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¶630.3.1.3 Healing Troubled Marriages

The church which is alive to God has spiritual resources for marriages in trouble. The chief
resources are the renewing power of the Holy Spirit and the Word, prayer and the sacraments, counsel and support. Through the church’s ministry, God can bring healing and reconciliation. Therefore, if our members find their marriage in crisis, we encourage them to seek the counsel of the pastor and submit to the guidance of the church. Professional counsel may be necessary.

We recognize that domestic violence, emotional and/or physical, does occur in church-related
families. It often jeopardizes the safety of a spouse or children and may threaten life itself.
Where there are signs of possible violence, these families need to be monitored. Where there are reports or signs of abuse (particularly of children), the intervention of trained social service
professionals must be sought and separation may be necessary to ensure safety. In all cases, these family members will need both spiritual and emotional healing.

Separation should not be entered into lightly, or as a matter of convenience. When after counsel with the pastor, it is recognized that a deteriorating situation is destroying the marriage relationship, Christians may separate. In all cases, the way to reconciliation must be kept open (I Corinthians 7:10-11). Even when a marriage is violated by sexual infidelity, the partners are encouraged to work for restoration of the union.