Church of God Message 

Call Us:  8133745451


Chapter 7

God’s Instructions for a Happy Marriage

Now let’s see what the Bible reveals about human marriage.

First of all, Genesis 1:26-27 tell us that God made man in His image and according to His likeness. This means that humans look like God in appearance and also have minds like God’s and think like Him. 

Before man’s creation God created the animal world after its own kind. But God created mankind in His own image and likeness. This means that God created mankind after the God kind. 

God made mankind male and female with the institution of marriage. This means that just as mankind was created as temporary physical creation but patterned after the God kind, the institution of marriage and family was patterned after the permanent spirit world reality.

God tells humans in 2 Corinthians 6:18, “18 And [I] will be a Father unto you, and you shall be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” Our ultimate destiny is to become sons and daughters of God. This means God is a family and the human family is patterned after the God family.

At present the God family consists of two beings: God the Father and Jesus Christ His son. But our potential is to become part of God’s family. This is confirmed by 1 John 3:1-3: “1 Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore, the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. 2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him [meaning like Jesus Christ in spirit composition, shape, faculties and mind] for we shall see Him as He is. 3 And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.”

Spiritual Parallel with Human Marriage

Just as a human family is patterned after God’s family, human marriage is also patterned after a spiritual relationship; that of Jesus Christ with His Church. 

Paul the apostle explained that relationship in Ephesians 5:22-31, “22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. 24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church [as a bride], not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.

“28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. 30 For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. 31 "For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh." 32 This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.”

Paul explains that just as the relationship that the Church has with Christ, so should be the relationship between the husband and the wife.

Husbands are to be the head of the family just as Jesus Christ is the head of the Church. The wives are to submit to their husbands just as the Church is subject to Jesus Christ.

In return the husbands are to love their wives just as Jesus Christ loved the Church and sacrificed His life for her. They are also to love and take care of their wives just as they love their own bodies, as Paul says, ‘For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church.”

Now notice carefully verses 25-27 again: “25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.”

What Paul is saying here is that husbands loving their wives just as Christ loved the Church is part of the cleansing process for the Church. That is the only way the Church will become without spot or wrinkle and fit to marry Jesus Christ.  This obviously means that the right relationship between husband and wife in a marriage is essential for qualifying for eternal life.

Implications of These Instructions

Consider the implications of following or violating these instructions.

How do two become part of a harmoniously working single family unit? Such a harmonious relationship as God desires is not possible between two males or two females. But in a human family unit with a male and a female perfect cooperation without competition is possible with both members working towards the common goal. 

Humans do not have strong motivation to root out competition and to work towards the common goal unless they are thrown together. In a family unit when two human beings share virtually all time together, they are strongly motivated to root out competition and learn to perfectly cooperate with each other to have a happy, joyful and successful marriage. We have to unlearn satanic competition and learn godly cooperation. And God has given us the perfect mechanism to do so in a marriage by man being the head of the unit. That is the best way to resolve any issues on which consensus cannot be reached. But husbands are also to love their wives as themselves. There is no better way for mankind to unlearn satanic competition than the family unit and learn perfect cooperation. 

Getting rid of competition, learning to perfectly cooperate with one another and producing happiness and joy for the family demands that the husband and wife safely trust each other. That trust simply cannot be built without total commitment and faithfulness between the husband and wife. Such trust is simply not possible when a husband has more than one wife or when a wife has more than one husband, or even having children outside of marriage.

Any relationship other than between one husband and one wife will always cause plenty of tension. There are enough examples in the Bible to demonstrate that. We have the example beginning with Abraham, then the examples of Jacob, David and Solomon. The greatest cause of tension in the lives of all these men of God was having more than one wife.

The implications of this could be eternal. If you cannot commit to one mate in marriage, and divorce or leave and go to whoever offers you the best of whatever you are seeking (and if that is your situation, then you probably don’t even know what you are seeking, or what is in your best interests in the long run) you will only be causing emotional distress to family and friends in myriads of ways. Do you imagine God will want to have you as a son or daughter in His kingdom?  Don’t you think if you are a source of pain and suffering in the lives of all those who come into contact with you in this life, then you will be a source of pain and suffering for all those you will come into contact with in God’s Kingdom? It would be foolish to expect God to give you eternal life under such circumstances, unless the attitude is deeply repented of. That is how important total commitment and faithfulness are in marriage between one man and one woman.    

Thus, we see that by creating mankind flesh and blood beings, male and female, God is preparing mankind to rule the universe with Him. Human males and females are designed to learn to love one another. That’s why humans having sex and families out of marriage are defeating God’s very purpose for creating humanity. If unrepented of, it will lead to loss of eternal life.

How to Have a Happy Godly Marriage  

Since God has designed the marriage and family institution to teach mankind eternal lessons, He must have vital instructions on how He wants each of us to conduct ourselves in this institution. And indeed, God has provided us those instructions.  

The first instructions for marriage were given to Adam and Eve when the very first marriage was solemnized. Then detailed instructions on roles of husbands and wives on marriage were provided in Ephesians 5:22-33 and Colossians 3:18-21 which includes instructions on how to treat children. The book of Proverbs also provides some valuable instructions.  

When the first marriage between Adam and Eve was instituted, here are God’s instructions in Genesis 2:18, 21-25, “18 And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him… 21 And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; 22 And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made He a woman, and brought her unto the man. 23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. 24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. 25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.”

It’s Not Good for Man to Be Alone

God’s first instruction to man is that it is not good to be alone. God instructs a man to go find a wife. To find a wife is a good thing. Solomon said in Proverbs 18:22, “Whoso finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor of the Lord.” That favor comes in the forms of huge advantages married people enjoy over single adults in all walks of life.

Indeed, the very first great purpose for marriage mentioned in the Bible is stated in Genesis 1:28, “28…Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth…”    

We are to have children in a marriage and grow as a family, just as God is reproducing Himself to grow His family. That is part of the process of learning to enjoy life for eternity. We enjoy life with others, not by living alone. That’s why God wants humans to marry and have children.  Raising children should also be a joyful experience in helping them achieve major milestones in their lives.

That’s why religions that teach that celibacy as a higher form of living are the creation of ungodly fools. By remaining celibate, or alone, one simply cannot enjoy life forever. Enjoying life means doing things together with others. Being recognized and appreciated by others for your accomplishments is part of enjoying life for eternity.

Solomon the wisest man who ever lived except Jesus Christ had this to say about not being alone in Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, “Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falls; for he has not another to help him up. Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken”  

Solomon explains that two in marriage are better than one because they can together enjoy the fruit of their labors.  Being together also helps to lift each other up when one is down. Two together can be comfortable rather than a person alone. In addition, two can withstand challenges from the outside better than one can. And then Solomon mentions that a third person, a child really binds the family together just as a rope must have minimum 3 strands woven together to be strong. More children bind the family even closer together and make it stronger.

Those who walk away from their children or have children outside of marriage are simply not receiving the true benefits they could have received in marriage.  Such people go through enormous stresses and strains which also affect the emotional and psychological development of the children.

Numerous studies have shown the tremendous benefits of living together as a family and why living alone is not healthy. Statistics show that single people are not happy. These studies show that married people live longer, experience less depression, are more emotionally and physically healthy, have lower rates of alcoholism and substance abuse, and higher income and savings levels than the unmarried. The lowest rates for mental hospital admissions and suicidal tendencies for parent and children are consistently found among the married. In addition, the elderly living alone who never had children as well as children born out of wedlock are more likely to be a burden on the state [in rich countries only] for their upkeep than those who are married.

Married people are more productive in their lives. One can understand it this way.  Two people living alone have to do 100% of the work themselves.  If they live together, the combined work increases to about 125%, but now two people are available to perform that work. So, each person is saving more than one third of his or her time. Of course, work increases when children come along. But then the happiness and joy come along with having a family, the benefits of which should last in old age and then for eternity. And children can make old age comfortable and endurable.

Thus, according to God’s plain instructions in the Bible men and women should not be alone, should get married and have children.

Husband and Wife Should Love Each Other as Their own Body

God’s next instructions to Adam and Eve in Genesis 2:21-24 are: “21 And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; 22 And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made He a woman, and brought her unto the man. 23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. 24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”

This account shows that God literally lovingly built Eve for Adam from a part of his own body to be a perfect mate for him. Adam and Eve recognized that she was a part of him. That’s why he said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.”

They recognized that they both were from the same bone and flesh. There is no human being who would cut off a part of his or her body such as a hand or foot or ear or nose. God’s instructions are that that is how the husband and wife should treat each other. That is how they are instructed to love each other as they love and cherish every organ of their body.

Adam’s enclosed wound in his body from where his rib was taken would serve as a constant reminder to him and Eve that their lives are knit together, and they should be inseparable.

Husband and Wife Should Leave Their Parents Homes

Another aspect of marriage is stated in verse 24, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife…”

Here God instructs that the new husband and wife should leave each other’s parents and set up a separate family unit. Now they have to work together in the unit which may involve doing things differently from the way each of them did in their parents’ home. Those who fail to heed these instructions suffer much anguish because of interference from parents in their lives. Many times, such marriages fail because of the tension these family relationships create. When living together, a husband and wife need to adjust just to each other. But when living with parents, the parents may have different ideas on how the new husband and wife should live their lives. Trying to meet the expectations of so many different people will only create more conflicts leading to unhappiness in marriage.

Husband and Wife Shall Become one Flesh

God’s next instructions for marriage in Genesis 2:24 are that, “…the man…shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” They are now joined together as one unit.

Becoming one flesh indicates how closely their lives are to mesh with each other’s in addition to being joined together in sexual union. They are literally to cling or cleave to each other, or bonded or glued together in the family unit. It means becoming inseparable and doing things jointly, and loving each other as themselves! Sexual union is an integral part of that process of a man and wife becoming one flesh both physically and in mind. It creates commitment to one another in the unit.

In these instructions where is there place for a man marrying more than one wife or a wife marrying more than one husband? Those who do so are violating God’s plain instructions. And where is there place for sex outside of marriage? A man and wife are to become one flesh. One cannot become one flesh with more than one sexual partner.

Those husbands and wives who mistreat each other, don’t love each other, or those who have abandoned their children or spouses, or divorced and neglected their children, or have sex out of marriage relationships are simply not demonstrating to God that they want to build a family like the one God is building.  They simply have not learnt to build relationships that would endure for eternity.  He will not make such people part of His family by granting them eternal life.  

Both Were Naked and Not Ashamed

God’s instruction to Adam and Eve says in Genesis 2:25, “And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.”

This verse tells us that sex within marriage is not dirty and is a good thing. God said in Genesis 1:31, “31 And God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.” And that includes sex in marriage. Sexual union is part of the cleaving process. That’s why fornication does irreparable harm to a future marriage. Some wounds of fornication may be healed, but not completely. Fornication steals the oneness and closeness that should come from marriage. It cheapens marriage and the guilt can continue to cause further anguish. Adultery can wreck a marriage and the wounds may never heal. Instead the wounds of adultery may turn husband and wife into the bitterest of enemies. And if not sincerely and deeply repented of such sins may lead to loss of eternal life. God does not want unfaithful people in His kingdom as part of His eternal family.

Those were God’s instructions on what a human marriage is supposed to be. Next let’s look at God’s instructions on what are the respective responsibilities of wife and husband within marriage. Those instructions were provided by Paul.

