KEYWORDS: marriage, love, lord, family, children, wife

Shooting Straight, Part 4--Letter Links: Recognized Marriages and Traditional Weddings

July 31, 2004

(ML #3502, GN 1090)
FD/MM July 2004

Public Relations

(ML #142:36‚ Vol.1)

(Dad:) Here's how you ought to be answering some of those stupid [media] questions:

36. (9) "WHAT'S YOUR LEGAL NAME?"—My Bible name is Bildad the Shuhite! "I mean your real name!"—That is my real name! I picked it out myself! Shouldn't I be able to choose my own name? Isn't this a free country—freedom of speech and all that? Then why haven't I got a right to pick my own name!" … Where are you from?"—I'm from God—Where are you from? "I mean what's your home town?"—Who?—Me?—Space City Heaven! This world is not my home‚ I'm just a passin' through! I'm a Pilgrim and a stranger here, like it says in Hebrews 11 of all the children God was proud of! … "Where are you going?"—I'm going to Heaven, of course! Where are you going? "Well uh....are you married?"—Yes, I have a very sweet little wife whose name is Eve Shuhite! "What's her real name?"—Here we go again! Please, lets not start that all over again! I told you her name's Eve Shuhite and she's my wife, and what else do you need to know? "Do you have a marriage license?"—What's a marriage license? "You know, a piece of paper from the authorities showing you're legally married!"—What's illegal about marriage?—Did Adam and Eve have one? God created them male and female and they had children! Did they have a marriage license?—And if so, who gave it to them, and who performed the ceremony? "Oh, you know what I mean! Things are different now! You gotta have a license nowadays to prove you're married!"—Oh, you do? That's funny! One of our ministers himself betrothed us and we've been living and sleeping together for a long time now, and we love each other a lot and we have children and everybody else thinks we're married! What makes you question it or ask me if I've got some little piece of paper to prove it? Don't you believe me? "I mean, do you people believe in legal marriages—getting marriage licenses when you get married?—Of course we do! We're legally married by the Lord and our minister! I think my wife even has one of those little pieces of paper! You don't think we'd do anything illegal, do you? But how could that little piece of paper prove I'm married! Maybe after they gave us the paper I might have decided I didn't like her, after all, and maybe I never would have gone to bed with her because I couldn't sleep too good with somebody else! So how would the paper prove we were married! That little piece of paper doesn't prove a damned thing! It might even be a lie, if we never slept together, even if the minister performed the ceremony! You tell me something! What is marriage!—a piece of paper?—A wedding ceremony?—or living together with someone you love and having children, a family, like Adam and Eve in the Garden! Isn't that what marriage really is? Damn right it is! … "What about premarital sex with the one you do love?"—Well, again, what is marriage?—A piece of paper?—A ceremony?—Or living with the one you love for the rest of your life! Even the Government recognizes that! It's even legal! The law calls it informal marriage, or common law marriage, and it'll usually stand up in any court in nearly every state and you don't even have to be as old as you do to get a formal marriage license! All the law requires is that you two agree together to live together as man and wife—and you do live together as man and wife, and you tell everybody you are man and wife! That's all it takes to make an informal or a common law marriage in most states! So let me ask you—What does the law recognize as marriage?—It's living together as man and wife! So what's premarital sex—there is no such thing! You're either married or you aren't—so whenever you start living with her and sleeping with the one you love—you're married! So how can you have premarital sex! You may have pre–wedding sex‚ or pre-marriage license sex‚ but you can't have pre-marriage sex‚ because sex with the one you love is marriage!—And what God hath joined together, let not man put asunder! That's the way it was with Adam and Eve, and you can't find a wedding ceremony or a marriage license in the whole Bible! All they had was marriage feasts—a wild, wine–drinking party, just before the two slept together and went off to their tent together! In fact, Jacob was so drunk when he got married, his father in law, Laban, slipped him the wrong girl in the dark—Leah!—his sweetheart's old maid sister—and he had to wait another seven years to marry Rebecca‚ the one he loved! "Do your leaders pick your mates for you?"—Of course not! We each ask God to lead us to the one we should marry! When we find each other and finally agree on it together, then we ask one of our ministers to perform the ceremony, or betrothal, which is like a permanent engagement! And then we get married as soon as we can‚ just like everybody else!

Wonderful Wave of Worldwide Witnessing

(ML #154:61-69, Vol.2)

61. ANOTHER REAL LOSER IS LACK OF REAL LOVE IN MARRIAGE and for each other. I don't like the recent flippant attitude toward marriage and the taking of marriage vows lightly in contemptuous five minute quickies! Because of the need for leadership couples, it seems that some of you have looked more on marriage as a business partnership rather than a personal loving relationship. You get married quickly because there's the need of a couple to lead a team, and of course you love the Lord enough to do anything for Him, even to marry someone you don't love. This is not good for the marriage‚ or the leadership! Brother, you've got to love more than God to make a marriage work and last! Sister, you've gotta love more than the Lord's Work if you're gonna be able to keep your husband and make him happy!

62. MARRIAGE IS MORE THAN SEX OR FRIENDSHIP, OR EVEN A BUSINESS PARTNERSHIP FOR THE LORD'S WORK! It is the most intimate, humbling, loving, and self-sacrificial relationship between human beings in all of life. No greater love hath any man than this: that a man lay down his life for his friends! (Jn.15:13) This is love, real love, true love—the willingness of a husband to sacrifice himself for his wife, the eagerness of a wife to lay down her life for her husband! This is supernatural love, divine love, God's love, more than human!

63. MARRIED LOVE IS NOT JUST SEX, AFFECTION, AND ROMANCE! Although it is all of these, it must be more if it is to last and be an enduring relationship for the glory of God—an example of His own relationship with you! It must be a God-given love and a spirit of self-sacrifice in which each prefers the happiness of the other to his own! This is true love, the only kind that lasts!

64. IN MARRIED LOVE, THERE SHOULD ALSO BE A MEASURE OF RESPECT AND EVEN ADMIRATION FOR EACH OTHER, if possible—a mutual recognition and appreciation of each other's talents and strong points as well as weaknesses. It's hard to love someone you don't respect or admire for something. You can have a loving pity and compassion for them and desire to help them, and this is all a part of love. But if there is no respect‚ no appreciation of good qualities, too much giving and not enough receiving, it can greatly strain the relationship! It takes something more than sexual prowess to satisfy the heart!

65. AS WE HAVE OUTLINED ONCE BEFORE, YOU SHOULD ONLY MARRY FOR THE FOLLOWING REASONS, and if it's to be a good and lasting marriage‚ it must not be just for one or two of them‚ but for all of them:

(1) For the Lord,

(2) To help others,

(3) To help your mate and

(4) To help yourself.

If any one of these is lacking, it can endanger your whole marriage! Think it over! Pray about it! Are all these present in your marriage? If not, why not?

66. SQUEEZE!—DON'T JERK! LOOK BEFORE YOU LEAP! Don't marry in haste and repent at leisure‚ or you'll be sorry!—And that'll make two of you and a lot of other people sorry, as well as God! I'm convinced you can love anyone with the love of God, but you may have a helluva hard time living with them if there's not more to your love than that! You can even feel sorry for the Devil, but you sure as hell wouldn't want to live with him! You've got to have something in common, some compatibility, some communication‚ some mutuality!

67. YOU SHOULD LEARN TO BE REAL FRIENDS AND CO-WORKERS BEFORE EVER CONSIDERING MARRIAGE! You should have many common interests and things you enjoy doing together before even thinking about living together. You should like to be together, enjoy each other's company, desire real fellowship, but not only in bed. Sex is only two percent of marriage! What are you gonna do the rest of the time—glower, glare and groan and grunt at each other, and barely endure each other? Or do you really like being together all the time and doing things together? if not‚ marriage can be Hell instead of Heaven!

68. YOU MUST REALLY NEED EACH OTHER, AND KNOW IT, for wanting to meet each other's needs is a great part of love: To help her where she's weak, to lift him where he's not strong, to inspire each other, encourage each other‚ and share each other, even when it hurts and costs something! You should be thankful for each other and continually saying, "I love you" and "I thank God for you" and "I don't know what I'd do without you" and "I need you", "Thank you", "You're sweet", "You're good"‚ "You're just great", "You're wonderful", "Thank the Lord you're you"! Say it all the time every moment of every day, especially when you don't feel like it, or when you're mad or displeased, or just plain disgusted! Then's the time to remind yourselves that you love each other! That's the time to say, "I love you, you little rascal!"—"I love you, you big bum!" It really works! Try it! Hallelujah!

69. THIS IS WHY I'VE ALWAYS RECOMMENDED THAT ANY COUPLES CONSIDERING MARRIAGE should work very closely together for at least a few weeks or months—I used to say at least three to six months—before marrying! You should get to know each other as well as possible, like a brother and sister, before even attempting to live together in marriage. If you can be a brother and sister and still love each other, if you can work and eat and study and play and do everything else well together, then sleeping together will probably present no major problem unless he snores, or she twitches her feet—and even that can be overcome with love! Mine says she can't even go to sleep now unless she hears me snore‚ and if her feet twitch, just pet' em!—They need love! Everything you do needs love, or you can't stand each other!

One Wife

(ML #249‚ DB 5)

1. GOD WILL HAVE NO OTHER GODS BEFORE HIM, NOT EVEN THE SANCTITY OF THE MARRIAGE GOD! God is God of marriage, too & the main thing is to be married to Him & His Work‚ & when a marriage is not according to His Will, He doesn't hesitate to break it up & form other unions to further His Work!

2. THE SPIRITUAL REALITY BEHIND SO-CALLED GROUP MARRIAGE is that of putting the larger family, the whole family, first, even above the last remaining vestige of private property, your husband or your wife!

3. WE DO NOT MINIMISE THE MARRIAGE TIES AS SUCH. We just consider our ties to the Lord & the larger Family greater & more important.—And when the PRIVATE marriage ties interfere with OUR FAMILY & GOD ties‚ they can be readily abandoned for the glory of God & the good of THE Family! We are not forsaking the marital unit.—We are adopting a greater & more important & far larger concept of marriage: The TOTALITY of the BRIDE & her marriage to THE BRIDEGROOM is THE Family!

4. WHAT DOES "UNIT" MEAN?—SOMETHING THAT IS UNITED!—Something that is ONE! So if God has to break up these little private twosomes in order to make us conscious of the greater unit of THE Family, He will do it! If He can trust you with the private unit for the glory of God, He will do it. But if you put that privacy first before the whole Family Unit, God will blow on it & destroy it if He has to! It would be worth it!—If that's what it took‚ if they weren't able to put God first any other way. We would keep right on rolling stronger than ever! When anything begins to HINDER more than it HELPS, it is time to ABOLISH it!

5. GOD HAS MADE ME CARRY OVER FROM MY SMALL LITTLE PRIVATE FAMILY INTO THE LARGER FAMILY, & to do so God has had to break up many little families of the World to make our kids all members of His Family. God is in the business of BREAKING UP many FAMILIES to make them all ONE Family!

6. WE HAVEN'T HESITATED TO BREAK UP WORLDLY FAMILIES BY [making disciples of] THEIR [legal-aged] KIDS FOR GOD'S FAMILY! What is the difference in that & breaking up HUSBAND & WIFE? Jesus said you're going to have to forsake ALL—mother, father‚ sister, brother, HUSBAND or WIFE! This is nothing NEW with the LORD!

7. GOD'S IN THE BUSINESS OF BREAKING UP LITTLE SELFISH PRIVATE FAMILIES TO MAKE OF THEIR YIELDED BROKEN PIECES A LARGER UNIT—ONE FAMILY! He's in the business of destroying the relationships of MANY wives in order to make them ONE Wife—THE Bride of CHRIST! God is not averse to breaking up selfish little families for HIS glory, to make of the pieces a much larger unselfish unit—the WHOLE Family—the ENTIRE Bride—ONE WIFE instead of MANY wives!

8. GOD HAS BROKEN UP THE MARRIAGES OF ALMOST OUR ENTIRE TOP LEADERSHIP AT SOME TIME OR OTHER. I've certainly seen a lot of good fruit in these since this has happened, & also it has borne good fruit amongst the kids. If you have not forsaken your husband or wife for the Lord at some time or other‚ you have not forsaken all!

9. THE PRIVATE FAMILY IS THE BASIS OF THE SELFISH CAPITALISTIC PRIVATE ENTERPRISE SYSTEM & all its selfish evils! The history of communes shows that the most successful communes either abolished all private relationships entirely & required total celibacy or abandoned the private marriage unit for group marriage!—Because they found that the PRIVATE family group was always a threat to the LARGER Family unit as a whole!

10. GOD IS TRYING TO TEACH US THE LESSON OF PUTTING HIM & HIS FAMILY FIRST. If you cannot be trusted with a PRIVATE relationship & keep it in its proper perspective—LAST—then God will break it up in order to ensure HE & HIS work get FIRST place! There can be no superior or selfish private ties which supercede our ties to GOD above ALL! And if you don't give God ALL, He will just TAKE them away & MAKE you forsake all! This is one of the most outstanding lessons God has taught us from the top right on down: These personal private husband-wife relationships are unedifying & unfruitful unless they are kept totally subordinate!

11. MARRIAGE IS GREAT!—REAL UNSELFISH LOVE! Only the utter unselfishness of genuine sacrificial love can ever make such things possible. So it's the very last vestige of forsaking all to forsake even your husband & wife to share with others. Marriage is not the supreme thing. This over-emphasis of the marital relationship is making a GOD & a FETISH of marriage, where they're not willing to forsake PRIVATE families to serve GOD & THE Family!

12. GOD IS TRYING TO SHOW US HE WILL NOT FIT IN SECOND PLACE! IF He allows you any nice cozy little PRIVATE relationship, you can be very thankful for it! It is‚ in a sense, a PRIVILEGE, a special little dispensation of grace to feel that only TWO of you belong to each other in PARTICULAR. But He will ONLY allow that provided you make it very clear to EACH OTHER & the LORD & the OTHERS that you belong to GOD MOST OF ALL & your private relationship doesn't interfere with your WORK & your relationship with the LORD & others!


