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:

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Comments

Marriage and the Family – Seventh-day Adventist Fundamental Belief 23 — 29 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.

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    • 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.

      Like(1)
  2. Does the Bible teaches re-baptism? For anyone who was baptised as Jesus was; does the BIBLE teach re-baptism?

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  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.

    Like(1)
    • 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! :)

      Like(1)
    • 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.

      Like(1)
  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?

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    • 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.

      Like(1)
    • 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.

      Like(1)
    • 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.

      Like(1)
    • 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!

      Like(0)
    • 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.

      Like(0)
  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?

    Like(0)
    • 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.

      Like(0)
  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.

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  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.

    Like(0)
  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.

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    • 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.

      Like(0)
  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.
    Thanks

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    • [This is a revised comment replacement at the request of the commentator. Moderator]

      Dear Clover,

      Thank you for the good question. A sensitive conscience is a wonderful thing. In responding to you, I’d like to lay out a number of Biblical principles, and prayerfully seek to explain the way I see them. Depending on your circumstances, perhaps the Holy Spirit will help you to make any applications that may be appropriate. I hope you will understand that I have other readers in mind, as I seek to clarify the potential issues that might be involved in any number of situations.

      Firstly, as we have been learning from Paul, we are not under law, but under grace. In other words, any effort that we may make in complying with God’s requirements should be motivated by love and by a desire to bring honour to His name, as well as to bring good to others.

      Secondly, questions of divorce and remarriage are largely issues concerning Jesus’ explanations regarding the deeper significance of the 7th commandment. This being one of the last six commandments, I believe that its primary intent has to do with how we ought to treat others, as a practical matter. Therefore, I believe that common sense must be considered.

      In Matthew 19:9, Jesus clearly stated that, if one person divorces another, except on the grounds (legal grounds, I believe, if permitted in the given jurisdiction) of sexual immorality, and marries someone else, then that constitutes an act of adultery. He also attributes the guilt of adultery to the one who marries the person who has (wrongfully) obtained a divorce. I understand, the way this is often translated, that it may appear to be saying it is always a sin to marry any divorced person. However, I, for one, could never reconcile such an extreme view with the rest of Scripture – or even with rest of what Jesus is saying here.

      I guess we all know that adultery is defined as a sexual act between a married person and someone who is not his or her spouse. So, how, in some cases, can Jesus say that a “legal” marriage itself is “adultery?” It seems quite obvious to me that, in the case specified, God recognizes the validity of neither the (wrongful) divorce – for the one who has chosen to abandon the marriage, that is -- nor the new “marriage.”

      To my ears, this says loudly and clearly that, when one is thinking of marrying a divorced person, there is a kind of “due diligence” required in order to make sure that there is not someone, somewhere who still has a legitimate claim on this person and wishes to assert it. All well-meaning, one could conceivably do a terrible wrong!

      But, what if some such wrong may have been done in the past? Can there ever be a time for a penitent soul to actually give back, so to speak, a person whom one has wrongfully married? To me, such a possibility is conceivable. True, there is an Old Testament rule against ever going back to a previous spouse after having remarried. However, if the new “marriage” is not even valid in God’s eyes, then to me that rule would not apply. On the other hand, I can think of all kinds of potentially valid reasons for not even considering such a course of action.

      1) The original (and wronged) spouse, though having a legitimate claim early on, may have actually forfeited that claim by entering into another marriage or otherwise engaging in sexual activity with someone new (in effect, accepting the divorce)-- or may even have died! Would this not tend to validate even a previously “invalid” second marriage? I think of David and Bathsheba here. It hardly seems that a man could obtain a wife more wrongfully than the way David married Bathsheba. Yet, following David’s repentance and the death of their infant son, they lived the rest of their lives together, evidently with God’s blessing.

      2) The original spouse, though having a potentially valid claim, may not even want the person back. A Christian will always be more than willing to forgive, but (in my view) that doesn’t necessarily translate into a willingness to try to save a marriage which has been adulterated, if you please.

      3) The new marriage, though not initially valid, may have produced children whose rights (in my view) must trump those of the original spouse.

      4) Regardless of the legal grounds for the divorce, and who was actually the petitioner, the new marriage (in my view) may nonetheless be valid, because it was actually the other spouse who had chosen to utterly (and wrongfully) abandon the marriage. (This is a common-sense plea for substance over form.) People do have the right to a life companion, after all. First Corinthians says: “Let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband.”

      Given all of the above possibilities, it seems to me that there must be very many cases of actual wrong, especially after a long period of time, where all that can be done to make things right is a humble and specific confession of the wrong.

      The Bible reveals to me that the blood of Jesus is more than adequate to wash away the guilt of any and every sin. We need never try to earn or deserve God’s forgiveness by our attempts at making wrongs right. If sincerely repentant, I believe we’ll do whatever we can, if it will actually do any good, just to glorify God and His law of love. But we can rejoice in the abundant pardon provided to us by Golgotha’s cross, and in our Father’s willingness to welcome us when we return to Him just as we are. One might think of the prodigal son here.

      Clover, none of my comments should be interpreted as advice specific to your case, about which I know so very little. I pray that these concepts may be a blessing to many.

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    • 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.)

      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.

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  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

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  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?

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    • 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 take a less than enthusiastic 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, in the past, without due wisdom and consideration, is 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 generally the wisest course. I'm afraid that 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)

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    • 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!

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