Christian Home and Marriage Week Emphasizes that ‘Charity Begins at Home’

Weeklong event connects, inspires families at Southern Asia-Pacific Division headquarters.

Southern Asia-Pacific Division News
Christian Home and Marriage Week Emphasizes that ‘Charity Begins at Home’
Group photo of the couples who participated in the weeklong celebration of Christian Home and Marriage Week in Silang, Cavite, Philippines. [Photo: Roni Manurung]

Even in Adventist homes, marital struggles and challenges occur. Amid these trials, couples need an encouraging resource — a reminder to uphold their vows, reaffirm their values, and rebuild their love on a Godly foundation. Centered on the pivotal message that “charity begins at home,” the Family Ministries department of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Southern Asia-Pacific (SSD) region purposefully allocated the 2024 Christian Home and Marriage Week to the families serving at the division headquarters in Silang, Cavite, Philippines. The weeklong celebration took place from February 12-16.

Guided by the theme #LoveMyFamily, singles and married workers in the Southern Asia-Pacific Division spent the entire week’s morning devotionals learning about God’s plan and order for families. Guest speakers shared inspiration and their experiences. Among them were Angie Pagarigan, one of the SSD associate treasurers, who spoke about family finance, and Rudi Situmorang, SSD ministerial secretary, who shared a 2024 Family Ministry Resource topic, “Boundaries for Spiritual Leaders.” Situmorang emphasized that since every worker is a spiritual leader, we should “live and serve with financial, professional, relational, and marital integrity.”

“Knowledge of biblical principles and research on healthy relationships are like vaccines that will prevent broken families and broken marriages,” Virginia Baloyo, SSD family ministries director, said in her opening remarks. Applying this knowledge requires time, work, dedication, and wisdom. With the help of the Holy Spirit, families should experience more harmonious connections, she said.

On the morning of Sabbath, February 17, married couples gathered in the convention hall for seminars on communication, conflict resolution, and healthy sexuality. Joe Orbe Jr., a pastor who is a marriage and family development advocate, and his wife, Joy, a nursing professor at the Adventist University of the Philippines, led the seminars.

That afternoon more than 40 couples renewed their vows. Clad in elegant white and cream attire, the couples strolled down the flower-adorned aisle, transforming the Life Hope Center (LHC) into a setting reminiscent of a church wedding. Adding to the scene, four directors’ wives, whose spouses were away on travel, gracefully showered the aisle with additional flowers, embodying the role of flower girls.

In full support of the event, the SSD administrators and the regional human resources department also provided the couples with a lovely dinner and a free overnight stay at the LHC guest rooms. 

During Christian Home and Marriage Week, there is a strong connection between the efforts to strengthen family bonds and the broader positive shifts within the church community, regional church leaders said. “This week helped promote greater unity and solidarity among couples and family members, encouraging healthier relationships within families and consequently reducing conflicts,” they said. “Moreover, the commitment to zero tolerance of abuse underscores a collective dedication to nurturing safe, loving environments within both homes and churches, reinforcing the values of compassion, respect, and protection for all members of the community.”

The original version of this story was posted on the Southern Asia-Pacific Division news site.

Southern Asia-Pacific Division News