How to Pursue the Truth (9) Part Three

Seeing as we are talking about the topic of marriage, we ought to see what the accurate, correct definition and concept of marriage actually is. Since we are talking about the accurate, correct definition and concept of marriage, we have to look for the answer in the words of God, to give marriage a correct definition and concept based on all that God has said and done regarding the matter, to clarify the true state of marriage, and to clarify the original intent behind the creation and existence of marriage. If one wants to clearly see the definition and concept of marriage, then one must first start by looking at the ancestors of mankind. What is the reason for starting by looking at the ancestors of mankind? Mankind has been able to survive to the present because of the marriage of their ancestors; that is, the root cause of there being so many people today is the marriage between the people God created in the beginning. So, if one wants to understand the accurate definition and concept of marriage, one must start by looking at the marriage of mankind’s ancestors. When did marriage start for mankind’s ancestors? It started with God’s creation of man. It is recorded as early as the Book of Genesis, so we must open the Bible and see what these passages say. Are the majority of people interested in this topic? Those who are already married might think that there isn’t even anything to talk about, that this topic is very commonplace, but young single individuals are especially interested in this topic, because they think that marriage is mysterious, and that there are many things they do not know about it. So let us begin talking at the root. Someone read Genesis 2:18. (“And Jehovah God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.”) Next, Genesis 2:21–24. (“And Jehovah God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept: and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which Jehovah God had taken from man, made He a woman, and brought her to the man. 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. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall join to his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”) Next, Genesis 3:16–19. (“To the woman He said, I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; in sorrow you shall bring forth children; and your desire shall be to your husband, and he shall rule over you. And to Adam He said, Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten of the tree, of which I commanded you, saying, You shall not eat of it: cursed is the ground for your sake; in sorrow shall you eat of it all the days of your life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to you; and you shall eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of your face shall you eat bread, till you return to the ground; for out of it were you taken: for dust you are, and to dust shall you return.”) We’ll stop there. There are five verses in chapter two and four verses in chapter three, nine verses of scripture in total. Nine verses in Genesis describe one thing, which is how the marriage of mankind’s forefather came about. Is that not the case? (It is.) Do you understand now? Do you understand the general meaning a bit better, and are you able to remember it? What is the main thing being talked about here? (How the marriage of mankind’s forefather came about.) So how did it actually come about? (God prepared it.) That’s right, that is the true state of affairs. God prepared it for man. God created Adam, then created a partner for him, a spouse to help and accompany him, to live with him. This is the origin of marriage for mankind’s forefather, and is the source of human marriage. Is this not the case? (It is.) We know the source of human marriage: It was ordained by God. God prepared a partner for mankind’s forefather, which could also be termed a spouse, who would then help and accompany him through life. This is the origin and source of human marriage. So having looked at the origin and source of human marriage, how should we correctly understand marriage? Would you say that marriage is sacred? (Yes.) Is it sacred? Does it have anything to do with sanctity? It does not. You cannot say it is sacred. Marriage is arranged and ordained by God. It has its origin and source in God’s creation. God created the first man, who needed a partner to help and accompany him, to live with him, and so God created a partner for him, and then human marriage came into being. That is all. It is that simple. This is the rudimentary understanding of marriage you should have. Marriage comes from God; it is arranged and ordained by Him. At the very least, you can say that it is not a negative thing, rather, it is a positive thing. It could also accurately be said that marriage is proper, that it is a proper segment in the course of human life and within the process of people’s existence. It is not wicked, nor is it a tool or means by which to corrupt mankind; it is proper and positive, because it was created and ordained by God, and of course, He arranged it. Human marriage originates in God’s creation, and it is something He personally arranged and ordained, so looking at it from this angle, the only perspective that one ought to have regarding marriage is that it comes from God, that it is a proper and positive thing, that it is not negative, wicked, selfish, or dark. It does not come from man, nor from Satan, much less did it organically develop within nature; rather, God created, arranged, and ordained it with His own hands. This is absolutely certain. This is the most original, accurate definition and concept of marriage.

