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EFC Statement “What is Marriage?”

Marriage is a lifelong covenant between a man and a woman. As Christians, our understanding of the structure and nature of marriage is founded on the Biblical account of the creation of man and woman. Genesis 1 and 2 state that God created man and woman to fulfill their need of intimate partnership and to carry out the mandate given in Genesis 1:28; “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.”

We believe the institution of marriage is rooted in the way we are made. Marriage is founded upon the biological reality that we humans exist in two sexes and therefore symbolizes and supports the inherently procreative relationship that exists only between a man and a woman. It expresses the complimentarity of the sexes, and therefore requires both sexes. Marriage was established for the purposes of companionship and sexual fidelity between husband and wife. Marriage is the social, cultural and religious context for the conjugal relationship, which is exclusive to male and female.

Properly understood, marriage is covenantal, not merely contractual. Marriage has the unique power to promote the exclusive and permanent sexual, psychological and emotional bonding of a man and a woman. That is why marriage is called a covenant, not merely a contract that can be formed and broken with the casualness of a business transaction.

Like God’s complementary creation of man and woman, marriage holds great significance in revealing aspects of God’s character and His relationship to humanity. The permanence and monogamy of the marital bond mirrors God’s faithfulness and singular devotion to his church and his church’s singular devotion to him.

In Canadian society, and with few exceptions, every other society worldwide, the marriage of one man and one woman forms the foundation of family and community life. It is the primary setting for the raising and nurturing of children.

The family is to provide physical, emotional and spiritual care for its members as it enables them to serve God, other persons and creation. Parents have the privilege and unique responsibility of leading their children to know God and his ways as well as the world around them. See the EFC paper on Marriage and Family for a fuller discussion of the evangelical Christian view of marriage. See the Marriage Statement signed by many academic, political and religious leaders supporting marriage. This statement was published in the Globe and Mail newspaper.

Notwithstanding the redefinition of marriage in law with the passage of Bill C-38, the EFC will continue to recognize the historic definition of marriage as “the lawful union of one man and one woman, to the exclusion of all others.” Evangelical pastors and congregations will continue to celebrate and promote marriage as the exclusive and enduring union of one man and one woman.

 

Issue: Marriage & Family

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Helpful Links

Marriage Declaration signed by 50 Evangelical, Roman Catholic, and Orthodox Christian as well as Muslim Leaders in defense of the traditional definition of marriage. Disponible en francais.

Chronology

EFC Statement "What Is Marriage?"

Developing Church Policies on Marriage Handbook

EFC President Responds to Civil Marriage Act

   
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