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Ephesians 5:25

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Husbands, love your wives - Here is a grand rule, according to which every husband is called to act: Love your wife as Christ loved the Church. But how did Christ love the Church? He gave himself for it - he laid down his life for it. So then husbands should, if necessary, lay down their lives for their wives: and there is more implied in the words than mere protection and support; for, as Christ gave himself for the Church to save it, so husbands should, by all means in their power, labor to promote the salvation of their wives, and their constant edification in righteousness. Thus we find that the authority of the man over the woman is founded on his love to her, and this love must be such as to lead him to risk his life for her. As the care of the family devolves on the wife, and the children must owe the chief direction of their minds and formation of their manners to the mother, she has need of all the assistance and support which her husband can give her; and, if she performs her duty well, she deserves the utmost of his love and affection.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Husbands, love your wives - The duty of the wife is to obey; the right of the husband is to command. But the apostle would guard against the abuse of that right by enjoining the manifestation of such a spirit on the husband as would secure obedience on the part of the wife. He proceeds, therefore, to show, that the husband, in all his conversation with the wife, should manifest the same spirit which the Lord Jesus did toward the church; or, in other words, he holds up the conduct of the Redeemer toward the church, as the model for a husband to imitate. If a husband wished a rule that would be short, simple, clear, and efficacious, about the manner in which he should regard and treat his wife, he could not find a better one than that here suggested.

Even as Christ loved the church - This was the strongest love that has ever been evinced in this world. It follows, that a husband is in no danger of loving his wife too much, provided she be not loved more than God. We are to make the love which Christ had for the church the model.

And gave himself for it - Gave himself to die to redeem it. The meaning here is, that husbands are to imitate the Redeemer in this respect. As he gave himself to suffer on the cross to save the church, so we are to be willing to deny ourselves, and to bear toil and trial, that we may promote the happiness of the wife. It is the duty of the husband to toil for her support; to provide for her needs; to deny himself of rest and ease, if necessary, in order to attend on her in sickness to go before her in danger; to defend her if she is in peril; and to be ready to die to save her Why should he not be? If they are shipwrecked, and there is a single plank on which safety can be secured, should he not be willing to place her on that, and see her safe at all hazards to himself? But there may be more implied in this than that a man is to toil, and even to lay down his life for the welfare of his wife. Christ laid down his life to save the church; and a husband should feel that it should be one great object of his life to promote the salvation of his wife. He is bound so to live as not to interfere with her salvation, but so as to promote it in every way possible. He is to furnish her all the “facilities” that she may need, to enable her to attend on the worship of God; and to throw no obstacles in her way. He is to set her the example; to counsel her if she needs counsel, and to make the path of salvation as easy for her as possible. If a husband has the spirit and self-denial of the Saviour, he will regard no sacrifice too great if he may promote the salvation of his family.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
The duty of wives is, submission to their husbands in the Lord, which includes honouring and obeying them, from a principle of love to them. The duty of husbands is to love their wives. The love of Christ to the church is an example, which is sincere, pure, and constant, notwithstanding her failures. Christ gave himself for the church, that he might sanctify it in this world, and glorify it in the next, that he might bestow on all his members a principle of holiness, and deliver them from the guilt, the pollution, and the dominion of sin, by those influences of the Holy Spirit, of which baptismal water was the outward sign. The church and believers will not be without spot or wrinkle till they come to glory. But those only who are sanctified now, shall be glorified hereafter. The words of Adam, mentioned by the apostle, are spoken literally of marriage; but they have also a hidden sense in them, relating to the union between Christ and his church. It was a kind of type, as having resemblance. There will be failures and defects on both sides, in the present state of human nature, yet this does not alter the relation. All the duties of marriage are included in unity and love. And while we adore and rejoice in the condescending love of Christ, let husbands and wives learn hence their duties to each other. Thus the worst evils would be prevented, and many painful effects would be avoided.
Ellen G. White
The Adventist Home, 99

God's Purpose for the Husband and Wife—God made from the man a woman, to be a companion and helpmeet for him, to be one with him, to cheer, encourage, and bless him, he in his turn to be her strong helper. All who enter into matrimonial relations with a holy purpose—the husband to obtain the pure affections of a woman's heart, the wife to soften and improve her husband's character and give it completeness—fulfill God's purpose for them. AH 99.1

