What is the position of Christian church about the possibility for pastors and priests of getting married and having children? What does the Bible and the Church say? Learn more here.
The question of whether Christian pastors can get married was raised many times throughout the history. It is still quite topical, as different Christian denominations view this issue differently. Some allow their clergymen to get married while others oppose such desires.
Therefore, we had decided to make it clear for our readers what denominations allow getting married and which ones did not support when their clergymen decided to start a family life. We will take a close look at this question valid for every denomination.
Can Lutheran pastors get married?
The answer here would be yes. The authorities of the Lutheran church allow their pastors to get married and have children. Even though before this denomination emerged, the Catholic Church did not support the idea of priests being married, following the example of Martin Luther, this church has allowed their priests to marry.
Here is what an official source says about this: “Following the example of Martin Luther, who, though an ordained priest, married in 1525, Protestant denominations (this includes Lutheran Church) permit an unmarried ordained pastor to marry. They thus admit clerical marriage, not merely the appointment of already married persons as pastors. But given 1 Timothy 3:2 and 3:12, some do not admit a second marriage by a widowed pastor.”
Can Presbyterian pastors get married?
Just like the other Protestant denomination, this church allows its pastors to start families. The only reason not to get married is if the pastor thinks that he was called by God to be alone and never get married for the sake of ministry to God 24/7. Some people have this gift, and can remain single until the end of their lives and dedicate all the times that is occupied by families, children, and other issues married people have to serve the Lord.
Here is a bit more about this here: “Being married is commonly welcomed, in which case the pastor's marriage is expected to serve as a model of a functioning Christian marriage, and the pastor's spouse often serves an unofficial leadership role in the congregation. For this reason, some Protestant churches will not accept a divorced person for this position. In denominations that ordain both men and women, a married couple might serve as co-pastors.”
Can Baptist pastors get married?
The answer would be yes again unless the pastor if given a gift of chastity. These people promise to serve God with all their time and effort unlike those who are married and have to help their families. This is what Paul said in one of his epistles by mentioning that a married person has to be helping his family and providing for it while those who chose to stay single are available for God’s work.
“Certain groups require a prospective pastor to be married before he can be ordained, based on the view (drawn from 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1) that a man must demonstrate the ability to run a household before he can be entrusted with the church. Even in these strictest groups, a widower may still serve. This again concerns marriage before appointment as pastor, not clerical marriage.”
Here are a few more verses that talk about the quality of the marriage God wants His children to have.
“Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body. “For this reason, a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” (Ephesians 5:22-23)
“Now for the matters, you wrote about: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband. The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. I say this as a concession, not as a command. I wish that all of you were as I am. But each of you has your own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that. Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do. But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion. To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife. To the rest, I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise, your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. But if the unbeliever leaves, let it be so. The brother or the sister is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace. How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?” (1 Corinthians 7:1-16)
This is what God says about the quality of the marriage His children should have. And the first people that He has put in charge of His people, the clergymen, should set a brilliant example for the rest of the congregation here.
Can the Orthodox church get married?
The priests of the Orthodox church can get married nut only before they become priests. If they are already in their priesthood, they have to confirm to the rules of the celibate. “If he wishes to have a family life, he must get hitched before he is ordained to the diaconate, the penultimate step before becoming a priest.”
Can Catholic priests get married?
Catholic priests should remain single, especially after they were ordained priests. There are several reasons for this. First of all, the church believes that this way their priests are more like Jesus Christ who during the time of His ministry on the earth was not married. Another reason is that this was a wish explained by Apostle Paul that those who want to dedicate their lives to Christ should not marry.
That is why the canon of the Catholic Church has a statement that priests should vow not to marry or at least promise that will remain single till the rest of their lives. The only way to change this vow and get married validly is to get permission from the Holy See.
This is everything you need to know about the possibility of a priest or a pastor of getting married. The last thing is that a divorce is not an option. The Lord always gives us the second chances, and He wants us to be just like Him. God is against divorces and wants people to have peace in their families and fight for it till the end unless the household life can cause danger to any of the family members.
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