BY APOSTLE DR. S.D. KAGBARANEN
TEXT:1 TIMOTHY 4:16
Marriage is an institution ordained by God. It is the only institution that was established before sin came into the
Marriage: According to oxford advanced learners dictionary “Marriage is the legal relationship between a husband and wife”.
APOSTOLIC DOCTRINE IN MARRIAGE.
The Apostolic Church as a denomination acknowledges traditional and Christian Marriage respectively. That is the sole reason the Christian marriage (solemnization of Holy Matrimony or blessing of marriage) is done when the native law and custom of marital rights have been fulfilled.
REASONS FOR OFFICIAL RECOGNITION OF MARRIAGE
(i) To ascertain if some people are married already.
(ii) To ensure that all such relationships are not hidden.
(iii) To get to know the couple better.
Apostolic doctrine in marriage will be analysed within the following:
1. The sacred nature of solemnization:
Marriage is sacred union that should not be treated with levity. (Heb. 13:4). The sanctity of the marital union is necessary in our doctrine.
2. The Marital Covenant:
Marital vow in our denomination is a covenant to be a husband of one wife and wife of one husband in all seasons of life. (Malachi 2:14 -15). At the declaration of marital vows before God, it becomes a covenant entered between the couple and God. It is the covenant that the church holds the couple accountable for, to ensure it is not broken.
3. Parental endorsement:
Our doctrine acknowledges the full parental support of marriage. This attribute ensures the custom is adhered to, according to the bride’s custom laws. Genesis 29:23. Therefore marital vows are taken before God. The consent and acknowledgement of the parents is sacrosanct.
4. The memorial of marriage:
The actual ceremony of dancing and jubilation is not the real issue on marriage but the actual joining and exchange of vows is. In our doctrine this vow is exchanged with the rings which fulfil the second reason for official recognition of marriage as earlier stated (refer to it above). The characteristics of this vow is shown in Eph. 5:23-24, 32; “Marriage is an exclusive union between one man and one woman, publicly acknowledge, permanently sealed, and physically consummated” Selwyn Hughes.
It is worthy of note that on the day of marital exchange of vows, believers and unbelievers come to church. It is the duty of the minister to ensure our doctrine is maintained.
This can be done amicably through deacons with the aim of winning them to Christ.
The principles laid down in the exchange of marital vows before God and child dedication need to be adhered to without deviating so as to maintain the status quo established in our denomination as a whole. Heb. 13:9.