Wife’s Responsibility Within Marriage

God first stated a wife’s responsibility within marriage through the apostle Paul in Ephesians 5:22-24: “22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the savior of the body. 24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.”

Here God clearly lays down authority within marriage. The husband is to be the leader and head of the family unit. Wives should submit themselves to the authority of their husbands as God’s Church is subject to Jesus Christ and wives as members of God’s Church also submit themselves to Jesus Christ.

Family has been designed to teach us how to live under authority. When two or more come together, for things to work smoothly, one person must be in charge.  That is God’s method of government.   

God designed mankind male and female, and in a family, He put man as the head of the family and the woman to support him. This creates a hierarchical structure in the family.  By living in a family unit, human beings learn God’s method of government and accept it much easier than if they were either only male or only female.

Do you think a woman who wants to rule her husband will be demonstrating to God that she has learnt to live under authority? Certainly not!

Look at any successful organization in the corporate world. There is always one person unambiguously in charge. That is God’s method of government for success. And husband being the head and leader of the family unit is God’s method for success and accomplishment of incredible goals in marriage.

Most women are taught today that they are equal in authority to their husband and that marriage is a 50%-50% proposition. There is no doubt that men and woman are equal as both are human beings and both have the same potential as becoming God’s literal immortal children. All angels are equal but do not possess equal talents, abilities and hence not of equal authority. For a unit or an organization to function smoothly with the greatest possible success one person must be in charge.   

Marriage counselors today view these instructions as badly out-of-date and out-moded. The results are evident for us to view. This is the reason more than 50% of marriages break up and most don’t last beyond 5 years, resulting in terrible pain and suffering for the husband, wife, children, extended families and friends.  A family cannot be happy if they disregard God’s formula for happiness in marriage.

Paul the apostle further describes how wives are to submit to their husbands in verse 33, “…the wife see that she reverence [respect is a better translation] her husband.” The wives are thus required to respect their husbands while submitting to them.

Husband’s Responsibility in Godly Marriage

Next Paul describes the husband’s responsibility in marriage beginning in Ephesians 5:25, “25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it…”

That verse lays heavy responsibility on the husband in the marriage. His foremost responsibility in marriage is to love his wife. And that love is to be of the highest standard. Just as Jesus Christ loves God’s Church and sacrificed Himself for it, so are husbands required to do for their wives and families. Being leader of the family comes with an enormous responsibility. Husbands are required to provide for the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of their wives and families.

Jesus Christ never gives up on His Church. So also are husbands required to love their wives with patience, tolerance, forgiveness and caring.

Then Paul continues in verses 28-29, 33: “28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourishes and cherishes it, even as the Lord the church.”   Then verse 33: “…let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself…”

Paul reinforces the kind of love with which husbands are to love their wives.  They are to love them as they love themselves and their own bodies. They are to love, nourish, meaning provide for, and cherish their wives as they do their own bodies.

Thus, a man as head of the household has the responsibility to provide for and support his family members and love them and give himself for them as Jesus gave Himself for the Church. A man who fails to do so will not have learnt to assume responsibility. With these instructions on a man’s responsibility, do you think a man who is responsible for the birth of children and walks out on them will be granted eternal life as God’s son in His family? The answer should be obvious.

Ruling means assuming responsibility. Humans are designed to rule God’s creation, and later their own creation. Those who have not learnt to do so will not be happy for eternity. Those who have not learnt to support their families will not receive the free gift of eternal life from God.

Those are the basic instructions God has provided for mankind for having happy marriages and families. Other scriptures add further instructions.   

Wives are to Love their Husbands and Children

Not only husbands are to love their wives as Jesus Christ loves the Church, but wives are also commanded to love their husbands and children. Titus 2:4-5 instructs wives to, “4…be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”

Wives are to love their husbands and children. This means their lives should be centered around their family and loving all members of the family. They are instructed again to be obedient to their own husbands over obedience to anyone else, but according to God’s word so that the word of God be not blasphemed. They are to be chaste in marriage, meaning chaste in sexual conduct.

They are commanded to be sober (means not given to drinking too much), discreet, meaning not discussing family matters with other women or people outside their homes or airing dirty laundry. Wives or husbands should not discuss intimate sexual or non-sexual problems between themselves with anyone outside. It often leads to divorce.

Paul elaborated on this in 1 Timothy 5:13, “13 And besides they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house, and not only idle but also gossips and busybodies, saying things which they ought not.”

Avoiding such behavior is what Paul calls being discreet.

Peter the apostle provides similar instruction for wives in 1 Peter 3:1-6. He writes, “1 Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without the word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, 2 when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear. 3 Do not let your adornment be merely outward--arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel [here Peter is cautioning against too much emphasis on following fashions], 4 rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit [again cautioning against being busybodies, and rather being discreet], which is very precious in the sight of God. 5 For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands, 6 as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, whose daughters you are if you do good and are not afraid with any terror.”  

Husbands to Honor Their Wives

Wives are instructed to submit to the authority of their husbands and obey them.  But the husbands are also commanded to give honor to their wives as to a weaker vessel. Those instructions were given by Peter the apostle in 1 Peter 3:7: “Likewise you husbands dwell with them according to knowledge giving honor unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers be not hindered.”

Peter is saying that wives are only physically weaker, not mentally or spiritually.  Making wives physically weaker has been by design to establish authority in the family unit. In the chimpanzee world, the male chimps are stronger than the females. There is no conflict about who is in authority in those species except among the bonobo chimps among whom the female is as strong as the male and the males consequently are clearly not in authority.

