Our Position (Marriage)


Two of Focus on the Family's Guiding Principles specifically address the topic of marriage.

The first is the value of male and female. Focus on the Family's sixth guiding principle states our belief that God created humans in His image, intentionally and immutably male and female, each gender with unique and complementary qualities. The existence of two distinct genders reveals God's design for sexuality, relationships and family. Both reflect the image of God, and both male and female are necessary for procreation and the optimal family structure for parenting children.

The second is the permanence of marriage. We believe that the institution of marriage is a sacred covenant designed by God to be a lifelong, conjugal relationship between a man and a woman to serve both the public and private good.

Children result from heterosexual union, and a third guiding principle highlights our commitment to value children. We believe that children are a heritage from God and a blessing from His hand. As such, parents are accountable to Him for raising, shaping and preparing their children for a life of service to God and to humanity. Marriage enables children to benefit from the unique and complementary qualities of both male and female and from the fidelity and love of their parents for each other.


Based on these principles, Focus on the Family helps to nurture and strengthen marriages through supportive resources, messages and campaigns.

We also act to defend marriage from attempts to redefine it as other than one-man and one-woman, or to abolish it as an institution. This is primarily done through supporting legislation and ballot initiatives that bolster the family, and opposing efforts to redefine or deconstruct its traditional role.

As such:

  • We define family as relationships created by marriage, blood or adoption.
  • We support citizen initiatives at the state level that define marriage as the union of one man and one woman in state constitutions.
  • We support the federal Marriage Protection Amendment, which would define marriage at the federal level as the union of one man and one woman.
  • We support abolishing the "marriage penalty" and other taxes that burden families.
  • We support efforts to limit adoption to married, opposite-sex couples.
  • We support legislation that would educate parents considering divorce of the harmful effects of divorce on most children.
  • We support specific types of "mutual-consent" legislation that would require both spouses seeking divorce to agree to end the marriage.
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Next in this Series: Talking Points (Marriage)