23. Marriage and Family

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.)