Christ came not to destroy this institution, but to restore it to its original sanctity and elevation. He came to restore the moral image of God in man, and He began His work by sanctioning the marriage relation.1 AH 99.2

He who gave Eve to Adam as a helpmeet performed His first miracle at a marriage festival. In the festal hall where friends and kindred rejoiced together, Christ began His public ministry. Thus He sanctioned marriage, recognizing it as an institution that He Himself had established. He ordained that men and women should be united in holy wedlock, to rear families whose members, crowned with honor, should be recognized as members of the family above.2 AH 99.3

Jesus Wants Happy Marriages—The divine love emanating from Christ never destroys human love, but includes it. By it human love is refined and purified, elevated and ennobled. Human love can never bear its precious fruit until it is united with the divine nature and trained to grow heavenward. Jesus wants to see happy marriages, happy firesides.3 AH 99.4

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Ellen G. White
The Adventist Home, 103

My brother, your wife's time and strength and happiness are now bound up with yours. Your influence over her may be a savor of life unto life or of death unto death. Be very careful not to spoil her life. AH 103.1

My sister, you are now to learn your first practical lessons in regard to the responsibilities of married life. Be sure to learn these lessons faithfully day by day.... Guard constantly against giving way to selfishness. AH 103.2

In your life union your affections are to be tributary to each other's happiness. Each is to minister to the happiness of the other. This is the will of God concerning you. But while you are to blend as one, neither of you is to lose his or her individuality in the other. God is the owner of your individuality. Of Him you are to ask: What is right? What is wrong? How may I best fulfill the purpose of my creation?11 AH 103.3

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Ellen G. White
The Adventist Home, 106

Though difficulties, perplexities, and discouragements may arise, let neither husband nor wife harbor the thought that their union is a mistake or a disappointment. Determine to be all that it is possible to be to each other. Continue the early attentions. In every way encourage each other in fighting the battles of life. Study to advance the happiness of each other. Let there be mutual love, mutual forbearance. Then marriage, instead of being the end of love, will be as it were the very beginning of love. The warmth of true friendship, the love that binds heart to heart, is a foretaste of the joys of heaven.5 AH 106.1

All should cultivate patience by practicing patience. By being kind and forbearing, true love may be kept warm in the heart, and qualities will be developed that Heaven will approve.6 AH 106.2

The Enemy Will Seek to Alienate—Satan is ever ready to take advantage when any matter of variance arises, and by moving upon the objectionable, hereditary traits of character in husband or wife, he will try to cause the alienation of those who have united their interests in a solemn covenant before God. In the marriage vows they have promised to be as one, the wife covenanting to love and obey her husband, the husband promising to love and cherish his wife. If the law of God is obeyed, the demon of strife will be kept out of the family, and no separation of interests will take place, no alienation of affection will be permitted.7 AH 106.3

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Ellen G. White
The Ministry of Healing, 361

Around every family there is a sacred circle that should be kept unbroken. Within this circle no other person has a right to come. Let not the husband or the wife permit another to share the confidences that belong solely to themselves. MH 361.1

Let each give love rather than exact it. Cultivate that which is noblest in yourselves, and be quick to recognize the good qualities in each other. The consciousness of being appreciated is a wonderful stimulus and satisfaction. Sympathy and respect encourage the striving after excellence, and love itself increases as it stimulates to nobler aims. MH 361.2

Neither the husband nor the wife should merge his or her individuality in that of the other. Each has a personal relation to God. Of Him each is to ask, “What is right?” “What is wrong?” “How may I best fulfill life's purpose?” Let the wealth of your affection flow forth to Him who gave His life for you. Make Christ first and last and best in everything. As your love for Him becomes deeper and stronger, your love for each other will be purified and strengthened. MH 361.3

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Ellen G. White
SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 7 (EGW), 985-6

After the truth has been proclaimed as a witness to all nations, every conceivable power of evil will be set in operation, and minds will be confused by many voices crying, “Lo, here is Christ; lo, He is there. This is the truth, I have the message from God, He has sent me with great light.” Then there will be a removing of the landmarks, and an attempt to tear down the pillars of our faith. A more decided effort will be made to exalt the false sabbath, and to cast contempt upon God Himself by supplanting the day He has blessed and sanctified. This false sabbath is to be enforced by an oppressive law. 7BC 985.1

