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The Lord’s Day

in 1970s/1973/Look back in history/Main Stream by

IT IS A COMMON CUSTOM for us to memorialize those days that are important to us. Birthdays and wedding anniversaries illustrate this. Nationally, we celebrate Christmas to honor the supposed birth of Christ and Easter to honor His Resurrection. And, of course, there is an abundance of other national holidays: George Washington’s and Martin Luther King’s birthday anniversaries, Columbus Day, Armistice Day, Thanksgiving Day. Each of these days represents something deeply significant to the nation. However, none of them are rooted in Bible requirement. There is simply no command in either the Old Testament or the New that we set aside a day to commemorate any of the above listed events.

There are, however, three events that we are commanded to memorialize. So meaningful are these events that the God of heaven does not want us to forget them. He, therefore, prescribed the ritual by which they must be celebrated.

The first event is Christ’s Crucifixion. “Without shedding of blood is no remission” (Hebrews 9:22). It was at the cross that Christ opened the door that made possible salvation to all mankind. He bore our shame that we might share His glory. Someone had to pay for the sin of man. Rightfully, man should have died for his own transgressions. But the love of God was so deep and strong that Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, placed Himself at the bar of justice in man’s stead. This significant event we must never forget.

Our Lord directed, “This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.” This commandment was given after “he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it” (Luke 22:19). Later He took the cup and offered it for drink. This was the Communion Service. “Do this in remembrance of me,” Christ said. The Lord’s Supper is, therefore, a memorial of the death of Jesus Christ at Calvary for our sins.

The second event, baptism, memorializes His Resurrection. “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:3, 4). Christ wants His Resurrection to be remembered. Thus by the significant act of immersion we commemorate His burial, and when we lift the candidate out of the water, we signify His Resurrection. Therefore, the Christian is to “walk in newness of life.”

The third act of God that requires a memorial is the Creation of the world. The God of heaven, in His wisdom, knew that the day would come when man would challenge this Biblical story. He, therefore, set in motion a weekly memorial of this creative act so that men would never forget their Creator. And, therefore, to counteract the evolutionary trends that would engulf the earth in the latter days, our Lord commanded,

“Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: but the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, . . . for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it” (Exodus 20: 8-11 ) .

Thus the Great Creator carved for Himself a temple in time, of twenty-four hours. It was the last day of the week—the seventh day. Every time it rolls around, the seventh day repeats the message, “God made heaven and earth.”

The Biblical description of this day is very interesting. It is called “the sabbath of the Lord” (Exodus 20:10) and “my holy day” (Isaiah 58:13). Christ designates Himself as “Lord also of the sabbath” (Mark 2:28). Therefore, when we read, “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day” (Revelation 1:10), it can refer to no other day than the Sabbath Day, the seventh day of the week, commonly called Saturday.

This day alone enjoys the distinction of being labeled in the Scriptures “the Lord’s day.” Matthew 28:1 indicates that it is the day just before the first day of the week—Saturday, the last day, is the day before Sunday, the first day. Mark 15:42 tells us that the Sabbath follows the day of the preparation. Friday is preparation day.

After all these years since Creation, God has not let His holy day get lost. There are still seven days in the week. The seventh day is the last day of the week, and that day is named Saturday. God calls it His Sabbath and commands all men everywhere to remember it and keep it holy. The logic of this is almost inescapable. Is it not true that we rest after we have worked? That is one good reason for the Sabbath to come at the end of the week.

“Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: but the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God.” Some raise the rather logical question that since man named the days and man indeed invented the calendar, is it not possible that he got the days scrambled somehow in history? The Bible gives the answer: “I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: that men should fear before him. That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past” (Ecclesiastes 3:14, 15).

From this text the conclusion is evident. Man does not have the power to do away with anything God has created. But others raise the question Did not Jesus Himself, by coming forth from the tomb on Sunday, do away with the Sabbath, thus nailing it to the cross? The answer comes from the lips of Christ Himself: “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:17-19).

In this passage Christ emphatically states that as long as the heavens are above and the earth is beneath, nothing will pass from the law. Thank God the heavens are still above us and the earth beneath us! It is clear then from the lips of Christ Himself that the seventh-day Sabbath is still His holy day, as He made it.