Now that you understand the accurate concept and definition of marriage that people ought to have, let us take a look: What is the meaning behind God’s ordination and arrangement of marriage? This is mentioned in the Bible verses we just read, namely, why mankind has marriage, what God’s thoughts were, what the situation and circumstances of that time were, and under what kind of circumstances God gave this marriage to man. Jehovah God said it this way: “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.” These words are saying two things. First, God saw that this man was too lonely being alone, without a partner, without someone to talk to, or a companion to share his happiness and thoughts with; He saw that his life would be dry, insipid, and uninteresting, so a thought occurred to Him: One man is a little lonely, so I must make a partner for him. This partner will be his spouse, who will accompany him everywhere and help him do everything; she will be his partner and spouse. The purpose of a partner is to accompany him through life, to walk onward together with him on the path of his life. Whether for ten, twenty, a hundred, or two hundred years, this partner will be the one at his side, the one with him everywhere, who will speak with him, share in happiness, pain, and every emotion with him, and at the same time, accompany him and keep him from being alone or lonely. These thoughts and ideas arising in the mind of God are the circumstances of the source of human marriage. Under these circumstances, God did something else. Let us look at the biblical record: “And Jehovah God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept: and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which Jehovah God had taken from man, made He a woman, and brought her to the man.” God took a rib from the man, and took clay, and used the rib to make another person. This person was made from the rib of the man, created from his rib. To speak colloquially, this person—Adam’s partner was created from the flesh and bone taken from his body, so could one not say that as she was his partner, she was also part of his body? (Yes.) In other words, she was derived from him. After she was created, what did Adam call her? “Woman.” Adam was a man, she was a woman; clearly, these were two people of different sexes. God first made a person with male physiological characteristics, then He took a rib from the male and created a person with female physiological characteristics. These two people lived together as one, which constitutes a marriage, and so marriage came about. So, no matter what set of parents someone is raised by, in the end, they all need to get married and be joined with their other half under God’s ordination and arrangements, and walk to the end of the course. This is God’s ordination. For one thing, looking at it objectively, people need partners; for another, looking at it subjectively, seeing as marriage is ordained of God, husband and wife ought to be as one, a single person who cannot be divided. This is both a subjective and objective fact. So, each person needs to leave the family of their birth, enter into marriage, and establish a family with their other half. This is inevitable. Why? Because it is ordained of God, and it is something that He arranged from the beginning of man. What does this tell people? No matter who you imagine your other half to be, whether or not they are the one you subjectively need and hope for, and no matter what their background is, the person you will marry, with whom you will establish a family and spend this life, is certainly the one already arranged and ordained for you by God. Is this not the case? (It is.) What is the reason for it? (God’s ordination.) The reason is God’s ordination. Looking at it in the context of previous lives, or from God’s perspective, a husband and wife who enter into marriage are actually one, so God arranges for you to marry and spend your life with the person with whom you are one. Put plainly, that is the way it is. Regardless of whether the person you marry is the lover of your dreams, whether they are your Prince Charming, whether they are the person you were expecting, whether you love them or they love you, whether you are very naturally married by luck and coincidence or under some other circumstance, your marriage is ordained by God. You are the partners that God has ordained for one another, the people that God has ordained to accompany one another, and that He has ordained to spend this life together and walk to the end with hands joined. Is this not the case? (It is.) Do you think this understanding is pretentious or erroneous? (No.) It is neither pretentious nor erroneous. Some people say: “You might be wrong in saying this. If these marriages are really ordained by God, then why do some marriages still end in divorce?” That is because these people’s humanity has problems, which is a separate matter. This touches on the subject of pursuing the truth, which we will fellowship about later. Right now, speaking to the definition, understanding, and accurate concept of marriage, the fact is that this is the case. Some people say: “Since You say that husband and wife are one, then is it not as unbelievers say, ‘If it’s meant to be, then it’s meant to be, and if it’s not meant to be, then it’s not meant to be,’ and as people from some nations say,[a] ‘it takes a hundred years of good karma to earn the chance to share a boat journey with someone, and a thousand years of good karma to share a marital bed’?” Do you think that marriage, as we are talking about it now, has anything to do with these sayings? (No.) They are unrelated. Marriage is not cultivated into existence—it is ordained by God. When God ordains two people to become husband and wife, to become one another’s partners, they need not self-cultivate. What