Upholding the Honorableness of Marriage
“Let marriage be honorable among all, and the marriage bed be without defilement, for God will judge fornicators and adulterers.”—Heb 13:4.
1. (a) How should marriage be approached and maintained, if it is to be beneficial? (b) What on the part of the married couple makes for divine blessing and success?
MARRIAGE, entered into, should be maintained with honor as an arrangement set up by God himself. Marriage should also be approached in honor. Marriage is a serious, responsible thing that has presented many problems outside of the Paradise of Eden where it was begun; and an honorable approach to it ought to have a beneficial effect. It ought to help the marriage to be successful. Really, by marriage the man and the wife ought to strive to honor God, the loving heavenly Father who provided for this union which would have been completely blissful had it been continued in Paradise. Rightly, God would be expected to bless the union of such a God-honoring couple. But if his laws and rules for a successful marriage are ignored and violated, God could not be expected to bless but should be expected to execute judgment. Unhappiness and suffering are certain to follow. God made laws governing all the other things of his creation; likewise he made laws governing this privileged arrangement of marriage. Married couples, or those thinking of getting married, honor Him by considering his laws and regulations recorded in his sacred Book, the Bible. This makes for divine blessing and success.
2. Did Jesus Christ marry on earth, and what was his attitude toward marriage among God’s people?
2 God’s heavenly Son did not become the man Jesus Christ in order to marry one of the daughters descended from the sinner Adam. That was not God’s will for him. However, Jesus did honor marriage among God’s people. When he accepted the invitation and attended the marriage celebration in Cana of Galilee, he performed his first miracle on earth, that of changing water into wine of the best kind, in order to contribute to the joy and gladness of the occasion. (John 2:1-11) He highly respected this arrangement of God for man’s happiness; and it was he who said: “What God has yoked together let no man put apart.” (Matt. 19:6) He advocated the ideal human marriage, making it the rule for his followers.
3. How did Paul express himself toward marriage, and how did he describe the approach that the Christian congregation makes to its marriage to Christ?
3 The Christian apostle Paul had the same high regard for marriage as did his Master, Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Paul said: “Let marriage be honorable among all, and the marriage bed be without defilement, for God will judge fornicators and adulterers.” (Heb. 13:4) In figurative language Paul referred to the approach that the Christian congregation makes to marriage with the glorified heavenly Jesus Christ as her spiritual Bridegroom. Here are Paul’s words to members of this Christian congregation: “Husbands, continue loving your wives, just as the Christ also loved the congregation and delivered up himself for it, that he might sanctify it, cleansing it with the bath of water by means of the word [of God], that he might present the congregation to himself in its splendor, not having a spot or a wrinkle or any of such things, but that it should be holy and without blemish.” (Eph. 5:25-27) How honorable the approach must be to that grandest of marriages, that of Jesus Christ and his faithful congregation of 144,000 members!
4. How did Paul express himself in anxiety for the successful marriage of the Christian congregation?
4 Showing anxiety for the proper preparation and approach to marriage, the apostle Paul also wrote to the congregation: “I am jealous over you with a godly jealousy, for I personally promised you in marriage to one husband that I might present you as a chaste virgin to the Christ. But I am afraid that somehow, as the serpent seduced Eve by its craftiness, your minds might be corrupted away from the sincerity and the chastity that are due the Christ.” (2 Cor. 11:2, 3) Also, with more direct reference to personal conduct in this regard, Paul wrote: “This is what God wills, the sanctifying of you, that you abstain from fornication; that each one of you should know how to get possession of his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in covetous sexual appetite such as also those nations have which do not know God.”—1 Thess. 4:3-5.
5. In the physical developing of boys and girls, toward what does the normal course of human life work?
5 In the normal, regular course of things, all human life works toward males getting married to females, with a view to being fruitful and producing children in one’s image and likeness. (Gen. 5:1-3) When a boy reaches the age of from thirteen to sixteen years and the girls the age of from eleven to fourteen years, the reproductive organs come to maturity. The boy and girl reach what is called the age of puberty or adulthood, and they can perform their respective parts in bringing children into the world.
