GOD’S LAW OF MARRIAGE.
“Therefore shall a man [husband] leave his father
and his mother, and cleave unto his wife.”
45. Obedience to this fundamental marriage law of Genesis 2:24 would have saved women from ever becoming mere chattels, and thus have kept the entire race on a higher level. Imagine, please, what could be accomplished even now, for the elevation of pagan races, if missionaries would require their converts to observe the Scriptural law of marriage. The factors that would operate to relieve the oppression of Oriental women would be as follows: (1) The husband, as a bread-winner, would have a pecuniary value in the home of his wife; whereas, as it now is, the wife, as a producer of more children to be fed, is subject to abuse, more particularly when she brings forth a female child. (2) Man, not handicapped by unborn children, nurslings, or a helpless little brood, could not be reduced to slavery in an alien home, because he would forsake it, and leave his helpless wife and children for those who abused him to support. But the hampering effects of motherhood, and the strength of mother-love, leave the mother a victim of those who would enslave her. (3) Man is not so constituted that he can be robbed, by force, of his virtue, or his person be made a matter of trade and gain for an alien household; but these calamities are so frequently the lot of a widow left in the alien home of her deceased husband, that in some Oriental countries, notably India, the very word “widow” is disreputable. (4) Before gestation and parturition a mother would generally be tenderly cared for, if with her own mother, under her father’s roof, or near by. But in an alien home she is often shamefully neglected at such times; and this weakens the entire race, in course of time. (5) The practice of keeping the daughter at home, after marriage, and sending the son out of the home, after marriage, would put a tremendous check upon child-marriage, since parents would be in no great haste to part with wealth-producing members of the family.
46. All women should know that the Word of God started the world right, in this regard, and put such a tremendous bar to her degradation as this marriage law, in the very forefront of human history,-it being, in fact, the first social moral law enunciated for human guidance.
What lessons God’s marriage law teaches us, as to God’s fatherly care and protection for His daughters! Away back at the beginning, His first uttered commandment shows that He had their rights and dignity on His heart.