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage

selfish, too opinionated, too rigid. Such characteristics, if they exist, soon show up after the wedding. The other party then realizes too late that their mate falls sadly short of his or her ideal. Such people usually lack reflective powers and to a great extent are unaware of their deficiencies. True love, however, covers a multitude of sins, and Christian charity reaches out for the partner even though he or she is full of flaws. With these things in mind, it will be seen that it is risky indeed to visualize marriage as something which would only be possible, if both mates were perfect. Ordinarily, marriage means more to the wife than the husband who has his work outside the home. Still, God is our all-in-all. While God is not jealous of a husband and wife loving each other with a deep devotion, He nevertheless objects strongly if individuals allow this devotion, or the lack of devotion, to sidetrack them in any way from their consecration to Him. If your marriage partner turns out to be near your ideal, thank God for the great gift He has given you. If it is not that way, reconcile yourself and do the best you can to improve the situation. Honor your vow. Time may work wonders; be steadfast. But above all, whatever happens, let nothing permanently wound your spirit or destroy your peace of mind. How can you go through life that way? And it is well to add that even in a happy marriage, it is wise not to permit the loved one to become an idol. Some Christian women have followed their husbands into worldly things because they loved them so much they couldnt bear to incur their displeasure. Such a compromise is almost certain to result in remorse and deep regret. A good husband is priceless, but none is worth that much. Nor should any person subordinate their personality to another to the point where they lean upon that one physiologically, spiritually, and emotionally. The real tragedy of this is seen when death takes the stronger partner and the other is left stunned and helpless, totally unable to adjust himself or herself to the new situation.

4. Get into active service for Christ.

It has long been our belief that everyone has some definite

The Troubled Marriage


calling from God, beside the one by which they earn a living (excluding those of course whose full time is in Christian work). God has a pattern for every life, if we would only pray our way into it. Nothing gives greater satisfaction than to know that one is definitely accomplishing something for God. Somewhere there is the perfect will of God for you. If at all possible get active in gospel work. Certainly there is an outlet for many talents in church work. The greatest vocation of all, however, is to be a prayer intercessor. In this apocalyptic hour in which we are living, when civilization is gradually falling to pieces, it is tragic that we do not have more people who really make prayer a business in their lives. Tragedy may be around the corner for those who do not learn to pray, and pray effectively. Read the first five verses of Ezekiel 9 and see how God, at the time when the sword of judgment was suspended over the nation of Israel, looked down upon those who prayed and sighed because of the evils of the land and set a mark upon them. They were the chosen ones who were spared when catastrophe struck. Judgment today is hanging over our land: nuclear war is around the corner and our whole civilization could go up in smoke in a moment of time. Are we going to be among those who perish, or shall we be among the Lords servants who watch and pray always that we may be accounted worthy to escape all these things and stand before the Son of Man? Marriage is something that pertains to this time. It is intended to benefit us, console us, and help us toward the goal of a successful life. But it is not the end in itself. God is the end of our life.

Chapter V

Divorce Is Not the Answer

Generally speaking, divorce is not the answer to marital difficulties; certainly not for Christian people. People contemplating divorce should thoughtfully consider all the consequences before they make the fateful decision to sunder their union. Here are some of the things about which they should think.

1. Divorced People Are Not Good Marriage Risks

It is a matter of statistics that second marriages have a much higher mortality rate than first marriages. While it may not always be the case, it is often true that both mates are partially responsible for a marriage failure. Neither one was willing to put forth the effort that could probably have saved it. They took the solemn vow, until death do us part, but neglected to realize its full implications. When people are willing to go through one divorce, they are also likely to have another. If a man fails to assume his place as head of the home and earn his wifes respect and loyalty in that capacity, he is not likely to achieve success in another marriage. Likewise, if the wife is unable to make her husband happy and contented in the first marriage there is the same possibility of failure in a second one. In the case where one or both of the mates have been divorced, the second marriage begins with a serious handicap.