But coming back to the point, in a human family, women are only physically weaker, not mentally or spiritually. Today’s corporate world with women CEOs demonstrates that. Husbands are required to give honor to their wives as to the weaker vessel because both are heirs together of the grace or free gift of eternal life from God. God warns that if husbands do not give honor to their wives their prayers will be hindered. GOD WILL SIMPLY NOT HEAR THE PRAYERS OF A HUSBAND WHO DOES NOT HONOR HIS WIFE.

What giving honor to a wife as the weaker vessel means is that if a man wants to bring something to the attention of his wife, he must do it gently and kindly. In that regard husbands are cautioned in Colossians 3:19, “19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter toward them.”

This instruction means to simply follow the rules of good communications. No one wants to be ordered around, talked down to, put down, and made the brunt of jokes. Wives must be treated with dignity, respect and honor. Husbands must not behave like drill sergeants in their families.

Part of honoring wives means soliciting and listening to their advice. Every good leader listens to the suggestions and advice of his subordinates for in a multitude of counselors there is safety. Remember family and life goals are joint goals and are to be achieved jointly with everyone in the family being involved and contributing advice and effort to do so. 

Also, part of honoring wives means communicating with them regularly. The strong silent stereotype works only in the movies and is a hindrance to a good and happy marriage. It builds for a strong happy marriage when family plans and strategies are discussed together, and progress monitored by discussing how one’s day went. Just as good and effective communications build stronger organizations, good and effective communications build stronger marriages and families. Wives talk to and deal with children at the level of 5-15-year-olds the whole day. They need adult conversation at the end of the day. Hence communicating with wives is part of honoring them.

All this is part of dwelling together according to knowledge as stated by Peter the apostle. This right knowledge about effective communication, leadership, importance of and obedience to authority, proper understanding of sex in marriage is provided in other parts of the Bible.

Bible Teaches Equality Between the Sexes  

While the two sexes have their differences, spiritually speaking there is equality between the sexes in the Bible. Both male and female are born in exactly the same way. Paul the apostle explained in I Corinthians 11:11-12, “11…neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord. 12 For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God.” Man cannot be born without the woman, nor the woman without the man. That is why Islam is a religion of the devil that does not acknowledge this equality. Peter declared in 1 Peter 3:7 that men and women are, “…heirs together of the grace of life”

Proper Understanding of Sex

Sex is very important and even crucial in marriage. When God created humankind male and female, He created sex and pronounced all that He had created as “very good” in Genesis 1:31.

Thus, sex in marriage is very good. It is not dirty. God does not want husbands and wives to be sexually unfulfilled. That requires some basic understanding of the male and female bodies. Without proper understanding of female bodies, most men virtually rape their wives on their wedding night. A needless tragedy which can be averted with proper knowledge.

One of Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong’s greatest contributions for human happiness has been authoring the book “The Missing Dimension in Sex” which is all about the subject of human sexuality. Reading that book just before getting married is a must for building a happy marriage. That book is available free of charge from the Philadelphia Church of God at It is also available free on the Internet.

God gave instructions about sex within marriage through Paul the apostle in 1 Corinthians 7:3-5, “3 Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband. 4 The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise, the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. 5 Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”

Thus, in marriage no mate has the right to withhold sex from the other. After marriage your body belongs to your mate. Withholding sex may lead to adultery which usually leads to divorce. And that leads to severe psychological and emotional problems for the family and children. Properly understood and practiced, sex within marriage binds a wife and husband together as nothing else does.

Keepers at Home

In his letter to Titus in 2:5, Paul mentioned that women should be keepers at home. There is no mistaking that instruction. God’s formula for a happy marriage and family is that married women not pursue careers but stay home to look after the family.

Men and women have been created differently. Men have been engineered to look at the overall picture in a family and perform the more physical demanding tasks for support and upkeep of the family. But women were engineered to think of the small details of the family’s needs that make the home friendly, warm and a pleasure to come to at the end of the day. Most men do very poorly at such tasks. In short, women were created to be effective assistants to their husbands in the family.

In today’s world we see many women bucking this trend and pursuing business and government careers very successfully. Actually, women are surging ahead of men in the USA as more women pursue college degrees than men. But plenty of studies have assessed happiness of families and marriages with women in careers vs women as homemakers.

Mail online of the U.K reported on July 30,2013: “Stay-at-home mothers are more likely to think their lives are worthwhile than women who go to work, a study of national happiness suggests. They tend not to suffer from boredom, frustration or feelings of worthlessness, according to the research on Britain’s well being.

In America, The Atlantic reported on December 18, 2013, “Two facts are often obscured in the public conversation devoted to women, work, and family. First, the vast majority of married mothers don’t want to work full-time. Second, married mothers who are able to cut back at work to accommodate their family’s needs tend to be happier…[This] new data shows mothers report more happiness when they can lean homeward.”

Studies clearly show that married women with children are much happier and more fulfilled when they are “keepers at home.” Such families are simply following God’s formula for happiness.

Other studies show that happiness decreases considerably when there is financial stress in the family. This is really the only situation where a woman working can lead to lessening the stress on the family. In the USA it is impossible for a family to make ends meet in cases where the father works close to a minimum wage job. Only under such circumstances can the wife working relieve the stress on the family.

But remember there are many hidden costs of a career outside the home for the wife which include huge daycare costs for the kids, auto expenses, clothing for work, more expensive eating out and more expensive but poor quality of food to save time, fatigue and stress affecting health, and not having enough time to do many other things that lead to family being happy together. The fatigue and stress may also lead to more arguments in the home.

There is no argument that single women should work as many opportunities are available in today’s world. Similarly, women without children may be able to work outside the home. But women with children must be keepers at home.