Satan and his angels are wide awake and intensely active, working with energy and perseverance through human instrumentalities to bring about his purpose of obliterating from the minds of men the knowledge of God. But while Satan works with his lying wonders, the time will be fulfilled foretold in the Revelation, and the mighty angel that shall lighten the earth with his glory will proclaim the fall of Babylon, and call upon God's people to forsake her (The Review and Herald, December 13, 1892). 7BC 985.2

(Ch. 14:8.) Part of a Series of Events—The message in regard to the fall of Babylon must be given. God's people are to understand in regard to the angel who is to lighten the whole world with his glory, while he cries mightily, with a loud voice, “Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen.” The solemn events which are now taking place belong to a series of events in the chain of history, the first link of which is connected with Eden. Let the people of God prepare for what is coming upon the earth. Extravagance in the use of means, selfishness, heresies, have taken the world captive. For centuries satanic agencies have been at work. Will they now give up without a struggle (Manuscript 172, 1899)? 7BC 985.3

(Matthew 15:9; 21:11, 12; John 2:13-16; see EGW on Revelation 6:9.) Two Calls to the Churches—[Revelation 18:1, 2 quoted.] This is the same message that was given by the second angel. Babylon is fallen, “because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.” What is that wine?—her false doctrines. She has given to the world a false sabbath instead of the Sabbath of the fourth commandment, and has repeated the falsehood that Satan first told to Eve in Eden—the natural immortality of the soul. Many kindred errors she has spread far and wide, “teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” 7BC 985.4

When Jesus began His public ministry, He cleansed the temple from its sacrilegious profanation. Among the last acts of His ministry was the second cleansing of the temple. So in the last work for the warning of the world, two distinct calls are made to the churches. The second angel's message is, “Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.” And in the loud cry of the third angel's message a voice is heard from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities” (The Review and Herald, December 6, 1892). 7BC 985.5

Three Messages to Be Combined—The three angels’ messages are to be combined, giving their threefold light to the world. In the Revelation, John says, “I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory.” [Revelation 18:2-5 quoted.] This represents the giving of the last and threefold message of warning to the world (Manuscript 52, 1900). 7BC 985.6

1-8 (see EGW on ch. 14:9-12). Danger in Worldly Alliances—[Revelation 18:1-8 quoted.] This terrible picture, drawn by John to show how completely the powers of earth will give themselves over to evil, should show those who have received the truth how dangerous it is to link up with secret societies or to join themselves in any way with those who do not keep God's commandments (Manuscript 135, 1902). 7BC 985.7

3-7. See EGW on 1 John 2:18. 7BC 985.8

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1, 307

I have also been shown that there is often a great failure on the part of the wife. She does not put forth strong efforts to control her own spirit and make home happy. There is often fretfulness and unnecessary complaining on her part. The husband comes home from his labor weary and perplexed, and meets a clouded brow instead of cheerful, encouraging words. He is but human, and his affections become weaned from his wife, he loses the love of his home, his pathway is darkened, and his courage destroyed. He yields his self-respect and that dignity which God requires him to maintain. The husband is the head of the family, as Christ is the head of the church; and any course which the wife may pursue to lessen his influence and lead him to come down from that dignified, responsible position is displeasing to God. It is the duty of the wife to yield her wishes and will to her husband. Both should be yielding, but the word of God gives preference to the judgment of the husband. And it will not detract from the dignity of the wife to yield to him whom she has chosen to be her counselor, adviser, and protector. The husband should maintain his position in his family with all meekness, yet with decision. Some have asked the question, Must I be on my guard and feel a restraint upon me continually? I have been shown that we have a great work before us to search our own hearts, and watch ourselves with jealous care. We should learn wherein we fail, and then guard ourselves upon that point. We must have perfect control over our own spirit. “If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.” The light that shines upon our path, the truth that commends itself to our consciences, will condemn and destroy the soul, or sanctify and transform it. We are living too near the close of probation to be content with a superficial work. The same grace which we have hitherto considered sufficient will not sustain us now. Our faith must be increased, and we must become more like Christ in conduct and disposition in order to endure, and successfully resist, the temptations of Satan. The grace of God is sufficient for every follower of Christ. 1T 307.1

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Ellen G. White
The Adventist Home, 94-5

