Marriage

Introduction

What is Gods Design?

Marriage is probably the oldest known relationship to humanity. Over the millennia marriage growing into families has been the bedrock and foundations of strong, healthy, and flourishing communities. Nations have grown in harmony and prosperity built around healthy marriage and family relationships.

Over the millennia marriage has been classically defined as the coming together of male and female to form a marriage relationship. This definition has served tribes, nations, and people groups well, over the history of humanity.

Western culture has seen a rapid rise in redefining of marriage over the last 20 years, since the year 2000. Various people groups have pushed back against the definition of traditional marriage, where in Australia we saw the marriage act redefined in 2017. Same-sex marriage has been legalised in Australia where gay males can marry each other and lesbian females can do the same.

Our position

One man, one women, united in marriage

As Christians here at Exchange Church we believe and understand that marriage is a relationship that God has created to reflect His greatness and for the well-being of humanity. Genesis 2:18-25. Here in this passage, we see God bringing together the first man and first woman that He created in marriage. The biblical definition of marriage is therefore the coming together of man and woman in marriage to form a new family unit

Beginning with Adam and Eve as the first married couple we did see the evolving of marriage to one man and multiple wives. Some of the patriarchs and many other prominent figures in the Old Testament had married more than one wife. This practice continued right throughout the Old Testament. What we do see in the Old Testament is the complications of having multiple wives and the challenge it brings to the many wives involved. Quite possibly these multiple wives were allowed to make sure that all females’ welfare had been looked after in that culture.

Carrying into the New Testament we see Jesus confirm the marriage covenant between man and woman. Matthew 19:1-9. The Pharisees were pushing back against Jesus looking for an easy divorce arrangement. Jesus reaffirms that as God created marriage, so it still holds today. The New Testament writers teach also that marriage is between one man and one woman. 1 Timothy 3:2

Scriptural Support

Belief Foundations

The marriage relationship is created by God between one man and one woman. Genesis 2:18-25 Matthew 19:1-9. If a government sanctioned marriage is between male and male or female and female, they are not marriages before God.

The marriage covenant we believe is binding until death separates the married couple. Mark 10:9

We would counsel that a Christian shouldn’t marry a non-christian where there is a free choice involved. 2 Corinthians 6:14

If a Christian is already married to a non-Christian we would counsel that the Christian should remain married to the non-Christian. 1 Corinthians 7:12-16

Gods plan is not for couple’s to choose to live together outside of marriage, rather marriage is the only plan God has for two people to live together and only within marriage can a sexual relationship be embraced. Hebrews 13:4, 1 Corinthians 7:2

Separation & Divorce

When is it right? When is it wrong?

The marriage covenant is made before God until death separates the married couple. But we also understand that in certain circumstances that separation and divorce may take place. For cases of adultery and desertion, divorce is allowable. Matthew 19:1-12, Mark 10:1-11, 1 Corinthians 7:15.

When a marriage partner commits adultery and wilfully engages in another relationship other than their marriage relationship and shows no intention of returning. In this case, the marriage covenant is broken and separation and divorce could take place.

When a spouse is deserted and abandoned by their marriage partner and has no intention of returning, we see grounds for separation and divorce as well.

If two believers for some reason decide that they can no longer live together. They should make every effort to reconcile. 1 Corinthians 7:10-11. If they still choose to separate, they must remain celibate and not remarry.

Remarriage

When is it right? When is it wrong?

We believe remarriage is allowable when the death of a spouse takes place which then makes the marriage covenant broken. Romans 7:1-3. We believe that remarriage should take place by marrying another Christian. 1 Corinthians 7:39

If a Christian simply separates and divorces their spouse for reasons other than adultery or abandonment, we believe there are no grounds for remarriage. Matthew 5:31-32

If a Christian separates and divorces their spouse because of either adultery or abandonment we believe that there are grounds for remarriage for the innocent party in that case.

 

Conclusion

Final thoughts

Awaiting final conclusion sentence