Marriage and the Family – Seventh-day Adventist Fundamental Belief 23

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 partners 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, marriage partners who fully commit themselves to each other in Christ 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. 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 disciplinarian, ever tender and caring, who wants them to become members of His body, the family of God. Increasing family closeness is one of the earmarks of the final gospel message.(Gen. 2:18-25; Matt. 19:3-9; John 2:1-11; 2 Cor. 6:14; Eph. 5:21-33; Matt. 5:31,32; Mark 10:11,12; Luke 16:18; 1 Cor. 7:10,11; Ex. 20:12; Eph. 6:1-4; Deut. 6:5-9; Prov. 22:6; Mal. 4:5, 6.)

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See also these Bible lessons from previous years:

(Brief excerpts given. See the URLs for much more.)


Biblical Headship (2) in Marriage

Headship in Eden Was Adam placed in a position of headship over Eve before the Fall, as some suggest? I believe a biblical view of headship removes any tension in the topic. If God put Adam in a position of headship in Eden, this merely means that He placed Adam as the first string in a … [Click to read more …]

Male and Female – In His Image

Creation and Creator

On that first morning, sweeter than a tree-ripened peach, more beautiful than a flowering valley, God felt a void. There amidst the verdure, the teeming animal life, the crystal, rushing water, something was missing. That something was us. “And God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male … [Click to read more …]

Sex and Marriage – Sacred or Sinful?

Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil…Isaiah 5:20 I occasionally hear people, both single and married, tell demeaning jokes about marriage. For example, a Three Stooges fan told me about an episode where Moe asked someone, “Are you married or happy?” That’s a sad joke. While many of us are happily single, we … [Click to read more …]

There’s no “I” in Helpmate

Back in college, I remember friends who spent long hours debating whether or not, in a wedding ceremony, the individual candles that were used to light the unity candle should be blown out after lighting said unity candle. They wanted to make sure the symbolism was just right. It was a few years before all … [Click to read more …]

God’s Love and My Flawed Marriage

My friend Harold called me about a month ago, asking, “Can you come speak on marriage at our church retreat? We have so many couples in crisis!” H’mm, I thought. I enjoy public speaking. The date is open. I can promote my latest book. It’s a great opportunity to share God’s love. Everything checked out … [Click to read more …]

Living Holy Single Lives

I don’t usually make a big deal either way about being single. I don’t think of myself as a single person, I just think of myself as a person. While I have heard other single people complain about married people treating them differently, I can only count on one hand the number of married people … [Click to read more …]

The Sabbath and the Marriage Bed

One of the most popular questions that is posed concerning Sabbath observance is whether or not it is proper for a husband and wife to engage in sexual relations during the Sabbath hours. This question was raised in response to a posting I made on the significance of the Sabbath. Although the Bible doesn’t answer … [Click to read more …]

Sons of God and Sons of Men

Those who have children often wonder how two children in the same family can be so different? One child may be shy and retiring while their sibling is a social butterfly, glowing with delight when surrounded by others and always ready for a party. When spiritual issues are at stake, parents often fret over their … [Click to read more …]


Marriage and the Family – Seventh-day Adventist Fundamental Belief 23 — 43 Comments

  1. I am living in south africa and i'm married in customery married which in our law is legal.But now i want to know if i can be baptised?as i heard the church manual want marriage certificate before i can be baptised.

    • John, if you are legally married, that should be fine for baptism.

      However, I do not know how the pastors in your country interpret our church standards. If they are looking for a church wedding, would it hurt if you went to a pastor and went through the customary church marriage vows before him and the Lord? It could be an opportunity to re-commit to your marriage. If you want to invite people, that's fine, but not necessary, in my opinion.

      My husband faced a similar situation in the India when he held an evangelistic series there. Some Christians who had been baptized as Baptists wanted to join the Adventist church. Local requirements were to be re-baptized, even though that's not what we do in North America. The Baptist Christians felt this would be a denial of their previous commitment to the Lord. So there was an impasse until my husband preached a sermon that explained that, as we grow in the Lord, we take new steps forward in faith, and these steps do not deny our previous experience. A second baptism can symbolize a re-commitment. Then the Baptist Christians thanked him and committed to baptism in the Adventist church.