It was He who blessed and sanctified the Sabbath. It was He, Jesus Christ, who created the worlds. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made” (John 1:1-3). Christ made the Sabbath by blessing it and sanctifying it (Genesis 2:2, 3). Ecclesiastes 3:14 says that “whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever.” But how did the custom of Sunday observance begin? Why is it that so few people keep the Biblical Lord’s Day and so many worship God on the first day of the week? The answer is rooted deeply in history. Early in the second century, Sunday was observed in honor of the Resurrection of the Lord. This annual observance was called Easter. It is still with us today. It was celebrated then once a year as it is now. About A.D. 200, a man named Victor proposed that penalties be assessed to anyone who refused to respect the annual festival of the Resurrection. The celebration of the Resurrection became so popular that it was changed from an annual observance to a weekly one. Emperor Constantine, in the fourth century, proclaimed to all civil servants that they were to cease from their work on Sunday and work on Saturday. He enlarged his 8 THE MESSAGE MAGAZINE—November-December, 1973 law in March, A.D. 321, to cover the whole Roman empire. Thus Sunday-keeping became civil law and was enforced by the power of the state. The religious law kept pace with civil law and in c. A.D. 336 the church adopted the law of the state at the Council of Laodicea. On January 18, 1562, at the Council of Trent, the church reaffirmed her decision after a speech by Caspar del Fusso, archbishop of Rheggio. Thus Sunday was propagated on a round world by the church and enforced by the state. Right here in America, in early New England, men were literally put in jails, flogged, and put in the stocks for working on Sunday. But the Bible still says, “The seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God.” Thus God’s Word has remained unchanged and His will for man unaltered. “My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips” (Psalm 89:34). “I am the Lord, I change not” (Malachi 3:6). This probably explains why all the disciples, the early founders of the Christian church, were strict observers of the Bible Sabbath. “And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next sabbath. . . . And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God” (Acts 13:42-44). “And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks” (Acts 18:4). In conclusion, it should be understood that in all of this we are simply following the example of our Lord. Sacred Scripture states clearly that “he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read” (Luke 4:16); “and came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and taught them on the sabbath days” (Luke 4:31). Christ attended the Temple on the Sabbath Day. A good question is, Where does the Sabbath of the Bible find you? May I state here that I am well aware that there are thousands of Christ-loving disciples worshiping on the wrong day. This message is an appeal to the conscience of the born-again Christian. To the sinner I would say, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost” (Acts 2:38). To sinful man the invitation from Christ is, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls” (Matthew 11:28, 29). Yes, to the sinner I would say, “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). And I would appeal to you to accept Christ as your Saviour, embrace Him as your Lord, and acknowledge Him as your King. If you will allow the Holy Spirit to dwell in your hearts by faith, that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in you, then you will not walk after the flesh but after the Spirit. Once this happens, you are born again and you are, indeed, in the family of God. It is then that I would say to you in the language of Jesus, “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15). And the Sabbath of the Lord, known as the Lord’s Day, is at the very heart of His law of love. Saved people live disciplined lives, and the Ten Commandment law is a verbal description of the new life-style. Will you not order your life now by the grace of God to be in harmony with the revealed will of God?

DICK GREGORY PILGRIM IN SEARCH OF LIBERATION

in Health/Living Faith by

Twenty years ago Dick Gregory was a stand-up comic on the nightclub circuit. By his own account he smoked and drank heavily. Gregory had an eye that saw through the games people and institutions play. He had a wit that broke up huge audiences while making them see truths about themselves. But that eye and that wit were teamed with a heart that was being led to the more important issues of life. Gregory’s priorities shifted. His concerns became oppression, manipulation, racism, and war. He discovered that the body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, and is not to be defiled. He became a prophet to the secular world about the evils of bodily abuse, particularly through diet. When Gregory yells Foul! about an oppressive institution or agency or group of people or life style, he doesn’t make a case like a lawyer with a long list of proofs. No, Gregory thinks analogically. He looks for parallels. He’s not hung up trying to prove cause and effect. If a window breaks each time a guy waves his arm, Gregory doesn’t have to see him throw the stone. But enough—Gregory can speak for himself.