2. The Odium of Divorce

Dr. John Rice in his excellent book THE HOME, COURTSHIP, MARRIAGE, CHILDREN says:
There is necessarily, and even properly, shame connected



Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage with divorce. Do not think you can flaunt the opinions of a civilized world and not feel it. Do not think that you can discard your mate and appear guiltless before the world after having made solemn vows to take that mate for better or for worse until death do you part. Even the so-called innocent party to a divorce necessarily inherits part of the blame. People properly feel that if the wife had honorably loved and obeyed her husband and made him happy, he would not have gone after other women. So among Christian people, there is no such thing as having a divorce and not feeling some odium attached to it. Particularly is this true in the churches. In many denominations preachers feel that a divorced person has no right to active participation in church affairs. Some preachers who earnestly contend against divorce, but who do not think through the problem from the Scriptural viewpoint perhaps, may say that those who have married divorced persons are living in adultery, though the Scripture does not say that. So let anyone who is divorced and is thinking of remarrying, or anyone who plans to marry a divorced person, seriously consider the odium and the dangers involved in such a marriage. One had better go slow and prayerfully consider. In many cases one would be much happier to remain single and find Gods blessings wonderfully adequate to fill the heart and mind with love and joy and service, without entering again the bonds of marriage wherein one had once suffered failure and shame.

3. The Problem of Children of a Former Marriage

Sometimes a child is loved and cared for by a stepmother or stepfather as one of their own. But this is not always the case by any means. Especially is this true where both parties have children by a former marriage. Real feuds sometimes develop with the blood parents taking the side of their own children. Inter-family jealousies often develop that result in heated incriminations and recriminations, and charges of partiality. Ishmael, son of Hagar, and Isaac, child of Sarah, could not get along in the same household. One persecuted the other. Often children of the same family find it hard to live together, but where they come from two families, the difficulties are

Divorce Is Not the Answer


compounded. Especially is this true if additional children are born of the new union. This means that there are children having three different parentages in the same home. Unless the parents have unusual tact and wisdom in the handling of children, the problems resulting may be a prime factor in making the new union unstable. That divorce in the home often seriously affects the personality of the child, is a well-known fact and widely reported by officials. A Christian woman who decides for a divorce, often lives to see her own children turn out to be sinners and even criminals, who live and die without God. Children need a happy home and divorce takes away the chances of it. It is a serious emotional shock to the child, when the news is broken to him that his father and mother are not going to live together anymore.

4. The Economic Problem

In four out of five cases, divorce presents a serious economic problem. Often a woman is absorbed in the immediate aspects of her marital difficulties, and scarcely realizes the consequences that must soon crowd upon her. If she carefully considered these difficulties, it is likely that her attitude toward the situation would be materially altered. In most cases, her future financial security will be seriously impaired. Of course, our courts grant alimony payments for the care of the children of divorced parents, but it is a notorious fact that the bitterness engendered in a divorce often results in former husbands seeking by every means to evade this responsibility. Very often the man who once promised to faithfully honor his vows to a sweetheart, will after divorce, not only seek to repudiate his responsibility to her but also to the innocent and helpless children that he brought into the world. The ugly fact is that divorced men pay alimony or child support very reluctantly, and often only when the services of a policeman are enlisted. Men, disallusioned in marriage, often suffer a serious deterioration in character. They hate the woman they once married. The emotional disturbance they experience often causes


Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage

their earning power to decline, and this makes them less able than ever to make alimony payments. If the man remarried, he has a home of his own to keep up. He soon finds that in making these extra payments he can no longer maintain his former standard of living. When he runs out of funds, he may simply neglect to make the payments. A visit from a policeman only infuriates him the more. All this is not an idle tale. Indeed, we see these unhappy scenes constantly enacted before our eyes.

5. The Danger of Incontinency of Divorcees

Although this subject is not discussed much in Christian literature, Paul does not evade the issue.
Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband... Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency. (I Cor. 7:2 and 5)

Paul is realistic in dealing with human nature. Divorcees who remarry (with one exception) commit adultery. And Paul shows that those who do not marry may be in grave danger of succumbing to a worse temptation. Let those who contemplate divorce seriously consider all these things.

6. Everyone, Including the Christian Cause, Suffers From Divorce

We cannot but refer again to that most excellent book The Home, Courtship, Marriage, and Children by Dr. John D. Rice. (We recommend this book as a Christian manual on the subject. It has 22 chapters and about 380 pages and may be obtained at most Christian book stores.)
This subject needs only to be mentioned to have its weight felt. Christian people particularly are expected to love one another, to get along in the home, to keep their solemn