      Sometimes people put up more obstacles than the Lord would like, but when our commitment is to the Lord, He will show us a way around these obstacles.

      May God bless you as you commit to following Him more closely.

  2. Does the Bible teaches re-baptism? For anyone who was baptised as Jesus was; does the BIBLE teach re-baptism?

  3. So the only way a person is able to marry again is through unfaithfulness? What if I been unhappily married for years and tried all solution to make it work and my needs are still not beging met and I desire to marry again, am I doomed if I chose to marry a new mate! Honestly, I dont believe see how God expect me to remain marry to a person who makes me misery! Plese let me here your thoughts.

    • Marriage is not so much about marrying the right person as about being the right person.

      It is not about having our needs met, but about serving our partners in the spirit of Christ. We believe that marriage is intended to be a life-long school in character development. God intends us to develop characters like Christ who sacrificed Himself for our eternal welfare. He did not seek His own welfare, but ours. In the same way, married partners will find satisfaction in seeking the welfare of their spouses. This is a paradox, like so many other paradoxes in the teachings of Jesus, who said, that he who loses his life will find it.

      It is very likely that one who is dissatisfied in a marriage because his needs are not being met will be just as dissatisfied in the next marriage. That's probably why second and third marriages statistically have a much smaller chance of success than first marriages. Even secular psychologists recognize that the effort expended in attempting to form a new relationship will bring better results by being invested in a current relationship.

      And, honestly, no one can make you or me miserable. Misery is an option we choose for ourselves. If prisoners in a concentration camp can choose their attitudes, so can we.

      We cannot change our marriage partners, but, by the grace of God, we can allow God to change us to be more like Him. And that will make all the difference in a marriage. I can testify from personal experience that, if you sincerely ask God to show you how you need to change, He will answer your prayer. Then it will be up to you to cooperate with Him as He works to change you from the inside out. It will also make a radical difference in your Christian experience. You will then understand what the joy of the Lord is.

      Taste and see that the Lord is good. He will not disappoint you! 🙂

    • Many psychologists agree that the male will rarely leave his partner if he has not found or has the potential replacement. Have you?
      You talk about an hypothetic re-marriage already! You are still married.
      Stop looking out the window keep your eyes on YOUR present "Married Boulevard". An accident happens so quickly. You might end up handicapped.
      If you are looking out the window then you certainly feel caged.
      It doesn't mean because a new car has airbags and "what have you gadgets" that it cannot shatter your life.
      You said you have tried everything. Were you loving your mate like yourself? Are you looking for a Proverbs 31 perfection?

      We live in an imperfect world and you are not singular in your plight. What matters is the way you handle it.
      Comments on Paul's writing to the Hebrews state:
      "You struggle... but your struggles haven't killed you.
      Ye have not yet resisted unto blood... but
      speaking of our Saviour: ... Christ's suffering in Gethsemane, was so severe that great drops of blood fell down to the ground... .
      Christ went so far for us, his bride.

      Now let God direct you. Any decision outside His will is harmful to you and others. You work in vain if He does not build the house.
      Who would refuse the the juice of a happy marriage?
      See why so many are in counsel? They won't let go. Unfortunately marriage is not a guaranteed package deal. Yours might be your cross. WOULD YOU COME DOWN?
      Is hopping out the best solution? What if Christ did?
      So much is at stake for crumbling families. Divorce is painful and creates disorder that you cannot now imagine.

      To be elite in a field requires specific training. Calling yourself an astrophysician does not make you one. Are you "the husband" in your home? We spend years in school to embrace prominent jobs but think marriage will work by chance. It's not numeric, press button 5 equal fill my needs nor press 7 equals "youpee" I am happy.
      Marriage is like gardening, it is hard work .