MESSAGE: You say research indicating that the typical American diet has many harmful elements in it has not been made readily available to the masses. Instead, the interests of the rich and powerful are protected at almost any cost to the poor and the powerless. What does all this have to do with diet? And can you give us examples of manipulation of the masses?

GREGORY: You know, I do think much of the salvation of the planet is in diet. Another thing is how easy it is to get into it. You don’t have to change all of your eating habits. Here’s a little thing: just add bran to your diet in the morning and in the evening, and you can cancel out about 80 percent of the diseases in the lower digestive tract. And you know the way they got into that?

They got into Africa. They happened to meet this group of Africans whose systems were regular. They began checking and they found out that within 24 hours everything they had eaten had passed completely through their systems. From there it led to the roughage theory. This was already suspected, but for follow-up, researchers found some of this same group of Africans who had moved to Western society. This group was winding up with the same kinds of diseases as people in the West. So—when you cook string beans and take the strings off, your roughage is gone. The lesson for us: add some bran.

I usually tell people to go to a health-food store and get the pure bran. But it’s different in dealing with the masses, you know, because the minute you say that—”Go to the health food store”—it turns them off.” You mean you’re asking me to change my diet, and then what I’ve got to find is hidden somewhere? Plus, you know, I’m not all that upset bout the way I’m eatin’. I’m just trying this change out of respect and knowing where you’re coming from.” So I tell them to get bran or whole wheat cereal. Now I hate to send people to that commercial scene, but bran is bran. Some commercial preparations have sugar, but I’m saying that once they start on it, in about a two-week period, eating a bowl in the morning and a bowl in the evening will have a fantastic effect. I say eat a bowl of bran because people are not likely to believe it would only take a teaspoonful. They can’t see a teaspoon doin’ nothin’. They’d just say, “Later for the whole idea. I’ll just forget about it.”

PINE FORGE STUDENTS ATTACKED IN BOSTON

in 1978/Look back in history by

WHY THEY DID NOT FIGHT BACK

Students attacked by hoodlums in a troubled section of Boston demonstrate to the world how Christian discipline can triumph over insane and brutal aggression

by Carol Cantu

JENNIFER JIMERSON, OF DETROIT, MICHIGAN, AND JOHN JONES, OF RIVERSIDE, CALIFORNIA, WERE AMONG TWELVE STUDENTS ASSAULTED NEAR BOSTON MONUMENT.

You’re too isolated,” our guest, Raymond Moore, director of Hewitt Research Center, had told us. “Let people know what you’re doing up here. . . . You need publicity.” He had just closed a summer workshop at Pine Forge Academy in August, 1977. I’m sure he was shocked, as were the rest of us, to find three months later the name of Pine Forge blazing in newspaper headlines and pictured on television news all across the nation.

Unfortunately, the incident that heralded news about Pine Forge was not exactly what Dr. Moore had in mind. Newspapers, radios, and television sets blared this story of violence at Bunker Hill: “Twelve students and two teachers beaten in racially troubled section of Boston.”

Though the facts of this incident are not unlike other racial encounters that have occurred in Boston over the past three years, the circumstances of the unprovoked attack and its implications to Pine Forge made up the greater story missed by the media but caught by us as being more important than the narrative itself.

A little more than a year ago Auldwin Humphrey, principal of Pine Forge Academy, told the student group that one day soon important people would focus their attention on Pine Forge. He had heard no announcement to that end and neither had any member of the faculty and staff, but he said merely that he was impressed this would happen.

The students laughed, for it didn’t seem to them like a plausible thing. From where they sat it was more in the realm of a Cinderella story—glittering and fanciful but out of touch with hard facts and reality. His prayer had been: “Lord send us a miracle.” This phrase rang in my mind for months. Our school needed a miracle to pull us out of the financial doldrums in which we found ourselves, especially after the September registration. Suffering from the results of a fire that completely destroyed our cafeteria, we also had a dramatic downturn in enrollment.

Even with the expertise of John Pitts, the new business manager, who had done a great job for the leprosarium in Sierra Leone, West Africa, Pine Forge would need divine intervention to see it through the financial thickets of an already troubled economy.

