Every young couple who stand at the marriage altar have the
privilege of creating a home, that is, if they know the secret of
happiness. And what might you ask, is the secret of happiness? The
secret of happiness is LOVE. Love is a very over worked and misused
True love is a very hardy plant which flourishes in trial and grows
stronger as the years go by. Unfortunately many marriages are not
founded upon love, but rather on some of its counterfeits such as
pride, lust, and so on. It is very important for every young couple
who are contemplating marriage to realise that if genuine love is
not present in the marriage, then their marriage is doomed to
But you might say, surely every bridal couple are in love. That is
how it should be but scores of broken marriages tell us differently.
You see 'being in love' is a deceptive term, because love as I said,
is a very over-worked and misused word.
Love has to be tested to see whether it is real or otherwise. And
the only way we can test love is from the Word of God, for it is
very clearly defined there.
1 John 1:4:8 says, "He that loveth not knoweth not
God; for God is love." This text tells us that God is love. His
character and personality is living love. I can learn what love is
by observing how God behaves.
And the first thing I learn about God is this:
because God loves, He gives.
John 3:16 says, "For God so loved
the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever
believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life."
Because God loves, He gives. And if your love is genuine, you will
Love is unselfish
I would like to contrast this with the arch enemy of God and man,
the one who is responsible for ruining so many marriages and homes.
You will notice that his behaviour is quite different to God.
14:13 says, "For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend
into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will
sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the
Verse 14 says, "I will ascend above the heights of
the clouds: I will be like the Most High!" Did you notice that
word that constantly recurs? I, I, I. I will do this, I will do
Now there is an important way of telling the difference between
love and lust. Lust always puts self first, no matter how charmingly
it does it. Love puts self last. Love never seeks satisfaction at
another's expense. Love never treats a woman as a thing.
The greatest statement of this truth ever put into writing is
found in the
13th chapter of 1st Corinthians. Whether you read it in
any modern translation such as 'Good News' to Philips 'Letters to
Young Churches', or the 'Living Bible', you will find that the same
message comes through - that love is unselfish, love is kind, love
is pure. The thing that we call love must measure up to this test.
Do not be taken in by the feeble excuse "This is not the same
thing, but it is just as good". Nothing is as good as love.
Anything else will let you down within a very short time.
Imitations of love
There are some shoddy imitations that can be seen. The most
common of these is the myth of sexual freedom. A lot of folk have
forgotten that God is the author of sex. He invented it. And He has
made it plain that sex in itself is not enough. Sex must be the
creation of true love. That is why the Bible in the most clear terms
denounces these things. I would like you to notice what is says in
Mark 7:21 "For from within, out of the heart of man, proceed evil
thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders".
Now I am going to ask you a question. Would you buy anything from
Satan as a salesman if he were to come to your door? Would you be
suspicious that he might take you down? Well if you were, you would
not be wrong! Then do not fall for his sales talk of sexual freedom.
If any one should have known that, it was King Solomon. Wise man
that he was, he is the supreme example of a wise man becoming a fool
in matters of the heart.
First essential in building a home
Now here is the first essential in building a home. Absolute and
unswerving loyalty one to the other. Anything less that this will
not do. Here is a warning against one of the many traps Satan has
for young people.
Proverbs 31:30 says, "Favour is deceitful, and beauty
is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised."
I like this rendering of this text "Charm can be deceptive and
beauty doesn't last but a woman who fears and reverences God shall
be greatly praised."
If you were to put this in modern terms it would go like this.
You could marry a Miss Australia and within six months be hardly
aware of her beauty. You must look for that vital element,
character, and you will find it if you choose a partner whose first
devotion is to Christ. Now I did not say "who is a Seventh-day
Adventist" because unfortunately some Adventists are shoddy
Samson wanted Delilah because "she pleased me well." But
it was not very long before she deceived him just as successfully.
Yet fool that he was, he persisted despite his parent's advice.