Religion Ensures Family Happiness—Family religion is a wonderful power. The conduct of the husband toward the wife and of the wife toward the husband may be such that it will make the home life a preparation for entrance to the family above.1 AH 94.1

Hearts that are filled with the love of Christ can never get very far apart. Religion is love, and a Christian home is one where love reigns and finds expression in words and acts of thoughtful kindness and gentle courtesy.2 AH 94.2

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Ellen G. White
The Adventist Home, 114-20

Each Has Individual Responsibilities—The two who unite their interest in life will have distinct characteristics and individual responsibilities. Each one will have his or her work, but women are not to be valued by the amount of work they can do as are beasts of burden. The wife is to grace the family circle as a wife and companion to a wise husband. At every step she should inquire, “Is this the standard of true womanhood?” and, “How shall I make my influence Christlike in my home?” The husband should let his wife know that he appreciates her work.1 AH 114.1

The wife is to respect her husband. The husband is to love and cherish his wife; and as their marriage vow unites them as one, so their belief in Christ should make them one in Him. What can be more pleasing to God than to see those who enter into the marriage relation seek together to learn of Jesus and to become more and more imbued with His Spirit?2 AH 114.2

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 7, 46-7

Affection may be as clear as crystal and beauteous in its purity, yet it may be shallow because it has not been tested and tried. Make Christ first and last and best in everything. Constantly behold Him, and your love for Him will daily become deeper and stronger as it is submitted to the test of trial. And as your love for Him increases, your love for each other will grow deeper and stronger. “We all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory.” 2 Corinthians 3:18. 7T 46.1

You now have duties to perform that before your marriage you did not have. “Put on therefore, ... kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering.” Walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us.” Give careful study to the following instruction: “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church.... Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it.” Colossians 3:12; Ephesians 5:2, 22-25. 7T 46.2

Marriage, a union for life, is a symbol of the union between Christ and His church. The spirit that Christ manifests toward the church is the spirit that husband and wife are to manifest toward each other. 7T 46.3

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies on Sexual Behavior, Adultery, and Divorce, 26.3

The spirit that Christ manifests toward us is the spirit that husband and wife are to manifest toward each other. “As Christ also hath loved us,” “walk in love.” “As the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it.” TSB 26.3

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Ellen G. White
Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, 64-5

Like every other one of God's good gifts entrusted to the keeping of humanity, marriage has been perverted by sin; but it is the purpose of the gospel to restore its purity and beauty. In both the Old and the New Testament the marriage relation is employed to represent the tender and sacred union that exists between Christ and His people, the redeemed ones whom He has purchased at the cost of Calvary. “Fear not,” He says; “thy Maker is thine husband; the Lord of hosts is His name; and thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.” “Turn, O backsliding children, saith the Lord; for I am married unto you.” Isaiah 54:4, 5; Jeremiah 3:14. In the “Song of Songs” we hear the bride's voice saying, “My Beloved is mine, and I am His.” And He who is to her “the chiefest among ten thousand,” speaks to His chosen one, “Thou art all fair, My love; there is no spot in thee.” Song of Solomon 2:16; 5:10; 4:7. MB 64.1

In later times Paul the apostle, writing to the Ephesian Christians, declares that the Lord has constituted the husband the head of the wife, to be her protector, the house-band, binding the members of the family together, even as Christ is the head of the church and the Saviour of the mystical body. Therefore he says, “As the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it; that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives.” Ephesians 5:24-28. MB 64.2

The grace of Christ, and this alone, can make this institution what God designed it should be—an agent for the blessing and uplifting of humanity. And thus the families of earth, in their unity and peace and love, may represent the family of heaven. MB 65.1

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Ellen G. White
Selected Messages Book 2, 425

The husband violates the marriage vow, and the duties enjoined upon him in the word of God, when he disregards the health and happiness of the wife, by increasing her burdens and cares by numerous offspring. “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it.” “So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church” (Ephesians 5:25, 28, 29). 2SM 425.1

We see this holy injunction almost wholly disregarded, even by professed Christians. Everywhere you may look, you will see pale, sickly, careworn, broken-down, dispirited, discouraged women. They are generally over-worked, and their vital energies exhausted by frequent child-bearing. The world is filled with images of human beings who are of no worth to society. Many are deficient in intellect, and many who possess natural talents do not use them for any beneficial purposes. They are not cultivated, and the one great reason is, children have been multiplied faster than they could be well trained, and have been left to come up much like the brutes. 2SM 425.2