After two exasperating months our problem became more acute, and our plans for raising funds had to take on new momentum. Our student body rallied to the needs of the school and gave help in many ways, and these young people seemed unusually mature in their understanding of what was happening to us and to the school.

The spirit on campus was obviously serious and profoundly spiritual. Students as well as staff commented on what they felt was the indication of the Divine Presence among us.

As newly appointed director of public relations (a position certainly created out of need), I immediately busied myself making preliminary contacts with funding agencies. One response that I received on three occasions was that in order for a private institution, especially a high school, to receive money, it had to prove in a substantial way that it offered something unique in the field of secondary education. It must have a program that was not offered in public schools, a program that had proved its worth.

Of course I felt that Pine Forge did offer something unique: It presented “the harmonious development of the physical, the mental, and the spiritual powers.” But how could we measure this success for the benefit of others, and how could we convince, say, a foundation or its fact-finding agencies of the uniqueness of our program?

November 11 marked one year from the time our cafeteria burned. Since the Pottstown Mercury had carried the fire as headline news, we asked the editor to run the story of a solicitation day for which we had organized. We distributed flyers door to door in the city, advising the community of our efforts. On the day planned for solicitation, all preparations were made and everybody was geared to go, but it rained! With great disappointment we rescheduled our plans for the following

Monday, November 15. A group of students who had bookings for a field trip to Boston over the weekend urged us to wait for their return so they could participate. These students promised to include on their educational tour a Pine Forge recruitment program at a local church in Boston and to make a fund-raising contact at a travel agency.

Monday morning, November 15, 1977, began as an exciting day on campus. At the 7:55 worship we prayed fervently for our solicitation day and for the students who were to return that evening from Boston. We anticipated great and unusual developments for Pine Forge.

This was the backdrop against which we received news that four of our students, along with Charles Battles, their teacher, had been assaulted in Boston and were in the hospital being treated for multiple wounds, cuts, and lacerations. Battles had called Principal Humphrey to report the attack, but he was so composed as he related the matter that Humphrey could not imagine it was an incident of the magnitude newsmen later reported.

Battles had said they were to be examined and that he would telephone again on leaving the hospital. Before Battles could make his second call, our lines were jumping with calls from United Press International, Associated Press, and all major newspapers and television stations in the Philadelphia area. Although the media were calling us for information, they were our first real source of comprehensive facts about our students. We didn’t want to believe these reporters; hence we called the Boston police department and the hospital to verify their stories.

To our amazement, both the police department and the emergency personnel had more to say about the character of the students and teachers than about the incident. The police verified that the attack had occurred and gave a brief report on the apparent physical condition of each student. But they then elaborated on the maturity, independence, and spiritual strength of the students. They remarked that the attitude of the students toward their assailants was truly Christian and of a nature not witnessed by them before, especially in the kind of racial incidents that for months had kept Boston in perpetual turmoil. The police expressed hope that the media would capture this spiritual, nonviolent stance of our group.

When I called the hospital emergency room, I received a detailed report on the physical condition of each of our people admitted. Some were still undergoing tests at this point. When the emergency room director completed his report, he said to me, “These students and teachers are a credit to your school. They are demonstrating a training that we rarely see.” He mentioned their maturity and above all the projection of an unusual spiritual insight and moral accountability.

The praises that thus rang in my ear I interpreted as a measure, an evaluation, of the discipline of Christian education. Our philosophy, our aim, “the harmonious development of the physical, the mental, and the spiritual powers,” was tested, and it had scored highly. When the remaining students on campus heard of the incident, their immediate response was silence, then prayer. A depression seemed to grip the entire group at lunchtime; a few began to weep softly. It was a difficult decision to continue our plans. We had no idea at that moment that radio and television networks all over the country had announced the attack on Pine Forge students in Boston. When we approached homes in the Pottstown area, hearts had been touched and people gave generously to our cause. In about five hours, less than one hundred students had raised over twelve hundred dollars. Our advanced planning of the solicitation day had alerted the community to our coming, but the Boston incident had alerted them to the merit of our cause.

The next morning I accompanied Auldwin Humphrey to Boston. Our primary aim was to be with the students, to lend moral support, and to check firsthand on their well-being.