      You did not say what your needs were. If you were denied love, affection or encouragement there is little you can do about that. Only you should not stop giving. Love begets love. If you were denied the regular things of the day then I figure that you are a grown man and can take care of yourself until there is significant change.

      What is making you so unhappy? Nail it. You know I have never met a person who can swallow an apple all at once but you can eat any apple bit by bit. Do you understand? Try it as problem solving material, attacking and resolving element by element. I don't think you have a nuclear leak in your marriage. If it still doesn't work, then you would have done your best.

      On the other hand you did not say that your relation is abusive. You did not say it impeded your spiritual growth nor is a social or professional handicap. This is positive.
      Make it your mission to be a fascinating husband. Put God in your trio. Take care of yourself outwards, inwards and spiritually. Become a most desirable man. Take action to please God. Make Him your first partner. Dialogue with Him as JOB and triumph.

  4. What if yu maried and yu are the only1 buying food in the house and every other expenses and your husband is not helpful, he is working but i dont know what he does with his money?must i sty happy?

    • My dear you need to stay on your knees, so God can change your husband's heart and attitude, so he can be responsible.May God bless you.

    • Hi Pretty:

      This happened to my Mom, only she wasn't married so she was free to leave. You should pray to God about this. I don't see where your reason is approved as a reason for divorce in the Bible. Besides, depending on the country that you live in, you may have to pay him spousal support when you divorce anyway. Maybe you can look into separating (in which case you are expected to remain single until you get back together with your husband or until he dies). Maybe if you separate he will take a serious look at his spending habits and come clean with you about where is money goes. But before you separate,maybe you should try to talk to him about where his money goes. Keep praying to God about your situation, you never know how God may want to use you in this situation.

    • Dear Pretty,

      I think you are asking whether or not you should just accept the behavior of your husband.

      There's a difference between passively accepting another's bad behavior and letting it affect one's state of mind. You don't have to accept his behavior, but you can still have peace in your heart by the grace of the Lord Jesus.

      The Bible has something to say about folks who want to eat without contributing to the cost of food in 1 Thess. 3:10: "we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat." That refers to a willful refusal to work to earn food, and I would think that a willful refusal to contribute to expenses is a similar thing. And the principle applies to housing as well.

      You are married, and you have no cause for divorce unless your husband commits adultery. But I don't think that means you have to put up with his behavior. What you can do very much depends on your society and what you are willing to do.

      I would think that the first step would be to pray for wisdom, and then to talk to your husband, explaining to him that, as long as he lives with you, you expect him to contribute his share to the expenses. As husband and wife, you are equal partners in marriage, and you have a right to know how much money he makes and where it is spent.

      You didn't say why you married him and whether or not he still has the same qualities for which you married him. You didn't say either whether you have children and whether he is otherwise a good father to the children.

      I don't know from where you are writing, but in North America there's such a thing as a legal separation which is not biblical grounds for remarriage, but it means you don't have to support a "husband" who contributes nothing to the marriage. As someone else pointed out, laws are not always fair, and if he refuses to even work you might be forced to support him anyway. So you definitely need to pray for wisdom.

      If you could come to an agreement by talking about it, that would, of course, be the best scenario.

      Happiness and unhappiness is still a choice. Don't give anyone else control over your state of mind or emotions. No one can make you unhappy.

      May God bless you with wisdom as you prayerfully consider what to do in your difficult situation.

    • Dear Pretty,

      I am inclined to lend my support to nearly everything that has been said by your previous three respondents. I believe that the principles of marriage laid out by Jesus are right and pure (of course they would be), and if followed, will bring about the best and happiest results for the obedient child of God.

      I do believe that we have to consider all factors in the reality of a situation, when applying those principles. Thus, I would add something to what Kaaramel has said. It is clear from the Bible, that if you do find it necessary to leave your husband, although he has not been sexually unfaithful to you, you must remain single or be reconciled to him.

