Article 103-3 – Marriage & Singleness

Biblical Principles for Living

103-3.1 Marriage is the joining together of one man and one woman in a covenant union instituted and ordained by God.1 The purpose of this union is to glorify God, demonstrate the relationship between Christ and the Church,2 provide companionship, and perpetuate the human race.3 It is holy in God’s sight and is to be a bond until the death of one partner.4 For this reason, marriage partners are commanded to be committed to each other physically, emotionally, and sexually, and to have no other than their marriage partner.5 Although God did not specifically condemn polygamy in every instance and sometimes blessed the individuals involved in polygamous relationships in the Old Testament, the Old Testament standard is always one man married to one woman.6 This standard is reinforced by the teaching of our Lord during His earthly ministry and the New Testament writers.7 The intimacy of marriage includes mutual rights and mutual obligations of each partner to the other.8 Sexual relations outside of the marriage bond by either of the marriage partners is adultery and degrades the spiritual and physical oneness and permanence God reserved for marriage.9 For a Christian to marry a non-Christian is a violation of the Word of God.10

103-3.2 God has revealed in Scripture that His will is for some people to remain single; in such cases singleness fulfills the plan of God.11 Those who can control their sexual desires may remain unmarried to the glory of God.12 In fact, the single believer may have undivided loyalty and may be more free to serve the Lord and His church.13 Abstinence from impure sexual activity prior to marriage and outside of the marriage union is the Biblical standard.14 Sexual intercourse is to be experienced only in the marriage union; all sexual intercourse outside that union, including homosexual relations, is sin in God’s eyes.15

1 Gen.2:23-24
2 Eph.5:22-23
3 Gen.1:26-28; 2:18-25
4 Rom.7:2; 1 Cor.7:39
5 Heb.13:4
6 Eph.5:31
7 Mat.19:4-6; Mark 10:6-9; 1 Cor.6:16; Eph.5:31-33
8 1 Cor.7:1-5
9 1 Cor 6:16-18
10 1 Cor.7:39; 2 Cor.6:14-16
11 1 Cor.7:7,8,17
12 Mat.19:11-12; 1 Cor.6:13; 7:9
13 1 Cor.7:32-35
14 1 Thes.4:3-8
15 1 Cor.6:18; Eph.5:3; Heb.13:4

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