Principal Humphrey was deeply concerned about legal ramifications of the situation and was apprehensive that this might occupy precious time in drawn-out hearings, thus diverting him from important work at the academy. In my role as director of public relations I needed to know the complete story so that I could intelligently answer questions. What happened, as reported from students and teachers, was this:

On leaving the Bunker Hill monument in the Charleston section of Boston, they noticed a car circle a few times. At first there were just two men in the car, but later there were five.

With the approach of the public bus for which the group was waiting, the men sprang from the car and began beating our tour group with golf clubs and hockey sticks. The first reaction of the Pine Forge boys was to protect the young ladies. The five male students and teacher muscled all of their strength to gather the eight girls and push them into the bus to shield them from injury. Even so, only six girls safely boarded the bus without a single blow; two ran for shelter down the street.

After Pine Forge men had protected the young ladies, they struggled to get onto the bus themselves. Only after they were safely inside did someone come to their aid. That aid was given by the bus driver, who merely closed the door against the assailants. He then took the group to the police station. Two blocks down the street he picked up the girls who had run to escape the attackers. When the group was together again, blood trickling down their faces and splotching their clothes, their first words were, “Let’s have prayer.” There on the crowded bus, spectators totally silent and unresponsive, the group joined hands for an audible prayer.

They prayed for health, strength, and protection. They gave thanks that though they were blood spattered and in pain, they were all conscious and aware of God’s mercies. They gave thanks that even though no one save the bus driver really came to their aid, God had protected them from an altercation that could have been far worse.

In the police station they intelligently and without hysteria gave their story. The injured were taken to the hospital, and the others were questioned further. During this interlude the students spotted the car and one of the assailants lurking around the police station. The officers immediately arrested three of the men.

When the Pine Forge youth were presented with photographs of these men, they were able to easily identify them.

Boston police were especially impressed that these youngsters who had undergone a tremendous episode were calm, unrevengeful, and noticeably articulate about what had transpired. Those who could make positive identifications did so. Those who had the slightest doubts refused in any way to make a judgment that might incriminate the innocent.

When the tour group had finally gathered at the hospital, they were bombarded with questions from news reporters, who were shocked that amid all the blood and physical pain there was not even a hint of anger. This maturity, alertness, and spiritual composure seemed literally to captivate them.

Mayor Kevin White also met with our young people at the hospital and expressed his embarrassment and apology on behalf of the city. He, too, admired the students and their handling of the affair, for he was aware that such a delicate situation—if allowed to get out of hand—could have resulted in a major riot. Complete strangers came forward to offer their help—some to care for dry cleaning and laundry, others to provide hotel accommodations, dinners at big restaurants, elaborate city tours, and the like. The students were advised to stay on to witness at the legal hearings, which were expedited to accommodate them. One dignitary of Boston after another expressed either by telephone, letter, or in person their apologies for

Boston and their admiration to the group for the way they responded. At the end of the first grand jury session the district attorney, his assistants, and several jurors remarked on the excellent cooperation of the students. The kinds of clues that give credence to a testimony were evident in the remarks of each who testified. One juror was so impressed with the articulation of the students that she asked one to tell her more about Pine Forge Academy.

How was it different, what was its philosophy? Fred Walters answered without hesitation, “Our school is different because we believe that true education ‘is the harmonious development of the physical, the mental, and the spiritual powers.’ ”

Reporters, jurors, Boston officials, and even the mayor himself, asked for an invitation to visit Pine Forge Academy. Massachusetts secretary of education, Paul Parks, remarked that he had just submitted to the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare a paper that proves public education in its design is not geared for the masses and especially not for those who are poor, black, or minority.

He seemed to be especially interested in a school like Pine Forge as a model of what effective education can be. The National Broadcasting Company has expressed an interest in a television special on Pine Forge and its philosophy of “true education.” As an immediate result of the Boston incident, Mayor White has consented to be a guest at a fund-raising dinner for our academy. Roy Dunfrey, owner of several exclusive hotels, has donated the ballroom of the Philadelphia Sheraton for the grand event. Singer Clifton Davis, a Pine Forge alumnus, has offered to provide entertainment along with The Brothers, a popular Adventist singing group from Washington, D.C. Donations have begun to come to the school from people in many parts of the nation.