      Kaaramel mentioned that this requirement would, of course, come to an end if your husband were to die. I will add that, in my humble opinion, this requirement would also come to an end if your husband were to (wrongfully) marry someone else, or otherwise engage in sexual activity while separated from you. These wrongs on his part, if committed, would by no means be any of your responsibility, provided that you were kind and faithful to him, and only separated from him due to necessity. Thus you would then be perfectly free to marry anyone whom you might choose, only in the Lord. Hopefully, it doesn't come to that.

      May God bless in all that you do. Remember, it's only this life. Just wait until you see what the next one will be like!

    • hello Pretty,
      The situation that you describe sounds awfully painful. I can't even begin to imagine your pain. But I do know that God is faithful. He allowed you to go through this trial for a reason. I think the best thing to do in this situation, is to spend extra time praying and asking God for wisdom. He said in James 1:5 if anyone lack wisdom let him ask of God who giveth all men liberally. He also says in Proverbs 3:5-6; To trust in the Lord with all our hearts and lean not unto our own understanding in all your ways acknowledge him and HE WILL direct your path. If you actively seek God and let him direct your path he will reveal his will to you, and you will be at peace. I believe God reveals something about himself in our trials, his purpose is to make us strong in him. I pray that God will give you his strength which will sustain you on a daily basis. Please focus on God's goodness and mercies which are renewed every morning great is his faithfulness. Many blessings to you my sister, much grace, and peace.

  5. what if you marry a man who drinks a lot and smokes and as as a result is never home and spends very little time with you even if they may be unfaithful but are not willing to change what does one do?

    • Dear Lolo,

      I am deeply sorry for what you are going through, especially if your husband is being sexually unfaithful to you. I know that our God also has a tender regard for those who are wronged in this way. Present-day society seems to take such matters rather lightly, but not so with God. If your husband has been engaged in such activities, yet has no realizing sense of the enormity of his crime, this can be extremely hard for you, I understand. It leaves you caught between a rock and the proverbial hard place.

      Do know this: If you have proof of his sexual infidelity, then morally, what relatively poor choices exist are certainly available to you. Divorce is a life-long, heartfelt sore. But, if you believe that you will be better off divorced, then you may go through with it, afterward marrying another man of your choosing, with God's blessing and approval, only in the Lord.

      However, if you are going to divorce him, then you really should not continue to live with him after you have proof of his unfaithfulness. Make a prayerful decision and act promptly.

      In any case, do remember the words of Jesus that we should pray for those who spitefully use us and persecute us. Perhaps God may touch your husband's heart. May God bless and comfort you.

  6. As a young never married person who recently read the following book this weekend and found it helpful (concerning Biblical and non-Biblical grounds for divorce and separation), I'd like to recommend:

    "Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage" by Pastor Doug Batchelor.

  7. My situation is the same as Pretty except my husband didn't work and I'm the only one who work and have the responsibility at home. Very challenging life I've been through and the Lord was teaching me a lesson and I only lean and trust in Him. I told him (my husband) once that I have seen a bright light through a tunnel. And I praise God for that. One thing I learn was that I myself have to change, commit myself to God. I pray about it and ask God to lead me and I've gone through a lot of experience which I have shared with my friends when situations like this arise, I encourage them to stay faithful and seek God first in whatever situation they are in. God permit problems to shape us, protect us, correct us, direct us and inspect us. I thank God because He has been with me through those dark times.
    I encourage you to stay connect with God and see what will happen.

  8. Hello everyone
    My name is Paula and this is my first time on this site. I am in a situation where I am almost divorced from my husband of 22 years. We have five kids and it turns out that he had been sleeping with my niece who lived with us. I have read our church's stand on divorce. However, there are still those members who tell me that I am allowed to divorce my husband but that I must remain single until his death or I would be committing adultery. My 14 year old son's bible teacher at one of our adventist schools told his class that divorce and remarriage is against God's word. I do not want to be a bad example to my children. I sincerely would love to marry again. I am praying about it. I have been faithful and chaste during my marriage. I have come to realize that there are those in the church who have a different view on this. My husband and I grew up in the church together. Now, I do not recognize this man as the man I married. I used to feel really secure and happy in the first half of our marriage. He had dealt treacherously with the wife of his youth.