would they cultivate? Moral fiber? Humanity? They need not self-cultivate. This is a Buddhist way of speaking, which is not the truth, and has nothing to do with the truth. Human marriage is arranged and ordained by God. Whether in form or literally, in definition or concept, marriage should be understood this way. Through the words recorded in the Bible, through this fellowship, do you have an accurate, truth-aligned definition and concept of marriage? (Yes.) This concept, this definition, is not erroneous; it is not a perspective seen through colored glasses, much less is it understood and defined by human emotion. Rather, it has a basis; it is based on the words and actions of God, and it is based on His arrangements and ordinations. Having gotten to this point, does everyone grasp the understanding and basic definition of marriage? (Yes.) Now that you understand it, you will no longer hold any non-objective fantasies about marriage, or your complaints about marriage will lessen, right? There might be some who say: “Marriage is ordained of God—there is nothing to talk about there—but marriages break apart. What is that all about?” There are many reasons for this. Corrupted mankind has corrupt dispositions, they cannot see through to the essence of issues, they pursue the satisfaction of their own lusts and preferences, to the point of advocating wickedness, so their marriages break apart. This is a separate topic, which we will not speak more of.

Let us talk about helping one another and accompanying one another in marriage. God said: “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.” Those who are married know that marriage brings many benefits to a family and to a person’s life which they would not have imagined. People are initially very lonely and solitary when they live alone, with no one to confide in, no one to talk to, no one for company; life is particularly dry and helpless. Once they are married, they no longer need to suffer this loneliness and solitude. They have someone to confide in. Sometimes, they pour out their miseries with their partner, and sometimes, they share their emotions and joys, or even vent their anger. Sometimes, they pour out their hearts to each other, and life seems joyful and happy. They are one another’s confidants, and they believe in one another, so aside from no longer being lonely, they experience many more delights, and they enjoy the happiness of having a partner. Aside from various moods, emotions, and feelings, as well as various thoughts which need to be expressed, people have to face many practical issues in their daily lives, in the process of living, issues like daily necessities, clothing, food, and housing. For example, say two people want to live together, and they need to build a little storehouse. The man has to be a bricklayer, laying bricks to build a wall, and the woman can help him out, handing him bricks and mixing mortar, or wiping away his sweat and giving him water. The two of them talk and laugh together, and he has a helper, which is good. Before it is even dark, the work is done. It is like the old Chinese opera “Fairy Couple” describes: “I draw water and you water the garden.” What else? (“You till the fields and I weave the cloth.”) That’s right. One weaves cloth while the other tills the field; one is mistress inside, the other is master outside. Living this way is quite good. One could call it harmonious complementing, or coexisting in harmony. In this way, in life, the male’s skills are put on show, and the areas in which he is lacking or is unskilled are made up for by the female; where the female is weak, the male forgives her, helps and assists her, and her strengths are also put on show, benefiting the male in the family. Husband and wife each do their duty, learning from each other’s strengths to make up for their own weaknesses, and working together to safeguard the household’s harmony and the whole family’s life and survival. Of course, more important than companionship is that they each support and help one another through life, passing the days well, whether in poverty or in wealth. In short, as God said, it is not good for man to be alone, so He arranged marriage on man’s behalf—the man to chop wood and keep the yard, the woman to cook, clean, mend, and wait upon the whole family. Each one does their work well, doing what they each need to in life, and their days pass happily. The lives of humans have gradually developed outward over the whole from this singular point, with human beings propagating and multiplying to the present day. So marriage is indispensable to mankind as a whole—indispensable to their development, and indispensable to them as individuals. The true meaning of marriage is not just for the multiplication of the human race, but more importantly, it is for God to arrange a partner for each man and woman, who will accompany them through each time of their life, whether difficult and painful, or easy, joyful, and happy—in it all, they have someone to confide in, to be one with them in heart and mind, and to share in their sorrow, pain, happiness, and joy. This is the meaning behind God arranging marriage for people, and it is the subjective need of each individual person. When God created mankind, He did not want them to be lonely, so He arranged marriage for them. In marriage, men and women each take on different roles, and the most important thing is that they accompany and support one another, living each day well, moving well along the road of life. For one, they can accompany each other, and for another, they can support each other—this is the meaning of marriage and the necessity for its existence. Of course, it is also the understanding and attitude people ought to have toward marriage, and it is the responsibility and obligation they ought to fulfill toward marriage.