We at Pine Forge know that the Boston incident was more than a racial attack. In a mysterious way God was letting the world get a glimpse of some results of true education. Financially, the door was opened for the academy to receive more of God’s blessings. Our enrollment will undoubtedly increase as the world evaluates and the parents and friends of our students reevaluate what Pine Forge has to offer.

God is working a miracle at Pine Forge so that we may do His will even more and exemplify even to a greater extent the meaning and substance of character education. We sometimes talk pessimistically about the future of our young people. But we at Pine Forge are more convinced than ever that God’s work is in good hands with youth who stood as these did at Bunker Hill.

Reference: http://www.nytimes.com/1977/11/17/archives/boston-entertains-blacks-who-were-attacked-there.html

How To Stay Married

in 1958/Living Faith by

IT WAS a golden wedding anniversary reception to which members of the family had come as well as many neighbors, friends, and well-wishers. This elderly couple achieving fifty years of married life were generously congratulated, and at the moment of the formal presentation of numerous gifts and cards a voice from those who gathered around admiringly called forth, “Tell us how you stayed together so long.” There was a moment of silence, and as all eyes focused upon the happy celebrants, the wife reflectively replied, “Our marriage has had its ups and its downs, but we just kept working at it, and here we are.” The veiled humor of this remark evoked a restrained laughter, yet it must have been that many of the guests went home deeply stirred by the quick but truthful summary of staying married.

Students of contemporary life are acutely aware of what can be termed “the crisis of the family.” In the year 1900 one in twelve marriages ended in divorce. In the year 1912, one in eight; and today it can roughly be put at one in four. It is this widespread breakdown in the family and the mounting divorce rate which is causing people everywhere, married and single, to become concerned with this most profound question of our age.

There are many attempted answers, and there is a growing wealth of literature and subject matter becoming available. It shall be the effort of these words to point out some of the many ways in which some people seemingly are making marriage work for the wrong reason, though it is hoped that the conclusion will point to what is frequently overlooked as desperate people struggle with the afflictions of marital discord.

THERE ARE many marriages that when confronted with marital problems hang together with force of will attached to the marital vows. In hours of crisis their strength is in the remembered phrase “till death do us part.” There is amazing vitality in a vow when it is properly made, and many make vows as a unilateral pledge, not to each other but to God Himself, in whose presence they repeated the solemn vow. Such a concept of marriage will under the greatest strain and stress preserve the outward unity of marriage. In this sense marriage is a contract unrelated to the actions of either marriage partner. Yet when the inner health of marriage is considered, too frequently just vow-keeping seems to have lost all hope or interest in regaining marital health. It becomes resignation or a test of endurance. It must not be taken that every marriage does not need the strength and power which vow-keeping offers. The common fault is, however, the tendency to be more engrossed with the vow than the marriage. In true perspective it ought to be “the life more than meat,” the life of the marriage more than stoical duty to a vow.

A woman who was resigned to what she termed an unhappy marriage said, “I’d pack up and leave him now if it were not for the children.” There are many marriages experiencing discord which have reached this bitter conclusion. The life of the marriage is gone, but the shell of it remains as a shelter for the children. The tragedy of many divorces is the children, who, broken from normal moorings of childhood, drift into those disturbances of being which destroy personality. It is also common knowledge that the broken home is much in evidence as a major contributing factor to crime among children and youth. To face the problems of staying married, a basic consideration must be given to children. Yet, whereas it is noble to continue a marriage because of hardships incurred upon the children, even this does not  come to grips with the neglected life of the marriage. As it has been said, “Our good intentions sometimes keep us from fulfilling our best efforts.”

Others when tempted to break a marriage have clung to economic security which a marriage can afford. Complaining one day, a disturbed wife ended her story of an unhappy marriage by saying, “Well, my husband is a good provider, so I guess I have no kick coming as to what he does otherwise.” Here is another wrong answer in staying married. In most instances this is the wife’s attitude when all other  interest in marriage is gone. The need of economic security is a worldwide problem facing not just individuals and families but communities and nations. Certainly one of the functions of the family is to acquire subsistence for economic needs for the present and future; but when economic security becomes the sole factor for marriage, it too misses the words of Jesus, “Is not the life more than meat?” A hard-working husband is a blessing, especially when we consider the growing number of fathers across the nation who are wanted by the courts of law for failure to provide. Yet the security of a steady pay envelope must not be the first concern when faced with the problem of how to stay married.