    • Dear Paula,

      The answer to your question is embedded right in the fundamental belief statement above: If you'll look up Matthew 19:3-9, you'll read that Jesus said (verse 9), "And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.” (Matthew 19:9) I have emphasized the "except" so you wouldn't miss it. The "except" means that "sexual immorality" (adultery, incest, etc.) breaks a marriage, and the faithful partner is free to re-marry, if he/she so chooses.

      Jesus did teach that divorce for reasons other than sexual immorality results in adultery when the parties remarry. So there are a number of statements that indicate that remarriage is the same as committing adultery. Jesus was combating the easy divorces of the time among the Jews -- and He would say the same thing still. But to apply these texts to your situation is a misapplication of the Word of God.

      May God bless you and give you wisdom as you seek to do what is best for your family and the glory of God.

  9. I have been married to a divorcee for over twenty years, I have since become a christian. I struggle with the idea that I might be committing adultry by staying with this man. I have been praying for an answer. Could you please enlighten me.

    • Dear Clover,

      It seems to me that after twenty years, there is nothing you can do to correct the past -- whether or not the original spouse wants her husband back. There is no moral benefit to breaking up a second marriage in an attempt to "restore" the first. Such a "restoration" is generally not possible after this passage of time.

      In fact, the laws of Moses forbid remarriage to a spouse that has had sex with another person. (See Deut. 34:3-5) While only a former wife's sexual relations are addressed, it would seem that the same criteria apply to a husband. (While we are not bound by the Mosaic laws, the principles in them are instructive.) If you two have engaged in sexual relations in your marriage, then your husband's divorcing you and re-marrying his former wife would just be one more wrong to add to the original wrong.

      If you did wrong twenty years ago, by enticing a man away from his wife, all you can do is to confess it to the Lord and ask His forgiveness. He is faithful to forgive us if we but ask. Then, by faith, you must believe He forgave you.

      Your husband may do the same, but what he does is not your responsibility.

      On the other hand, if you are looking for a reason to leave your current husband, the fact that he was formerly married to another woman is no grounds for divorce. Jesus was clear on the matter that only adultery during the marriage (that is your marriage) is grounds for divorce.

      Paul gives some good counsel to Christians married to unbelieving spouses. He counsels them to stay with their spouses, because, through them, the Holy Spirit can influence the other spouse and the children:

      12 But to the rest I say, not the Lord, that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he must not divorce her. 13 And a woman who has an unbelieving husband, and he consents to live with her, she must not send her husband away. 14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified through her believing husband; for otherwise your children are unclean, but now they are holy." (1 Cor. 7:12-14)

      And here's another consideration: If the former wife is in financial need, and you have more means than she, it would be the Christian thing to do to support her to the point of having the same living standards that you enjoy. (In America the civil laws ensure that this is done.)

      It seems to me that when you have done all you can to ensure that the former wife is not living below your own living standards, that is where your responsibility ends.

  10. God took His time to furnish the world with all the beauties making a one in all home for man, man was put into existance only when God was satisfied by his home to be.

    APPLICATION , before a man/boy thinks of getting married he should take time to put his house in order and prepare for the wife to come in marriage not to just rush into marriage with financial instabiLity even personal maturity