Children in this age are suffering with their parents, more or less, the penalty of the violation of the laws of health. The course generally pursued with them, from their infancy, is in continual opposition to the laws of their being. They were compelled to receive a miserable inheritance of disease and debility, before their birth, occasioned by the wrong habits of their parents, which will affect them in a greater or less degree through life. This bad state of things is made every way worse by parents’ continuing to follow a wrong course in the physical training of their children during their childhood. 2SM 425.3

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 3, 453
Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 3, 527

There are many in our world who are starving for the love and sympathy which should be given them. Many men love their wives, but are too selfish to manifest it. They have a false dignity and pride, and will not show their love by words and deeds. There are many men who never know how starved is the heart of the wife for words of tender appreciation and affection. They bury their loved ones from their sight and murmur at the providence of God that has deprived them of their companions, when, could they look into the inner life of those companions, they would see that their own course was the cause of their premature death. The religion of Christ will lead us to be kind and courteous and not so tenacious of our opinions. We should die to self and esteem others better than ourselves. 3T 527.1

God's word is our standard, but how far have His professed people departed from it! Our religious faith must be not only theoretical, but practical. Pure and undefiled religion will not allow us to trample upon the rights of the least of God's creatures, much less of the members of His body and the members of our own family. God is love, and whoso dwelleth in Him dwelleth in love. The influence of worldly selfishness, which is carried about by some like a cloud, chilling the very atmosphere that others breathe, causes sickness of soul and frequently chills to death. 3T 528.1

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 20

It was in this period that the articles comprising Testimonies for the Church, 5:9-98, were published, first in a pamphlet entitled Testimony for the Battle Creek Church. This pamphlet included not only that which was later republished in volume 5, but also more personal references dealing with individuals and situations in Battle Creek. One needs but to read the titles to sense the atmosphere of the times. The second chapter, “Our College,” carries subheadings, “The Bible as a Textbook,” “Object of the College,” and “Teachers in the College.” Following chapters are entitled: “Parental Training,” “Important Testimony,” “The Testimonies Slighted,” “Workers in our College,” “Jealousy and Faultfinding Condemned.” TM xx.1

These were difficult days, and as Ellen White went the following year into the 1883 General Conference session at Battle Creek, she was divinely led to give a series of morning addresses to Seventh-day Adventist ministers, presenting practical lines of counsel. Significantly, among these was one devoted to “Christ our Righteousness.” (See Selected Messages 1:350-354.) These historic circumstances form part of the background for the E. G. White counsels found in this volume. TM xx.2

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Ellen G. White
The Acts of the Apostles, 470

The apostle's desire for those to whom he addressed his letters of counsel and admonition was that they should “be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine;” but that they should all come into “the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” He entreated those who were followers of Jesus in heathen communities not to walk “as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God ... because of the blindness of their heart,” but “circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time.” Ephesians 4:14, 13, 17, 18; 5:15, 16. He encouraged the believers to look forward to the time when Christ, who “loved the church, and gave Himself for it,” would “present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing”—a church “holy and without blemish.” Ephesians 5:25, 27. AA 470.1

These messages, written with a power not of man but of God, contain lessons which should be studied by all and which may with profit be often repeated. In them practical godliness is outlined, principles are laid down that should be followed in every church, and the way that leads to life eternal is made plain. AA 470.2

In his letter to “the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse,” written while he was a prisoner in Rome, Paul makes mention of his joy over their steadfastness in the faith, tidings of which had been brought him by Epaphras, who, the apostle wrote, “declared unto us your love in the Spirit. For this cause,” he continued, “we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, unto all patience and long-suffering with joyfulness.” AA 471.1

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Ellen G. White
SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 6 (EGW), 1118

We may talk of the blessings of the Holy Spirit, but unless we prepare ourselves for its reception, of what avail are our works? Are we striving with all our power to attain to the stature of men and women in Christ? Are we seeking for His fullness, ever pressing toward the mark set before us—the perfection of His character? When the Lord's people reach this mark, they will be sealed in their foreheads. Filled with the Spirit, they will be complete in Christ, and the recording angel will declare, “It is finished” (The Review and Herald, June 10, 1902). 6BC 1118.1