Other homes are held together by the fear of loneliness. A lonely widow said one day, “It’s too late for me to marry for love; I just want a companion to spend these last years with.” The problem of loneliness is real, and to some people it is the greatest problem. Many marriages today are held together for no other reason than the fear of loneliness. Such homes are mere dwellings, and very little communication exists.

Still other marriages are held together by sex, others on family name or prestige. Others are afraid of what others will think. In each of these reasons are found aspects for staying together, but where any of these or others become the prime motivation in marriage, they are but second-best answers in facing the problem.

TO ACTUALLY come to grips with the realities of making marriage work, a wider frame of reference is essential. It is the life of the marriage and what diagnosis must be made not to keep it alive in any one part but to keep it alive in its entirety. Any shorter view will miss the mark, and hence it will miss the true answer. It is not enough to stake the permanence of marriage upon vows which must be kept, or for the sake of the children, or for economic security, or for any other one reason. The wholesome marriages which abound in our day and in days past are those which have been tended in every area. It is the whole life of the marriage, a life which is at once complicated and intricate; but those who with courage will face up to each discord as mature persons in the face of every threat will and do stay married.

The little bride of fifty years had the right answer: “We just kept working  at it, and here we are.” To stay married successfully is a matter of working and re-working the problems which occur. There is too much of the senseless illusion that all there is to marriage is falling in love, having vows solemnized, and after the honeymoon somehow it will continue on its own momentum. It cannot be said too strongly that just as there is preparation for marriage there must also be preparation to stay married. No one expects to learn to play a musical instrument in ten easy lessons, and then to play with feeling the great works of the masters. Behind any great musician there are hours of work, hard work; whenever the habit of practice or preparation stops, the touch of skill automatically decreases. If this is true of all other great disciplines, why should it not be true in marriage?

N0 MATTER how loving two people in marriage may seem to be, there are continuing adjustments to be made. Sometimes, as is quite common, there are financial problems which do and will arise. There are a multitude of misunderstandings which can plague the most determined husband and wife. Yet it is only by patient working at the problem, a willingness to give and take, to overcome pride and false estimates of a husband’s rights or the prerogatives of a wife. These are but a few of the daily threats which like weeds in a garden can overtake a marriage if there is no working for right marital cultivation. Too often partners in marriage run instead of putting up a good fight. In a premarital conference with his minister, a young man said, “Well, if my marriage doesn’t work, I can always get a divorce.” Unfortunately this is the view of many who already are married. Why take time to make a marriage work when it is so easy to divorce?

A husband whose family life is exemplary before his community was asked the secret of his marriage. Said he thoughtfully, “My wife and I have thought of our marriage relations in terms of building bridges rather than walls.” In such a view it is the accessibility by a bridge of openness which in every area encourages communication and hence understanding. Where there are walls between a marriage, it makes for isolation, and eventually if not destroyed it tends toward spiritual if not actual physical separation.

For a successful marriage there must be a regular and systematic nourishment. Any love relationship will surely die if it is not properly nourished. Street-corner philosophers may advise, “Why chase a streetcar after catching it?” This may be true of streetcars, but in no sense does it compare with marriage. A husband of two years said to his wife after some disputes over finances, “You had better realize, darling, the honeymoon is over and we must settle down to the long grind.” There are stages through which a marriage must pass, but a marriage which has lost all sense of the honeymoon is a marriage in danger. There are many small and inexpensive ways to feed a marriage the necessary vitamins which it needs. This erases the taking for granted of each other, and keeps alive in husband and wife a daily appreciation of love for each other. It is the life of the marriage that is of greater concern than anything else.