Proverbs 31 woman however does not preclude being able to work at home if such opportunities are available. Age of the children is a very important factor.  Proverbs 31:16-24 state: “16 She considers a field, and buys it: with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard. 17 She girds her loins with strength, and strengthens her arms. 18 She perceives that her merchandise is good: her candle goes not out by night. 19 She lays her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff… 24 She makes fine linen, and sells it; and delivers girdles unto the merchant.” 

This chapter is describing a woman entrepreneur. Again, the age of her children has to be considered before taking advantage of any such opportunities. Clearly, if any work interferes with the care and education of children and the upkeep of the home for family happiness, it should be avoided. God’s clear-cut formula for family happiness is that women be keepers at home. Educating children in their younger years should be the wife’s major responsibility. In the younger years of the children, not much free time may be available to pursue a career if children are to be brought up right and to have a happy childhood which they will cherish and grow up to provide for their own families. But as children grow older and are in school, if time allows, talented and creative women may pursue their creative interests and even earn money at it.

Clearly Proverbs 31 implies that. Verse 10 states, “Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is above rubies.” Rubies are the most valuable precious stones, generally more valuable than diamonds, emeralds or sapphires. The husband thus should encourage his wife to use her talents and creativity and not limit herself.       

Another opportunity women may pursue at home is managing and tracking the family’s investments if training allows.   

Of course, many argue that if women don’t pursue careers, all the education is wasted. That is not true. No education is ever wasted. All education affects your perspective on life. It will affect how you educate your children, how you advise and discuss family matters with your husband and other members of the family, and how you manage your family affairs. It may provide opportunities for part-time work if the primary responsibility of being “keepers at home” permits. Later when kids have grown, it may be possible to get into the work place. But don’t forget, if women pursue a career while having a family, the happiness of family may be lost when children are in school and mom was not around to be with them. Studies show that such children grow up being more distant from their parents. 

Here is a discussion by an undergraduate student Maribeth Sarnecki of Saint Mary’s College Indiana on such a study:

“One of the main reasons [women] respondents gave for staying at home with their children is that they wanted to be the ones who taught their children and were there for them in their early years. This is very important in the parent-child relationship. Many parents today rely on day-care centers and baby-sitters for their children. Less and less children have the advantage of having a parent send them off to school in the morning, and to pick them up in the afternoon. With children spending less time with their parents, their parent-child relationships are not as strong as they could possibly be. This can have effects on the rest of both the child and parents’ lives. Children may feel anger and hostility towards their parents if they are not there for the children in times of need. If parents put their career above their children, their toughest critic of their decision will be the children. Parents want to provide for their children, so that they can have the best life possible. This may include missing out on important events for their children.  Even though parents may try to make up for missing events with material objects, the children will always remember what their parents missed. When a woman decides to stay at home, she is giving herself and her children an advantage in their parent-child relationship since she is more likely to be there for her children when they need her.”

After more than a century of the Feminist movement to promote gender equality, all these studies conclude that God’s formula for happiness in marriage and family that women should be “keepers at home” works. Any tinkering around with that formula only decreases happiness. But the Proverbs 31 woman shows that women do not have to waste their talents, creativity and education while being “keepers at home.” 

Real success in a family is raising children who are obedient and successful in their lives. Wives have the greatest responsibility towards ensuring that. There is no argument that single women should work as many opportunities are available in today’s world. Similarly, women without children can work outside the home. But women with children, particularly young children must be keepers at home.

When all children are school going, time may permit some work which women of the caliber of the Proverbs 31 woman may engage in to develop their talents if such opportunities are available. Just as men are endowed with different talents and abilities, different women have different talents and abilities, including in time management. So how much of the Proverbs 31 woman model they can follow depends on individual talents. But the only thing God requires of wives is to be good keepers at home.

In this regard I would like to raise one very important caution. If all young girls are taught that when they grow up, their job is to marry, have children and be keepers at home for the rest of their lives, this will inculcate a mindset in them to not strive to do their best in their education because they believe that God’s plan for them is to be homemakers anyway. But girls should realize that if they do not strive to do their best in their studies, it will preclude them from becoming the Proverbs 31 woman. That woman knows her way around the world, and the only way to do that in today’s world is to do as well as men in education.

So my advice to young girls in Middle and High School is to plan out their education as if they will pursue a career and study to the best of their ability in school and college. Otherwise they will not be developing their intellectual capabilities to the maximum potential. 

When they get married and have children, they should know that priority will shift.  But if for some reason marriage is delayed, or something were to happen to their husband’s employment, or his health, the wife may be forced to take up a job to support the family. That is where girls who took their education very seriously and did very well will have an advantage. In fact, such a scenario is the reality in many American homes. I dealt with such families in my job in the welfare department of the state of Florida for more than seven years. Many husbands lost their manufacturing jobs paying $20-35/hour. Now they are working in close to minimum wage jobs. In some cases, the family is surviving reasonably well because the wife was able to take up a job in the healthcare sector paying $12-25/hour. She is now the main breadwinner in the family. In other cases where the wives are not well educated, they have had to take up minimum wage jobs and the families are struggling to make ends meet and must rely on government help in the form of food stamps and Medicaid.

The point is that young girls going into Middle and High School must condition themselves to get the best possible education they can in order to be able to pursue a good career. In this regard Solomon’s advice in Ecclesiastes 9:10 to every young man and young woman is very apropos, “10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going.” 

A real-life example illustrates how women sometimes may be forced to step into a man’s world. WW2 hinged on young women in America and Britain having the mindset to step into men’s shoes. They manned the factories that manufactured fighter and bomber aircraft. Production of sheer huge volume of defense equipment, because women were willing, able and enthusiastic about manning the production lines, was a major factor in the allies win in WW2. America was able to supply its own army, air force and navy with military equipment, and also supplement British and Russian needs. All our daughters must have that mindset. Be keepers at home for the welfare of the family, but be highly educated, as well as men, to be able to converse with them at an equal level and step in a man’s world if family finances or other circumstances warrant it. We never want our daughters to develop the mindset that they must always be keepers at home, so they don’t need to pay too much attention to their studies or take up careers such as doctors, lawyers, scientists, accountants and business women and so on. Remember, the Proverbs 31 woman is a very successful business woman in her own right.