6. How are sex organs rightly to be considered, and does anyone have the right to interfere with a child’s finally entering into clean marriage?
6 God’s purpose was that each human creature be endowed with ability to produce children in the course of time and thus be able to enjoy married life and to serve its purpose until the filling of the earth with righteous, godlike adult humans had been accomplished. (Gen. 1:26-28) Accordingly, God created man and woman with sex organs for a wonderful purpose in harmony with the divine will. These sex organs are therefore not to be treated as playthings, nor are they to be abused, misused or misapplied. The proper care of sex organs applies both before marriage and after marriage, in order to conduce toward successful, happy marriage. When we take a long-range view of matters, the healthy, helpful preparation of a child for future marriage really begins before that child’s birth. Yes, in that respect a heavy responsibility rests on its parents, who should think not only of their child but also of their grandchild. No one, either the parents or persons not the parents, should want or has the right to mar a child’s opportunity, privilege and natural right to enter into clean, honorable marriage.
7. What will be our proper course if we respect our own right to get married and also the right of another person to do so?
7 If we have due respect for our own right and privilege to get married, we will want to get ourselves ready to undertake it in honor. We will also have due respect for the right of another person, a boy or a girl, a man or a woman, to get married in a worthy, honorable way. This means that we would not want to contaminate or corrupt ourselves or others, so as to be in an unclean condition when entering in upon this honorable estate of wedlock.
8. (a) What, therefore, should parents do respecting their inquiring, curious children, and what is the best book of aid in that behalf? (b) For what privilege may parents now help to prepare their children?
8 This calls for us to develop good morals. Parents or guardians of children should teach them the facts of life. This the parents can do in a clean, respectable, upbuilding way. Regardless of whether some medical doctors may think so, the “gutter” or the slum alley is not the place for boys and girls to learn the facts of life, or, rather, the abuse, perversion, degradation and idolatry of sex. For thousands of years the Creator’s own Book, the Holy Bible, has been the best book on earth to teach adults and children the basic facts of life, as to how we got here from Adam and Eve, why there are both males and females, and how we may each choose to perform our parts in a godly way toward the present continuation and extending of the human family. Parents and guardians should be wise and use the Bible in revealing the noble facts of life to the curious, inquiring minds of maturing children. Thereby they can counteract the debasing influence of the “gutter.” In this way they help the children early in making the proper approach to marriage in later life. Now that the prophetic Word of God holds forth the hope of surviving the universal war of Armageddon, how grand a privilege parents today have of possibly preparing their children for marriage as survivors of Armageddon into God’s righteous world, in Paradise restored to earth!
9. What do peace-pursuing Christians need to watch always, and what did Paul prescribe for them amid an immoral world?
9 All persons who now pursue peace because of loving a godly life and wanting to see good days forever under God’s kingdom need to watch their morals continually. According to published reports on world conditions, never has mankind been living in a more corrupt world, at least since the immoral preflood world of the days of Noah. Fornication, adultery, sodomy and bestiality are increasingly being indulged in to a shocking degree. Nineteen hundred years ago the apostle Paul commented on the immorality in the pagan world and recommended a safeguard for Christians. He wrote to fellow believers at Corinth, Greece, saying: “Now concerning the things about which you wrote, it is well for a man not to have intercourse with a woman; yet, because of prevalence of fornication, let each man have his own wife and each woman have her own husband.” (1 Cor. 7:1, 2) Paul prescribed honorable marriage.
10. Today what question faces one before and after marriage, and what offers to immorality widely present themselves today?