Finally, it is observed that the life of any marriage is seen in the character of that marriage. It is fitting that at the end of the vows for marriage there is this wise admonition, the words of Jesus,

What . . . God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

This is the matrix of the whole matter. If God has truly joined together a man and his wife, only a sense of God’s character can keep that marriage joined! “I am the . . . life.” It is precisely the life, the life of marriage, which is the key to staying married. The family is the foundation of human society, and God, the maker of all things, imparts His life into the family as nowhere else. A family which shares together God’s knowledge of Himself is a family which is tied together by more than vows or all else.

HOW TO stay married? Work at it within your own heart, searching out every error, the plank in your own eye. Work at it with your marriage partner. Ezekiel by the river Chebar said, “And I sat where they sat, and remained there astonished.” Remember the joy of this work, a work at which we must just keep on working, ten years, twenty-five years, or as the little lady said, fifty years. In all this know that your work is not in vain, that there are resources greater than yours at hand, and there is an eternal love which will never divorce you!

A Modern Educator

in 1938/People of Faith by

From time to time on the front cover of this magazine photographs of some of the outstanding women of our Race have appeared. It is always interesting to read of the achievements of women, and to learn of their various accomplishments. So it is with no small degree of pleasure that this issue presents the picture of Dr. Eva Beatrice

Dykes, whose name, while it has not yet appeared on the front pages of daily newspapers or magazines, is quite widely known in educational and philanthropic circles. Dr. Dykes was born in Washington, D. C. Her grandparents on her mother’s side were slaves on the estate of Governor Warfield, of Howard County, Maryland.

After the Civil War they moved to Washington, that their children might have the best of educational advantages. Miss Dykes is a niece of the late Dr. James H. Howard, also of Washington, D. C., who was the founder of the first Seventh-day Adventist school for girls in Abyssinia, Africa.

Miss Dykes received her early education and training in the public schools of the District of Columbia. Surrounded by the learning and lore of the nation’s capitol, she absorbed her books with a ready will, and developed a keen, strong intellect.

In the year 1914 she was graduated from Howard University with the A.B. degree. Howard University is a sort of “family institution,” as it were, for Miss Dykes’ father, two uncles, and two sisters are also numbered among its graduates.

With her craving for knowledge still unsatisfied, she journeyed to Boston, Massachusetts, to become a student at Radcliffe College, the ” Women’s Harvard.” From there she received the A.B., A.M., and Ph.D. degrees, majoring in English.

Of her it may well be said in the words of one writer: “In shining distinctness it is pointed out that the chief qualification of woman is her spiritual intuition. She is endowed with the ability to perceive the real values of life. Her capacity and loyalty in love are but variations of her ability to penetrate to the core of all things involving spiritual values.”

Doctor George Washington Carver, of Tuskegee
Institute, shaking hands with Henry Ford.

Dr. Dykes is fundamentally religious, and a devout Christian. Like Mary of Bethany, whose broken jar of ointment filled the house with fragrance, so the quiet, unpretentious influence of this modest little woman’s life has been a fragrance to lighten the hearts of all with whom she has come in contact.

She is dependable and reliable; a woman as good as her word, which is indeed a refreshing trait in these days when human nature is so little to be trusted. As Associate Professor of English at Howard University, and as teacher in the Dunbar High School in Washington, D. C., Miss Dykes holds the respect of her students and fellow workers, as they realize in her those rare qualities of intellect and personality which set her apart as a benefactor of her Race.

But this versatile woman is not content to teach only. Her ambitious desires have led her into various other endeavors also. In the field of music she demonstrates no small ability, being an accompanist of note, appearing in recitals with such artists as Florence Cole Talbert, coloratura soprano, and Joseph Douglass, violinist. She is also a member of the Musicians’ Guild of Washington, which is a branch of the National Association of Negro Musicians.

In the field of writing, too, she has achieved a degree of recognition. Beginning as associate editor of the Howard Alumnus, she has appeared with articles of exceptional quality in religious and denominational periodicals from time to time. She has also written articles of an informative nature on the theme of her hobby—Negro music and composers—for college and educational journals.

Dr. Dykes works quietly, but achieves much. And with it all she is never too tired, never too busy, to help a fellow in need, to give the “cup of cold water” to any who may he in want: Of her it may truly be said that she is among others as one who serves, patterning her life after that of the meek and lowly Nazarene.

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