“Marry, O people, that from among you may appear he who will remember Me amongst my servants.” Baha’u’llah
The simplicity of the form of the Baha’i marriage ceremony reminds the observers and the betrothed that this marriage is a doorway onto a vast concourse of service in life. The only conditions of the Baha’i marriage ceremony is that the couple, in front of two witnesses, vow to each other, “We will all, verily, abide by the Will of God.”
In the Baha’i Faith, the Will of God is understood as the teachings of Baha’u’llah who is recognized by Baha’is as the Manifestation of God for this age. (Baha’u’llah born 1817, taught that He was the Promised One of all religions, and that His revelation would usher in a great development of humanity spanning 500,000 year, while God will not send another messenger for at least 1,000 years). His teachings are found in around 100 volumes of collected letters and treatises. He wrote a book of laws, Kitab-i-Aqdas (The Most Holy Book) which defines obligatory spiritual acts, social laws and organizational structure that govern the community of the Baha’i Faith. His other writings discuss spiritual issues regarding the nature of the human being, the soul, spiritual development, the purpose behind religious history and His teachings, essential social principles. The teachings in summary and translated texts can be viewed at the International Baha’i website.
As indicated by the teaching of Baha’u’llah above, Baha’i marriage has the purpose of producing children and raising them in family that practices spiritual disciplines: prayer, education in the teachings of Baha’u’llah, and service to Baha’u’llah’s mission. I wrote in part I about the importance of character development in marriage. Nowhere is this more evidently needed than in the building of a family, the unification of an extended family, and the raising of children to the best of their spiritual, intellectual, emotional, and physical capacity. Such children become servants of humanity, givers to humanity and community, and builders of better society.
There is no clergy in the Baha’i Faith. Successful spiritual education comes from the attention parents and all adults in the Baha’i community pay to their own and the children’s spiritual education.