thoughts on marriage
The Meeting House, as a member of the Brethren in Christ denominational family, affirms our commitment to biblical authority in our understanding of marriage. We are committed to following the teachings and example of Jesus. Like Jesus, we affirm the creation account as God’s design for marriage. Marriage is meant to be an exclusive, lifelong commitment between one man and one woman. It is ordained by God to be their primary human relationship and is nurtured within the community of faith.
The Meeting House takes seriously our commitment to partner with you in building and maintaining Christ-like relationships within marriage. We will commit resources to celebrate and nurture the marriage relationship. We are called to be involved in working with couples who are experiencing strained relationships by encouraging honest acknowledgement of failure and hurt, asking for and offering forgiveness and working towards reconciliation, healing and restoration. We will do this through:
- Teaching biblical values and personal skills regarding wholesome marriage and healthy relationships.
- Counseling and mentoring that is preventative and remedial.
- Vulnerability, beginning with congregational leaders, that models and illustrates that the church is a safe place for openness.
- Sensitivity to early signals of marital distress in order to respond with appropriate interventions.
The biblical story makes it clear and human experience confirms that patterns of unhealthy attitudes and unloving behaviors can lead to marital breakdown.
Given the high value that God places on marriage, divorce, with the pain it brings, grieves God’s heart. Yet God responds with grace, healing, and the offer of new life, and calls the community of faith to partner with him in this process. As healing agents we are called to be vulnerable, respectful, non-judgmental, skilled listeners, willing to be present with people in the depth of their pain. In this situation the church is called to speak the truth in love and to assist recovery after divorce by extending God’s grace. We recognize that this process may open the way to healthy re-marriage.
We as a church family have many different people journey with us as their spiritual community. Many times people come from different backgrounds and share significantly different points of view on life and spirituality. The teaching of the Bible (2 Corinthians 6:14) is that people with fundamentally different spiritual convictions (e.g. a Christian and an agnostic, a Christian and a Buddhist) should not be bound together in marriage due to the significant stress it will place on the marriage as the couple’s basic values and convictions are not aligned. Therefore, the officiating pastor will want to discuss this with you as a couple to understand and confirm your spiritual compatibility. If the pastor feels that from his or her perspective there are concerns about the health or compatibility of your marriage, they will share this with you.