10 However, in view of “prevalence of fornication” today, it is a question not only of avoiding fornication before marriage but also of abstaining from adultery after marriage. Today multitudes of attractive women are willing to sell or offer their bodies for sale for the illegal satisfying of the sexual passions of immoral men. Today there are multitudes of boys and men who are likewise willing to sell their bodies and become effeminate, “men kept for unnatural purposes,” in order to satisfy the lust of men who prefer to lie carnally with males similar to how a man lies with a woman; which is a “detestable thing.” (1 Cor. 6:9; Rom. 1:27; Lev. 18:22) In a warning, God’s Word shows the fearful consequences of immorality.
11. (a) Is love of neighbor expressed in immorality, or what? (b) Lending oneself to immoral advances by another may end up how?
11 In this connection the apostle Paul explains to us the significance of love, saying: “He that loves his fellow man has fulfilled the law. For the law code, ‘You must not commit adultery,’ . . . and whatever other commandment there is, is summed up in this word, namely, ‘You must love your neighbor as yourself.’” (Rom. 13:8, 9) There is no love of neighbor expressed in fornication, adultery or sodomy. It is only the letting of burning passion take control with much harm to follow physically, socially and spiritually, the conscience also being affected. With great frankness God’s Word warns His people against professional prostitutes or any girl or woman who wants to play the harlot for the time being, designedly playing up to the male victim. Lending oneself to become the victim of an immoral person’s wiles is the start of what may end up with death, physical death as well as spiritual death. The very reason why God’s Word has something to say on this matter is this:
12. According to Proverbs 2:16-19, what is the reason that God’s Word says something on this matter?
12 “To deliver you from the strange woman, from the foreign woman [foreign to God] who has made her own sayings smooth, who is leaving the confidential friend of her youth and who has forgotten the very covenant of her God [if she is dedicated to God and under the new covenant made with God’s people]. For down to death her house does sink and down to those impotent in death her tracks. None of those having relations with her will come back, nor will they regain the paths of those living.”—Prov. 2:16-19.
13, 14. (a) Why is immorality not the way to real living, and of whom should we members of a congregation beware? (b) Like what inexperienced youth should we not be?
13 Immorality may be the way to what loose men and women call “sophistication,” the making of a person worldly-wise; but it is not the way to clean, pure wisdom, life-giving wisdom. It is not the way to real living. Those having company with the immoral may never regain the path of those on the way to everlasting life. Sooner or later they may land in the place from which they cannot now come back, the place of no-return, Sheol, the common grave of mankind, or, even worse still, the place of eternal annihilation, Gehenna. This is no matter for the sophisticated to smirk at indifferently, unconcernedly, in this penicillin age. It is something for all, for those growing up and for the grownups, the virgin and single and the married, to ponder over in the light of plainly stated, long-recorded heavenly wisdom. Beware of immoral persons, both those outside the organization of God’s people and those who might hang onto it or might creep into it and outwardly establish themselves in it. Guard against harboring and cultivating immoral desires. Do not be like the inexperienced youth, who lacked a good heart, a moral heart, a good, clean motive, and who therefore put himself in the way of easy approach by a slave of immorality:
14 “Passing along on the street near her corner, and in the way to her house he marches, in the twilight, in the evening of the day, at the approach of the night and the darkness. And look! there was a woman to meet him, with the garment of a prostitute and cunning of heart. . . . Now she is outdoors, now she is in the public squares, and near every corner she lies in wait. And she has grabbed hold of him and given him a kiss. She has put on a bold face . . . She has misled him by the abundance of her persuasiveness. By the smoothness of her lips she seduces him. All of a sudden he is going after her, like a bull that comes even to the slaughter, and just as if fettered for the discipline of a foolish man, until an arrow cleaves open his liver, just as a bird hastens into the trap, and he has not known that it involves his very soul [or, life].”—Prov. 7:7-23; marginal reading.
15. In harmony with that comparison, how should we picture ourselves when tempted by someone immoral, and so where would we find ourselves for yielding to temptation?
