B23B Marriage Discussion Paper – Appendix 2

Statement on marriage by the Eighth Assembly

Minute 97.31.12

Assembly resolved to approve the following policy Statement on Marriage:

“The Assembly of the Uniting Church in Australia declares that

1. Marriage

Marriage for Christians is the freely given consent and commitment in public and before God of a man and a woman to live together for life. It is intended to be the mutually faithful lifelong union of a woman and man expressed in every part of their life together.

In marriage the man and the woman seek to encourage and enrich each other through love and companionship.

In the Marriage Service

  • the woman and man make a public covenant with each other and with God, in the company of family and friends;
  • the couple affirm their trust in each other and in God;
  • the Church affirms the sanctity of marriage and nurtures those who pledge themselves to each other in marriage and calls upon all people to support, uphold and nurture those who pledge themselves to each other in marriage.

Where sexual union takes place the partners seek to express mutual delight, pleasure and tenderness, thus strengthening the union of their lives together.

In marriage, children may be born and are to be brought up in love and security, thus providing a firm foundation for society.

2. Separation, Divorce and Re-marriage

  • An inability to sustain the marriage relationship breaks the commitment to be together for life and may be painful for the couple, the children in their care, as well as for parents, friends and the Church community.
  • In cases of the irretrievable breakdown of marriage, the Church acknowledges that divorce may be the only creative and life giving direction to take.
  • The Church has a responsibility to:

(a) care for people, including children, through the trauma of the ending of a marriage;

(b) help people where appropriate to grieve, repent, grow in self-understanding, receive affirmation, grace and forgiveness;

(c) support them as they hear God’s call for new life.

  • The grace and healing of God are available to people who are divorced, which may free them to marry again.”

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