Let us go back and look at Genesis 3:16. God said to the woman: “I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; in sorrow you shall bring forth children; and your desire shall be to your husband, and he shall rule over you.” This is the charge that God has given to the female sex, which is, of course, also a command, in which He ordains the role that the woman would play in marriage and the responsibilities she would take on. The woman must give birth, which in one respect was a punishment for her previous transgression, and in another, was the responsibility and obligation that she was supposed to accept in marriage as a woman. She would conceive and give birth, and moreover, she would bring forth children in sorrow. Consequently, after entering into marriage, women should not reject having children because they fear suffering. This is a mistake. Bearing children is a responsibility you ought to take on. Therefore, if you want to have someone to accompany you, to help you in life, then you must consider the first responsibility and obligation that you take upon yourself when you enter into marriage. If there is a woman who says, “I do not want to bear children,” then men will say, “You don’t want to bear children, then I don’t want you.” If you do not want to suffer through the pain of childbirth, then you should not marry. You should not enter into marriage, you are not worthy of it. Upon entering into marriage, the first thing you ought to do as a woman is to have children, and moreover, to suffer. If you cannot do this, then you should not enter into marriage. Although it cannot be said that you are unworthy to be a woman, at the very least, you have failed to fulfill your responsibility as a woman. To conceive and bear children is the first requirement of women. The second requirement is “Your desire shall be to your husband, and he shall rule over you.” Being a man’s other half—as a woman, marrying a man proves that you are his other half, and to speak somewhat dogmatically, that you are thus a part of him, so the desire of your heart must be toward him, which is to say, he must be in your heart. Only when he is in your heart can you take care of him and gladly accompany him. Only then, even when your husband is sick, when he encounters difficulties and setbacks, or when he encounters failure, stumbling, or distress either among other people or within his own life, can you fulfill your responsibilities and obligations as a woman, caring for him, treasuring him, taking care of him, talking sense into him, comforting him, and advising and encouraging him in a womanly way. This is a companionship that is true, that is better. Only in this way will your marriage be happy, and only then will you be able to fulfill your womanly responsibility. Of course, this responsibility is not entrusted to you by your parents, but by God. This is the responsibility and obligation that a woman ought to fulfill. As a woman, this is the way you ought to be. This is the way you ought to treat and care for your husband; this is your responsibility and obligation. If a woman cannot do this, then she is not a good woman, and of course, she is not an acceptable woman, because she has failed to do even the bare minimum of God’s requirements of women: “Your desire shall be to your husband.” Do you understand? (Yes.) As the other half of a man, you are able to adore and take care of your husband when things are smooth, when he has money and power, when he is obedient and takes good care of you, when he makes you happy and satisfied in all things. But when he encounters difficulties, sickness, frustrations, failures, discouragements, or disappointments, when things do not go his way, then you are unable to fulfill the responsibilities and obligations that a woman ought to, unable to comfort him heart to heart, talk sense into him, encourage him, or support him. In this case, you are not a good woman, because you have not fulfilled a woman’s responsibility, and you are not a good partner for a man. So could one say that such a woman is a bad woman? “Bad” is out of the question; but at the very least, you do not have the conscience and reason that God requires, that someone with normal humanity ought to have—you are a woman without humanity. Is that not so? (It is.) We are done speaking about the requirements made of women. God has stated the responsibility of a woman to her husband, which is: “Your desire shall be to your husband.” This word “desire” is not about love or affection; rather, it means that he must be in your heart. He must be dear to you; you must treat him as your beloved one, your other half. He is the one you must cherish, accompany, and care