Listen to the counsel of your parents
Young people rarely take heed of their parent's advice. Parents
love their children, and they do now want them to do the wrong
thing. I say to young people, if you respect your parents and value
their counsel, listen to what they have to say. Young people wear
rose tinted glasses and they cannot see the faults in the person
they plan to marry. If they would only listen to Mum and Dad they
could be spared heartache and trauma.
Esau married two heathen women "which were a grief of mind
unto Isaac and Rebekah." (Genesis 26:34,35)
No one has your welfare at heart so much as the mother who bore
you and the father who sheltered you. Listen at least to their
I have know many unhappy men and women who in self confidence
have ignored the advice that would have saved them a lot of mental
anguish. "Unless you would have a home where the shadows are
never lifted, do not unite yourself with one who is the enemy of
God." (5 Testimonies - EG White 363) If the one you love is not
a committed Christian, your marriage will not keep its glow. And if
his version of Christianity differs from yours, you ought to think
carefully of the words of Amos in
Amos 3:3 "Can two walk together
except they be agreed?"
If people would only take need of this good advice, thousands of
people, yes young people too, would never suffer the heartaches they
do. Many will be lost because they failed to take heed of God's
counsel to give up lovers who walk in the way of the world.
Test of absence from one another
Another test as to whether your love is the real thing, is what
happens if you are absent from one another. There is a witty proverb
which says, "Absence on love is like wind on fire. It blows it
out or blows it higher." Absence of some weeks or longer is a
real test of how deep and genuine ones love really is. There is the
old saying "Absence makes the heart grow fonder", and another
proverb which goes with it "Absence makes the heart to wander."
You know how that some folk are always 'hugging and squeezing',
or 'mugging and kissing', 'pawing and clawing'. That is not true
love, but is infatuation. Sensual infatuation always demands
physical contact of some kind. You often see young folk grabbing
each other and licking each other. That is not love at all, but one
of Satan's sales gimmicks.
Companionship is the very heart of marriage, that is, being
content to be in each others company without having to be a
Is he/she tidy?
Just for a few moments we will take a look at the fitness of your
prospective mate for marriage. This goes for both sexes. If he or
she is tidy, that augers well. But if untidy, then there is going to
be trouble, for you will spend the rest of your married life picking
up clothes from the floor, and cleaning up after them, putting
things away in the wardrobe etc.
Another very important factor is maturity. A mature person is
able to make wise decisions. Unfortunately, many young people or
young marrieds are unable to make wise decisions, but it is
absolutely vital that they do for their future happiness depends on
Can she cook?
A young man may be looking out for a glamorous young lady to be
his life companion, but it is very important that she should be able
to cook. I assure you that glamour makes a very unsatisfying diet. I
knew a lady who could not even boil water, let alone cook a meal.
There is something else that is very important, it is the
emotional climate. Is the young lady you are about to marry give to
tantrums, or the shedding of much tears in order to get her own way.
Once she finds that this works, she will use this time and time
again to get her own way until the house is filled with misery and
gloom. This can be very depressing for both the husband and wife. It
would be very wise for the prospective husband to watch out for
this, and if he sees this danger, he ought to drop her as quickly as
possible. It could be a painful process, but far better than a life
Sense of humour
I hardly need to stress the fact that it is absolutely vital that
both parties should have a sense of humour, especially if they can
laugh at each other.
Homes should be a little bit of heaven
Here is a statement that will make you think, "There is no
such person as an ideal mate but there is a terrible possibility
that you will be deceived by Satan into contracting a hopelessly
unsuitable union. He has no more effective way of closing heaven to
you and your children than by marring your marriage." The Spirit
of Prophecy (EG White) says, "Our homes should be a little heaven
to go to heaven in."
Now I want to move on to the consideration of the home you will
be setting up. Before you bring a baby into this world, you must
create an environment which will set a hedge against the evil about
him. Baby's environment is very important. Financial insecurity is
something you need to watch very carefully. There is the old proverb
"When poverty comes in the door, love flies out of the window."
