We believe that God instituted marriage in paradise and that it is blessed and sanctified by Him.
“Thus the institution has for its originator the Creator of the universe.. It is one of the two institutions that, after the Fall, Adam brought with him beyond the gates of Paradise.” – Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 46.
Marriage was instituted:
(a) so that man and woman would help complement each other in love (Genesis 2:18);
(b) for the reproduction of the human race (Genesis 1:27, 28).
1 Corinthians 7:1-9 – Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife. Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency. But I speak this by permission, and not of commandment. For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that. I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, it is good for them if they abide even as I. But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.
Marriage is a covenant which should be based on the lifelong love and faithfulness of a man and a woman. Matthew 19:4; Malachi 2:14, last part. God established marriage on the principles of unselfishness, love, honor, respect, self-forgetfulness, and responsibility. Man was created first; he is the natural leader and support of the family. The woman needs to respect the man’s leadership; and the man, love his wife as Christ loved the church, for whom He died.
Ephesians 5:23, 25 – For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body… Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
True marriage is a spiritual, mental, and physical union-harmony of faith, heart, and body. Woman and man form one flesh.
Genesis 2:24 – Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
Matthew 19:5, 6 – And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
We believe Christians are to observe the principle of moderation, so that their physical and mental strength is not sacrificed on the altar of passion and lower fleshly lusts. The counsel given in God’s word in this regard is a guide to purity and a life that is pleasing to God.
1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 – For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God.
We believe church members should not marry those of other faiths, or unbelievers. The Holy Scriptures consider such marriages sin.
Deuteronomy 7:3, 4, 6 – Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son. For they will turn away thy son from following me, that they may serve other gods: so will the anger of the LORD be kindled against you, and destroy thee suddenly. For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.
2 Corinthians 6:14, 15 – Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
We believe that divorce is not God’s will.
Matthew 19:3-9 – The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away? He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.
Mark 10:9-12 – What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. And in the house his disciples asked him again of the same matter. And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her. And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.
Romans 7:1-3 – Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.
1 Corinthians 7:10, 11 – And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband: But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife.
“Among the Jews a man was permitted to put away his wife for the most trivial offenses, and the woman was then at liberty to marry again. This practice led to great wretchedness and sin. In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus declared plainly that there could be no dissolution of the marriage tie, except for unfaithfulness to the marriage vow. ‘Everyone,’ He said, ‘that putteth away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, maketh her an adulteress: and whosoever shall marry her when she is put away committeth adultery.’
1 Corinthians 7:10, 11, 39 – And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband: But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife… The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord.
“This vow links the destinies of the two individuals with bonds which nought but the hand of death should sever.” – Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, p. 507.
We further believe that marriage is to be contracted before both civil authorities and the church.
All who contemplate marriage should, after careful consideration and earnest prayer, seek the counsel of believing parents and spiritual advisors.