15 If you are being tempted by someone immoral, imagine yourself like a bull being led along by a thorn through the nose or by a nose ring subduedly to your own slaughter. Is the picture funny? Do you laugh at yourself? The immoral person’s words of inducement, “Stolen waters themselves are sweet” (Prov. 9:17), may for the few minutes be pleasantly fulfilled in sexual satisfaction, but where do you find yourself? In a trap of death like a bird! Alas, to your great pain, an arrow of death cleaves open your liver. Comes sorrow, yes, death-dealing pain thereafter. Also, torment of conscience!
16. How is the Bible shown to be medically correct when speaking of how an arrow cleaves open the liver of the immoral one?
16 The inspired book of Proverbs was pointedly, yes, specifically correct in saying that a deadly arrow cleaves open the liver of the immoral. The liver is a target for disease organisms. In laboratories it has been found by medical doctors that the tiny corkscrew-like organism associated with the terrible venereal disease called syphilis can frequently be detected in great numbers in the liver cells, although it has been found also in the tissues of the lungs, spleen and heart. In the case of the other terrible disease called gonorrhea, the bacterial gonococcus that causes the disease can be taken up by the body’s blood vessels and be distributed to affect not only the genital organs but almost every organ of the human body, getting into the lining membrane of the liver, the largest gland in man’s body, as well as of the brain, spinal cord, heart and other organs. The Bible is thus medically correct.
17. When one willfully courts immorality, with what is one flirting, and to what is one laying oneself open?
17 When a passionate person willfully courts immorality, he is flirting with death. When a person lets himself become passionate under improper circumstances and yields to the flattering, inflaming, subtle invitations and urgings to immorality, he little appreciates for the time being the frightful danger into which he is swooning or yielding himself. He is collapsing onto the road of disease, yes, lack of ease and of peace, the road to Sheol, mankind’s common grave. Either he does not care or he forgets or does not know he is laying himself open to the getting of loathsome syphilis, which with alcoholism and tuberculosis is branded as one of the three great plagues afflicting humanity today.
18. Why do third-degree manifestations of syphilis have the greatest significance for our human bodies?
18 Third-degree manifestations of syphilis, affecting the brain, the eyes, the liver, and so forth, have the greatest significance for the human body. In this case the lesions of the brain and spinal cord rank first in frequency and seriousness. Most of all to be feared are lesions of the nerve centers. These may lead on to locomotor ataxia and general paralysis, to paresis (partial paralysis), or to paralysis to one half lengthwise of the body. Besides, there may be hereditary effects passed to one’s children born thereafter.
19. Why has no disease such a murderous influence upon one’s offspring as syphilis?
19 It is said that “no disease has such a murderous influence upon the offspring as syphilis.” When both father and mother are syphilitic, the infection of their child is almost unavoidable. First pregnancies may end up in abortions; then there are stillborn children or a child alive at birth but soon dying; then syphilitic children, tainted, having native weakness or inborn incapacity for life, children stunted physically and mentally, often feeble-minded or even idiotic, yes, children that are monstrosities. What a way to prepare one’s child to approach future marriage with honor!
20. Why is a syphilitic person a source of possible danger to others, and, as a social plague, why does it make marriage inadvisable for anyone infected with it?
20 Every syphilitic person is a source of possible danger to a person with whom that one comes in close contact, whether that be a wife or a husband or children. One fears to pick up a newspaper or magazine or wipe on a towel wiped on by a syphilitic person, or swim in his neighborhood. In connection with marriage, The Encyclopedia Americana says: “It is especially, however, in its relation with marriage that the ravages of syphilis as a social plague are of the highest interest and importance. . . . A syphilitic man should not marry so long as he is capable of carrying contagion to his wife or begetting syphilitic children. . . . The syphilitic man may be exposed to dangers, the consequences from his disease, which unfit him for the responsible position of head and support of a family. The possible existence of such disqualifying conditions must always be taken into consideration when the question of marriage is concerned.”—Volume 26, edition of 1929, page 180.
