Christian Family, Free Online Correspondence Course Lesson 1

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Beginning at the Beginning

The First Marriage in Eden: Jesus taught that we must learn from the example of Adam and Eve if we are to learn aright about marriage (Matt. 19:3-9). For Adam and Eve, their whole world was just the two of them, and God. There was no one else to desire or to be desired by. No one else to think about but themselves, and God. No one else to fellowship with but each other, and God. No one else to talk with but each other, and God. It was an exclusive company of just three! This is how it was in the beginning. 

Adam had no woman to please but Eve. Eve had no man to please but Adam. Perfect loyalty. Perfect commitment. Perfect fellowship. The two were together in their prayers, work, dining, rest, and sleep. God was very much a part of their thoughts and affections. Their home was the
Garden of Eden – meaning, garden of delights. What were their delights? To live to please God, and to live to please each other. Such were the delights of the first marriage. Adam’s love was exclusively for Eve, and for God. Eve’s love was exclusively for Adam, and for God. It
was a world of just three. 

Initially, Adam was alone. Then God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him an help meet (fit) for him” (Gen. 2:18). From this single verse we have much to learn. God said that it was not good for man to be alone. What would be good for Adam? A woman! Centuries later Solomon wrote, “Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favor of the Lord” (Prov. 18:22). Again, “She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life” (Prov. 31:12). Just as we believe the Scriptures concerning the salvation of our soul, we have
to believe these verses so that they become true for us. 

When a husband believes and confesses, “God has given me a good thing in my wife,” God is pleased, and the Scripture shall have its fulfillment. And, when the wife believes and confesses, “I am a good gift the Lord has given to my husband,” God is pleased, and the Scripture shall have its fulfillment. A wife is a good gift, a favor from the Lord. Let us emphasize: Have we believed the Scripture? Have we confessed the Scripture? It is what we believe that is our portion, not what we merely agree with. 

Let every husband confess: “Lord, my wife is Your good gift to me, Your favor toward me. I thank You for her. Lord, I bless my wife in Your name so that she will be a blessing to me. Grant, Lord, that only kind thoughts will arise in my heart towards her, and only gracious
words proceed from my mouth to her or about her. Lord, teach me to praise her as it says in Your Word (Prov. 31:28). Lord, help me to love my wife as You loved Your Church and gave Yourself for her. Amen.” 

When you believe and confess this truth, Satan loses his power. God is glorified. 

Let every wife confess: “Lord, my husband is Your good gift to me, Your favor toward me. I thank You for him. Lord, I bless my husband in Your name so that he will be a blessing to me. Grant, Lord, that only kind thoughts will arise in my heart towards him, and only gracious words proceed from my mouth to him or about him. Lord, I thank You for creating me as a good gift and as a helper for my husband. Lord, teach me to be a help for him. Teach me, Lord, to do him good all the days of my life. Lord, teach me to submit to him as unto You as it says in Your Word. Amen.” 

Again, when you believe and confess this truth, Satan loses his power. God is glorified. 

What is set forth above is the heart of the matter in family life: believing the truth God has spoken, confessing the same in prayer, and giving God the glory. 

God’s Design and God’s Grace:   The greatest thing God made was not the planet Earth, not the heavens, not even the angels. When the angels sinned, God did not send His Son to die for them, but for man He did. That shows God’s love for us. God has created nothing higher than man, man being inclusive of woman. Adam was the crown of creation, and Eve was to be his crown (Prov. 12:4). Again, will we believe these truths? Sin has brought such degradation upon man that these precious truths are almost forgotten. All things have become earthy and ordinary. But not so with us who are in Christ, and in whom Christ dwells. We are changed into His image, and we should look back to how it was in the beginning. 

The Exclusive Love in Marriage

Love between a husband and his wife is necessarily exclusive except for God. It is this exclusive love that takes the couple back to the blessedness of the first marriage in Eden. Spousal love excludes even parents, but the parents are no less dear because of marriage. It is in this exclusive love – we may call it covenant love – that two people give themselves to each other: a love that creates a oneness whose mystery is of God’s own design. It creates a union that never dissolves, and ends only with death. Here, in such a union, belongs sex, nowhere else. Here, and here alone, is sex pure. Here, and here only, we may experience the delights of marriage and family as it was intended in the beginning. 

How earnest a husband should be, a wife should be, to preserve this exclusiveness of affections! While in the presence of other women, a husband must have the door of his emotions securely locked (“I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?” Job 31:1) so that he may preserve his exclusive love for his spouse. It is as if
he is a father or a brother to other women. 

A wife, in the presence of other men, would, as it were, rather see than be seen (Gen. 18:9-10: Sarah was out of sight, but within hearing; see also 1 Tim. 2:9). It is as if she is veiled to other men. It is a demeanor that adorns her face as an invisible veil, and is her power and her glory.
She relates to other men as if she were a mother or a sister to them. For such a couple the exclusive delights of Eden are promised in this earthly life. 

Praise be to God who grants that we may experience and enjoy such goodness in marriage and family. This is possible when our love is pure. Our love is pure because it is exclusive, but yet inclusive of God who is Love, and through whom alone we can love as we ought to love. For
this reason we are taught that Christian marriage is a picture of the marriage between Christ and the Church. 

Sex: God’s Idea and God’s Gift:  Some of God’s people, based on false teachings, think that sex is not holy. When the pure is called impure, Satan gains power. When sex is considered impure, marriage is degraded, and its bliss marred. This causes distress in married life. 

Sex is holy in marriage (Heb. 13:4) because it is the idea of the Holy One. Marriage and sex are divine institutions for mankind. Let us call holy what God has called holy. Let us bless what God has blessed. Sex in marriage and the joy of sex are God’s own ideas, and therefore absolutely pure. It is blessed to experience sexual union in covenant love as God’s precious gift. It is also blessed to receive the fruit of that union — children. Knowing that the joys as well as the sufferings in marriage are God’s provisions, the husband and wife should seek God’s wisdom to dwell together fulfilling God’s purposes (1 Peter 3:7).

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