To further illustrate the point, I would like to give two examples from my life. I hold a chemical engineering degree from one of the best engineering schools in India. But I have never held a chemical engineering job. Was my engineering education wasted? Not at all! The mathematics, knowledge of chemistry, other tools of analysis, the logical ways of thinking like an engineer have colored my entire thinking and making decisions. I have never used my engineering education directly, but I have made many contributions in the fields of business strategy, computers, healing and medicine, agriculture and theology, attributable to thinking and analyzing everything logically like an engineer. So, though I have never used my engineering education in a job, it has impacted virtually all my decision making in life.

I am not a mathematician by any stretch of the imagination. But with my understanding and use of mathematics I have had major impacts on the world.  I pointed out the fallacies in the use of mathematics for economic analysis which overturned the thinking of Nobel-prize winning economists.

I have not done the original probability calculations on the probability of life forming by random chemical reactions from basic amino acids and other molecules. But I had sufficient understanding of mathematics to come to the conclusion that evolution was a hoax being perpetrated on humanity. I have used every opportunity to nail the evolution lie as a result, though originally, I learnt how to nail that lie from Herbert W. Armstrong, through whom God founded the modern era of His Church.

Because of my understanding of mathematics, I had advocated its use in developing software. It led to major improvements in software development as well as computer chip design that corporations like Microsoft, IBM and Intel have benefited from. Again, I would like girls to know that no education is ever wasted.   

My second example is more private, but I will share it so that our young girls may benefit from it. 

About 21 years ago I had prayed to God for a wife, also adding in my prayer that I needed help in finding one as I was not good in matters of dating and finding the right girl. In effect, I was asking God to arrange my marriage. I don’t know how, but four years later God chose a girl for me and let her know that He had chosen her for me. She probably was between 17-18 years old, most probably just graduating from high school that year.

Question arose about what she should study in college, and I believe my opinion was solicited. She could have either become a journalist, a lawyer, a doctor or got an MBA. I had also let my opinion be known that if we had children, they would be our top priority, and in their young age she would have to personally look after them. That job would not be given over to nannies.

At that time, I already knew that I had been compensated for all the discrimination I had suffered throughout my life in order to prevent me from making a decent living. This compensation has made me very rich. I analyzed that in our family managing investments to retain our wealth would be our primary concern. Thus, a career for my wife as a journalist, doctor or lawyer would distract from our main task of managing our investments. Therefore, the education and career I suggested for my future wife was in finance to assist me in managing our wealth. This was a decision tailored to our unique situation. Everybody’s situation is different and they must make their decisions based on their own circumstances.

Now this is about 17 years later and my enemies who had prevented me from making a decent living, have also been able to prevent me from using any of the wealth for my own benefit. And of course, I have also been prevented from getting married for the past 17 years. I don’t know how long this situation will last. But I know that God has perfect control over the situation and will make everything possible at the time of His choosing.

Now imagine if my future wife had the mindset that she is destined to be a homemaker and should take up courses mainly in home-science, nutrition, and a basic course in accounting. That education may not have been of much use as a single person for 17 years. I assume my suggestion was followed and my future wife has had a strong hand in managing our wealth for the past decade. 

If you have wealth, you have to maintain a larger than middle class house. That requires a lot more work that a wife cannot do by herself. She has to hire help and manage it. Help can be obtained for assisting in everything, except for children, who should always remain the family’s top priority. But when I am managing the family’s investments myself, rest assured that my wife will be assisting me fully even when there are children, with the proviso that children and keeping the home get top priority. Remember, the Proverbs 31 woman is an able and diligent keeper at home, who has the praise of her husband and children, and is also a very savvy business woman. 

I hope this illustrates why all our girls should get the best possible education they can and pursue careers. When marriage and children come along, priorities may shift, but the education will never ever be wasted. Raising of children should not be handed over to childcare centers, babysitters or nannies. In Genesis 18:19 God was willing to share His plans with Abraham about Sodom and Gomorrah because God knew that Abraham, “19….will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he has spoken of him.” Certainly, Abraham and Sarah did not leave the teaching and education of Isaac in the hands of servants.

Virtuous Woman Crown to her Husband

Other scriptures describe how a wife can help build up her husband’s stature in society.  

Proverbs 12:4 says, “4 A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that makes ashamed is as rottenness in his bones.”

1 Corinthians 11:7, “7…the woman is the glory of the man.”    

Clearly a virtuous wife can encourage and inspire her husband to become a ‘king’ in the sight of God and men. A good wife with her loyalty, faith in her husband can spur him to greatness. Rather than constantly nagging her husband, with proper communication she can help him excel in his career and life. And her virtuous conduct and life will enable him to be perceived as a wise man, a ‘king’ by men and recipient of honor from God.

Those are God’s instructions from the pages of the Bible on building a strong and happy marriage and a family. The Bible is the foundation of knowledge. It does not contain all knowledge. Humans must discover more knowledge on their own. But the bible provides a strong foundation for growing that knowledge.

For example, the Bible does not contain all knowledge on human bodies and sex within marriage. But such knowledge is vital. Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong’s book “Missing Dimension in Sex” provides that vital additional knowledge. In addition, many marriage counselors and pastors who have counseled on marriage have accumulated very useful knowledge on how to have a happy marriage. Some choice books on the subject have been published and are worth reading. However, one must be very careful with such information. If the information builds on the foundation provided in the Bible, it should be accepted. If it contradicts any of the bedrock principles on marriage contained in the Bible, such advice from men should be rejected and the Bible followed.