32. Kind Words Never Lost—It should be our aim to bring all the pleasantness possible into our lives, and to do all the kindness possible to those around us. Kind words are never lost. Jesus records them as if spoken to Himself. Sow the seeds of kindness, of love, and of tenderness, and they will blossom and bear fruit (Manuscript 33, 1911). 6BC 1118.2

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1, 339

John 17:17, 19: “Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy word is truth.” “And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.” 1T 339.1

1 Peter 1:22: “Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently.” 1T 339.2

2 Corinthians 7:1: “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” 1T 339.3

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, 111

I saw angels of mercy hovering about Brother V. I was shown that he was greatly deceived in the moral worth and standing before God of that class who have withdrawn from the body. A few honest ones are among them; these will be rescued; but the most of them have long been unconsecrated in heart, and the close testimonies have been in their way, a yoke of bondage to them. They have thrown off the yoke and retained their corrupt ways. God calls upon you to separate from them. Cut loose from these whose delight it is to war against the truth of God. A little from this, true character will be developed. They are of that class who love and make a lie. 2T 111.1

If your whole interest is in the truth and the preparatory work for this time you will be sanctified through the truth and receive a fitness for immortality. You are in danger of being too exacting with your children and not as patient as is necessary. The thorough work of preparation must go on with all who profess the truth, until we stand before the throne of God without fault, without a spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing. God will cleanse you if you will submit to the purifying process. 2T 111.2

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, 473

Men and women, you will one day learn what is lust and the result of its gratification. Passion of just as base a quality may be found in the marriage relation as outside of it. The apostle Paul exhorts husbands to love their wives “even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it.” “So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church.” It is not pure love which actuates a man to make his wife an instrument to minister to his lust. It is the animal passions which clamor for indulgence. How few men show their love in the manner specified by the apostle: “Even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it; that He might [not pollute it, but] sanctify and cleanse it; ... that it should be holy and without blemish.” This is the quality of love in the marriage relation which God recognizes as holy. Love is a pure and holy principle; but lustful passion will not admit of restraint, and will not be dictated to or controlled by reason. It is blind to consequences; it will not reason from cause to effect. Many women are suffering from great debility and settled disease because the laws of their being have been disregarded; nature's laws have been trampled upon. The brain nerve power is squandered by men and women, being called into unnatural action to gratify base passions; and this hideous monster, base, low passion, assumes the delicate name of love. 2T 473.1

Many professed Christians who passed before me seemed destitute of moral restraint. They were more animal than divine. In fact, they were about all animal. Men of this type degrade the wife whom they have promised to nourish and cherish. She is made an instrument to minister to the gratification of low, lustful propensities. And very many women submit to become slaves to lustful passion; they do not possess their bodies in sanctification and honor. The wife does not retain the dignity and self-respect which she possessed previous to marriage. This holy institution should have preserved and increased her womanly respect and holy dignity; but her chaste, dignified, godlike womanhood has been consumed upon the altar of base passion; it has been sacrificed to please her husband. She soon loses respect for the husband, who does not regard the laws to which the brute creation yield obedience. The married life becomes a galling yoke; for love dies out, and frequently distrust, jealousy, and hate take its place. 2T 474.1

No man can truly love his wife when she will patiently submit to become his slave and minister to his depraved passions. In her passive submission, she loses the value she once possessed in his eyes. He sees her dragged down from everything elevating, to a low level; and soon he suspects that she will as tamely submit to be degraded by another as by himself. He doubts her constancy and purity, tires of her, and seeks new objects to arouse and intensify his hellish passions. The law of God is not regarded. These men are worse than brutes; they are demons in human form. They are unacquainted with the elevating, ennobling principles of true, sanctified love. 2T 474.2

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, 42

The success of the meeting depends on the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. For the outpouring of the Spirit every lover of the cause of truth should pray. And as far as lies in our power, we are to remove every hindrance to His working. The Spirit can never be poured out while variance and bitterness toward one another are cherished by the members of the church. Envy, jealousy, evil surmising, and evilspeaking are of Satan, and they effectually bar the way against the Holy Spirit's working. Nothing else in this world is so dear to God as His church. Nothing is guarded by Him with such jealous care. Nothing so offends God as an act that injures the influence of those who are doing His service. He will call to account all who aid Satan in his work of criticizing and discouraging. 6T 42.1