14. BUT LOVE OF GOD & HIS FAMILY IS FAR MORE IMPORTANT TO HIM than these little PRIVATE interpersonal relationships, including marriage! Either He wants you to love Him so much you don't even WANT a mate, or that you love Him so much that you would be willing to share them with Him! Maybe we're learning something about marriage & its UNimportance!

15. WE ARE REVOLUTIONARY! If the church has OVER-emphasized marriage, we are going to go to the opposite extreme of UNDER-emphasizing & almost BELITTLING marriage & not even hesitating to destroy marriages that don't glorify God! What GOD has put together don't let MAN put asunder: But if GOD didn't put them together‚ He won't hesitate to break them up for HIS glory & the welfare of His Family!

16. DON'T FORGET THIS MEANS YOUR CHILDREN ALSO! Special favoritism & partiality is selfish private property interest! If you love your flesh-&-blood children more than you love GOD'S children of GOD'S Family‚ then you really haven't come to the realization of what God's Family is all about! If you're kinder to your own flesh-&-blood children & give them things you don't give the others or see that they have more comfort than the other children‚ then you are being PARTIAL & SELFISH & PRIVATE! With your selfishness & lack of sacrificiality you are striking at the very foundation of God's Family & that kind of selfishness will destroy & undermine the unity of THE Family as a whole.

17. IN OTHER WORDS, PARTIALITY TOWARD YOUR OWN WIFE OR HUSBAND OR CHILDREN STRIKES AT THE VERY FOUNDATION OF COMMUNAL LIVING—against the unity & supremacy of God's Family & its oneness & wholeness! What you're doing when you do that is whittling away little chips & bits of THE Family to separate them in SPIRIT & even sometimes in actuality, from the rest of THE Family‚ just because they're "YOURS"!

18. I DON'T LIKE THAT EXPRESSION "YOUR CHILDREN"!—THEY'RE ALL "OUR" CHILDREN! Now naturally you have a little more feeling of personal attachment to the children you have borne & there is bound to be a peculiar relationship of special personal interest there. But if you were perfect in spirit before God, there would be no difference! If your spirit was perfect before God, EVERYBODY in the Revolution would be your brother & your sister just as much as your flesh-&-blood, & EVERY child you would feel just as responsible for & love just as much as GOD loves!

19. NOW IF THERE IS ANY REASON FOR WHICH GOD MAY ALLOW YOU TO GIVE YOUR NATURAL CHILDREN A LITTLE MORE PERSONAL ATTENTION, it's because God knows that all children need individual attention & tender loving care. But ANYBODY could give them that. Anybody could be a mother or father to them! As far as He & His Family are concerned, there is no difference!—God & His Family come FIRST. Any private relationships are neither here nor there‚ if they in any way hinder or interfere with GOD & HIS Family.

20. "WHATSOEVER YOU DO IN WORD OR IN DEED, DO ALL TO THE GLORY OF GOD," & whatever glorifies God, that's what's right! Does your marriage glorify God? Does your separation glorify God MORE? Does your relationship with your children glorify God? Does your separation from your children glorify God MORE? Whatever's BEST for GOD & HIS Family is what's RIGHT!—Amen? (All say: "By the grace of God, I'm going to put Him & His Family first!")

Real Love—Sharing All, Even Though Married

(ML #1395, DB 1)

1. (MARIA: SOME OF OUR GOOD MEN FRIENDS WHO OUR GIRLS HAVE SHARED WITH WANT TO KNOW if they'd have to continue to share their wives with others after marriage if they married into the Family.) My answer is, "Of course"!

2. Marriage makes NO difference whatsoever when it comes to sharing each other with the Lord & His work & others. Our whole life is sharing! The whole principle of our whole Family is that we share! Do you mean to tell me that marriage means an end of sharing?—That sharing, which means our love for others, our love for each other, is to cease at marriage? Hmm? Do we stop loving others just because we get married?

3. Well, you may not HAVE to share your wife in THAT way, but why should I be willing to set you the example of sharing mine—the utmost sacrifice, laying down not only my life‚ but my wife, for you—& then you turn around & be so selfish that you don't want to share yours with anybody else? That's a hard saying!

4. But I'd say don't worry about it right now, just wait. When the time comes‚ God will give you the grace & the courage & the faith & the anointing.

5. THERE'S AT LEAST ONE NICE THING ABOUT OUR IDEA OF MARRIAGE: It is permanent & forever. No matter how many times you might share your wife with somebody else, she's always going to come home. She's not going to run off with somebody else!—She loves you the most! You're the one she wants to live with, you're the one she sleeps with, you're the one that her life is joined with in the children, even if you might loan her out sometimes. (Except in cases where a change is needed.)

6. Besides, we're one Family.—We are one! There are so many verses on this, it's almost unbelievable. (Gal.3:28) Jesus prayed, "I pray that they may be one". (Jn.17:21) He wasn't just talking about two of you, He was talking about all of you. So why shouldn't you share if you love each other & a brother has need?—Why shouldn't you?

7. I'm usually HAPPY to share! If I love another man enough that I want to help him all I can, & if he needs my wife, I'm willing to let him borrow her—as long as he doesn't keep her. That's the only form of private property in which we can believe.—She's mine forever!—But she's not all that private that I couldn't share her once in awhile!

8. If you love someone, He says that you should be willing to lay down your life for them. (1Jn.3:16) "Yes, but not my wife!" Isn't she your life? Well, that's one of our beliefs that is hard for some to understand because they cannot comprehend that much love. That is the ultimate sacrifice in love! Some people would rather die first‚ lay down their life, than share their wife!

9. SOMETIMES A WOMAN MAY ALSO HAVE TO SHARE HER MAN, & that's not always easy either. But you don't have to do it, nobody's making you, we don't force anybody to share, nobody. When Maria feels like sharing sometimes, I say, "It's up to you. It's your choice, whatever you want to do. You don't have to if you don't want to."

10. Of course GOD may expect you to & He may want you to & you may feel bad if you don't, & sometimes she's been sorry she didn't & we lost somebody or offended somebody or somebody's needs were not met. But nobody's going to force you to love God or your brother or your sister or anybody else!

11. You don't HAVE to do it, nobody's MAKING you, nobody's going to FORCE you, nobody's going to COMPEL you to share ANYTHING! You can get up & take off anytime you want to!—You can take off with your wife too, providing she wants to go. But as proven in quite a few cases, the wife didn't want to go‚ because she loves us & the Family more than she loves you!—And she should, because this is God's Family & I am God's man, & she should love us more than she should selfishly love just you!

12. So you'd better be thankful to have what you have‚ even if you have to share a little once in awhile. As Mrs. Billy Graham said when they asked her, "How can you stand to be married to a man who's gone most of the time?" She said‚ "I'd rather have a little of Billy Graham then a whole lot of somebody else!" Amen?

13. Maybe you'd better be THANKFUL for what little you've got, that God gives you, or He may take it all back! He will probably take away from you the things you're not willing to share, because they weren't yours in the first place, they were God's.—He gave them to you & if you're not willing to share them, He'll take them back, amen?

14. I THINK MARRIAGE SHOULD BE AS EQUAL AS POSSIBLE‚ AS SHARING AS POSSIBLE. I don't think the man should do all the ordering & bossing around & make all the decisions. The best marriages I know of are like ours: We talk things over & try to agree together. Only under the most very disagreeable & rarest occasions have I ever had to say, "Well, now you just do what I say because I told you to do it, that's all, whether you understand it or like it or not."—That's a very rare, rare occasion.

15. Most of the time we make decisions TOGETHER, we talk together, we pray together‚ we love together, we discuss together & then we decide together & agree together. Sometimes we cuss & discuss, but we always wind up agreeing somehow. And that's the way marriage should be, especially the way it should be in the Family, amen?—GBYA!

2Thessalonians 1 & 2

(ML #1509:35-42, GN Book 7)

35. PRAISE GOD FOR SEX, AMEN? He created it! He created you! He created your sexual organs! He created those nerves that bring that ecstatic orgasm of sexual explosion! And that's what He likens His coming to, to reclaim His Bride & to rapture her into His arms, into Heaven! He likens it to a sexual ecstatic orgasm called the Rapture when Jesus takes His Bride into His arms & He catches her up into glory‚ into Heaven, & He receives her & is wed to her then & there.

36. "OH, NOW, WAIT A MINUTE‚ DAD! DIDN'T THEY HAVE A LITTLE TIME FOR THE LITTLE BLACK BOOK & the preacher & the little ceremony & the giving away by her father?" Who is her Father?—God! He was there! What was the black Book?—The Word of God!—He was there! What was marriage? A ceremony? A wedding? Marriage is the sexual union of two bodies, male & female, that's marriage! That's genuine marriage. The wedding is a mere ceremony created by man, not by God. God didn't start this wedding business.

37. WHEN GOD HAD THE FIRST SEXUAL UNION OF ADAM WITH EVE, I DON'T THINK THERE WAS ANY CEREMONY OF ANY KIND‚ VERY UNCEREMONIOUS!—No preacher standing there with his little black book. If he had been, he would have been stark naked & that would have been rather shocking, wouldn't it? Because clothes hadn't even been invented yet, think of that! In fact, they didn't even know they were naked! They didn't even know they weren't supposed to be, because they weren't supposed to be!—I mean, they weren't supposed to be clothed, because there was nothing wrong with being naked‚ because that's the way God made them—naked! "Male & female made He them."

38. AND I'M SURE THAT ADAM, UPON THE FIRST SIGHT OF EVE, & Eve upon the first sight of Adam, he said, "Wilt thou?" And she wilted! I believe it! In fact, he may not even have said, "Wilt thou?" She wilted anyway! Not much she could do about it when he grabbed her & stuck that thing into her! She was ready because that's the way God made her! Praise God‚ Girls? Hallelujah‚ Men? Praise the Lord? Thank God for sex? He made it, He made you, He made the organs, He made the senses, He made the nerves, He made the orgasm, He made the whole thing!

39. MY GOD, DON'T GIVE THE DEVIL CREDIT FOR IT! God damn the Devil for taking credit for it, & for the whole World giving Satan thanks & praise for sex as a result of the Fall! That's a lie of the Devil! It never happened that way! God created them, male & female created He them in the beginning, to have sex from the very beginning! So that the very First Commandment of God was to be fruitful & multiply! Sex was not a result of the Fall, contrary to the teachings of the Church! Sex was not a result of sin, because it was no sin! It was the Lord's, His Creation!

40. AND SO WHEN HE COMES FOR HIS BRIDE, WHEN HE COMES FOR HIS CHURCH, HIS BRIDE‚ AS HER BRIDEGROOM & He catches her up from this horrible Earth & out of the grasp & the grip of her enemies & saves her, like young Lochinvar riding upon a horse that picks her up from the midst of the ceremony on the steps of the church & rides away with her‚ that's the way Jesus is going to come for us!—Take us right out of the grip & the grasp of the Enemy just when he thinks he's got us!

41. JESUS IS GOING TO COME & TAKE US UP TO BE WITH HIM, UNITE US WITH HIM IN THE RAPTURE!—A spiritual ecstasy that is so wonderful it's called the Ecstasy & the Agony, because it feels so good it hurts, like a sexual orgasm! Then He has the Wedding, the Marriage of the Lamb following, a big Wedding party. "What do you mean? You mean the wedding & the party follows (ahem) this (ahem) Rapture you call the (ahem) sexual union!!"

42. YES, JESUS CATCHES US UP FROM THIS WORLD INTO THE AIR INTO HIS ARMS, INTO A SPIRITUAL SEXUAL UNION, or a sexy spiritual union, which precedes the ceremony & the party, the wedding reception, the Marriage Supper.—That's the celebration of what's already happened!—The Rapture! Hallelujah! TYJ! The day of His coming!—That's the day of our uniting to the Lamb! That's the day of our union, followed by this Marriage Supper that lasts about 30 days! What a shindig‚ what a party! Hallelujah! Talk about sex! Whoo! Everybody will be enjoying it & having it there, with Jesus & with each other! TTL! Praise God!

Answers to Your Questions, No.8

(ML #1566:106, GN Book 11

106. QUESTION: WE'D BE INTERESTED TO HEAR DAD'S LATEST VIEWS ON BETROTHAL CEREMONIES IN THE FAMILY. We've come across differing views, is it a public testimony?—James & Charity‚ Asia.

ANSWER: WELL, WE NEVER HAD'M IN PUBLIC, only in the Family. It's up to the couple, whether they want to declare their engagement openly or not. It's a nice way of letting everybody know. But is it supposed to guarantee they stick?—It hasn't!—Only the Lord can! As far as I'm concerned, we're all married to Him & each other, & in our Home we share accordingly. But most of us usually sleep with the same person nightly—eventually.—Especially those in love!—Like me & Maria!—Only real love lasts!

Loving Jesus, Part 6

(ML #3032:30-44‚ GN 664)

30. (Jesus:) For you who are thinking about becoming one with another, set your affection together on things above, even before you are married. Come unto Me together, set that foundation, for no other foundation can be laid than that which is laid on Me. For if you build on any other foundation, the marriage will crumble, for I will not bless it.

31. In the days of your courtship and in the days of your wooing, woo with My Spirit. Together woo with My Spirit‚ and together woo My Spirit. Humble yourselves one before another. Come together to Me in love. For I put that love in your hearts to begin with, that you may become a union.

32. But for that love to remain, you must focus on Me‚ for I am the supply of oil that keeps the warmth of the fire burning, and you must tap into My source together, lest the fire die. But if you do not begin in this manner, loving Me together‚ praising Me together, making love to Me together, and focusing your love and affection and attention upon Me together, the love shall grow cold and you will be building on a foundation that is not sure.

