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.
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 responsi¬bility. 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.
True marriage is a spiritual, mental, and physical union-harmony of faith, heart, and body. Woman and man form one flesh. Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:5, 6.
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.
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; 2 Corinthians 6:14, 15.
We believe that divorce is not God’s will. Matthew 19:3-9; Mark 10:9-12; Romans 7:1-3; 1 Corinthians 7:10, 11.
“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.’
“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.