Those who are destitute of sympathy, tenderness, and love cannot do Christ's work. Before the prophecy can be fulfilled, The weak shall be “as David,” and the house of David “as the angel of the Lord” (Zechariah 12:8), the children of God must put away every thought of suspicion in regard to their brethren. Heart must beat in unison with heart. Christian benevolence and brotherly love must be far more abundantly shown. The words are ringing in my ears: “Draw together, draw together.” The solemn, sacred truth for this time is to unify the people of God. The desire for pre-eminence must die. One subject of emulation must swallow up all others—who will most nearly resemble Christ in character? who will most entirely hide self in Jesus? 6T 42.2

“Herein is My Father glorified,” Christ says, “that ye bear much fruit.” John 15:8. If there was ever a place where the believers should bear much fruit, it is at our camp meetings. At these meetings our acts, our words, our spirit, are marked, and our influence is as far-reaching as eternity. 6T 42.3

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, 129

We are living in the closing scenes of these perilous times. The Lord foresaw the unbelief that now prevails respecting His coming; and again and again He has given warning in His word that this event will be unexpected. The great day will come as a snare “on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.” Luke 21:35. But there are two classes. To one the apostle gives these encouraging words: “Ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.” 1 Thessalonians 5:4. Some will be ready when the Bridegroom comes, and will go in with Him to the marriage. How precious is this thought to those who are waiting and watching for His appearing! Christ “loved the church, and gave Himself for it; that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” Ephesians 5:25-27. Those whom God loves enjoy this favor because they are lovely in character. 6T 129.1

The great, grand work of bringing out a people who will have Christlike characters, and who will be able to stand in the day of the Lord, is to be accomplished. As long as we sail with the current of the world we need neither canvas nor oar. It is when we turn squarely about to stem the current that our labors begin. Satan will bring in every kind of theory to pervert the truth. The work will go hard, for since the fall of Adam it has been the fashion of the world to sin. But Christ is on the field of action. The Holy Spirit is at work. Divine agencies are combining with the human in reshaping the character according to the perfect pattern, and man is to work out that which God works in. Will we as a people do this God-given work? Will we carefully heed all the light that has been given, keeping constantly before us the one object of fitting students for the kingdom of God? If by faith we advance step by step in the right way, following the Great Leader, light will shine along our pathway; and circumstances will occur to remove the difficulties. The approval of God will give hope, and ministering angels will co-operate with us, bringing light and grace, and courage and gladness. 6T 129.2

Then let no more time be lost in dwelling on the many things which are not essential and which have no bearing upon the present necessities of God's people. Let no more time be lost in exalting men who know not the truth, “for the time is at hand.” There is no time now to fill the mind with theories of what is popularly called “higher education.” The time devoted to that which does not tend to assimilate the soul to the likeness of Christ is so much time lost for eternity. This we cannot afford, for every moment is freighted with eternal interests. Now, when the great work of judging the living is about to begin, shall we allow unsanctified ambition to take possession of the heart and lead us to neglect the education required to meet the needs in this day of peril? 6T 130.1

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Ellen G. White
This Day With God, 159.1

Even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; ...that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. Ephesians 5:25-27. TDG 159.1

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Ellen G. White
The Ministry of Healing, 356

He who gave Eve to Adam as a helpmeet, performed His first miracle at a marriage festival. In the festal hall where friends and kindred rejoiced together, Christ began His public ministry. Thus He sanctioned marriage, recognizing it as an institution that He Himself had established. He ordained that men and women should be united in holy wedlock, to rear families whose members, crowned with honor, should be recognized as members of the family above. MH 356.1

Christ honored the marriage relation by making it also a symbol of the union between Him and His redeemed ones. He Himself is the Bridegroom; the bride is the church, of which, as His chosen one, He says, “Thou art all fair, My love; there is no spot in thee.” Song of Solomon 4:7. MH 356.2

Christ “loved the church, and gave Himself for it; that He might sanctify and cleanse it; ... that it should be holy and without blemish.” “So ought men to love their wives.” Ephesians 5:25-28. MH 356.3

The family tie is the closest, the most tender and sacred, of any on earth. It was designed to be a blessing to mankind. And it is a blessing wherever the marriage covenant is entered into intelligently, in the fear of God, and with due consideration for its responsibilities. MH 356.4

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