  11. I just discovered this discussion and I'd like to make a contribution and probably ask a question. Probably I could start by responding to the most recent comment - Tinashe's. What Tinashe is saying is true. When one is anticipating marriage they need to consider the decision thoroughly with maturity. Unfortunately that is not the case with most people. That brings me to my situation. I made a decison to get married at 26 years old but being married for 11 years looking back now I wonder if I was mature enough to make that decision. Of course maturity does not come with age. I know for sure that at that time I got married for the wrong reasons - most likely I did not understand the concept of marriage. I even wonder if I understand it now. The situation I am in now is that I have been involved in adultery and I am in the process of divorcing my wife. The issue is that I feel I have been pretending for a long time taking love to be more of a principle than anything else. To be honest continuing to stay with my wife will out of fear of the consequences of a divorce but otherwise my mind is not in it. I thought to avoid complications taking a second wife was the solution but for some reason polygamy is out of favour with the church (I say church because the Bible does not seem to agree with the church's position). The last resort I have then is a divorce. Could you assist me in any way? My premise is that my original decision was immature and I do not understand how God would let me bound to a decision I made in such a state. Is there any place where I can find an unbiased discourse on polygamy?

    • Dear Masautso,

      Thank you for sharing your situation. You asked if anyone could assist you in any way. Obviously, personal counsel is beyond the purview of this forum, if only because you could only share so much information in your comment. However, by God's grace, I believe that I can share with you what the Holy Spirit has taught me from the Scriptures. This will be general knowledge, the details of which you and the Holy Spirit may find applicable to your case.

      First of all, I'm sure you appreciate the fact that adultery is a sin. Jesus said that "all manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men," so none need despair. (See Matthew 12:31) However, I feel it is essential that we all understand God's ideal for marriage (in which the husband and wife are one flesh), and the true villainy of violating that sacred trust. I believe our hearts should go out in sympathy to the victims of adultery, regardless of the circumstances that may have been involved.

      That said, I'm afraid the Holy Scriptures seem to takes a negative view of your proposed solutions to the problem of a less-than-ideal marriage situation. To recognise that one may have chosen a marriage partner without due wisdom and consideration may be healthy as I see it. To take things a step further, and begin to entertain the idea that the whole thing was a big mistake, is in my view not a wise course. True love remains primarily a principle, and not a weak sentimental feeling. I believe God can help any one of us to change our character and disposition. Giving is the law of life, and the only sure route to real happiness.

      If you want a Bible study on polygamy, perhaps someone else can help you with that. Jesus asked, "Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?" And He followed by saying, "So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate." (See Matthew 19:4-6)

      For me, that's enough to tell me how God feels about both polygamy and divorce, but Jesus had even more to say.

      “Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery..." (Matthew 19:8-9 NKJV)

      Thus, brother, when you say that you were the one involved in adultery, and yet you are also the one divorcing your wife, that raises a lot of red flags in my mind, considering what Jesus had to say. God pities us greatly in our sinful state, and He reaches out in mercy to save. I only suggest that we need to tremble before Him and to do as He bids us. He said about Jesus, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!” (Matthew 17:5 NKJV)

    • Dear Celeste,

      Personally, I know of nothing in SDA church doctrine which specifies just how a marriage must be performed, and this is as I believe this is as it should be, seeing that our creed -- the Holy Bible -- does not set forth any such rules or procedures.

      In the case of Isaac and Rebecca, it appears from the Genesis account that their "simple ceremony" -- to borrow a phrase from Your Story Hour -- consisted of Isaac taking Rebecca is his (late) mother's tent.

      I believe the important thing is that we make our marriages public, in whatever way is called for by the society in which we live. In most cases today, that would seem to consist of "making it legal," as well as representing to anyone who may be interested that yes, you are married.

      If you belong to a church, and if you happen to be in a position to include your fellow members in your celebration by having a church wedding, hey, why not?

      God bless!

  12. Im separated for almost 10 yrs due to harrasment,raising his hand,alwys drunk,came home from work in 2am.till i decided to put him in jail when he broke my left arm backbone,then i left him since then i work abroad after 7 months i heard he has live in partner different prostitute,im so hurt but i need to accept it.till now he's living with that woman and they have child, we have one child he never give support,and I work here in hongkong after 3 yrs i filled divorce to my ex husband in hongkong government. Do can i able to get married again if i am married to my ex husband in phils?but almost 10 yrs without communication pls help me...tnx a lot

    • Dear Arlyn,

      We do not know your situation, but if your husband has a child with another woman, he clearly committed adultery. When Jesus mentioned divorce, He indicated that unfaithfulness to the marriage vow (sexual relations with another) provides legitimate grounds for divorce. Thus, when you get a divorce from your husband, you should be free to marry again. Please seek guidance from God every step of the way in this matter, so He can lead you to a God-fearing man who will treat you with respect.

