Our Foundational Principles
A growing relationship with Jesus Christ is essential for healthy marriage and parenting.
Explanation: Alienation from God, resulting from the Fall, affects every area of human life – including marriage (Gen. 3; Rom. 5:1-12). Through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, God offers human beings forgiveness, restoration and eternal life. Marriage and family relationships can only function as God intends when husbands and wives are reconciled to God through faith in Christ, growing daily in a vital relationship with God, and deeply connected to other believers.
Application: We urge men and women to turn to Jesus Christ in repentance and faith for forgiveness of sin, walk daily in the power Holy Spirit and live for the glory of God. We also call them to become involved in a local church and communities where they can experience grace and truth in authentic relationship with other followers of Christ.
Marriage is the union of a man and a woman in a sacred covenant instituted by God.
Explanation: Marriage was created by God (Gen. 2:18-25). God’s design for marriage involves a life-long covenant between one man and one woman (Matt. 19:4-6; Mark 10:6-8). Marriage is God’s unique gift and mystery that reveals the union between Christ and His Church (Eph. 5:22-33), provides intimate companionship for the man and woman (Gen. 2:18), expresses the gift of sexual intimacy (Gen. 2:24-25), and provides the means for the procreation of the human race (Gen 1:28). God designed the gift of sexuality to be expressed exclusively in the context of a lifelong covenant of marriage.
Application: We call husbands and wives to receive each other as God’s provision, to fulfill God’s purposes for their marriage, to respect and protect the sacred nature of the marriage covenant, and to be faithful to one another throughout their lives. We urge them to love, honor, serve, and care for one another and to pursue oneness throughout their lives. They are to extend grace to one another, and to be quick to seek and grant forgiveness.
Husbands and wives possess unique callings.
Explanation: God created human beings as male and female. Both genders reflect the image of God (Gen. 1:26-27). Husbands and wives are equal in dignity and value (1 Pet. 3:7), yet they are not interchangeable. Scripture addresses husbands and wives with distinct callings (e.g., Eph. 5:22-33; Col. 3:18-19; 1 Peter 3:1-3; Titus 2:5). We believe that in marriage, husbands and wives are to live Spirit-filled lives surrendered and submitted to Jesus (Eph. 5:18-23). In that context, a husband is to love, lead, respect and serve his wife, sacrificially laying down his life and considering the needs of his wife as more important than his own (Eph. 5:25-33a). Likewise, a wife is to love, serve, respect and submit herself to her husband’s godly leadership (Eph. 5:22-24, 33b). Together, their relationship should reflect the relationship Jesus has with His bride, the Church (Eph. 5:32).
Application: We call men and women to joyfully embrace God’s specific calling for them as husbands and wives, and to sacrificially love and serve one another.
God calls parents to pass on a spiritual legacy to their children and grandchildren.
Explanation: Parents are God’s ambassadors to the next generation, seeking at every age and circumstance to communicate the gospel and the power of the Holy Spirit to their children through the teaching of Scripture, their words and their actions (Deut. 11:19; Prov. 1:8; Eph. 6:4; Col. 3:21) and giving their children a vision for the Great Commission (Matt 28:19-20). Parents demonstrate the love of God by consistently teaching their children right from wrong; responding appropriately to disobedience; and practicing and teaching biblical forgiveness, reconciliation, and restoration of relationships.
Application: We call parents to embrace God’s design for the family and to pursue the high calling and blessing of conceiving (or adopting) and raising the children God may give them (Gen. 1:28; Ps. 127:3-5). We urge them to model and communicate the gospel of grace to their children and to raise them in the nurture and wisdom of the Lord. We call all men and women (whether single or married) to seek to actively pass on a legacy of spiritual vitality to the next generation.