Divorce Is Not the Answer obligations and vows. If Christians cannot live together in peace, then Christians are no better than heathen people, no better than lost people. Every Christian whose home life turns out to be a failure has brought reproach on his own profession of faith, and has brought shame on his own Lord and Saviour. Everywhere it is acknowledged that divorce is largely a church problem. Catholics stand staunchly against divorce, and there is less of divorce among them than among Protestants who sometimes know their Bibles better but are not as loyal to their Bibles as Catholics are to their church decrees. Everywhere it is recognized that earnest Bible Christianity, with a joyful adherence to the commands of Christ and the doctrines of the Scripture, tends to eliminate divorce. So when Christians have their home broken by divorce, there is everywhere shame on the part of the people of God and reproach on the church and on the name of Christ. If you love the Lord Jesus, then at all events be reconciled to your wife or your husband and do not allow your home to be broken. Divorce is the wreck of your own love and happiness. You may think that when you cease to love your mate that he has suffered great loss, and he has. But what about your own loss? How bitter, bitter, is the loss of one who has lost his love or her love! Francis William Bourdillon said: The night has a thousand eyes, And the day but one; Yet the light of the bright world dies With the dying sun. The mind has a thousand eyes, And the heart but one; Yet the light of a whole life dies When love is done. Suppose you keep your pride intact! Suppose you say, I am not going to stand it! I will get even! Suppose that you let your hot anger uphold your resolution and you break the marriage ties and renounce your holy vows, and give up all the sweet contacts and rewards of love. You have made a bad, bad bargain. You have bought yourself bitterness and unhappiness and a sense of frustration and failure that will follow you until you die. Far better to swallow your pride and beg forgiveness. Far better to forgive others, no matter how bad the sin, as long as love can be revived and home can be safeguarded and marriage maintained.


One more word: Take God into your marriage. Put Him and


Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage

His Word first, at all times. Two people wholly consecrated to God and His will, will find that they have everything in common. Hearts fully joined in the service of the eternal God will find their two hearts beating as one. The subject of divorce and all its attendant woes will never give them a moment of anxiety. When there is a divorce, we may be sure that somebody has gotten out of the will of God.

Chapter VI

What Women Should Know About Husbands

A husband wants to feel liked. If he sees the same pleased look welcoming him when he comes home, as he sees on the face of his wife when good friends show up, he will know he is liked. It is one thing to be loved, it is something a little different to be liked. And, likewise, it is important that the woman the husband loves, should feel her need for his approval. Never give a husband the impression that you think he is second-rate. Never let him think that you are ashamed of his job. Nor point out that other men are doing better than he is; that there must be something wrong because he isnt getting ahead any faster. However, you can encourage him and tell him that he is made for better things and that you believe he is going to advance in his chosen work or profession. Because your husband may come home in a strange mood, that does not mean he is mad at you. It has been aptly said, He probably isnt mad at youuntil you ask why he is mad at you. It may be that he will have an interest in some recreation in which you have not previously had an interest. Perhaps, he has a hobby which causes you to wonder how he can be so absorbed in it. You will flatter him if you take an interest in it yourself. Men at times are inconsistent, just as women are inconsistent. A husband is a combination of weaknesses and strengths. He will alternately boast, doubt, blame, and praise, try to impress you, and pout for your attention. Dont neglect to give your husband a little privacy. Let him feel his soul is his own. Dont pry into every thought, or dig for details concerning circumstances that are unpleasant to him. Dont go through his notes, examine everything in his pockets 43


Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage

for clues to information you think he has withheld from you. Don't eavesdrop on him when he is talking to someone in private, to see if anything is said unflatteringly about you. He will love you for your respecting him as an individual. Dont be a D.A. I mean by that, dont argue with your husband or children like a district attorney. Some women, in an attempt to make their complaints more convincing, will sum up the faults and misdeeds of their children or their husband, points one, two, three... the same way as a prosecutor does in a courtroom. This will incur the resentment of the husband and children. Learn the womanly arts of persuasion. The methods of a district attorney are all right in their place, but remember that after he has won his argument, he must be backed up by a police force. Dont go into the details of an old love affair. There is nothing to be gained, and sometimes something can be lost. Sometimes a wife may think she can enhance her value in the eyes of her husband by reminding him that she was much sought after in her courtship days, and he was fortunate indeed to get her, considering all the competition. To talk up an old flame may evoke the answer, If he was so great, why didnt you marry him? This could end in tears. Never waste your time telling him your dreams unless he is a psychiatrist. Usually nothing bores a husband more than the details of a dream. Psychiatrists claim to know the meaning of dreams and how to interpret them. Tell them, if you must, to them. As a rule, however, their interpretations are unflattering. Women are generally good talkers. Be a good listener on occasion. Draw your husband out. Sometimes a woman will ask a question and before a man can answer, divert to another subject altogether that has just popped into her head. A woman can be a genuine help by listening. She can be a sounding board for her husband's ideas. She can sympathize with his problems and often her intuition provides a ray of light for their solving. Every man needs self-esteem. Some men feed it in a crude way, by boasting and bragging of their successes and achievements. A good wife will try to make her husband feel