      Matthew 5:32 NLT: "But I say that a man who divorces his wife, unless she has been unfaithful, causes her to commit adultery. And anyone who marries a divorced woman also commits adultery." (It's one of the texts mentioned in the statement on marriage at the top of the page.)

  13. I have a friend who has been marriage 19 years and has a 6-year old. She has been suffering from verbal abuse for years, she also has had some physical abuse but mainly verbal. She has low self-esteem and is getting sick from the abuse. She can't function anymore, she wants to separate from him but not divorce. People tell her she can't separate from him. I disagree I went thru the same thing. Her son is going to learn these behaviors, and now he is having night mares. I am afraid for her. Ellen White made a statement about a mistreated wife in Adventist home. What's your advice? I feel she should separate from him, but the Bible doesn't mention verbal abuse.

    • Dear Concerned Friend,

      We cannot advise you or your friend because we are not acquainted with the situation and do not have the insight that God has.

      However, you are referring to this quotation:

      "To a Hopelessly Mistreated Wife—I have received your letter, and in reply to it I would say, I cannot advise you to return to D unless you see decided changes in him. The Lord is not pleased with the ideas he has had in the past of what is due to a wife.... If [he] holds to his former views, the future would be not better for you than the past has been. He does not know how to treat a wife.
      I feel very sad about this matter. I feel indeed sorry for D, but I cannot advise you to go to him against your judgment. I speak to you as candidly as I spoke to him; it would be perilous for you to again place yourself under his dictation. I had hoped that he would change....
      The Lord understands all about your experiences.... Be of good courage in the Lord; He will not leave you nor forsake you. My heart goes out in tenderest sympathy for you." Ellen White, The Adventist Home, p. 343

      You and your friend know better than we could whether her situation is parallel to the woman whom Ellen White addressed. If the welfare of her son is in danger, that should not be ignored. You both need to take the matter to the Lord prayerfully, pleading for divine guidance. When she is sure that she understands the will of the Lord, she should act in accordance with her understanding, irrespective of what others may think or say. Jesus will sustain her - either in the marriage or living separately. (Apparently she has not grounds for divorce but could have reasons to separate.) You can be her prayer partner and support.

      You may may both claim this promise:

      "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him." (James 1:5)
      And "Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven." (Matthew 18:19)

  14. Hello, have a question. Am an adventist and my partner is also. Am expecting a child in four months time. Will we have a marriage ceremony in the church? Must we be rebaptized, if so why? We have gone through confession n repentance n feel forgiven.

  15. Policies regarding church marriages and rebaptism vary a bit from one part of the world to another. Here in North America, you would normally be expected to live apart until after the marriage ceremony which could be in the church, following confession and repentance. We suggest you go to your local pastor to discuss your situation. (Just a side note: We also suggest that getting married as soon as possible is more important than planning a fancy wedding.)

  16. i am supposed to present a lesson of submission to a counselling session to a bridal shower, help me with lesson and resources

    • For starters, please read some of the posts on this page, above your comment.

      Notice that the statement of belief includes "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." The "mutual" implies that everything is two-sided, even the submission. The references to wives submitting to their husband in the New Testament are given in the context of mutual submission. Read Ephesians 5:21-22. Notice that Paul writes of "submitting yourselves one to another." Peter repeats this call to mutual submission in 1 Peter 5:5. Also read further in Ephesians 5:21-31. Notice that a husband is to love His wife as Christ loves the church and gave Himself for the church. There is no greater "submission" for the good of another than to die for that person, is there?