33. You must learn to look at these relationships with one another in a new way; no longer in the carnal way, no longer in the selfish way, no longer in the immature and gossipy way. But you must look at these relationships as an amplification of the relationship that I wish for you to have with Me.

34. When you look deep into the eyes of the one that you love‚ the one that I have poured a love into your heart for, you must see Me and My Love for you, and this should cause you to praise Me and to thank Me. And together, when you are wrapped in each other's arms and you feel so close and so warm and so one, this should cause you to praise Me.

35. You must understand that it is I that do these things. I even give this love unto those who don't love Me, as a token of My Love for them. But unto you who know that it comes from Me, there is no excuse for not praising and worshipping and thanking and glorifying Me in this thing. For you know and you are responsible.

36. But you young ones have not fully understood this. You look at love in such a shallow, frothy and worldly way. But now I open unto you the things of the Spirit and I show you how you must look at these matters, that they are blessings from Me—blessings‚ I say, blessings unto you. I am willing to pour forth these things unto you, but you must be willing to look unto Me and say, "We thank You and we glorify You because we know that You are pouring forth Your Love upon us. And I look upon this one that You have given me to love and I say, `Thank You, for this one is Your love unto me.’"

37. You should worship Me in this love that I have given unto you. And when you become one with one another and in the throes of your lovemaking, and in the throes of your passion, you should say, "Thank You. Thank You for this, Your Love unto me." For so great is My Love for you that I would give you this great joy and this great happiness, but I wish for you to share it with Me, that we three can be one together.

38. It is humbling. It is very humbling, especially for you young ones who are so full of pride and self. When you are with one another you feel you have to uphold your image, and you're afraid that the other will talk about you when you part. But care not what man thinks, care what God thinks, and love Me together. Love Me together and I will bestow upon you great love and great joy. (End of section of prophecy.)

39. (Mama:) It's so precious that the Lord would give those of you considering marriage or that have feelings of love for each other such wonderful counsel. Counsel which shows you how to have enduring love and how to build your relationship on the proper foundation—Jesus. If any relationship in the Family is built on any other foundation, it will not last.

40. The detailed way in which the Lord speaks just amazes me! He says that in the days of your courtship‚ the time when two of you have budding romantic feelings towards each other and you are exploring those feelings, you should woo one another in the Spirit.—Meaning that you should really show God's Love to one another, that you should read His Word and pray together, to see if you are compatible in the Spirit. You should also woo His Spirit together.

41. He says you should begin your relationship together by focusing your love, affections and attention on Him together, by praising and loving Him together. If you don't‚ your love will grow cold, as you will be building on the wrong foundation.

42. The Lord also makes it plain that you should show Him great thankfulness for His placing such feelings of love in your heart and for allowing you to love each other. He gives a number of tips on what to say, like praising Him when you are wrapped in each other's arms, thanking Him for the love He's given you; that you should thank and glorify Him for this wonderful and great blessing He's given, acknowledging that it comes from Him; that when you look at the one you love you should thank the Lord that he or she is Jesus' Love for you; that when you are in the heat of passion together you should again thank Jesus.

43. The Lord points out that He also puts love into the hearts of those who don't know Him, but He doesn't expect them to thank Him, because they don't know Him. But for us who do‚ who know that He is Love and that all love comes from Him, there is no excuse for not praising, worshipping, glorifying and thanking Him for it. In fact‚ He says we are responsible to do so. He calls the love He puts in our hearts great joy and great happiness and says He puts it there because of His great love for us. Isn't that beautiful?

44. The Lord makes a special mention that He knows it will be hard for you younger ones, our senior teens and YAs, to be that way together, because of your pride. He says it's very humbling, but nevertheless, He expects you to do it. The Lord chides you a bit, saying that the way some of you have looked at relationships has been somewhat shallow, frothy and worldly. He says you need to look at relationships in a new way, no longer in a carnal, selfish, immature or gossipy way, but instead as an amplification of, or part of, your relationship with Him. Just think of what you want your relationship with Him to be, and then act accordingly in your relationship with your loved one.

Goals for 1998

(ML #3160:165-173‚ Lifelines 24)

165. (Jesus speaking:) One of the foundation principles that I've given to the children of David through their father is the Law of Love. This is a unique and precious treasure that few understand, and even fewer have ever tried to live. The message of the Law of Love is one of the things that has set the children of David apart from others who believe in Me, and even serve Me‚ preach the Gospel, hear from Me in prophecy, exercise the gift of healing‚ and believe in the nearness of the Endtime.

166. So very, very few Christians understand, believe, and are willing to accept to live My Law of Love fully. That's because people today, even many of My Own children, have made a god out of their own bodies. Many have set sex and marriage even above Me. They're self-righteous, thinking they know better, and they've withheld from Me these things which are precious to them. They've set these things apart; they've not allowed Me to touch them. They've not been willing to share them or set them on the altar of sacrifice.

167. Many of My Christian children in the world have given Me their hearts in part, their lives in part, their service in part‚ their testimony in part. But so very few have been willing to give Me everything—even their marriages, their bodies, and their sexual practices. They're so foolish, so weak and immature. Just like little children‚ they have so little faith, and so they keep these things to themselves.

168. But the children of David are strong in truth. Much has been given to them that has not been given to any others. But there is much confusion‚ many unanswered questions, much negative talking behind closed doors—doubts, murmurs, accusations against this beautiful Law of Love which I have given to the children of David.

169. Many of the younger generation do not understand, and they've made other commitments and what they consider "moral decisions" that are not based on My Word. They see what they consider the mistakes of the past and of the first generation, and they've determined in their hearts that they will not be guilty of the same; yet they're foolish in that they have thrown the baby out with the bath water.

170. They've become blinded to the beauty and the good of sharing with others under the Law of Love because they've dwelt solely on the negative and listened to the lies of the Enemy. They've become confused and deceived. They need to be instructed with the pure water of My Word, and to be strengthened in the meat of My Word, that they might accept, believe, receive‚ and live the truth that has been entrusted into their care.

171. Many of those of the first generation have also become embittered due to past experiences, or they've become lazy and indifferent to living the Law of Love fully. They too need to be challenged, for it is through living the Law of Love fully that the living of the "One Wife" vision is possible. Without strong belief in the Law of Love and understanding of it, how can you believe and understand the "One Wife" vision, the truth of your greater marriage? Therefore much reassurance‚ instruction, encouragement‚ and a strong challenge needs to go out to both generations to once again kindle in their hearts and minds faith in the Law of Love and a desire to live the "One Wife" vision.

172. So much of what hinders the unity of the Family today is because of a lack of living the Law of Love and the "One Wife" vision fully. If there were greater love, concern, and faith in these areas, then there would also be greater care for the single mothers and their children, greater sexual freedom, less ostracizing of some, and fewer cliques. There would be a much greater willingness to love without partiality, to help each person to feel a part of the Family, the Home‚ the love, the unity, the oneness.

173. It's so very important that each of My children feels needed. This is such an important aspect of unity, because it is the source of much personal happiness in the lives of each of My children—the feeling that you belong, that you're needed, that someone cares, that your gifts or talents or contributions are worthwhile. (End of excerpt of message from Jesus.)

The Beauties‚ Promises, and Rewards of Married Love

(ML #3194:41-116, GN 799)

What Is Most Important for a Happy Marriage?

41. (Mama:) With many young people getting married, I had a burden to ask the Lord what they should strive for in a marriage. What are the most important factors for having a happy marriage? What should newlyweds expect, and what should be their standard as they set out in a new married relationship with their loved one?

42. (Jesus speaking: ) When a young couple first begin their married life, there are certain things they can do and principles they can keep in mind that will ensure they have a happy marriage in the years to come. A young married couple can set certain criteria within their relationship that will keep it on the right track of My will. If they start off with the right expectations and standard, they will be happy and grow stronger in their loving relationship, secure in their love for each other. But if they start off with the wrong expectations, the wrong ideas and standard, it will weaken their chances of having a happy marriage. That will result in greater difficulties, battles‚ and trials which could be avoided.

43. Young couples need to start off with the right expectations, realistic expectations of what a happy marriage means. To do this they should look to the Word and what has been said about marriage in the Family. They should read the Letters about marriage and relationships‚ the counsel given in the Word, and understand that this is what they should expect. [Note: See the Cat Book or Daily-Dex.] They can look at the marriages they see which are happy and fulfilled, loving and fruitful. Through this they will get a realistic picture and idea of a happy marriage and what it involves and doesn't involve.

44. It's a mistake to model your expectations for a happy marriage after movies which tend to romanticize marriage in an unrealistic way. It's not that marriage isn't romantic, but the type of romance that most married couples experience on a long-term basis is not the same as the movies portray.

45. For example, if you expect your wife or husband to always be ravished by your presence and ready to romance you with words of passion, or to even always be excited to have you around, then your expectations are not realistic! It is not wise to set your standard for married life according to the movie industry, novels, or soap operas, or to feel that if your mate doesn't live up to some such standard that you have in your mind, they or your marriage are failing.

46. Even a young marriage that has romance and passion, and where the partners are deeply in love, will also experience human failure, human weaknesses and mistakes. It is wise for young couples to be willing to accept this as part of life, and not be discouraged just because the mate they once thought was practically perfect suddenly starts showing signs of being imperfect. People must understand that no matter how much they love each other, their loved one is not perfect and never will be perfect.

47. A big part of their happiness and continued loving relationship will depend on whether or not they've based their expectations on the Word and set their standard according to it. It will depend on their willingness to be patient, kind‚ and ready to forgive the mistakes that will be made. It will depend on their faith to believe, their faith to turn to the Word and to Me for the help they will need, and their willingness to work at making it work.

48. In order to do this, the most important factor in any marriage is Me, My love, and My Spirit. People must start their relationship realizing that I must be in the center from the beginning‚ as well as throughout their years together. A marriage is happiest when both people start off with the premise that they belong to Me first of all, and that each one is Mine.

49. I have bought and paid for your life and your love with My Own life, and I desire your love to be set upon Me most of all. You must realize that although I am giving you to each other and I have blessed you with a relationship and marriage for life‚ in essence you still belong to Me more than to each other. You do not belong to your mate, you belong to Me, and it is My will that should be supreme.

50. The reason that this is so important for people to remember is because it will help you to keep your priorities straight, which is My will above all else, obeying My voice, and doing My bidding. In doing this‚ you will be guaranteed happiness, fruitfulness and growth.

51. I set people in marriages to help each other to do My will, to uphold, to support, to complement each other, and to help each other to be even more fruitful in My service. You join together as one because of your love for one another‚ which is a gift from My hand, in order to be a more fruitful team for Me, and because you realize that you can do an even better job for Me together than you could apart.

52. In order to keep Me first and foremost in your lives, you must take the time needed to love Me, to pray together, to hear from Me‚ to read and study and absorb My Words together. You have to fight to keep Me in the center of your lives, fight for your spiritual connection with Me, fight to hear from Me, fight to bring your questions and problems to Me in prayer and receive My personal direction for you.

53. Just as you had to fight for your Word time, quiet time, and link with Me when you were single, you have to fight as a couple‚ as a marriage, to do the same. You are one, and as one you must come to Me together, seek Me together, learn to suck in the spirit together to hear My answers and receive My love and comfort. You do this through reading My Word together, through your prayer and prophecy time together, through your communing with Me and fellowship with Me together, and by making Me a part of your everyday lives.

54. This might sound easy to do when you're first in love and can see no wrong in your new mate, when you are experiencing the honeymoon stage. But it's very important that you expect your mate to make mistakes, to be human, to get upset sometimes, to have trials, to be hard to understand, to do things you don't like, to even hurt you sometimes, because these things will happen. This is when you must remember that love covers a multitude of sins. You have to fight to love and stay united, to forgive and forget‚ to come to Me in prayer for the strength and help you need.

55. It's very important that you be willing to follow the new moves of My Spirit and to implement the New Wine to the best of your ability, because this will keep you challenged and revoluting in your married life, and will keep you from getting bored or familiar with each other. You will see as time goes on that My Spirit will be the most important factor in your marriage. Your conviction to keep Me and My Spirit in first place will be very important to your happiness, your growth and progress, and your inspiration as a marriage and as individuals.

56. So you still need to do many of the same things you did when you were single. You still need to keep your connection strong with Me—even more so, because you are now responsible for helping each other to stay close to Me. You're responsible to be a sample to each other and set the standard high of following Me closely and pointing each other to Me. You still need to pray just the same as when you were single. You can't let your pride or any other reason stand in the way of holding that standard high, of reminding each other to acknowledge Me, to seek Me and to keep Me first.

57. It may seem like such a simple principle—that of keeping Me in the center of your marriage. But those who fight for that closeness with Me, who fight to uphold My Spirit and follow Me closely, are the happiest. Those who slowly let it slip away, who don't bother to pray and hear from Me together, who put off reading the Word together, who stop fellowshipping with Me together and are too busy for that sweet intimate communion with My Spirit, are the couples who soon start feeling dissatisfied and start having bigger problems.

58. For you belong to Me and your marriage is in My hands. The more you look to Me, acknowledge Me, and keep Me in first place, the more I will pour into you and through you, and the more I will use you mightily. I will anoint and bless and empower you and prosper the gift that I have given to you‚ and you will be happy. (End of message from Jesus.)

Qualities of a Good Marriage

59. (Mama:) We asked the Lord to summarize some of the main qualities of a good marriage, and I pray you find the following prophecy a blessing. However, please don't take the summary below as an "end-all," as I hope and pray that you are able to use it as a springboard to further study in the Word for those areas you feel you're weak in.

60. I pray that as mature adults‚ each of you will wisely balance what is given below and all the summaries in this present series of Letters with Dad's very good counsel in past Letters‚ as well as the good book summaries in the Marvellous Marriage book and our other pubs.