21. To what extent did a nationwide study in the United States published in 1960 show venereal disease to be increasing?
21 You parents, yes, you children also, here is some news for you to consider as a sort of barometer of venereal disease throughout the earth. A nationwide study in the United States has disclosed in this year 1960 that venereal disease is increasing in the nation. Teen-agers are becoming more and more implicated in diseases of “sexual love.” Shamelessly, one girl, about thirteen or fourteen years old, named eighty males with whom she had had sexual connections. According to the report, during the two years of 1957 and 1958, the number of children within the age limits of ten to fourteen years having infectious venereal disease rose from 2,443 to 2,793, or 14.3 percent. The number in the fifteen- to nineteen-year age group increased 11.4 percent. By one director of a Social Health Association it is estimated that there were actually 60,000 new cases of syphilis and more than a million new cases of gonorrhea, including an uncounted number that go unreported.—New York Times, February 24, 1960.
22. What did a United States Federal expert say in 1960 regarding the increase of infectious syphilis?
22 On April 5, 1960, a United States Federal expert said that cases of infectious syphilis in the country had showed an increase of 42 percent in the last half of 1959 over the like period of 1958. The increase was pronounced “terribly alarming,” especially in certain large cities.—New York Times, April 6, 1960.
23. Why is the use of penicillin today no offset to the contracting of venereal disease and why is the getting of gonorrhea not conducive to peaceful, happy marriage?
23 It is foolish for the immorally inclined to depend upon the power of penicillin to offset the venereal diseases and so think that they can take chances. Despite the penicillin at hand today, those diseases named after the pagan goddess of sexual love, Venus, are on the increase. These cannot safely be played with but must be strictly guarded against. No longer is the disease of gonorrhea medically considered to be the innocent, inconsequential disease that it used to be considered. The medical profession now considers gonorrhea as one of the most formidable social plagues of our time. One’s getting this plague through immorality is certainly not conducive to peaceful, successful, happy marriage. Gonorrhea in a parent can result in partial or even complete loss of sight to a child born to such diseased parent. In cases of newborn children it is estimated that from ten to twenty percent of all blindness is due to infection by that microorganism known as the gonococcus.
24. How serious may gonorrhea become in the case of women and so how much of a price does one pay for the immorality that infects one with gonorrhea?
24 Gonorrhea in women may become so serious as to blight absolutely their hope of having children. Gonorrhea is one of the most fruitful causes of female barrenness. Complications can also cause sterility in men. It is believed that gonorrhea in the male partner is accountable for 45 percent of childless marriages. Seventy percent or more of the sterility in women is because of a husband’s communicating gonorrhea to his wife. The report is that every year thousands of young, innocent wives are thus infected, husbands in many cases unknowingly contributing to wrecking the health and lives of their marriage partners. Wives may thus be reduced to semi-invalidism, inability to walk, and suffering in other ways. Finally, they may feel obliged to call in a surgeon for relief and be castrated by knifing out their God-given generative organs. If the responsible disease is traceable to immoral conduct on the part of one marriage mate or of both, it is indeed a heavy price to pay for breaking God’s law, for just a fleeting pleasure.
“BETTER TO MARRY”—WHEN AND WHY THEN?
25. (a) When does one that gives up single life do well? (b) Why does one, even if married, have to be on guard these days?
25 In this world where fornication and adultery abound as never before, according to the apostle Paul’s advice it is not the course of unwisdom to have a marriage mate, so that one marries in order not to sin. Then one that gives up his singleness does well. As respects the single persons, Paul says: “If they do not have self-control, let them marry, for it is better to marry than to be inflamed with passion.” (1 Cor. 7:2, 8, 9, 38) If one does decide to take steps toward marriage, one should do so with all honorableness, in respect for God’s laws and heavenly wisdom, in this way approaching one’s future mate clean, guiltless as to fornication. If he is a married man, then he should honor his marriage bed and abstain from adultery. Said the famous German physician and author, Max S. Nordau: “No matter how deeply we may be in love with a certain individual, we do not cease to be susceptible to the influence of the entire sex.” One’s observation of some or many marriage couples seems to confirm this doctor’s statement. Doubtless all have to be on guard these days, whether married or not. To the married man or the single man who intends to marry, Proverbs 5:15-23 says:
26. What does Proverbs 5:15-23 say to married men and to single men who intend to marry?
26 “Drink water out of your own cistern, and tricklings out of the midst of your own well [that is, out of your legal marriage mate as a wellspring of sexual happiness and pleasure]. Should your springs [of sexual satisfaction] be scattered out of doors [where the harlots lie in wait], your streams of water [for sexual refreshment] in the public squares themselves [where prostitutes offer themselves for a price]? Let them prove to be for you alone [with your marriage mate], and not for strangers with you. Let your water source [your source of sexual gratification] prove to be blessed [not cursed by God], and rejoice with the wife of your youth, a lovable hind and a charming mountain goat. Let her own breasts [not those of immoral women] intoxicate you at all times. With her love may you be in an ecstasy constantly. So why should you, my son, be in an ecstasy with a strange woman or embrace the bosom of a foreign woman? For the ways of a man are in front of the eyes of Jehovah, and he is contemplating all his tracks. His own errors will catch the wicked one, and in the ropes of his own sin he will be taken hold of. He will be the one to die because there is no discipline [no self-discipline, no taking of discipline], and because in the abundance of his foolishness he goes astray.”
27. (a) With what should a Christian not want to supplement his wife, and why not? (b) How could any sneak errors of a Christian result, to show that such errors have caught up with him?
27 A married Christian is obligated to be satisfied with his one wife. If a dedicated Christian wants to have a woman, he should marry her honorably. A married Christian should not want to supplement his wife by other women inside the Christian congregation or outside it and thereby have cisterns, wells, springs or water streams from which to draw sexual pleasure “out of doors [outside his own home]” and out “in the public squares.” An unfaithful marriage mate may try to do this in secret or under darkness, but let such person remember that the ways of a dedicated Christian are “in front of the eyes of Jehovah” and that Jehovah “is contemplating all his tracks.” Nothing escapes Jehovah as Judge. He warns us that sneak errors of any Christian will catch up with him as a wicked person. He will realize it when, maybe, he finds that he has had a shameful disease burned into his body, or his reproductive powers are killed, or his wife becomes sterile or gives birth to a stillborn child or a blinded child or a deformed or diseased child.
28. Through consequent pain, what may he be brought to realize concerning the woman with whom he committed immorality?
28 He may painfully be brought to realize concerning the immoral woman with whom he became one flesh that “the aftereffect from her is as bitter as wormwood; it is as sharp as a two-edged sword. Her feet are descending to death. Her very steps take hold on Sheol itself. The path of life she does not contemplate. . . . you have to groan in your future when your flesh and your organism come to an end. And you will have to say: ‘How I have hated discipline and my heart has disrespected even reproof! And I have not listened to the voice of my instructors, and to my teachers I have not inclined my ear. Easily I have come to be in every sort of badness in the midst of the congregation and of the assembly.’”—Prov. 5:3-14.
29. (a) Besides physical pain, what does the immorally erring Christian bring into his married life? (b) Into what way does he bring himself, and to what denunciation does he become subject?
29 Besides the disease and pain that the Christian turning to immorality may bring upon his own flesh, upon his wife who is one flesh with him, and upon his future children, he brings disunity, mistrust and unpeacefulness into his married life. But worse than this, he brings himself into the way of spiritual death. He pays the price of the disapproval of God, whose eyes have been upon his ways and tracks. When this heavenly Judge unfailingly causes the errors of the wicked one to catch him and the binding ropes of his own sin to take hold on him, Jehovah brings him to judgment before his earthly congregation, the Christian assembly. As a disgrace to God and his congregation he is disfellowshiped, cast out of the congregation in dishonor to where the dead world is. Proverbs 22:14 warns: “The mouth of strange women is a deep pit. The one denounced by Jehovah will fall into it.” Knowing whom Jehovah God denounces, do we want to suffer his denunciation by falling into the deep pit of immorality opened up for us by the honey-flowing mouth of an immoral person, woman or man? Do we want to be denounced out of Jehovah’s clean, approved organization?
30. (a) Because of dedication to God, what should we remember when immorality is opened up to us uninvitedly? (b) What does Paul say in this regard to a Christian espoused to Christ?
30 Not of our own wanting, the way of moral uncleanness may be enticingly opened up to us. Then let us remember just who we are because of having dedicated ourselves to Jehovah God. If you are a dedicated Christian whom God has called to form part of the heavenly bride of his Son Jesus Christ and who is thus espoused to Christ, then to you Paul says: “Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I, then, take the members of the Christ away and make them members of a harlot? Never may that happen! What! Do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body [with her]? For, ‘The two,’ says he [in the creation account of Genesis 2:24], ‘will be one flesh.’ But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit. Flee from fornication. Every other sin which a man may commit is outside his body, but he that practices fornication is sinning against his own body.”—1 Cor. 6:15-18.
31. To doing what with members of his spiritual body would Christ not consent, and what death-dealing consequences may there be to sinning immorally against one’s own flesh?
31 So if a member of Christ’s spiritual body commits immorality with one of the opposite sex, man or woman, that one is trying to take a member of Christ’s body and make it one flesh with the immoral person in fornication or adultery. Do you think that Christ Jesus will consent to being made one with a harlot or an adulteress? Not for a moment! One cannot be one flesh with a morally unclean person and at the same time “one spirit” with the Lord Jesus Christ. By sexually making oneself one flesh with the morally filthy, one is sinning against one’s own flesh. One’s impure, illegal fleshly union may possibly result in contracting a horrible disease and in other death-dealing consequences to the flesh. This may include the Christian congregation’s handing over the immoral member to Satan “for the destruction of the flesh,” in order that the spirit of the clean congregation may be saved in the day of the Lord. That is what Paul did with an incestuous member of the congregation of Corinth in his day. “Remove the wicked man from among yourselves,” the apostle authoritatively ordered.—1 Cor. 5:4, 13.
32. Similarly, even if one is a dedicated person but not of Christ’s “body,” what should one think of before committing immorality, and what does the New World society become obliged to do toward the immoral?
32 Even if you are not a member of the spiritual “body of Christ” but are dedicated to God in hope of his new world of righteousness, then think of what you are before indulging in immorality. Think of making your flesh, flesh belonging to the New World society of Jehovah’s witnesses, “one flesh” with an immoral person! Does the New World society consent to your making it “one flesh” or one unit with the fornicator or adulterous person? Not for a moment! If you have no respect for it and its good name, God’s spirit will not let it have any respect for you in your immorality. It cannot count you one of it, for you bring reproach on it and on the God whose name it bears; and thus you are a stumbling block to others.
33. For whom is this something to think about seriously, and in what way should we not want to learn the consequences of immorality?
33 This is something for missionary girls to think of seriously in their foreign assignments, when they are ardently pursued by smoothly operating native boys or men who put on a front of interest in the Bible message borne by the missionary girl and then try them out with improper suggestive advances, to soften them up. This is something to think about for dedicated Christian young people who are coming into marriageable years and who may be dreaming of happy, successful marriage under God’s blessing either before or after the battle of Armageddon. This is something for all dedicated members of the New World society to think about in this degraded, immoral world of temptation, in which we are under obligation to keep moral integrity to God. Do not try to learn “the hard way.”
34. Hence what prayer of the psalmist do we feel moved to offer?
34 As we reflect on the seriousness of the matter, we feel moved to offer the prayer offered by the psalmist after he had committed a grievous moral mistake: “Create in me even a pure heart, O God, and put within me a new spirit, a steadfast one.”—Ps. 51:10.