      This does not negate a husband's spiritual leadership in the home. A husband is to lead as Christ led. He is to be priest in the home as Christ is a priest to the church, drawing the family close to God and interceding for the family in prayer. He can only be a priest in the family if He first submits Himself to Christ. And the wife can only be the queen of the family, as she is intended to be, if she first submits herself to God.

      Notice that God never forces submission. Our submission to the will of God is both voluntary and intelligent. We submit to God because we have faith that He would never ask us to do anything that we would not choose for ourselves if we could see the end from the beginning and discern the glory of His purpose for us.

      Mutual submission is all about having the mind of Christ (Phil 2:5-10). We need to ask Christ to give us His mind so that we may think and love and act like Him.

      Biblical submission is always voluntary and never imposed. Thus I suggest that any young woman in relationship with a man should run fast the other way if he expresses any thoughts that she should "submit" to him. Those are the words of a controller and possible abuser - no matter how exciting and romantic he may be. If there is any evidence of his being jealous or controlling, a young woman should break off a relationship as fast as possible. Marriage will not make him less controlling but only much more so. (By the way, abusers are generally very charming in public and are great at romancing women.)

    • I recommend particularly that you read the post by Jennifer Schwirzer about Headship in Marriage, because wrong ideas about headship provide the foundation of many arguments for an unbiblical type of submission in marriage.

      Be sure to also read "Male and Female – In His Image" to understand what the Bible teaches about God's intended relationship between men and women, particularly in marriage.

      You will probably find helpful material in the other posts linked on the page as well.

  17. Hi everyone,
    I have been married for a year. The issue troubling my mind is that the whole thing started when I impregnated my girlfriend (my wife now). We went to our parents and they decided that we marry each other. We had been in a relationship for 7 years, and abstaining just became tough when I had started working, staying alone, and so on.... To cut the long story short, we got married though it was traditionally arranged, no celebration arrangement, and we have not gotten the Marriage Certificate.

    My question is - is it possible/ allowed for us to have a our marriage blessed from church and have a marriage ceremony. I have been re- baptized and my wife is in the process too. We are thinking of preparing for a ceremony on our anniversary next year.

    Kindly advise!

    • Dear Simwanda,

      We are so happy to hear that you are re-committing yourself to God through re-baptism!

      May God richly bless you and your wife.

      We [the Sabbath School Net staff] believe it would be a very good thing for you to have a church marriage ceremony and celebration when you are both rebaptized. We pray that your local church and pastor will agree.

  18. Thank you for that piece of advice Inge Anderson.
    Our hope is that our District Pastor will agree
    otherwise my wife is already in the baptism class
    in preparation for the re- commitment to the Lord.

    Than You once again!

  19. I'm a born adventist and right now I'm studying theology at an Adventist college in Papua New Guinea. At first I was adventist but then I left church and involve in drinking and fornication and there I made a young ladie pragnant and that was at that time where I did not accepted christ. But, when came back to church through God's Grace and Love I become faithfull to Him and answered His call and now I am studying theology.

    What shall I do I am confused whom shall I married to in the future that pragnant girl or its okay to choose another apart from her? Need advice....

    • Dear Aiyon,

      I suspect you have a fairly good idea regarding what you should do. And it is probably better for you to talk to one of your professors than someone on the internet.

      Here is something I can tell you for sure: Since you got that girl pregnant, you are now a father. It takes two to make a baby, and once you have made a baby, you can't unmake it. You will always be the child's father, and you are responsible to look after the baby and the mother to ensure that the baby is as healthy physically, socially and spiritually as you can possibly make it. In other words, as far as the mother allows it, it is your first responsibility to bring that child up for Christ.

      As a matter of fact, even the civil law here in North America recognizes the father's responsibility and fathers are legally required to support the children they father. God requires no less. (In the Mosaic laws, a man was required to marry a girl with whom he had sex before marriage, even if you pregnancy resulted.)

      For practical matters apart from looking after the baby (which usually means looking after the mother too), someone closer to you can better advise you. But, most important of all is that you lay the situation before God and ask Him what to do, and then do it.


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