Other Sources of Knowledge

Some good books have been written on the subject of having a successful happy marriage and family. Churches of God provide very useful information on this subject. I recommend the following web sites on these subjects:,, and

I also recommend that you go to the Focus on the Family web site and make use of the resources mentioned there.  Here are the topics addressed on the web site:

God's Design for Marriage; Preparing for Marriage; The Early Years; Daily Living; Communication and Conflict; Sex and Intimacy; Money and Finances; Strengthening Your Marriage; Marriage Challenges; Facing Crisis; Divorce and Infidelity; Marriage and the Military. 

Here are some other principles I can suggest:

1)  Husbands and wives must have a proper understanding of sex in marriage.  Sex is only for marriage. Properly understanding sex in marriage requires an understanding of the male and female bodies. Reading Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong’s book “The Missing Dimension in Sex” (available free of charge at is a must before marriage to gain that understanding as part of building a happy marriage.

2.  Avoid arguing at all costs. Heated exchanges are never productive and can have a devastating effect, leaving scars for a long time in a marriage. Follow the golden rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”     

3.  Practice forgiveness. Forgiveness, tolerance and longsuffering may be required to iron out differences and smooth out areas of friction. If there has been infidelity in marriage, forgiveness with God’s help will be required to save the marriage. This issue will be discussed in greater detail in God’s instructions on divorce and remarriage from the pages of the Bible.

4.  Manage Finances as a Family – Many arguments in a family can arise due to spending habits of spouses. It is absolutely essential to budget the family’s finances together and stick to planned spending. Children must also be involved later, particularly after they have reached the age of 12. Jesus Christ gave us an example when He told His parents at age 12 that He must be about His Father’s business. For this purpose, I suggest both husband and wife should understand the basic principles behind the accounting journal, ledger and preparing income and expenses statement, balancing the bank check book as taught in introduction to accounting.

5.  Keep up the romance in your marriage. Continually uplift, encourage and inspire your mate because your happiness is intertwined. In this regard I would buy and read Gary Chapman book “The Five Love Languages.” Here is what is written on the Focus on the Family web site:


After 30 years as a marriage counselor, I am convinced that there are five basic love languages – five ways to express love emotionally. Each person has a primary love language that we must learn to speak if we want that person to feel loved.

Words of Affirmation

“One time when my wife and I were visiting our daughter and son-in-law and our two grandchildren, our son-in-law took the garbage out after dinner. When he walked back into the room where we were talking with our daughter, she looked up and said, "John, thanks for taking the garbage out."

“Inside I said, "Yes!" because I knew the power of appreciation. I can't tell you how many men and women have sat in my office over the past 30 years and said to me, "I work my tail off every day, yet my spouse acts like I haven't done a thing. I never get a single word of appreciation."

“If your spouse's primary love language is words of affirmation, your spoken praise and appreciation will fall like rain on parched soil. Before long, you will see new life sprouting in your marriage as your spouse responds to your words of love.”

Acts of Service

“Do you remember the old saying, "Actions speak louder than words"? For some people, that is particularly true of love. If acts of service is your spouse's primary love language, nothing will speak more deeply to him or her emotionally than simple acts of service.

“Maxine, who had been married for 15 years, came to my office one day because she was frustrated with her marriage. Listen to what she said: "I don't understand David. Every day he tells me that he loves me, but he never does anything to help me. He just sits on the couch watching TV while I wash the dishes, and the thought never crosses his mind to help me. I'm sick of hearing 'I love you.' If he loved me, he would do something to help me."

“Maxine's primary love language is acts of service (not words of affirmation), and even though her husband, David, loved her, he had never learned to express his love in a way that made her feel loved. However, after David and I talked, and he read The Five Love Languages, he got the picture and started speaking Maxine's love language. In less than a month, her love tank was beginning to fill up, and their marriage moved from winter to spring.

“The next time I talked to Maxine, she said, "It's wonderful. I wish we had come for counseling 10 years ago. I never knew about the love languages. I just knew I didn't feel loved."

Receiving Gifts

“In every society throughout human history, gift giving has been perceived as an expression of love. Giving gifts is universal, because there is something inside the human psyche that says if you love someone, you will give to him or her.

“What many people do not understand is that for some people, receiving gifts is their primary love language. It's the thing that makes them feel loved most deeply. If you're married to someone whose primary love language is gift giving, you will make your spouse feel loved and treasured by giving gifts on birthdays, holidays, anniversaries and "no occasion" days.

“The gifts need not be expensive or elaborate; it's the thought that counts. Even something as simple as a homemade card or a few cheerful flowers will communicate your love to your spouse. Little things mean a lot to a person whose primary love language is receiving gifts.”

Quality Time

“If your spouse's love language is quality time, giving him or her your undivided attention is one of the best ways you can show your love. Some men pride themselves on being able to watch television, read a magazine, and listen to their wives, all at the same time. That is an admirable trait, but it is not speaking the love language of quality time.

“Instead, you must turn off the TV, lay the magazine down, look into your mate's eyes, and listen and interact. To your spouse, 20 minutes of your undivided attention – listening and conversing – is like a 20-minute refill of his or her love tank.

“Men, if you really want to impress your wife, the next time she walks into the room while you are watching a sporting event, put the television on mute and don't take your eyes off her as long as she's in the room. If she engages you in conversation, turn the TV off and give her your undivided attention. You will score a thousand points and her love tank will be overflowing.”

Physical Touch

“We have long known the emotional power of physical touch. That's why we pick up babies and touch them tenderly. Long before an infant understands the meaning of the word love, he or she feels loved by physical touch.

