The Assemblies of God denomination believes that it’s important to teach and defend what the Bible says about relationships between men and women, including marriage, divorce, and dating. Many single people in the denomination desire to be in the good graces of the church, but more importantly, they want to follow God’s design for dating.
Dating in Assemblies of God churches is encouraged as long as couples adhere to biblical standards and boundaries. A single person should date someone who is devoted to God and desires to be in a relationship that is holy. Couples should neither be intimate before marriage nor live together.
Biblical principles for marriage significantly inform the standards and boundaries for dating in the Assemblies of God tradition. What are those marriage principles? What does the denomination teach about being single? What does it teach about remarriage? Keep reading to learn more.
What does the Assemblies of God believe about marriage?
“Marriage is vital to our nature as human beings in society,” according to Assemblies of God teaching.  Knowing what the denomination teaches about marriage provides important guidelines for dating couples. Dating singles must be mindful of God’s standards for marriage, even though they won’t fully participate in all its experiences and expressions until after their wedding.
The denomination teaches these 10 principles for a biblical marriage:
- Two sexes, male and female, are required to complete the divine image in humankind… Neither male nor female alone may procreate the race and fulfill the divine purposes.
- Under God, though [male and female] roles may sometimes differ, the two sexes are equals.
- The way God created human beings to live on the earth and brought them together indicates He intended man and woman for each other (Genesis 2:22-24).
- Marriage is to be sexually consummated. At the Creator’s command, the first man and woman were to “become one flesh” for purposes of procreation, bonding, and mutual pleasure in a safe and loving relationship (Genesis 2:24).
- Marriage is to be heterosexual. The institution of marriage firmly is set within the creation of humans as male and female… There is no biblical precedent for any homosexual liaison that may be termed “marriage.”
- God intended marriage to be a permanent union. The man was to depart from his parents’ home in order to “be united to his wife, and … become one flesh” with her (Genesis 2:24). (Also see What Does Assemblies of God Believe About Divorce?)
- God intended marriage to be monogamous. The Creator’s acts in establishing marriage are focused on one man and one woman.
- Marriage is a covenant. It is a solemn binding agreement made first before God and then among people in society.
- Marriage is a relationship of mutually sacrificial love.
- Marriage is the foundation of the family, both in terms of procreation and nurture. Children, ideally, are born into an intact family with both father and mother present. 
Wisdom for dating in the Assemblies of God tradition
The Assemblies of God promotes a Bible-based understanding of relationships between men and women. It encourages its members to follow these guidelines to obey God and with the understanding that such parameters are in their best interests. (Also see What Does Assemblies of God Believe About Dancing?)
God’s will is for many to marry: Assemblies of God churches teach that it’s God’s will for many people to get married and have children. This teaching is rooted in verses like Genesis 2:18 when God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” (ESV)
The Bible teaches that God created marriage. People should follow the design of the Designer of marriage, according to the denomination’s teaching.
God’s will is for some people to be single: the denomination affirms the Bible’s teaching that God calls some people to singlehood. The Apostle Paul identifies several positive aspects of being unmarried. 1 Corinthians 7:32-35 reads,
32 I want you to be free from concern. The unmarried man is concerned about the work of the Lord, how he can please the Lord.
33 But the married man is concerned about the affairs of this world, how he can please his wife,
34 and his interests are divided. The unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the work of the Lord, how she can be holy in both body and spirit. But the married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world, how she can please her husband.
35 I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but in order to promote proper decorum and undivided devotion to the Lord (ESV)emphasis added
How does a person know if they are called to be single or be married? Answering this question calls for wisdom and discernment. Praying, reading Scripture, regular church attendance, and seeking guidance from Godly counselors are helpful ways to discern God’s plan. (Also see What Bible Translation Does Assemblies of God Use?)
Many Assemblies of God churches have ministries designed for singles. Singles ministries offer men and women a community to give and receive support and friendship. They are also a place that singles can meet other like-minded people for the possibility of entering a dating relationship with them.
The purpose of singles ministries isn’t necessarily to play the role of “matchmaker,” but to provide biblical instruction and spiritual edification to unmarried men and women.
Remarriage in the Assemblies of God
As in other Protestant denominations, remarriage can be a complicated topic in the Assemblies of God. The denomination is sincere about wanting to follow the Bible’s teaching on remarriage. (Also see What Does Assemblies of God Believe About Drinking Alcohol?)
However, it’s difficult to know what the right decision is in certain circumstances for a variety of reasons such as:
- some marriages started and ended before a person (or a couple) decided to become Christians
- sometimes the church isn’t in communication with both former spouses, just one of them
- numerous other reasons and circumstances
The denomination’s six guiding principles on remarriage are:
- The Law makes clear that divorce permitted remarriage. Deuteronomy 24:1-4, already quoted, assumed that the divorced woman (and her former husband) would remarry. However, this passage also shows that the Law put certain limits on remarriage in that the rejected wife could not be reclaimed after her marriage to another man.
- Jesus taught that divorce and remarriage, without biblical cause, was adultery. It constituted a sin against the covenant of the first marriage (Matthew 5:32; 19:9; Mark 10:11,12; Luke 16:18).
- Jesus included an exception on behalf of the innocent spouse. “I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness (porneia), causes her to become an adulteress” (Matthew 5:32; see also Matthew 19:9).
- Paul also included an exception on behalf of the innocent spouse. In cases where unbelieving spouses were unwilling to live with partners who had become believers, Paul advised, “If the unbeliever leaves, let him do so. A believing man or woman is not bound [not “enslaved,” douloo] in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace” (1 Corinthians 7:15).
- There are still certain arguments made against the remarriage of innocent believers.
- It is sometimes recognized that Jesus’ exceptions do indeed allow divorce for “marital uncleanness.” But it is then argued that such a divorce still does not sever the marital bond, or give any right to dissolve it.
- The objection sometimes is made that two passages, Romans 7:1-3 and 1 Corinthians 7:39, specifically say a woman is bound to her husband until death; therefore, believers may not divorce or remarry short of the death of their spouse.
- Remarriage establishes a new marriage covenant. While Scripture makes it clear that errant spouses who sinfully break their marriage covenant do commit adultery, Scripture never places such guilt on the innocent partner.
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