61. (Jesus speaking:) There are so many qualities that are a necessary part of a good marriage relationship, but they're not unattainable. I didn't make marriage so hard that only the experts could successfully marry, but I ordained it for most people on Earth. I'd like to list‚ once again, some of the main qualities needed in a good and stable marriage. Don't be discouraged if you find that you don't attain in every area. Just try as hard as you can.

62. * Putting Me first. It's a simple spiritual law that when your priorities are right—that is, when you're putting your personal time with Me first above all other people and things —everything else falls into place. It's the number one requirement in your marriage, because all the other efforts you might make at improving your marriage will come to naught if you don't have things sorted out in your heart and in your priorities.

63. I don't just mean putting Me first personally, but also putting Me first as husband and wife, acknowledging Me and allowing Me to be with you during your private times together‚ as well as acknowledging Me with your family, if you have children.

64. * Putting your mate first, before yourself. I won't prioritize all the points I'm going to share with you, but this point deserves a close second place, because a marriage can't work unless you are truly preferring the happiness of your husband or wife to your own. Selfishness is one of the leading causes of marriage problems today, because people have the woefully mistaken idea that they got married so that someone could take care of them. As a result, their attitude is‚ "What have you done for me?" rather than, "What can I do for you?"

65. * Willingness to address problems. Many of the keys to a good marriage lie in rooting out the subtle negative attitudes you form during your life. While it's a little more difficult to recognize the need for change in attitudes, half of the solution is recognizing the need for a change.—And the other half is seeking Me for My help as you make sincere efforts to change any wrong attitudes.

66. One of those unhelpful attitudes that is easy to form is that problems will go away if you just ignore them, or the excuse that things will change soon on their own, as soon as you move Homes or move countries or get better finances for your Home or get a better rooming situation. But those people with the strongest marriages are those who learn to face their problems head-on and take active steps to unite and overcome them.

67. * Willingness to communicate. Closely related to the last point, in order to unite and overcome problems, whether in your relationship or with your children, etc.‚ there must be a desire to communicate openly together.

68. * Forgiveness. Just as I taught you to pray, "Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us," forgiveness is a key to a good, solid, secure marriage. Never let the sun go down upon your wrath. You can't afford to hold a grudge for more than a day. If you do, it's like punching holes in your own house; soon the chilly winds of hurt and indifference will find their way in.

69. Make a point to kiss and cuddle when you say goodnight, and apologize for any hurtful words or actions you may have directed at your mate that day. Of course, it's better if you apologize as soon as the offense is committed‚ but if there isn't time to, then don't miss this important appointment.

70. * Being Supportive. You and your mate are one, and you should avoid the temptation to gossip or say demeaning words about the other behind their back. It will weaken your relationship in the eyes of others, and even if it doesn't get back to him or her, your own words will defile you.

71. It's also very important not to say things in front of your mate that would hurt or humiliate him or her, which is sometimes done by contradicting them, belittling them, arguing with them, siding with others against them, interrupting them, finishing their sentences for them, etc. This is very embarrassing and humiliating for the person, as well as for all who hear it taking place. It's very damaging to a marriage. It's bad enough to do this in front of each other in private, but to embarrass your mate by belittling or humiliating them in front of someone else is even worse and shows disrespect, familiarity and lack of love.

72. With some couples this kind of behavior happens more in public than in private‚ because one of the mates feels like they have to save face or defend themselves or put down their mate in front of others in order to make themselves look good. Sometimes the motive in correcting their mate in front of others is that they don't want to be embarrassed in having others think that they've married someone who is ignorant or doesn't know the score. Much of it stems from pride.

73. This is not to say that you cannot disagree with your mate. It is the manner in which you disagree that shows your love or lack of love, your consideration or your pride. The loving and considerate mate will disagree or debate in such a way that they give their loved one the benefit of the doubt and an easy way out if they are wrong‚ rather than in a self–righteous, humiliating, belittling way that makes the other feel bad.

74. * Teamwork. Like two oxen pulling a cart, one can't be trying to go fast while the other is going slow, nor can they get anywhere by pulling in different directions. So it is in a marriage. Since your every action can and will affect your mate in a great way, it's important to counsel together before making big decisions‚ and even smaller decisions that would be better made with your mate. You don't need to discuss every little thing, but wise husbands and wives know how much it means to their mates when they ask their advice or their preference or their opinion, even if it's not absolutely necessary.

75. * Consideration. I'm referring to what it is that makes you put yourself in your husband or wife's shoes before you say or do something that might hurt them. Since marriage is the most intimate kind of relationship you can have with another human being, where you share your life, your thoughts, your bed‚ your closet, your children, your bathroom, and sometimes even your clothes, it can be easy to get familiar with each other in your words and actions.

76. When you're tempted with familiarity‚ though, just ask yourself, "What if my husband or wife had to leave on a long journey tomorrow? Would they know that I love them, value them‚ appreciate them, and don't take them for granted?" After being married for a while, you'll learn your mate's preferences and the way they react in many situations, so it can be easy to answer for them or just assume you know what they're going to say or do. But it's a special token of respect when you ask anyway and give them the benefit of expressing their feelings and preferences.

77. * Affection. Yes, this seems an obvious one, but how many marriages have gone down the drain for lack of affection? Touching and kissing are human manifestations of love that send comforting signals of warmth, love, loyalty, devotion, security and respect. Affection tells your mate you not only love them but you like them. You want to touch them. You even want to be around them when you don't quite agree about something.

78. Affection has to be give and take. You can't insist on always being the one to initiate affection and then refuse to respond when your mate does. There will be times when you won't be quite in the mood, or the timing will be a little inconvenient, but you can always give a squeeze with your hand or a little kiss and a smile, to reassure your loved one that everything's okay.

79. Make sure you don't just expect your husband or wife to always give you reassurance through affection without initiating it yourself sometimes, otherwise they may feel you don't love them or care about them, if you only hug when you are hugged.

80. * Equality. I'm not talking about the women's liberation movement here, and I'm not even talking about the husband and wife doing exactly the same amount of housework. What I'm referring to is an outgoing, helpful concern for your mate to make sure they're not overburdened in their ministry or with the kids. Maybe one of you is better with children, but the other one should also help with them. Maybe one of you is more tidy in the bedroom, but it just means that the other mate needs to make more of an effort to keep tidy also.

81. You may have different ministries that keep you apart and on different work schedules, so it's important to help bear each other's burdens. It's important to be willing to see the need when your mate is especially tired and still has work to do, and respond even if you've put in a full day's work and now want some time off.

82. * Respect. Respect for your mate's feelings. Respect for their opinions and decisions. Respect by not interrupting when they're speaking. Respect for their things‚ caring for them as well as you do your own. Respect for their walk with the Lord. Respect for their emotional needs. Respect for their quiet time. All these forms of respect are important and necessary for a mature relationship.

83. * Admiration. Yes, admire your partner. Hopefully you didn't marry someone for whom you do not hold a deep admiration of some spiritual strengths or personality traits, or just who they are as a person. Refresh your memory if it's been a while, by thinking about all the wonderful qualities in your partner that you were drawn to and deeply admired. Sharpen your appreciation of the wonderful person whom you have the privilege and the pleasure of sharing your life with.

84. Sincere admiration for a person does wonders for their whole mentality. To know that there is someone who overlooks your many faults, sees your deep and praiseworthy qualities and loves you for them, gives you hope that life is worth living because somebody loves and admires you. It also gives you incentive to be a better person, worthy of the love and admiration you so appreciate.

85. * Responsiveness. Nothing can throw a damper on a relationship more than not talking to each other, ignoring each other's questions, or giving the cold shoulder. Since you live so closely together, it's important that you respond lovingly to your partner, whether you are talking in the car, passing in the hallway, having Parent Time with your children‚ or lying together in bed.

86. There are always going to be times when one of you needs to be alone for a bit, or perhaps one of you is being a bit moody due to poor health or extreme tiredness. At these times communication is necessary to indicate that you would like to respond better but you just aren't physically or emotionally able at that moment. If those times are the exception rather than the rule, then you won't risk hurting your partner's feelings in this way‚ and they'll be more likely to understand and give you the space you need.

87. * Reaching out to others. A good marriage consists of intimate sharing, talking, holding, playing together‚ loving, nurturing your children together, serving the Lord together, making decisions together, and living your lives together. But even if you are the most compatible couple in the world‚ get along in every way, and are satisfied with each other's company, in order for your marriage to stay healthy and alive and growing, you both need to reach out to others. Your husband needs time off with the guys and your wife needs time with another woman or women, having "girl-talk" time.

88. I designed marriage to fulfill people's needs and provide a secure environment in which to raise children, but I purposely made it so it wasn't completely fulfilling, so each mate would desire the company and friendship of others. This keeps the pot stirred and not stagnant, as the personalities and strengths of others are infused into your own relationship and keep you from becoming too familiar with each other, or even too comfortable.

89. It helps you to stretch as you learn unselfishness in sharing your beloved mate with others around you. The more you exercise this muscle of reaching out to others, the more benefits you will experience as a result, as you appreciate each other so much more and learn humility and better communication skills with each other.

90. This quality or exercise of reaching out to others extends into sexual sharing, as do the benefits. It's such a unique gift, as every other marriage manual would have to address the problem of adultery and "what to do when your husband or wife 'cheats' on you."

91. But I seek to change the System attitudes you take in from movies and the world around you, by telling you that this seeming threat to your marriage—if handled wisely‚ in love and openness, humility, open communication, and unity—can be the secret to reviving your marriage. It can make you closer than ever, and strengthen your love.

92. * A sense of humor‚ to laugh when you feel like crying. Your lives are so busy, and with so much to do, so many little emergencies in the course of a day, little frustrations and tensions arising‚ you can save your sanity and your marriage by stimulating your funny bone every once in a while. Try to see the funny side of a difficult situation. When you get in each other's hair, do the humble thing and laugh at your own silly mistakes and idiosyncrasies.

93. Lighten up on yourself and your mate, and you will find the problems that loomed so large shrinking, as you remind yourself about what's important in life and laugh at what's not. I'm not suggesting you use a sense of humor to put a Band-Aid on problems that require serious communication and prayer together to resolve‚ but I'm just asking you to lighten up when facing the little annoyances and inconveniences of daily life. They'll always be around you, so learn to laugh them off.

94. * Optimism. This ties in with a sense of humor, but to take it further, make it a habit to be optimistic when you talk together. You have to be realistic and honest when discussing problems and making decisions, but remember that I am the Answer Man and that if you team up with Me, nothing's impossible. It's sometimes easier to speak faith and optimism around others than it is around your mate, with whom you're familiar, but your efforts are well worth it.

95. * Cleanliness. This may seem a little too practical for this list, but many a marriage was damaged because after they were married, one of the partners grew lax in their personal grooming or cleanliness habits. It's sad‚ but some people selfishly conclude that since they are no longer in the "mating game" and they've already landed a mate‚ they no longer need to put much effort into their personal appearance. Big mistake!

96. Keeping clean and making an effort to look attractive tells your husband or wife, "I care about the way I look and smell and feel to you. I'm proud to be your wife or husband. I want to look attractive for you." One little personal test you can make in this area is noticing if your preparations for time with friends or for a date with someone else are more careful and involved than the efforts you make for your mate. Of course there are times when you'll just dress for comfort‚ and you don't always have to dress up fancy for a date with your husband or wife, but make sure those occasions don't become too rare. (End of message from Jesus.)

How to Build the Ideal Marriage!

97. (Mama: ) After reading all of these qualities, you may be wondering if this type of marriage is attainable! You may be encouraged about the things you as a couple are doing right, but also a bit dismayed at the thought of areas where you don't measure up. Well, don't worry! The Lord is only giving this list so that you can picture what things can be like, so that you have a standard to strive for, and so that you can know He will help you reach this standard. Chances are‚ most of you are already doing many of the things which are included in this list, and if not, you won't find it too hard to start.

98. But just to help you, the Lord was so sweet to give us another message, in which He explains how to go about having the ideal marriage. Where do you start? Do you just take this list of qualities‚ and try to do each thing mentioned here?

99. The key, as the Lord explains below, is that our view of the ideal marriage is much different than His. When we begin to see marriage through His eyes and the way He would like our relationships to be, then we can see that the goals He presents are much easier to attain than we may have thought. So let's see how He further explains the ideal marriage and how He encourages us to reach for that.

100. (Jesus speaking:) The difference between how man judges and how I judge is found in the simple verse, "Man looketh on the outward appearance, but I look on the heart" (1Sam. 16:7). It is simple, but it is true. The reason so many people have ideals about marriage that are eccentric when compared with My plans and ways is because they are looking on the outward appearance, the temporal moment, whereas I am looking at eternity, the heart, and the long–term goal—the complete picture.

101. You might define the ideal marriage one way, but I look at it very differently. The crux of the matter is this: to be in My perfect will is the ideal for you. Yet so often I give you an opportunity which I know will bring you great happiness and fulfillment, as well as lessons learned and rewards of love for eternity. But because it is not what you had in mind, you push it away as a stone instead of bread.

102. So many times what I would give you has some sacrifice involved, some forsaking of your own plans or ideas, and this is very hard for you to face. Many times you walk away and never even try. Thus, you miss My ideal situation which I have set up for you, because it did not meet with your ideal plans.

103. This is a big lesson for My children, but one which many will not understand nor see clearly until they reach My Heavenly Kingdom and are able to see things as I saw them. Then they will understand My ways and My workings, and they will be very sorry that they held out for their own ideas and plans rather than taking the way of love and sacrifice which I laid before them as My ideal.

104. This is not to say that My plans for you bring sadness—not at all! They bring the greatest happiness that can be found on Earth! But they also require a great loving, forsaking, giving of yourself, and dying to your own ideas that Mine might become a reality in your life.

105. Let us go through some of the circumstances one by one, and I will show you how I see things very differently than you see them. At the same time‚ you must remember that each person's life is different, and each person has a different part in My overall plan. Often the things that look very easy to one person are very difficult for the person I ask them of. This is not for you to question, but only to follow.

