Marriage is designed by God as a life-long covenant between a man and a woman for the purpose of pleasure, procreation, partnership, and spiritual growth - it is a gift from God. Bethel has developed the following position on marriage in an effort to establish a Biblical foundation for those seeking to be married at Bethel and/or by Bethel staff.
- Marriage was instituted and designed by God (Genesis 2:21-23; Matthew 19:4-6).
- Christians should not be bound to someone who does not believe in Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 6:14-18). This means a believer should not marry a non-believer. Though both parties may say they are Christians, their common faith and vision for the future should be explored in the pre-marriage process.
- Sexual relations outside of marriage are not Biblical (1 Corinthians 6:14-18). Couples are expected to abstain from sexual intercourse and any other sexual activity until married. If the couple is cohabitating, or living at the same address, every effort must be made to project a godly testimony (1 Thessalonians 5:21-22) by separating residences until married.
- Marriage is a lifetime covenant made before God (Matthew 19:5-6). The following criteria are used in evaluating re-marriage situations:
- Former spouse is deceased OR
- A believer has been deserted by their former spouse (Matthew 5:32, 1 Corinthians 7:10-15) OR
- Former spouse broke the marriage covenant through sexual activity outside of marriage (Matthew 5:31-33) OR
- Former spouse is remarried or has taken another partner
If Biblical grounds for divorce are lacking, reconciliation will be encouraged with the former spouse rather than re-marry and enter into an adulterous relationship.
The Bible is clear about the significance of marriage and the Bethel is committed to maintaining the Biblical standards detailed above. We believe these standards were given by God for our protection and provision. Marriage is His gift and for His glory when lived as He designed. For these reasons, each couple seeking to be married at Bethel and/or by Bethel staff is asked to abide by these Biblical standards.
Useful links if you're considering getting married at Bethel: