Christian Family, Free Online Correspondence Course Historical Notes

Christian Family, Free Online Correspondence Course Historical Notes 

1. God instituted monogamous marriage at creation (Gen. 2:18-25).  Polygamy was the fruit of the deterioration of mankind. It has no  sanction under the New Covenant.

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2. With the deterioration of mankind, physical beauty rather than  godliness became the main criterion in choosing a wife (Gen. 6:2). 

3. “Marriage among the Jews was usually preceded by a formal act of  betrothal, such a contract being regarded as absolutely binding. On  the marriage day, the bride was escorted to her husband’s home by a  procession consisting of her own companions, and the ‘friends of the  bridegroom’, or ‘children of the bride-chamber’. When she reached  the house, some such words as “Take her according to the Law of  Moses and of Israel’ were spoken, the pair were crowned with  garlands, and a marriage deed signed. After the prescribed washing  of hands and benediction, the marriage supper was held. For a year  after marriage a man was released from all military service. The  Christian law of marriage is given in Mt. 19:4-9; Mark 10:2-12;  Rom. 7:2; 1 Cor. 7; its mystical meaning, as symbolizing the union  between Christ and the Church, is explained in Eph. 5:22-32.”  Concise Bible Dictionary in the Holy Bible, Cambridge University

4. In Jewish culture it was not proper for a couple to express their  affection in public (Song of Solomon 8:1-3). 

5. In ancient times long and flowing hair was the glory of a godly  woman (Song of Solomon 4:1; 6:5 (New King James Version); 1  Cor. 11:15). A meek and quiet spirit was her inner beauty (1 Peter  3:4). 

6. In the Old Testament, betrothal was considered equally as binding as  marriage. Rape of a betrothed girl demanded the death of the man  involved (Deut. 22:23–27). 

7. Job’s daughters shared their father’s inheritance with the sons (Job  42:15). Daughters did not share the inheritance in Israel, except later  under the law only if there were no sons (Num. 27:8). “In  Mesopotamian law the dowry was given to the bride by her father  and remained her possession even if it was administered by her  husband; it passed to her sons after her death or returned to her  family if she died without sons.” Dictionary of the Bible, John L.  McKenzie, S.J. 

8. A large family was a blessing from God (Psa. 127:3-5; 128:2-4).  Childlessness was a matter of sorrow (Gen. 30:1; 1 Sam. 1:6,11;  Luke 1:25). 

9. It was the duty of the parents to teach the children wisdom. 

10. Respect and obedience for the parents was commanded (Ex. 20:12;  Deut. 5:16). Striking or insulting the parents was punishable by  death (Ex. 21:15,17; Lev. 20:9). 

In the beginning the Creator crowned the creation with the marriage of  two beings created in His own image. The fellowship between Adam  and Eve as God’s children was the ultimate bliss in Eden. The same  fellowship is recreated in every covenant union ever since. This blessing  may be experienced in all families through the Lord Jesus Christ who  redeemed us from the Fall.

God shall also crown eternity with a marriage: the marriage between His  Son and the Church. For this the Lord Jesus Christ loved us and gave  Himself for us. It is in such sacrificial love – ovenant love – that we  fully realize the joys of marriage and family. 

To such joys of marriage and family this book invites you. God’s grace  makes such a life possible for every family.

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