106. The cross that I give you might seem heavy, while to someone else it might look light or enjoyable. But do not ask why I gave it to you instead of to them—for that is My plan and My will for you, and through it I will work My purpose.

107. Most people would say that to live in a place where they are not threatened by others in their relationship is the ideal. They fear that their mate will fall in love [with someone else]‚ and so if they are not surrounded by others who they feel threatened by, they think they are more secure and that is more of an ideal situation. I see it much differently.

108. For I know that through sharing, love is multiplied, and that the harder it is to share—and yet you do it willingly—the more I am able to bless you. I also know that challenge keeps you desperate with Me, and not only desperate with Me, but it can also help keep your love alive, fresh and new—reaching out and growing.

109. Many people have certain plans about the number of children they would like to have‚ or when they would like to have them. Often it is much different than My plan for them‚ but if they can learn to yield to My plan, I will show them the great fruit of obeying My will. Some have many children when they wish for few, or few when they wish for many. Some have children now when they wish them later, or later when they wish them now. Yet others wish for children, but do not have any. That is because I have a special calling for them, which they could not fulfill in the same way if they had children of their own to care for.

110. Other times people look at the outward appearance of their mate or their prospective mate‚ wanting them to look a certain way or have certain talents. This often has to do with their pride in some way, or their preconceived ideas of happiness, thinking they have to be with a certain type of person in order to be happy.

111. Often it would be My will to put them with someone very different, that they might learn to look beyond the outward appearance and love the heart that I love. I know that if they are able to love with My love it will be much longer lasting, much more secure, and bring much greater happiness in the long run.

112. Many people feel they must be emotionally in love with the person they are thinking of being with. Or they feel that if they have fallen "out of love" with their mate‚ I must not be blessing their marriage any longer. This is so different than the way I see it. Some people I give feelings to, but it is no more a sign of My blessing to them than to the ones I ask to love by faith.

113. In many ways feelings are a handicap, for they make the battles of sharing and giving to others much more intense. Though they can heighten your love for your mate and for Me, at times they can also lessen your love for Me and your desperation for My presence. So in this way also people see very differently than I see.

114. The world's idea of happiness is success, and in many ways My children have also adopted this frame of mind. It is so sad, for often it is the most humble of My children, doing the most unseen jobs, who are the closest to My heart and the most blessed of Me. To find a jewel that I have loved and cared for these many years, and saved for you, even though unseen or unnoticed by others—this is a true prize!

115. I would tell you this‚ dear ones: In your search for a mate, or your search for true happiness in your marriage, seek Me above all! When you seek Me above all, then am I able to live in everything around you‚ and you see Me and can touch Me and feel Me. I am able to share your life with you and make you happy despite your circumstances. I am able to help you love the unlovely in the eyes of men, or give to those who have great need, though the price of giving is great. I am able to overrule negative effects of your astrological signs and make you compatible.

116. The highest prerequisite is to be in My will, for then everything else will fall into place! There are no other requirements—save loving Me above all—that will make any difference at all in the long term. All other things come and go. Looks fade, styles change‚ fields and ministries change with time, and even your personality and your mate's personality will change with time. But I never change, and if I am the foundation stone and you are building your life upon My will and My choices for you, then you will be secure and fulfilled in your life, in your love, in your marriage, and in your marriage to Me most of all! (End of message from Jesus.)

Living the Lord's Law of Love, Part 11

(ML #3211, GN 814)

Dear precious Family,

1. (Mama: ) In this GN we're going to talk more about living the "One Wife" vision. That's something that's been a little difficult to understand over the years‚ but the Lord and Dad have recently given us some very good explanations and practical advice that I think will make a world of difference in our being able to live this important spiritual principle.

2. The Lord has mentioned the term "living the One Wife vision" several times in recent prophecies. In "Goals for 1998" He talked about living the Law of Love and the "One Wife" vision as though they were very closely related or even synonymous. I will include these portions of prophecy here for you to review, as they're very important. The Lord said:

3. It is through living the Law of Love fully that the living of the "One Wife" vision is possible. Without strong belief in the Law of Love and understanding of it‚ how can you believe and understand the "One Wife" vision, the truth of your greater marriage? Therefore much reassurance, instruction, encouragement‚ and a strong challenge needs to go out to both generations to once again kindle in their hearts and minds faith in the Law of Love and a desire to live the "One Wife" vision.

4. So much of what hinders the unity of the Family today is because of a lack of living the Law of Love and the "One Wife" vision fully. If there were greater love, concern, and faith in these areas, then there would also be greater care for the single mothers and their children, greater sexual freedom, less ostracizing of some, and fewer cliques. There would be a much greater willingness to love without partiality, to help each person to feel a part of the Family‚ the Home, the love, the unity, the oneness. (End of excerpts of message from Jesus.) (ML #3160:171,172, GN 765).

5. (Mama:) You might also recall that in Part 7 of this series the Lord again mentioned the importance of living the "One Wife" vision, when He said that even parenting teamworks will not supply all the needs of you who have children. Take the needs of our single mothers, for one example. He said:

6. (Jesus speaking:) The greatest, most long-lasting and deepest solution to the single mothers' needs is the pure and total enactment of the "One Wife" vision. Even parenting teamworks‚ as good as they are, have their drawbacks and their weaknesses. (End of excerpt of message from Jesus.) (ML #3207:145).

7. (Mama:) Parenting teamworks are helpful and definitely have their place. The Lord is certainly promoting them and they will bear good fruit‚ but He also said:

8. (Jesus speaking:) The ultimate goal, the complete vision, and the deeper, longer-lasting and more fruitful solution is living the "One Wife" vision, which is where each Home is a giant parenting teamwork where all bear the needs and feel responsible for their brethren—be they married couples, singles, single mothers, young people or children. Living the "One Wife" vision is the ultimate answer!

9. I will not be satisfied until the Family reaches that goal, until they have grown to understand, accept and take responsibility for their greater marriage in its totality. (End of excerpt of message from Jesus.)

10. (Mama: ) As the Lord led Peter and me step by step in the preparation of this series, I began to wonder if there was too much emphasis being placed on the individual family and the responsibility of the mother and father to their child or children, to the point that it would minimize the principle that we are all married to each other in spirit, and ideally we're to look at each person as our mate and at their children as our children. That's the principle of "One Wife."

11. I was concerned that as people learn to take responsibility for the children they bear together that there would possibly be a move toward too much concentration on little private nuclear families, which would in some way inhibit the overall unity that the Lord is trying to bring to pass in the Body as a whole. When praying about it, the Lord explained further where He is leading.

12. (Jesus speaking:) As you launch out to live the Law of Love, this is preparation. It's the pathway that leads to fulfilling the "One Wife" vision. And as you grow to live the Law of Love, this goes hand in hand with fulfilling the "One Wife" vision; they are one and the same. Living the "One Wife" vision is the golden solution, because to put the responsibility on husbands and wives, daddies and mommies, and the ones who are actually responsible for creating the children in the flesh‚ will never be enough.

13. I have put within the heart of My children a need to reach out and to receive input from many sources and many people. I want all of My children—young and old‚ from both generations‚ adult and child—to have a wide circle of family, friends, companions‚ uncles, aunties, brothers, sisters. My way is not the way of the world, to build and secure only independent nuclear families, for that strength is limited. That bond is very weak in comparison with the bond that can be formed as My Family learns to live the "One Wife" vision where they become part of a greater marriage in spirit, where they look upon each other as their mate and the others' children as their own.

14. The responsibilities and cautions and explanations must be pointed out clearly, and My children must understand that if they create a child together, then I hold them responsible‚ for it is their child and in most cases they are destined and chosen to be the parents of that child and to give that child the input, education, spiritual foundation and training that he needs and deserves. When they choose to fuck they take upon themselves that responsibility, but it is not a responsibility that I expect the mother and father to bear entirely on their own. I don't want the parents to shirk the responsibility, but I also want the others of their greater marriage in spirit to help to bear the responsibility. For as you bear one another's burdens, so do you fulfill My Law of Love.

15. Yes, individual nuclear families of dedicated, committed, loving married couples and their children are a good testimony and they are a strength to the Family, but the greater testimony and the greater strength comes from the greater marriage. Living the "One Wife" vision is the ultimate goal and that is what I am moving My Family toward.

16. All the clarifications and explanations, boundaries and guidelines that are put forth in this Law of Love series are building the foundation and making it possible for the Family to move from the point that they're now at to a point of much greater unity, where they truly realize the "One Wife" vision and truly become married to one another in spirit. The "One Wife" vision is a very integral key part of the plan, an important piece of the puzzle. To live the Law of Love in every aspect cannot be done without the vision and determination to live the "One Wife" vision. They are one and the same. (End of message from Jesus.)

17. (Mama:) The Lord is always way out front, and His plan is flawless, beautiful and supported by His many promises! It is so encouraging to me to see how He has led us step by step to this point, to where He can now finally reveal His ultimate plan. Praise the Lord! As you read the following paragraphs, you'll see that there is a great move of the Spirit to strengthen our greater marriage in spirit‚ which will affect every single one of our lives.

A Major Move of the Spirit Toward Unity!

18. (Jesus speaking:) At this time I am engineering a major move toward unity. My Spirit is sweeping through the ranks and pulling all the children of David of all ages into a greater circle of unity, fellowship and closeness of heart, mind, and spirit. Living the sexual sharing aspect of the Law of Love is one part of this unity that I seek. But the unity overall—the unity between the younger ones and the older ones, between those of the same generation, between the older children and the younger children, between those who are single and those who are married‚ between those who are childless and those who have children, is all part of the great plan that I am putting into effect.

19. To live the Law of Love sexually is not the only side and the only message, and that is not the only goal that I am pursuing. For I lead My Family to live the Law of Love fully, to live all aspects of My Law of Love. My ultimate goal, the final end result that I am seeking, is the total unity of My Bride‚ the complete oneness of the children of David, both among and between the generations, and regardless of their ministry, their gender, their nationality, their personal situation or their marital status. I am seeking total unity, the ultimate fulfillment of the "One Wife" vision given by your Father David.

20. Living the Law of Love is what needs to be done. It is a great and magnificent solution, a mighty move of My Spirit! It is put forth through powerful Words of truth and revelation. It is the fruit of the conviction, desperation and yieldedness of the king and queen‚ and it will bring forth great fruit. But this in itself is not the only message. It is not the only goal‚ or the ultimate goal. As I said before‚ the ultimate fulfillment of My plan is the perfection and completion of the "One Wife" vision.

21. Living the Law of Love is not something on its own, separate from the fulfillment of the "One Wife" vision; it is part of it. It goes hand in hand‚ for you cannot have one without the other. As My Family lives the Law of Love fully, in every aspect, the totality of My Bride will come at last. They will become My total Bride, My One Wife, prepared and adorned to meet her Bridegroom. (End of message from Jesus)

22. (Mama:) The ultimate goal the Lord is seeking isn't just the sexual sharing; that's just part of the picture. The overall goal, the "big picture," is the uniting of the whole Family in our greater marriage in spirit, which would involve not only the sexual sharing, but also the other aspects of living the Law of Love and the "One Wife" vision.

23. The Lord gave quite a list of areas where He hopes to see greater unity. I think He hit on each person and every possible scenario when He said He wanted more unity between the two generations, between those of the same generation, between nationalities, between the older children and the younger children, between those who are single and those who are married, between those who are childless and those who have children, and between every age‚ ministry and gender. That pretty much includes us all!

24. It's time to broaden our vision and our perspective. Now the Lord wants us to see that living the Law of Love in its entirety, while it is very important and a major move of the Spirit and very needed‚ is only part of what He's doing. It leads to and is part of His ultimate goal, the marriage in spirit of all the children of David!

25. Since the Lord led Dad to write the Letter "One Wife" back in 1972, we have slowly but surely been learning what it means to put the Lord first and to be married to each other in the Spirit. We have matured and grown with time, and the Lord knows we are miles ahead of the churches when it comes to putting the Lord and His work first above the selfish interests of our personal families. This does not mean, however, that we no longer love our husbands, wives or children, or that we are to neglect them and not show them the love and attention that is their due and that they need. That too is part of our responsibility in living the Law of Love.

26. But daily we are faced with choices as to whether we will put the Lord and His work first, or whether we will instead opt to follow our own personal plans and programs. Of course‚ our personal families and their care is a very integral part of our work for the Lord, as His gifts are His work. Yet through these daily choices, the Lord is leading us and teaching us how to have a good balance between the attention that our personal families and mates need, and the attention that He expects us to give to Him and other aspects of His work.

27. Even though we have practiced living the "One Wife" vision to some degree through the years and we have grown in this way, the Lord still longs to see greater unity in the Family. This is the ultimate goal of not only living the Law of Love, but also the greater marriage in spirit of the children of David. He wants us all to have a greater realization of the "One Wife" vision in our lives and Homes. He wants it to become more of a reality in practical terms.

28. When it comes to parents and children, naturally this is not to say that the parents are no longer responsible for their own children and have little say in the care of their children, or are to forfeit a close loving personal relationship, but that everyone should be helping each other and cooperating together for the good of all. His desire is greater unity, greater oneness, greater closeness of heart, mind and spirit‚ regardless of our age, our marital status‚ whether we're male or female, whether we're nationals or foreigners‚ or whether we're leaders or not.

29. The Lord knows the needs. He knows the future. He knows the direction we need to go if we hope to be prepared for the battles we will face in the days to come. He sees the Enemy's attacks, and He's giving us the solutions that we need and that will strengthen us and cleanse us and make us into the strong fighting army that we need to be.

30. So to sum it up and make it very clear: Living the Law of Love in its entirety, including sexual sharing, is a tremendous move of the Spirit to bring about His plan. The ultimate goal that the Lord is striving for is greater overall unity, the marriage of the children of David in spirit. That is something that each and every person can embrace wholeheartedly and reap the benefits of‚ as we all move forward, step by step, toward greater unity and a greater living of the "One Wife" vision that the Lord gave Dad many years ago.

