Before Iglesia ni Cristo couples exchange marriage vows, they are made aware of each other’s responsibilities and are taught how these should be carried out. But, what makes their marriage work is their adherence to the biblical instructions they have receive in the Church.
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The key to a happy family

Letter to the Editor:
PASUGO, February 1996, p.3

MY WIFE AND I could no longer patch up our differences and so we agreed to get a divorce. She has custody of our two kids who are still young. The tragic ending to our four-year marriage happened two years ago.

Just last year, my job assignment took me to the Philippines—to a neighborhood of mostly Iglesia ni Cristo families. Some are young couples and two have already celebrated their golden wedding anniversaries. On the onset of our acquaintance, they handed me a copy of PASUGO magazine. Upon reading, your letters section attracted  my attention.

I would like to know how husbands and wives in your religion maintain harmonious relationship despite problems that set in.

Charles Davidson
Manila, Philippines

Editor's reply:

Married members of the Iglesia ni Cristo do experience the problems and difficulties common to married life. But, what makes their marriage work is their adherence to the biblical instructions they have receive in the Church. Before Iglesia ni Cristo couples exchange marriage vows, they are made aware of each other’s responsibilities and are taught how these should be carried out. The following are some of the biblical guidelines concerning the primary duties of the husband and wife to each other and to their family:

First, husband and wife should have mutual love and respect for each other. The man must love his own wife as his own body (cf. Eph. 5:25, 28-29).

25 Husbands, love your wives just as Christ loved the church and gave his life for it.
28 Men ought to love their wives just as they love their own bodies. A man who loves his wife loves himself. (29 None of us ever hate our own bodies. Instead, we feed them, and take care of them, just as Christ does the church; (Eph. 5:25, 28-29, GNT)

Abusing one’s wife, whether physically, verbally, or emotionally, is against the teaching of the Bible. In the same manner, Christian wives must also love their own husbands (cf. Titus 2:4).

that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children,  (Titus 2:4, NKJV)

Second, mutual respect and understanding of each other’s person and character is very important. Apostle Peter writes that husbands must treat their wives with respect and with the proper understanding that they are the weaker sex (cf. I Pt. 3:7).

Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered. (I Pt. 3:7, NKJV)

Apostle Paul, on the other hand instructs wives to respect their husbands (cf. Eph. 5:33).

33 Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. (Eph. 5:33, NKJV).

Indeed, this is very crucial for if there is lack of understanding on the part of either spouse, their marriage is bound for trouble.

Third, conjugal obligations must be observed diligently, that is, the duties and responsibilities that husband and wife must be understood that the woman was created by God to be man’s companion in life to be of help to him (cf. Gen. 2:18).

18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to live alone. I will make a suitable companion to help him.” (Gen. 2:18, TEV)

One area of joint responsibility lies in child-rearing. Apostle Paul instructs Christian parents to bring up their children in Christian discipline and instruction (cf. Eph. 6:4).

Parents, do not treat your children in such a way as to make them angry. Instead, raise them with Christian discipline and instruction. (Eph. 6:4, TEV).

The husband, as head of the family, must be the provider for the family’s needs while the wife looks after their children and their home (cf. Prov. 31:26-28, NIV). Parents, however, are not only there to provide for their children’s emotional and material needs (cf. I Tim. 5:8).

26 She speaks with wisdom,
    and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
    and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
    her husband also, and he praises her: (Prov. 31:26-28, NIV)

But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. NKJV

Above all, they must lead their children into the righteous way of worshipping the true God just as the early servants of God did. A good example is Joshua (cf. Jos. 24:15).

15 And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Jos. 24:15, NKJV)

Lastly, prayerfulness is an important virtue that husbands and wives must put into practice and must cultivate in their children, knowing that by ourselves we cannot possibly overcome all odds (cf. Lk. 18:1; Philip. 4:6).

Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart, (Lk. 18:1, NKJV)

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; (Philip. 4:6, NKJV)

These are but some of the many biblical tenets which, when followed diligently, will ensure married couples of a blissful family life.



Note: Some cited verses are printed in full to facilitate study.

Bible Study Suggestion: If you have further questions, please feel free to visit the Iglesia ni Cristo congregation nearest you. A minister or an evangelical worker would be happy to answer any biblical question you have in mind. For the latest Worship Service Directory of Iglesia ni Cristo Locales and Congregations outside the Philippines, please visit www.iglesianicristoworshipservice.com or just click link at home page.

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