The introduction to the Church in Wales Marriage Service describes marriage as a gift from God. The Bible teaches that marriage is a life-long, faithful union between a man and a woman, and compares married love with the love Jesus has for his people – a love expressed in his willing sacrifice of himself on the cross.
Marriage is a gift of God through which husband and wife may grow together in the knowledge, love and service of God. It is given that, united with one another in heart, in mind and in body, they may increase in love and trust. God joins husband and wife in life-long union as the foundation of family life (in which children are born and nurtured and) in which each member of the family, in good times and in bad, may find strength, companionship and comfort, and grow to maturity in love. Marriage enriches society and strengthens community.
Jesus therefore sets the greatest example of unconditional, self-sacrificial love – a model that husband and wife can seek to follow in the way they love one another, each putting the other’s needs first. At the heart of the marriage ceremony is the exchange of vows, in which a couple make a public declaration of lifelong commitment to love each other, whatever the future may bring. Christians believe that in marriage we find the proper expression of our sexuality, a secure environment for bringing up our children, and an important element of stability for the wider community.