Building on Dad's Words!

31. As the Lord did with the "Loving Jesus" revelation, He is again giving us a deeper insight into the truth that He had revealed to Dad. With the messages contained in this GN about our greater marriage in spirit, Peter and I are building on the teachings of Dad. In the Letter "One Wife," Dad said:

32. We are not forsaking the marital unit.—We are adopting a greater and more important and far larger concept of marriage: The totality of the Bride and her marriage to the Bridegroom is The Family! We are adopting the larger Family as The Family unit: the Family of God and His Bride and children!

33. Through the experiences we are going through‚ God is trying to show us He will not fit in second place! He will not have any other gods before Him! If He allows you any nice cozy little private relationship, you can be very thankful for it! It is, in a sense, a privilege‚ a special little dispensation of grace to feel that only two of you belong to each other in particular. But He will only allow that provided you make it very clear to each other and the Lord and the others in the Revolution that you belong to God most of all, and your private relationship doesn't interfere with your work and your relationship with the Lord!

34. If you are allowed any personal private relationship with any particular individual‚ called marriage, it can only be tolerated provided it does not interfere with your marriage to God and your relationship with the rest of God's Wife—the Body, His total Bride! They say that the Bible doesn't teach plural marriage, but one of the greatest examples of all is the marriage of God Himself to His plural Bride composed of many members, all of whom are nevertheless one Bride! (ML #249:3,15,16).

35. (Mama: ) I admit that the Letter "One Wife" is not easy to understand. It's a little mysterious! It's strong meat! The spiritual principles put forth in it are radical and may seem to some to be extreme. You may wonder, "What exactly is the 'One Wife' vision?"

36. For years now we in the Family have tried our best to find a good balance between private relationships and our devotion to the Lord and His work, and in some ways we have done well. But now, because of the need and because the days we live in are darker, and because we must be more militant and stronger and better prepared for the battles that we will face, the Lord is taking us a step further and is revealing more truth concerning how to live the principles of "One Wife." The Lord said in prophecy:

37. (Jesus speaking:) In the days that your Father David gave the message of "One Wife," things were different in the Family. Life was much simpler. The first generation was young, carefree by comparison. Many of you had small children, but the demands on you were less, and your life was centered almost completely around witnessing. There were fewer battles with lack of unity‚ less severe attacks of the Enemy in that arena. But now there are two generations, and there are more differences in opinions, goals, outlooks. Now you are accountable for so much more Word, more truth. Now you need a clearer guidepost regarding the "One Wife" vision. Now I must expand upon that message and show you how to more effectively put it into practice according to the circumstances in which you now find yourselves.

38. You cannot go on business as usual‚ nor can you go on only with the truth that was given through the mouth of your Father David. I have seen the need‚ and I have seen fit to elaborate, to enhance and to view with a magnifying glass that truth with greater detail and greater instruction as to how to implement it.

39. This is another case where the children of David are constantly changing and revoluting! You cannot solidify and operate according to yesterday's plan and program, but you must be willing to be fluid, to flow with the Spirit, to become new creatures, to remain new bottles‚ to drink in the message for today. (End of message from Jesus.)

40. (Mama:) Clearly, the Word the Lord has given on living the Law of Love is one way in which He's expanding the message of "One Wife." But He has given other messages as well that will help us to relate to all of our "mates" in the Lord. I'll share those messages with you in the pages that follow.

Misunderstandings Concerning the "One Wife" Vision

41. One dilemma we encounter when trying to understand how to live the "One Wife" vision is that the main point we seem to remember from that Letter is that "God will not take second place to a private marriage relationship." Your automatic deduction is that God and your marriage to Him and your relationship with the Body must be in first place, therefore your personal family, your children and personal relationships must be in second place. But when you start to think about that and what to actually do about it, you can't help but wonder, "What does that mean in practical terms?"

42. Here's another part of the problem we face when trying to grasp the "One Wife" vision: I think we'd all have to honestly admit that our feelings for our mates and children and those we have close personal relationships with are stronger than our feelings for almost everyone else in our greater marriage. It's natural that you feel closer and more connected to your husband or wife, or your steady boyfriend or girlfriend, than you do to those Family members who are co–workers, sharing partners, distant friends, or even casual acquaintances. It's to be expected that you would naturally have a stronger personal love and concern for your own flesh children or the children of your "blended family"* than you do for someone else's children. *(A family in which either the husband or the wife, or both, bring children with them to the marriage.)

43. Those strong natural feelings for those you are closest to are not wrong. In fact, we know the Lord is the One Who gives us those feelings. So how do we justify these feelings, which seem like partiality, with the principle of "One Wife" that tells us that our private relationships should not interfere with our marriage to God and our relationship with the rest of the body?

44. Another point comes into play when you consider that the Lord has put you together with your mate and you believe it's God's will. He's given you your children. But then you feel like He's telling you that you should put that personal family and your children in a lesser place, and your relationship or marriage to Him and the overall Family first. So that's a little difficult to understand. Then to make matters even more complicated, your personal family, your children and your close friends or lovers, are all part of the greater Family, part of your greater marriage.

45. When thinking about these questions—how we're supposed to put our greater marriage first and how we should handle our stronger natural feelings for our private smaller families or close relationships—it became clear that we needed more specifics from the Lord.

46. You might worry that eventually, at this rate, there will be no more private marriages. (That's not the case!) With all this talk about living the "One Wife" vision and the unity that the Lord is looking for in the greater marriage, it might be a little scary to you if you don't know exactly what it means, where it's headed, or how to put it into practice. We don't want you to go too far in ministering to your greater marriage to the neglect of your personal family. Nor do we want you to feel like you're not doing enough for your greater marriage, so that you suffer the accusations and condemnation of the Enemy.

47. Clearly, we needed the Lord's help to grasp this concept better. When I asked the Lord to help us understand these points‚ Dad spoke, giving a much more in-depth talk on what living the "One Wife" vision means. I think this talk from Dad will help shed a brighter light on the spiritual principles of "One Wife" that have been a cornerstone of our Family for so long.

48. It's just wonderful how the Lord is revealing more to us, pulling back the veil on His Word again and again! Praise the Lord!

What It Means to Put the Greater Family First!

49. (Dad speaking:) Putting the greater marriage first doesn't mean you need to minimize your ties to your personal family‚ but it means giving the greater marriage the proper importance. It does not mean you must forsake the marital unit, but you are to embrace the far greater concept of marriage. It means that instead of drawing a circle around your own little family that will shut others out, you are to draw a circle that brings others in. For example, it doesn't mean loving your own children less, but it means taking the children of others into your arms, your heart, your lives, and trying to love them as much as you love your own. It means bringing others up to the level of your personal marriage relationship and your personal individual family—bringing them up to the level of love, understanding, sympathy, concern, and all the things you naturally feel for your personal family.

50. This is a complicated concept, because the Lord wants us to love others as we love ourselves. He wants us to be considerate of their needs, to give of our time, strength, love, and prayer, to do what we can to make sure all our mates are well cared for, happy and complete, as much as possible. On the other hand, He purposely, distinctly, and within His will gives you greater natural feelings for your personal family, for your one wife or mate, and also for your own children. He does that because He knows we all need some personal touch in our lives. Children need personal attention and personal love, to feel like they belong to somebody, that they have a place. They need to feel the security, comfort and warmth of the family unit.

51. So there's a place for both—the personal‚ individual family and the greater family. Each has its purpose, and you can love one without neglecting the other.

52. I would say the tendency of most people, of course, is to have a deeper love for their personal family, their immediate mate and their own children. Our priorities usually center around our own mates and our own children—not only because of our natural selfishness and independence, but also because of God-given desires and burdens that He's put in our hearts to care for and protect our individual family units.

53. It's very natural and understandable to be more concerned about your own mate and your own children—that they have their needs supplied, that they are happy, that they feel loved and content and challenged. It's good to love your mate and children in this way, and it's part of your duty as a husband or wife or father or mother.

54. People of the world are also concerned for their immediate family. But it takes the supernatural love of Jesus, the miraculous grace of God, to try to love others as much as you love your personal family, and to care as much about their personal needs and their feelings of happiness, security, contentment and challenge.

55. It takes the supernatural love of the Lord to care as much for a single mother and the needs of her children as you do for your own wife and your own children. It takes a supernatural vision in the spirit to see that single mother and her children as being your wife and your children in the spirit. It takes the supernatural love of God to be moved with compassion for that single brother or sister‚ and to reach out and give them what they need—whether it's a shoulder to cry on, a prayer, some time of communication, or lovemaking.

56. All of this requires the work of the Spirit. You can't do it on your own. You have to be strong in the Spirit, strong in faith, strong in love, strong in sacrifice. That's why so few people in the Family fully understand the principle of "One Wife" or the concept of the greater marriage, because very few people want to make that kind of sacrifice. And the sacrifice I'm talking about is not forsaking or minimizing or mistreating your own individual family, but it's broadening the borders of your tents and giving more love and more concern‚ bringing others in and making them feel a part.

57. It's sad that the Family has gotten quite separate, quite selfish these days. The married couples are quite exclusive in their relationships and there is a lot of loneliness. Many people feel quite alone. You know‚ it's a natural God-given desire to want to belong to a family, a team, or some kind of body where you feel like you have a place and you make a difference, where people want you as an individual, they need you, and you make a meaningful contribution.

58. That's why companies that make all the employees feel important and needed and crucial to the success of the business are often very profitable. The employees are very loyal and they'll work hard and sacrifice willingly, because that feeling of oneness and belonging is a great motivation. It's a much better motivation than just money, promotion or glory, because it's a God-given desire‚ something that the Lord has put in the heart of man.

59. It's sad that even in some of our Homes people feel like they don't belong. They feel a little bit like outsiders, and like something is missing. They're there and they do their part, they fulfill their duties, but they wonder who really cares. Sure, they make a difference on the schedule of Home duties, and they take part in the witnessing and the training of the children and the JJT and the raising of finances, but they don't really feel like an integral part of a team or a body or a marriage.

60. I guess that's why there's so much moving from Home to Home. People don't stick together for long or dig in to pioneer and nurture and build a strong, lasting work for the Lord. They're always flitting from here to there‚ from one Home to another or one field to another.

61. What I really think they're looking for is just to belong. They want to find their place and those they can feel close to. They want to be somewhere where they feel accepted, needed and wanted—somewhere where if they left, it would really make a difference and they'd be missed as an individual, as a person, not just as someone to fill in the schedule, or help raise funds, or clean the house, but that their particular gifts‚ their talents, their personality, their sense of humor, their strengths, even their weaknesses and their individual or funny ways would be missed.

62. To put the greater Family first means to love your brethren with as much love as you can possibly muster up! It means, by God's grace, to give your brethren, your mates‚ your teamworkers, your co-workers, your friends‚ that single mother, that single brother or sister, and all the children as much love, attention, recognition and appreciation as you possibly can.

63. Remember, when you feel like you're doing all you can to muster up the love, that's when you must let the love of Christ constrain you! It all has to be a miracle of the Lord's love! The supernatural love of God is love enough to love anybody—and that's what it'll take to live the Law of Love. This is what it's all about—loving others with His supernatural love. But you're going to find that if you just step out and obey, He'll give you the love you need.

64. This is what He wants to do; He wants to love others through you. He has no hands but your hands, no arms but your arms‚ no mouth but yours to speak His words of love and encouragement. Right now it might seem impossible to you‚ but if you'll just give God a chance to love others through you‚ He'll do all the rest. He'll do what you can't do. His love will constrain you and move you to love others in a way you never thought possible before. As you put Him first and love the Family with His love, He will pour down His grace upon you—grace enough to love others, because it'll be His supernatural love working through you.

65. Each of you needs to ask the Lord to help you to love others as much as you love your own immediate family. That's the spirit of "One Wife" and putting the greater marriage first: When you're willing to expand your exclusive private relationship and reach out to others; when you're willing to sacrifice some of the private time you would have together to include others; when you're willing to open up your heart, mind and time to include other children when you're tutoring your own, or teaching them to read, or doing a science project with them, or reading them a story, or helping them to learn a new language, or just having fun, fellowship or get-out with them.

66. It's so easy to be private and exclusive; that's the natural way of man. It takes something supernatural to be giving, open, unselfish, and to love others as you love your own personal family. But it's not an impossibility! The Lord can do it! You just have to work at it and be willing to try. And above all you have to ask the Lord for His supernatural grace and love.

67. Now some people are called to make a decision that requires them to put their personal family in second place to the will of God. Sometimes people‚ especially shepherds and leaders or those with unusual callings, are asked to make great sacrifices for the sake of their ministry. You look at our leadership today and you see that many of them spend a lot of time away from their loved ones or their lovers or their children‚ and they do that for the greater good of the Kingdom and the Family. In many ways I guess it does look like they're putting their personal family in second place, and I think they are, because what has first place in their hearts is a desire and willingness to do the Lord's will no matter what the cost. If He asks them to do something to serve the Family, to shepherd the Family, to pioneer, to feed the Family or to strengthen the Family, and it requires a sacrifice of the time that they would normally have with their individual family, then they're willing to do that.

68. In such cases, they do put their family in second place. But you can be sure that the Lord blesses such sacrifices—both for the mate who must leave to fulfill the Lord's will and for the mate and children who stay back. And even though such sacrifices are difficult‚ and sometimes it may even look like the children or the mate suffer as a result, you can be sure, and I guarantee, that the Lord will bless such sacrifices in ways both seen and unseen. It might not always seem like it to those involved, but in the long run the Lord will more than repay—you can never outgive God!

69. The Lord asks all Family members to make sacrifices to one degree or another. Just like the example of the leader or shepherd above, the Lord will ask something of you personally in order to promote His Kingdom and His love and the unity He's trying to bring about‚ and to help you to be the loving Family He wants you to be.