for, the one whom you must mutually look after until the end of your lives. You must take care of him and treasure him with all your heart. This is your responsibility—this is what is referred to as “desire.” Of course, when God here says “your desire shall be to your husband,” this “desire shall be” phrase is a teaching given to people. As a woman with humanity, an acceptable woman, your desire should be to your husband. Moreover, God has not told you to desire both your husband and other men. Did God not say this? (He did not say this.) God requires that a woman be faithful to her husband, and that the only person in her heart, the only one her desire is intended for, is her husband. He does not want her to be changeable in who her affections are directed toward, or to be promiscuous, or unfaithful to her husband, or desiring someone else outside of her marriage. Rather, He wants her to desire the person she’s married to and spends the rest of her life with. This man is the one to whom your true desire should be directed, he is the one you should spend a whole lifetime of painstaking effort taking care of, treasuring, caring for, accompanying, helping, and supporting. Do you understand? (Yes.) Is this not a fine thing? (It is.) This kind of fine thing is present among the birds and fowls, and among the rest of the animal kingdom, but it is virtually nonexistent among humans—you can see how deeply Satan has corrupted mankind! We have fellowshiped clearly about the most basic obligations a woman ought to fulfill in marriage, as well as the principles according to which she should treat her husband. Additionally, there is something else here, that is, marriage as ordained and arranged by God is monogamous. From where in the Bible do we find a basis for this? God pulled one rib from the body of the man to create a woman—He did not pull two or more ribs from the man, creating multiple women. He created only one woman. That is to say, God created the only woman for the only man He created. This means there was only one partner for the man. The man had only one other half, and the woman had only one other half; moreover, at the same time, God cautioned the woman, “Your desire shall be to your husband.” Who is your husband? It is the person with whom you enter into marriage, and no one else. It is not your secret lover, nor is it the famous idol whom you adore, nor is it the Prince Charming of your dreams. It is your husband, and you only have one. This is the marriage God has ordained—monogamy. Is it embodied in the words of God? (Yes.) God said: “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.” God did not say that He made a few or many help meets for him, it was not necessary. One was enough. God also did not say that a woman should marry multiple husbands, or that a man should take multiple wives. God did not make several spouses for a man, nor did He take a rib from several different men to make several women, so a man’s spouse can only be the woman made from his own rib. Is that not a fact? (It is.) So in the later development of mankind, polygyny arose, as did polyandry. Such marriages are abnormal, and are not marriage at all. This is all fornication. The exception is for a few unique circumstances, like a man dying, and his woman remarrying. This is ordained and arranged by God, which is allowed. In short, marriage has always maintained monogamy. Is this not the case? (It is.) Look at the natural world. The wild goose is monogamous. If a human kills one of the geese, the other goose will never “remarry”—it will become a lone goose. It is said that when flocks of geese fly, the one in the lead is usually a lone goose. Things are hard for a lone goose. It has to do the things that the other geese in its flock are unwilling to do. When the other geese are eating or resting, it has to be responsible for keeping the rest of the flock safe. It can neither sleep nor eat; it must pay attention to the safety of its surroundings to protect the flock. There are many things it cannot do. It can only be solitary, it cannot take another love. It cannot take another mate for as long as it lives. Wild geese always keep the rules God has ordained for them, never changing, even up to the present, but humans are turned upside down. Why are humans so upside down? Because humans are the ones Satan has corrupted, and because they live in wickedness and promiscuity, they cannot stay monogamous, and they cannot uphold their marital roles or keep the responsibilities and obligations they ought to. Is that not true? (It is.)


a. The original text does not contain the phrase “as people from some nations say.”

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