“In marriage, the love language of physical touch includes everything from putting a hand on your mate's shoulder as you walk by, touching his or her leg as you're driving together, and holding hands while you're walking to kissing, embracing and sexual intercourse.

“If physical touch is your spouse's primary love language, nothing communicates love more clearly than for you to take the initiative to reach out and touch your mate.”

Please, go, buy and read Gary Chapman book “The Five Love Languages.”

6.  Build a Care Circle - The next suggestion I have is to build a care circle. I learnt this from Lisa Beamer’s book, “Let’s Roll” which is an account of the life of Lisa Beamer with her husband Todd Beamer who died in the United Airlines Flight 93 crash in Shanksville, Pennsylvania on 09/11/2001 when Todd Beamer and others on the flight did not let the hijackers crash the plane on the White House, the Pentagon or other such target.

The principle probably originated with Benjamin Franklin who wrote in his autobiography about his regular meetings with business friends to help develop each other. Lisa Beamer’s book describes carrying this principle in a Church setting which can be much more advantageous for families. God’s Church follows this principle, but it can be further enhanced and taken advantage of.

Lisa Beamer writes on p. 105, “One group that Todd and I became a part of was a care circle, several young people who usually met once a week on Sunday evening to talk about life issues in relation to our faith. Sometimes our discussion centered around a book we had all agreed to read; often the conversation focused on husband-wife relationships or other topics relating to spiritual growth.  The group was more than merely a gab session. We frequently prayed with and for each other, as various members experienced tremendous victories and horrible defeats, great achievements and traumatic events in their lives. When Todd and I first joined the care group, most of the members were married, without children. Before long, our group boasted more than 15 kids among us, and parenting issues were added to our conversations.

“After we had lived in New Jersey for a few years, most of our closest friendships revolved around our Church and our Care Group. Todd and several of the guys – including Brian Mumau, Doug McMillan, George Pittas, Steve Mayer, Axel Johnson, and John Edgar Caterson – started meeting for breakfast at 6:30 am on Friday mornings in an accountability group. The group’s primary purpose was to help the guys maintain a healthy balance between spiritual priorities and home/career responsibilities. They did everything together: played on the Church softball team, did home improvement projects, and at least once a year went on a special guys-only weekend golf trip.

“We had no idea how special those relationships would become to all of us.”

She writes on p 168, how the Care Circle helped her cope with her tragedy when Todd Beamer was killed:  

“By that time, our home in Cranbury was swarming with people as well, Rev Bob Cushman, Todd’s and my pastor, was among the first to arrive, along with Dr. Al Hickok, the professional counselor at our Church. They came upstairs and prayed with me. Not knowing in what state of mind they might find me, they seemed almost surprised that I was cogent and able to function somewhat rationally.

“The telephone rang constantly, and since we were hanging on for any morsel of information from United Airlines, we quickly decided it was easier to answer the calls than to let them go to the answering machine. Doug MacMillan and Brian Mumau handled the phones and logistical matters. Members of our Care Circle and others from the community and Church brought in food all day long, feeding the many people who gathered at our home, cleaning up messes, running errands, and taking care of the children. 

“Most of this went on without my knowledge while I was sequestered in the bedroom, although I was cognizant that people were there in our home, taking care of the myriad details. So many people pitched in to help during those days that I’ll never be able to thank them all. But God knows. Most important, friends from around the world wrapped us in their love, lifting us up in prayer.

“As it came time to prepare places for everyone to sleep…air mattresses seemed to appear out of thin air. The Care Circle thought of everything, and without fanfare or expectation of thanks, credit, or notice, they went about doing whatever needed to be done.”

Why I recommend building a Care Circle is that it is difficult to form close bonds with 200-500 members in your Church congregations. But it is possible to form close bonds with 8-12 people to help each other out in every tragic or happy event, daily living, and constantly help each other in spiritual development. It also enables pooling of talents for advice in tackling daily living issues.

7. Explain your reasons when you ask family members to do something. I have seen this failure in communications quite often, even in large organizations. We receive email communications from bosses to start doing something in a particular way. I have felt that there would be more enthusiastic compliance if the reason behind the change was mentioned in a sentence or two or a short paragraph. In a family, the husband and wife must not order each other to do something but first discuss the reasons why. Once that is done, the final decision becomes a joint decision with much greater chance of successful implementation.

This principle is actually even more important with children. If parents keep ordering them to do something without explaining the consequences of going the opposite way, children will resent being ordered around. Trust between parents and children can be built when parents explain in detail why they are asking their children to do something or not to do something. I have experienced this in my own life. I did not always want to follow what my parents told me and sometimes longed to be independent of their control. But later I realized how right they were. That problem can be so easily avoided and enthusiastic compliance from children obtained by parents if the benefits of following their advice and negative consequences of rejecting their advice are discussed in detail and explained.

8.  To have your children listen to you, point to the example of younger children -  One basic requirement for having a family is to have children who listen to you enthusiastically. This attitude should be quite simple to inculcate in children. Just point a 5-year-old to the example of a 1-year-old and explain that the one year old does not know as much as the 5-year-old because he is young and has not learnt enough or had enough experience. In the same way the 5-year-old has not had enough experience whereas his parents have had much more experience and can guide him to avoid problems. That is why he should listen to them. In the same way God has had more experience than everybody because He has seen it all and can guide us properly. That’s why we need to pay heed to what is written in His word, the Bible.

 Having a happy and successful marriage and family requires work as does any endeavor to be successful. The couple that works to make their marriage a success will find that their marriage works. Commitment to each other in marriage is the bedrock foundation of every successful marriage. But whatever the current state of your marriage you can always improve it with the guidelines provided in the Bible and other knowledge built upon that foundation by marriage counselors who respect the Bible as God’s word.

Back to Contents

Copyright © Church of God Message. All rights reserved.