70. For example, say you're a young couple with small children and you're looking forward to spending your family day together having a picnic, a little quiet time, a little personal communication‚ and giving a little individual attention to your own children after a busy week. But then the Lord lays it on your heart that the single mother in your Home and her children would like to go with you to the park on your picnic. She's been lonely and her children would enjoy the fellowship.

71. In that case, the Lord in a way is asking you to put your personal family and even your personal desires in second place for that time, so that you can open your lives and your time and your attention to someone who is in need. But you see, you're not really loving your immediate family less—you're loving the others more than you were previously if or when you tended to have a more exclusive outlook! You're trying your best to love the single mom and her children as much as you love your own, by drawing a circle to bring others in.

72. Here's another example: Maybe you as a couple had planned to go to bed early and have a time of lovemaking, but instead it turns out one of your co-workers is having a big battle with loneliness and is really missing a friend that he or she used to be very close to. So instead of having your personal time together, you invite your co-worker in for some Word time, fellowship time, and prayer time together. Or you go out for a walk together. Or you even have your mate go spend time in fellowship and lovemaking with that person who is lonely. This is another example of how you put your own personal desires and your personal family in second place. But it doesn't mean you love your mate less; it means you try to love that lonely person and give some of the time, attention and love to him or her that you would normally enjoy or that you had previously been enjoying exclusively.

73. It means that you open your lives together to others, that you hear the heartcries of those around you. This doesn't mean you have to love your immediate family less, and of course these times of reaching out to others need to be balanced with the genuine needs of your personal family and marriage and the investment of time you need to give them too. Of course you will still need time alone with your personal family, and you do not need to feel you always have to invite others along.

74. But take it from me, I can guarantee that if you'll begin to look at the needs of others, as you begin to look outward, as you become more sensitive to the needs of others around you, you're gonna find that the time you spend sacrificing to meet the needs of others is not really a sacrifice at all. You're gonna find it doesn't have to harm your marriage or your own personal family to help meet the needs of others around you—someone who has less than you‚ someone who is needy. You're gonna find that, instead of it being a sacrifice, you'll have the Lord's blessing and reward for your giving. You're gonna discover the great benefits there are in living His Law of Love, and that you never lose by giving!

75. That's what I did. I always opened my home and my arms to others. I drew a circle to bring others in! That's why we have the Family today. There's always room for one more! There's always room to reach out to others and include them in your circle of love and fellowship. Pray and let the Lord lead. Pray and ask Him how to find the balance, and He'll make it clear.

76. Naturally, you won't be able to meet everyone's needs the same; the important thing is to be open to who the Lord is leading you to reach out to! That's why He gave us the Family! We're one body! And everyone's needs should be getting met, and everyone should be doing their part to make that happen in whatever way or in whatever capacity the Lord is leading you to. If the Lord is speaking to your heart to reach out to those around you, you'd be wise to listen and follow His leading. Try it, and discover the great benefits it will bring to your life and the lives of others.

77. So you see, putting your greater marriage first does not mean you're putting your private marriage down to a place of lesser care, or to a place where your mate or children will be harmed. It means that you bring others up to a place of greater care‚ and you're willing to let your own desires and personal preferences take second place to the needs of others at times.

78. I know this isn't easy, but that's what living "One Wife" is all about. And you can be sure that the Lord will bless your efforts and reward you. It may not happen immediately, and it may not be in the way that you expect, but some way, somehow, the Lord will make it pay. He'll show you that you never lose by giving—by giving love‚ care, and attention to others, as you give to your own loved ones, your mate, your children‚ and those closest to you. (End of message from Dad.)

79. (Mama: ) This good talk from Dad really helps to clarify some points that I think we've misunderstood. It seems many had previously concluded that to have the greater marriage in first place, you have to somehow lessen your love for your mate and children in your private marriage. That idea, of course, is not very inviting. Now you can see that the point is that you are to try to include others in your circle of love. Instead of putting your personal families down to a place of less love, you bring others up to a place of more love!

80. The whole point of living "One Wife" is to spread more love, more concern, more caring and sacrificial sharing. It doesn't make sense to think we would have to love our personal families less in order to accomplish this. That's not it at all! We are to continue to love our mates and children as much as ever, but we should try to love others impartially, which can only be done by a miracle of God! Of course, that's the ideal, the goal we can reach for. We won't always make it, but we can try! I'm sure we'll grow in love as we exercise our giving, sharing and loving muscles.

81. You couples might be tempted to think that in order to reach out to others like this, it will mean you will have a whole lot less time with your mate or children. Though you may be giving some of your time to others, broadening your marriage or parenting teamwork in this way does not have to detract from or lessen the care you give your own children or mate. It is not meant to weaken your marriage and family relationship.

82. Of course, as Dad pointed out, the needs and heartcries of those around you should be balanced out with the genuine needs of your marriage and the investment you need to make in your personal relationship. But as you begin to look outward and become more sensitive to others' needs, you may find that some of the personal time you have been accustomed to having together as a couple or family can be shared or even given to others without causing harm to your marriage or nuclear family. When giving in this way, to meet the needs of someone who has less than you or someone who is especially needy at the time, you can be sure of the Lord's blessing and reward.

83. Because there are so many different circumstances, I'd suggest you couples openly and honestly discuss this prospect of opening your lives up more to others. Take the time to evaluate and assess your marriage and how it presently stands. Go to the Lord together, seek His counsel, and get His leading to see if you need to invest a little time to strengthen the foundation of your marriage. Or, if you feel your marriage is pretty stable, if you feel secure with each other's love, seek the Lord on how you can begin including others more in your circle of love, whether it's reading with others‚ fellowshipping with others, reaching out to spend intimate time with others in need, or a combination of these and other activities. The Lord is able to make these things clear if you'll ask Him and be faithful to follow His leading.

84. Reaching out to others in these ways does not mean that your love together is lessened, but it's a broadening of your love as you draw a circle to bring others in. Through the Law of Love series and this further explanation of the "One Wife" vision, the Lord and Dad are trying to help us come to the realization that some of our former mindsets might need to change. One of our CROs explained this as follows, which I thought was very well put:

85. When we married couples spend time away from our mates in order to spend time with others, or we spend time together reading or fellowshipping with someone else rather than just spending time doing these things together alone, as a couple, it doesn't need to mean a lessening of the love the married couple has for each other‚ or a deterioration in the marriage relationship.

86. If we couples look at it realistically, we'll probably have to agree that we do have some time together that is "extra" or "comfortable" or just what we've gotten used to. Of course, that's what married life is about, just having the other "around" and loving their presence, and it does hurt for this to change. It can feel like a lessening of the love we've had together or putting it down to a lesser degree in order to reach out to others and include others more. But perhaps some of what we've gotten used to, although nice and we love and value it, is really "extra" when put in the context of the little that others may have, especially singles, and also in context with the goal the Lord's set for us of living the "One Wife" vision, with each in the Family being one of our mates in our greater marriage.

87. So some aspects of our married lives will have to change, and one aspect will probably be the amount of time we married couples actually spend together, or at least spend alone together. But this shouldn't be confused with what the Lord and Dad said about how living the "One Wife" vision does not mean that our love for our mates and children in our private marriage is lessened, that it isn't putting our personal families down to a place of less love‚ that we are to continue to love our mates and children just as much as ever.

88. It seems that what it means is a realization that some of what we've become accustomed to as far as time and life together as a married couple, the actual time we're used to spending together alone, as an individual couple, is quite selfish and non-inclusive of others and largely based on System values. It is true that couples do need time together for the reasons the Marriage GNs brought out, but that being exclusive and protective isn't of the Lord or His way, and this is the change of attitude we need to have.

89. So living the "One Wife" vision is going to mean a change in the time we spend exclusively with our mates. And in order to make this possible, so that it doesn't result in our feeling that it means a lessening of our love for our mates or putting it down to a lesser level, it seems we need to change our attitudes regarding what is actually necessary and what are those things that we've just become accustomed to but which aren't really necessary. It seems that many of our present attitudes and our sense of values along these lines are like bad habits that we didn't realize before, but which are a result of our own selfish natures, as well as the input and acceptance of System values all our lives, and we now need to change how we view these things.

90. Regarding this whole "time spent with each other" aspect for married couples, it seems that the readjustment of our thinking along these lines is important in order to bring the "One Wife" vision to pass without our thinking that we're losing something we had before, and thus maybe thinking that it does indeed mean a lessening of the love we have or show to each other. (End of comments from CRO.)

91. (Mama:) This CRO makes some very valid points here. Please ask the Lord if you need to change your expectations regarding what you've come to feel is actually necessary in your personal marriage and family situation. It's possible that some of you have become accustomed to a certain standard as far as personal or private time together that might be a bit exaggerated, and perhaps you need to adjust somewhat how you view these things, in order to be able to enlarge your circle of love.

92. Another helpful tip might be for you couples to seriously evaluate your time and seek the Lord for ways to best utilize the time you do have, both together and with others. Whether it is genuinely difficult to find the needed time together as a couple‚ due to ministries and responsibilities, or whether you have become accustomed to a standard that is exaggerated, as mentioned above, the Lord is able to help you find the balance and help you make the most out of your time together and with others. It always helps to schedule your time in order to get the most out it. So ask the Lord to show you ways you can adjust and accommodate to fit in everything you need to do in order to have the necessary time both together and with others.

93. As you work on finding a good balance between strengthening and enjoying your marriage and reaching out to others, you will need to go back to the Lord often in prayer. I suggest you seek Him often to know when to reach out, to whom, how much and in what way. Also seek Him about when it is necessary to have time alone with your mate and children. As you seek Him for ways to put these principles of "One Wife" into practice in your lives‚ He will faithfully lead you each step of the way. This is an ongoing process. It's not something you pray about once and then forget about. You don't just give once and then stop giving. Keep praying to know what He wants you to do and how He wants you to show love. Pray about every aspect of how to put the "One Wife" vision into practice in your life‚ and He will lead you and strengthen your marriage, your family and your circle of love.

More on Putting the "One Wife" Vision into Practice

94. Dad has already given us some very helpful information and practical examples, but I felt that surely there must be more that we could learn about this very important spiritual principle which is one of the fundamental cornerstone beliefs of the Family. If the Lord is leading us to live the "One Wife" vision much more than we have in the past, then I was quite sure He would be happy to give us all the explanation we need to be able to make fast solid progress.

95. I wondered, how do we make each Home a "giant parenting teamwork" in which we all bear the needs and feel responsible for our brethren? How do we make what the Lord called the "ultimate answer"—living the "One Wife" vision—a reality in our Homes? What is our greater marriage supposed to be like, and how do we make it work? I had these questions on my heart and so asked the Lord for more counsel, and Dad gave a very inspired talk that is just what we need to not only understand the "One Wife" vision more‚ but also have the faith and vision to do what is needed to make it more alive and real in our Homes.

96. (Dad speaking:) The "One Wife" vision is a big subject and one that really turns me on! I'm thrilled with the Lord's far-reaching, miraculous, powerful answers to the Family's problems, and believe me, living the "One Wife" vision is just that! It's an answer that you've all been desperate to find, and it's been there all along‚ but you just haven't fully understood it. I know the idea of a "greater marriage in spirit" is a pretty deep truth. So with the Lord's help, I'm going to try to explain a little more about what it means to be married to one another in spirit, as One Wife.

97. But I'm going to ask you to also help me with this explanation. I can hear you now, saying, "What's Dad talking about? How can we help him? We hardly understand the 'One Wife' vision ourselves!" Well, I'll tell you what, I'm going to give you some ideas, some starting points for understanding and putting the "One Wife" vision into practice, but then I want you to take it a step further and talk about those ideas, discuss them in detail, and see how you can live them—how you can put them into practice in your daily lives.

98. There's something very special about taking the time to talk about what the Word says. It's one thing to read it, but when you have to actually sit down and think about it and digest that Word and see what it means to you personally and as a Home, then you really get down to business. Then you can really make fast progress.

99. So as you read this message, I want you to be thinking about this little assignment. And then take some time to talk about it as a Home. It doesn't have to be immediately after reading this Letter. You can think and pray about it for a while, but don't delay too long or you might just forget it altogether. Thanks for your help on this. You'll see that it's worth the effort.

100. When you want to apply the "One Wife" vision in practical terms, just think of the things you would do in a private marriage—being loving‚ considerate, kind, supportive, comforting, caring‚ sharing, and so forth—and try to put that into practice as much as possible between you and all of your mates in your greater marriage. The way to put the greater marriage of the children of David into practice is all around, as much as possible, in the different areas of your lives.

101. Just think of all it takes to make a marriage, and work on that. Go to it! It will help to keep in mind that it does take time to grow into marriage. You can't necessarily expect everything to be hunky-dory from day one—you have to invest in it and work on it. But you have to start somewhere‚ and the important thing is to be growing together, making progress, and working on your marriage day by day. It takes lots of hard work to make a marriage work, but the results are well worth it! The results are strong bonds—strong cords that cannot be broken.

102. Remember, folks, although the Lord has given you the liberty to share sexually and to love each other in the bed of love, and this is wonderful and liberating and has many, many pros to it, sexual sharing is still only a small part of marriage. This marriage is all about real, true married love and is manifested in much broader terms than mere sex, emotions, love relationships, and in–love feelings.

103. With your greater marriage‚ the Lord wants you to live your married love. What's a marriage but a union? It's a uniting together. It's becoming one. So the best way everyone can begin to apply this marriage in practical terms is by living and putting into practice real, true married love, and getting it together as one Family, one wife.

104. Look at each other as individuals. Look at the other as that person you love‚ that mate that you need, that part of you that you cannot live without, because one cannot do without the other. Look at each other as someone who has something to contribute. (See 1Cor.12:12-25.)