With a reasonable deposit, you can buy a (second hand) Ford
Falcon or some special car of your choice. But do not forget, if the
car costs $5,000 you will pay nearly $10,000 for it. Resist the
temptation to buy the first goods you see in the supermarket. Do
what the experienced mothers are doing and shop around for specials.
It is very important to budget your income. Budget weekly for
electricity, gas, train or bus fares etc. But above all, budget for
the LORD. No one can afford to rob God.
Malachi 3:8 says, "Will a
man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me, But ye say, Wherein have we
robbed thee? In tithes and offerings." If a man robs God, he
robs himself and his wife. And he did the buying while his wife
pushed the trolley.
Share household duties
Some money should be your wife's. After all you would have to pay
for a housekeeper, and yet you expect your wife to do it all for
nothing. In our modern society, often both the husband and wife have
to work in order to make the payments on their house or even to
furnish it. This creates some problems. For if the wife has to work
all day and then comes home and prepares the meals, cleans the
house, this places a heavy strain upon her. Usually the wife is not
as strong as the husband in a physical sense, and she tires more
easily than he does. The husband can do something to help, for he
can share the burdens and duties of the home with her. If he really
and truly loves his wife, he will wash the dishes, sweep the kitchen
floor and even do some of the washing.
Communicate with each other
Another thing you will have to watch out for is TV in the home. I
have had folk tell me that their marriage nearly went on the rocks
because of TV. If you want the wedding bells to keep on ringing in
your marriage, you must learn to communicate. One of our church
ladies left her husband because he never talked. She claimed that it
made her a nervous wreck. TV is the best way to break down
You ought to have been in houses I have been in. They eat tea
before the set. If anyone spoke or said anything, they were told to
be quiet. There they would sit until bed time or the station closed
down. They watched anything and everything. I assure you that
nothing wrecks happiness faster than misunderstanding.
Don't let the sun go down on your anger
Ephesians 4:26 says, "Be ye angry, and sin not. Let not the
sun go down upon your wrath". The Living Bible puts it this way,
"If you are angry, don't sin by nursing your grudge. Don't let
the sun go down with you still angry - get over it quickly."
Never go to sleep at night without having made things right between
you. It is far better to retain your love than to win an argument.
Never mind who is in the wrong, try to reach a settlement so there
is no further tension.
Watch your wife carefully if she raises her voice in pitch and
volume. You will know that something is wrong, that she is under
tension. Just be careful how you handle the situation.
Listen to each other
One of the finest arts and the least practised is listening. If
you practice listening, you will find a lot of things will begin to
change. My wife often says "You are not listening".
Now here is a real special, kind words. This is something we all
need to learn.
Proverbs 31:26 says, "She opened her mouth with
wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness." In other
words, blessed is the man who is married to a woman in whose tongue
Don't criticise one another in public
Be very careful you do not criticize one another in public. How
often I have heard these words, "It's my husband who is the
trouble", or "it's the wife". If you have something at
all to say, say something nice.
Mutual respect is another very important thing in maintaining the
love and respect one should have for the other. Happy is the man who
is greeted by a clean and carefully dressed wife. Her appearance
tells the husband that she values his appreciation and praise, just
as much as she did before marriage. Husbands, it is no compliment to
your wife to go unshaven and hair uncombed to the breakfast table.
Now I would like to touch on another very important thing, and it
is spiritual responsibility. It is the husband's privilege to be the
priest of the household. He should be the spiritual leader. Begin
from your marriage day to set up the family altar. Learn to study
the Bible together. None can build a happy home unless they build it
with God's blessing.
Psalm 127:1 says, "Unless the LORD builds a
house, those who build it labour in vain." (R.S.V.)
It is very important to keep in mind that in this life we are
preparing for a place in God's new world. If our homes are little
Edens now, what a wonderful start we have as we set up our homes in
eternity. They should be a foretaste of Heaven. If you follow God's
counsel that can be your experience.