I have recently re-read your article about ”The believer can marry only in the Lord”, and I have a misunderstanding. At the end you say ”The Christian is free to be married to whom he/she wishes, only in the Lord, only to a person who is part of the same covenant with the Lord Jesus Christ.” What does this exactly mean? What kind of Christian branches are admitted among them, for example, Baptists, Jehovah’s witnesses, Adventists, Catholics, Orthodox? As I know, all of them are Christians, they believe in Christ. I am Orthodox, and I am married with an Orthodox. Praise the Lord!
For a beginning, I should say that Jehovah’s witnesses do not belong to the category of Christians. They are those who deny the trinity of God and many other truths from the Holy Scriptures. Therefore, the marriage between a Christian and a Jehovah’s witness can not be named ”in the Lord”.
But regarding the other denominations, when we talk about marriage, it is also good to take into account the following parts, namely:
The husband and wife must have the same way of worship
It’s true that all Christians believe in Jesus Christ, yet the way they worship is different. The Lord Jesus Christ taught us how to worship when He said,
“But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:23-24).
The true worship is that which occurs in the Holy Spirit and the Truth that is found on the pages of the Holy Scriptures. At the repentance we receive the Holy Spirit Who reveals us the Bible, so that we might understand the truth and to know how to worship God. The way the husband and the wife worship God is a very important aspect in the marriage. Unfortunately, not all groups of Christians mentioned above have the same point of view about worship. Some of them chose as a matter of faith only the Biblical canon, that is the 66 books of the Scripture which Jesus Christ in this verse names “the Truth”. Others also added other books, which led to large differences in their worship before God. It is well known that the way of worship among Catholics is different from the Baptist or Pentecostal, and even from the Orthodox. And every denomination can be compared so. These differences will bring large divergences in the family. It shouldn’t be so. I believe it is best and healthiest for the family that the future husband and wife base their faith on…
The same doctrines
The doctrine is the truth that is underlying the belief, the worship and our life as Christians. Yet unfortunately, not all denominations have the same doctrine on which they base their faith and life. The Trinity Doctrine is the same for all, but the way we perceive and approach the Biblical truth makes us distinguishable from each other. When they both marry, they should be one flesh, one in all aspects like Bible teaches us:
”For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church (Ephesians 5:31-32).
The unity between a husband and a wife has to reflect the unity between Christ and the Church. Once the husband and the wife have different points of view of worship, salvation, life and the fulfillment of the Holy Scriptures, this can not show the world the true image which has to be between Christ and the Church. That is why Apostle Peter teaches us,
You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered. To sum up, all of you (the husband and the wife) be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit (1 Peter 3:7-8).
The expression “all of you be harmonious” refers to the same doctrine, vision, and goal that should unite the husband and the wife.
If there are any differences between the husband and wife, they will affect the family life very much. What will you do when Sunday comes? Will the husband go to the Orthodox Church, but the wife to the Baptist or Pentecostal Church? What will you do when the children will be born? The husband would want to teach them to worship in one way, but the wife in another way. These aspects will bring many problems in marriage and through this, the image of Christ and the Church will suffer a lot.
My dear, the believer can marry in the Lord, but should also take into account these aspects about which I wrote above, so that the marriage of both will be a true image of the relationship between Christ and the Church.
May God bless us with such marriages!
Translated by Marcela Tasca