23. Marriage and the Family
Marriage was divinely established in Eden and affirmed by Jesus to be
a lifelong union between a man and a woman in loving companionship.
For the Christian a marriage commitment is to God as well as to the
spouse, and should be entered into only between a man and a woman who
share a common faith. Mutual love, honor, respect, and responsibility are
the fabric of this relationship, which is to reflect the love, sanctity,
closeness, and permanence of the relationship between Christ and His
church. Regarding divorce, Jesus taught that the person who divorces a
spouse, except for fornication, and marries another, commits adultery.
Although some family relationships may fall short of the ideal, a man and
a woman who fully commit themselves to each other in Christ through
marriage may achieve loving unity through the guidance of the Spirit and
the nurture of the church. God blesses the family and intends that its
members shall assist each other toward complete maturity. Increasing
family closeness is one of the earmarks of the final gospel message.
Parents are to bring up their children to love and obey the Lord. By their
example and their words they are to teach them that Christ is a loving,
tender, and caring guide who wants them to become members of His body,
the family of God which embraces both single and married persons. (Gen
2:18-25; Exod 20:12; Deut 6:5-9; Prov 22:6; Mal 4:5, 6; Matt 5:31, 32;
19:3-9, 12; Mark 10:11, 12; John 2:1-11; 1 Cor 7:7, 10, 11; 2 Cor 6:14;
Eph 5:21-33; 6:1-4.)