5.3.7.1 Marriage

Marriage is the lifelong union between a man and a woman as desired by God. It is based on an act of free will which is expressed in a public vow of fidelity (Matthew 19: 4-5).

The Bible describes various forms of marriage. Whereas the Old Testament often speaks of polygamy (marriage to many partners, understood here as one man married to several women), Jesus Christ–and with Him the New Testament, gives unequivocal support to monogamy (marriage to one partner) as the form of matrimonial cohabitation of man and woman that is desired by God and appropriate to believing Christians (Matthew 19: 5-6; 1 Timothy 3: 2, 12; 5: 9).

Already in the Old Testament, marriage was understood as a covenant protected by God (Proverbs 2: 17; Malachi 2: 13-16) and blessed through prayer: "And after they were both shut in together, Tobias rose out of the bed, and said, 'Sister, arise, and let us pray that God will have pity on us.' Then began Tobias to say, 'Blessed art Thou, O God of our fathers, and blessed is Thy holy and glorious name for ever; let the heavens bless Thee and all Thy creatures'" (Tobit 8: 4-5).

Generally, couples where at least one partner should be New Apostolic may receive a wedding blessing in the New Apostolic Church upon their request. This blessing of God contains powers that will enable them to fashion their future life together in a manner desired by God. This includes the serious endeavour on the part of the married couple to pursue their path of life together in love and the fear of God.

Marriage, as it corresponds to God's will, is an image of Christ's fellowship with His church and is therefore holy. It obliges both partners to honour and love one another (Ephesians 5: 25, 28-33). Marriage is intended to be indissoluble until death: "Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate" (Matthew 19: 6). In view of this, it is advisable to protect and nurture marriage.

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