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Manuscript Releases Volume Twelve : Page 242

46. Counsel to a Husband

Dear Brother B: I have been instructed that you need to view matters in an altogether different light, else those on both sides of the question that you are considering will be wronged. I believe that both you and your wife desire to do the will of God. Sister B must not become discouraged. In the past she has not been properly situated in many respects. When she left her home to become your wife, she was not to withdraw her love from her mother. The relationship between mother and daughter is a most tender one, and is ever to be cherished. It is not at all strange, but the most natural thing in the world, that Sister B's mother should wish her daughter to remain with her instead of marrying you. The daughter that ignores the tender relationship that should exist between parent and child should not claim to be a Christian. Children owe certain obligations to their parents, and these obligations are to be fulfilled. A daughter owes her mother a debt that is binding upon her at all times and in all places.

And while the marriage vow is to be sacredly fulfilled, there is to be no transgression of the fifth commandment. God says to children, "Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee"; and He has set no time when this obligation ceases to be binding.

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Brother B, you have no idea of how the discord that has existed between you and your wife has worn upon her mind. When you leave her free to act toward her mother as her conscience tells her that she should act, a terrible strain will be removed from her. In the past she has not been free. She has had little opportunity to be with her mother, and at the same time you have been a great deal away from her, engaged as you have been in the canvassing work. She has been placed where she could not help her mother as she desired to. She had a right to expect that her marriage with you would give her mother a son who would be a help and blessing to the family.

Your opinions in regard to your wife's association with her mother have been a cause of constant depression to her. She is a woman of capability. In some respects her abilities are superior to yours. Your opinions in regard to her association with her relatives are unnatural, and she cannot make herself see things as you see them.

There is a good reason why your wife is with her mother now. Her aged grandfather, in his feebleness, needs care, and who but his grandchildren could be expected to help their mother give him this care? You have not viewed this matter in a right light. The impression that your wife has had in regard to this matter is in accordance with Bible truth, and she can no more rid herself of this impression than she can give up the truth.

You must both study how you can assimilate, instead of differing, with one another. You must not exercise a masterly influence over your wife's mind, for often her judgment is superior to yours. You must not try to cramp your wife's mind to make it fit your own. She has an individuality that is not to be submerged in the individuality of another. You have a

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very strong mind, but it is not always correctly balanced. You see things in a way in which your wife cannot see them.

I have something more written in regard to your case, which I will send you when I find it. You have not practiced economy in the use of means. Sometimes when you have wished to help certain ones, you have brought them things which struck your fancy, but which they were unable to use. In such matters your judgment has often been quite defective. It would have been better for you to have given them the money you spent for them. They could have purchased that which would have been of use to them. Our money is the Lord's and is not to be used with prodigality.

The Lord cannot endorse your course. Give your wife a share of the money that you receive. Let her have this as her own and let her use it as she desires. She should have been allowed to use the means that she earned as she in her judgment deemed best. If she had had a certain sum to use as her own without being criticized, a great weight would have been lifted from her mind.

From the light that is given me, I know that you should secure a little home for yourself and your wife. A small, modest home would not cost very much. Then assure your wife that if she wishes she may have her mother live with her. If you could harmonize with your mother-in-law, her advice and counsel would in many respects be a great blessing to you. Your will is very strong, and you are inclined to be egotistical. You need a counselor.

Matters between you and your wife may be satisfactorily adjusted if you will not take a hard, stern position. You will find that the use of mild, gentle methods will make a surprising difference in your lives. Do not

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treat your wife as if she understands no more than a child. Show her consideration and respect. Give her a home. I can assure you that she has never spoken one disparaging word of you to me.

I am your friend, and as such I write to you. I will send this letter to you today, and will write more fully as soon as I can. But this will give you something to work on. You can be a blessing to your wife, and she can be a blessing to you.--Letter 157, 1903. (July 26, 1903.) White Estate Washington, D. C. March 31, 1983