What Women Should Know About Husbands


important. He will love and appreciate her for it. If, however, she constantly criticizes him, downgrades him and takes away his self-confidence, she is acting against her own interests. She need not expect to receive in return either love, tenderness, or affection. Never domineer over a husband. It isnt necessary. Wise women persuade their mates through more subtle ways. Some women, by the tone of their voice, are able to charm their partner into doing things they never had intended to. Of course, by dogged nagging, a man can be goaded into action, but each time the wife succeeds by this method, she loses something which she ought not to lose. Some women cannot ride in an automobile without constantly giving instructions and advice to their husbands. Of course, it is not wrong to give a word of warning when we see any driver approaching danger and who apparently is unaware of it, but nothing is gained by constantly trying to drive the car from its right side or from the rear seat. A wise woman will always keep herself neat and attractive to her husband. This is just common sense. A slovenly wife who begins to let herself go, who becomes lazy in the matter of her personal appearance, may not expect to hold the high esteem of her husband that she enjoyed during courtship days. Even though he may not compliment her as she thinks he should, she may be sure that he appreciates the fact that his wife takes care to make herself presentable. On the other hand, an unreasonable time taken for dressing and primping before a mirror, especially when the husband is waiting for her, may have the opposite effect. Every woman has the right to look as beautiful as possible. But the indiscriminate use of cosmetics to make up what nature apparently failed to do is more pitiful than helpful. They make her look more sophisticated but hardly more beautiful. It is astonishing the number of women who do not realize this. Above all, keep your marriage romantic. Remember, the day that you adopt a nagging or domineering spirit, or let yourself fly into temper tantrums, or act in unpleasant or ugly ways, you drop from the romantic to a carnal level. Keep starry-eyed. Life


Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage

is a voyage to take you beyond the stars. Therefore, rise above the earthy, the trivial, and the mean. Love is still the greatest thing in the world. True love will keep husbands and wives partners despite rough seas, disappointments and sorrows. If that love rises to the level where there is always courtesy, tenderness, unselfishness and understanding, the voyage will be one of never-ending satisfaction. But it takes two people with the same vision, the same hopes, the same degree of understanding, to live in these realms. So be sure that you do your part. The rewards for those who are successful are not be measured.

1. After God created Eve from Adams side, what comment did God make on the occasion? (Gen. 2:24) 2. Who introduced Polygamy? (Gen. 4:23, 24) 3. What is the key Scripture which warns Christians against marrying unbelievers? (II Cor. 6:14-15) 4. What chapter in Genesis depicts the principles involved in a stable and enduring marriage? (Gen. 24) 5. In what way did Christ place his approval on marriage? (John 2) 6. Of what is marriage a type? (Eph. 5:22-31, II Cor. 11:2, Rev. 19:7-9) 7. Under Law men were permitted to have more than one wife. Did Christ restore the original order? (Deut. 25:5, Mark 10:6-8) 8. Were all the statutes in the Old Testament good? (Ezek. 20:25) 9. What is the one Bible cause, permitting divorce? (Matt. 5:32, 19:9) 10. What was the Old Testament penalty for adultery? (Deut. 22:22) 11. How is this the basis of Christs one exception

What Women Should Know About Husbands


permitting divorce? 12. Define the terms fornication and adultery. How do we know that fornication is a sin committed by others beside unmarried persons? (I Cor. 5, Jude 7) 13. Even though there is cause for divorce, is reconciliation urged by the Scriptures? 14. Is the marriage ceremony necessary to make a couple, man and wife? (John 4:18) 15. After divorce, remarriage and another divorce, is it permissible for the original mates to go back together again? (Deut. 24:4) 16. Is it a sin for married people to be willfully childless? (Gen. 1:28, Gen. 38:9-10) 17. Is abortion murder? 18. What does Gods Word say concerning Sodomy? (Deut. 23:17, Rom. 1:26-27) 19. Should an inductee into the army marry just before going into the service? (Deut. 24:5) 20. Is artificial insemination adultery? (Matt. 5:28) 21. List five major causes for divorce.