105. Sex is really a very small part of a marriage—only about 2% or so. It's a very small portion compared to all the other factors that go into a marriage and into making it work. Sure, there will be relationships developing due to this greater marriage. There will be all sorts of relationships and degrees of emotion and love, and they won't always be the same. But just because there will be relationships and greater freedom sexually than has been practiced in recent years in the Family, nonetheless, all this should not dominate or be the main goal or thrust of the marriage of the children of David.

106. Even with the relationships and situations that arise, many of these will change from time to time according to the need and according to how the Lord is moving and working in each individual life. Emotions and in-love feelings will play a part‚ but they are not the main part. So I would advise you not to look at this as the main area to begin working on in building your marriage. You don't have to go out of your way looking for relationships. It takes a lot of lovin' to make a house a home, and it takes a Heaven of a lot more than sex and in–love feelings and relationships to make a marriage!

107. Don't get me wrong. I'm all for sex, and you guys certainly know that by now! Sex is beautiful and it can bring lots of unity and help bind you together. And as is obvious, sexual sharing is a part of this marriage, and more sharing amongst those who can will be one practical way that will help bring unity, when done in love and in counsel with those involved. As many of you have discovered, sexual sharing, if done within the guidelines of the Law of Love, really helps bring you together.

108. But as you have also found, it takes a large measure of love, prayerfulness and seeking the Lord for guidance as to when, where, how, with whom, and so on‚ and to make sure that no one is left out, or that people aren't getting too far off kilter to one extreme or the other. All things are lawful, but they are not always expedient. So in order to do this, you have to get it together in prayer, in counsel, and in seeking the Lord. To have a fruitful marriage, all the necessary ingredients—love, communication, prayerfulness‚ consideration and sex—have got to work together, because a false balance is not pleasing in the Lord's sight.

Marriage Is…

109. (Dad continues:) What is marriage? It's a union‚ a uniting, becoming one. It's being together, acting together, and doing things together. So looking for ways to do more things unitedly and together when possible would be a good start.

110. Marriage is understanding. It's being blind to the faults of the other. It's being considerate in every way—considerate of the other's time, of their feelings, of their wants and desires. Marriage is caring. It's being concerned. It's going out of your way to make sure the other person is well cared for and has their needs met. Marriage is kindness. It's kind words and putting those words into action.

111. Marriage is support. It's supporting your mates in their ministries, in their endeavors, in their projects, in their battles and trials. It's supporting them with your prayers and with your actions. It's going out of your way to help them if you can—to give them moral support, physical support, prayer support, all-around support. It's cheering them on and encouraging them when they feel down. Marriage is stooping to lift the other. It's being strong when the other is weak. It's caring for the sick and comforting the lonely.

112. Marriage is protection. It's protecting your mates from harm or danger by not making unwise moves, by keeping good security. It's protecting the other's feelings with kind words and deeds and actions. Marriage is provision. It's doing your part to make sure the other has their needs met. It's pulling your share of the load. Marriage is hard work day after day. It's going out of your way to meet the needs of each of your mates in whatever way you can, even if you don't feel like it. Marriage is lending a helping hand.

113. Marriage is sacrifice. It's sacrificing yourself for the benefit of the other. It's being ready to give up your own ideas or desires to make your mates happy. Marriage is giving of yourself. Marriage is yielding, bending, melting together. Marriage is going out of your way. It's preferring the happiness of another to your own.

114. Marriage is stepping out and trying new things, even if you think you might not like them. Marriage is learning from one another. It's give and take on both sides. Marriage is taking turns. It's not one-sided. Marriage is submission. It's giving the other person a chance. Marriage is living and loving and helping one another.

115. Marriage is being open-minded. Marriage is willingness—being willing to sacrifice. It's eagerness to lay down your life for the ones you love. Marriage is walking a mile in another's shoes. It's compassion. Marriage is fellowship—doing things together‚ being together. Marriage is companionship and friendship. Marriage is listening and understanding.

116. Married love stands through thick and thin, no matter how hot the trials or how hard the test. True married love never gives up hope for the other. It's always there‚ always dependable, always ready with outstretched hands and open arms to take the other in—to love, to comfort, to hold‚ and to cherish. Marriage stands through the bad times as well as the good times. Marriage is learning how to let it pass.

117. Marriage is honesty and good communication. It's being willing to share your heart and your thoughts in all humility. Marriage is as sharing as possible, as equal as possible. Man does not see equality as the Lord sees it. In the Lord's eyes, "equality" is everyone having their needs met. It's no one being left out, overlooked or forgotten. The marriage of the children of David should reach out and draw a circle to bring all your mates in.

118. Marriage is talking, communicating, praying, discussing, sharing ideas and agreeing together. Marriage does not let things build up between you by ignoring them, but it finds a way; it creates solutions. Marriage is joining hand in hand, heart to heart. It's standing shoulder to shoulder and arm in arm. Marriage is faith. It's all about faith—faith in Jesus and faith in each other. Marriage is confidence in your mates.

119. Marriage is discovery. It's discovering each other, learning about each other and all the funny things you say and do. Marriage is a good sense of humor. It's relaxing together, enjoying each other.

120. Marriage is accepting others for what they are. Marriage is coming to the realization that you are not complete without your other members. Marriage is respect. It's respect for the other—their talents‚ their anointing, their time.

121. Marriage is humbling. It's doing the humble thing. It's self–sacrifice. It's giving and giving and giving again. It's meeting the needs of the others first, before your own. Marriage can be plain old hard work! Marriage can be the most satisfying and strengthening experience you will ever have.

Do All You Can, and God Will Do the Rest!

122. (Dad continues:) Hallelujah! How's that for a "to do" list, or a "needs work on" list! That ought to give you some ideas on how to practically apply this greater marriage in the Spirit, and when you talk about these ideas, you'll undoubtedly come up with some even more detailed and specific ideas and applications. What a vision! What a goal! Just think of all the things that a marriage is, and then apply it to your mates in your greater marriage, those who you live and work with. Live together, love together‚ be helpmeets to each other. Go out of your way to love your mates—the ones He has put in your care.

123. I know this might look like a high goal to reach, but you don't have to worry. All you have to do is let go and let God, and He'll do it through you!

124. Marriage is taking action! It's taking action to show love throughout the day in whatever way you can. It's making a conscious, outright effort to put into action all of these ways to make it work. To make this marriage work‚ everyone has to do their part and take action! Do something to progress each and every day to move toward greater unity, greater togetherness, and greater love.

125. Marriage takes time—it's a process of learning and loving. And remember, folks, if you want this living the "One Wife" vision to work and be successful, marriage is a matter of being the right person rather than trying to find the right person or trying to change others to be what you think they should be. That's the key to success. If each of you will determine in your heart right now that you want to make this work, if you will stop and pray and make a commitment to the Lord that with His help and by His grace you are going to try to be the right person, then that's the victory right there! Because once each of you determines this‚ once you make the decision in your heart and mind and spirit that you want to do it, you want to try, and you want to do all within your power to make it work, then the Lord will do the rest! You do all you can and God will do the rest!

126. As each of you strives for this‚ to be the right person for each of your mates, everything is going to work out just fine. Hallelujah! What a marriage—the greater marriage of the children of David! This is supernatural! It's divine! It's going to cause a mighty roar, a mighty wave, and the repercussions are going to sweep the nations and rock the Earth! This is a marriage with a purpose‚ a marriage made in Heaven! Hallelujah!

127. Now I can see some of you wondering how on Earth you will ever be able to put all this into practice with so many people‚ when it takes so much work and effort to do some of the above with even one mate! If you're wondering how you're going to be all of the above in the greater marriage, with so many mates and so many personalities and so many likes and dislikes and so on and so forth, don't you mind that! All you have to do is at reach out and love those around you. All you've gotta do is love the one you're with! Love those right by your side who are in need. The Lord has given you each other to love—so love your neighbor, that brother and sister right there with you who needs your love and care.

128. Just take that first step and you'll see that the Lord will meet you, He'll help you, and you'll be amazed at what He'll do! As you put forth the effort of a believing will and you step out on the waters and begin to put this into practice today, in tangible, practical ways‚ as you reach out and love and give to each other—no matter the marital status, personality, nationality, or whether a first or second generation adult—He'll pick you up and carry you along with the greatest of ease! And the more you love and reach out, the easier it will get.

129. Love the one, young or old, that the Lord is putting in your path day by day, moment by moment. That's all you've gotta do, and you'll be surprised at what the Lord will do. Love your mates in your Home, the ones who cross your path daily. Just love the one who is crossing your path at that moment. Do your part. Be the person God wants you to be for that mate, in that moment, and God will do the rest! Praise God!

130. This marriage is going to rock the nations! And like all fruitful marriages‚ it's going to bear fruit—lots of fruit for the Kingdom of God! I love you! Keep on loving!

131. Are you with me? Are you ready to leave the old behind and go on with the new? Just like a man and a woman leave their mothers and fathers to marry, to become one flesh, to start a whole new life, are you ready to begin a whole new life of love? Are you ready to enter into the totality of His Bride—united in vision, goals, body, mind, heart and spirit?

132. Here we go! Standing arm in arm and shoulder to shoulder, let there be no more division! Hallelujah! Love, Dad (End of message from Dad.)

133. (Mama:) Thank you, Dad, for that tremendous talk, for giving us not only this very good explanation of how to live this new vision, but also a very stirring challenge! This is a pretty tall order, this long list of what marriage is, but it gives us all something to really strive for in our greater marriage in spirit! Thank You Jesus!

134. I hope you liked Dad's idea of taking the time to discuss this message as a Home. Like Dad said‚ you don't have to discuss it right this moment. You can take some time to think and pray about it, but please don't put it off too long. The goal would be to take the ideas Dad puts forth in this message and see how you can "put skin on them"—in other words‚ how you can actually do something about them. Discuss what they mean to you in practical terms, and give examples or illustrations of how you could improve in the points brought out. To make this easier for you, I'll list some of the points that you can talk about, to give you an idea of how to pow-wow this message from Dad.

135. * Marriage is being together, acting together, and doing things together. Ask yourselves: How can we do more together? How can we be more united? How can we find more time to be united for spiritual feeding‚ such as Loving Jesus inspirations, prayer and prophecy, lesson-sharing, etc., as well as for times of fellowship and relaxation?

136. * Marriage is being blind to the faults of the other. Ask yourselves: How can we be more blind to the faults of all our mates? How can we overlook little things that would normally bother us? If someone's little bad habit or idiosyncrasy annoys us, how can we cope with it so it doesn't get blown out of proportion or cause division or a schism between us?

137. * Marriage is being considerate of others' time. Ask yourselves: How can we be more respectful and thoughtful regarding our mates' time? How are we wasting each other's time?

138. * Marriage is being considerate of others' feelings, wants and desires. Ask yourselves: How can we not only consider others' feelings, wants and desires more, but also, how can we make our own feelings, wants and desires known? (Sometimes people aren't aware of what the other person needs, which makes it more difficult to meet those needs. When making your needs known to each other, however‚ it's good to keep in mind that the Lord often meets our individual needs in different ways, and sometimes in ways we don't expect. Remember the golden rule—Jesus‚ others, then you—that's what spells JOY!)

139. * Marriage is going out of your way to make sure the other person is well cared for and has their needs met. Ask yourselves: What needs of our loved ones could we as a Home and myself as an individual go more out of our way to meet? What needs have we been neglecting, ignoring or just not seeing? How do different individuals' needs vary?

140. * Marriage is putting kind words into action by backing them up with loving acts. Ask yourselves: How can our kind words be more meaningful? (Think of some kind words you've said lately that were just that—words, with no action to back them up. What can you do to make your "sermon" more of a "sample"? For example, do you tell others you love them, but never show them by giving them a hug or a warm embrace along with your words of love? Do you compliment the cook for a delicious meal, yet you never back up that action by lending a hand, perhaps by offering to help serve the food, or wash an extra dish and help clean up? Do you show your appreciation for the cook's labors of love, the handyman's toil, or the witnesser's long hours out on the streets by telling them how much you love and appreciate and need them, and then backing it up by helping in whatever way you can to make their load lighter? Are your kind words sincere‚ honest, truthful and heartfelt?)

141. * Marriage is supporting your mates in their ministries, endeavors, and projects. Ask yourselves: How can we manifest our support in practical ways? How can we be more helpful to one another?

142. * Marriage is supporting your mates in their battles and trials. Ask yourselves: How could we improve in helping to bear one another's burdens when someone is battling? What are the things that we can do that would be the most helpful when someone is struggling spiritually?

143. * Marriage is stooping to lift the other. Ask yourselves: When are times when we might need to lift up our mates? How can we best do that? How have we missed the mark in this recently?

144. * Marriage is being strong when the other is weak. Ask yourselves: How does this apply to our Home, both spiritually and physically?

145. * Marriage is caring for the sick. Ask yourselves: What have we done as a Home when someone has been sick? What have I done as an individual? Have we done all we could or should have done? If not, what was missing?

146. * Marriage is comforting the lonely. Ask yourselves: Are some people in our Home lonely? What can we do to help fill their need for companionship‚ support, sex, etc.?

147. These are only a few ideas of questions that you can ask yourselves as a Home and as individuals. As you go through this message from Dad, you'll find many other points worthy of discussion, and as you take the time to share your experiences and points of view, I'm sure the Lord will bless you. It will probably be a little humbling to open your hearts to one another in this way, but it will be well worth it! After all, for a marriage to be strong and healthy, you need honesty and humility. Praise the Lord!

148. My precious Family, I pray that these words have been a blessing to you and that they have helped to clarify further where we're headed and what the Lord expects of each of us. If you feel unsettled or bothered by anything in these messages, please ask the Lord about it. Let Him comfort and guide you, and if you do that, you won't have anything to worry about. Just take it all to Jesus. He knows‚ He loves, He cares, and He wants to make this great big step of living the "One Wife" vision as easy, fruitful and happy for you as possible.

149. Peter and I are praying for you, and know you're going to make it! We're getting stronger every day! There's no stopping us now! We love you!

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