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Married With No License

Can a Christian couple marry in the eyes of God but not legally?

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 ---Tracy on 6/29/06
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lexi, if that is your aim, to avoid losing half of your stuff in case of a divorce, then you most definately should not get married nor shack up with this man. A marriage is not supposed to be easy to get out of. If you are not determined to stay together and you are already making divorce an option and planning on it happening before you even get married, then you are definately not ready for marriage and don't know what a godly marriage is about.
---Jed on 7/25/12

God has never set any such requirement that two people have a license. However, having a license is the law of the land, and does not conflict with the law of God in a case of one man one woman. If Jacob needed a license in his days as we do today, The nation of Israel would not be born, because we do not issue lincenses for multiple wives
---francis on 7/25/12

To answer this question (some 6 years old) we first have to know what establishes a marriage in the eyes of God.

Glory to Jesus Christ!
---Cluny on 7/25/12

The answer is absolutely "yes". I have been a student of law outside the classroom for 17 years. I can tell you plainly that our current state of law and justice is a sham. Licensing for anything is repugnant to the Constitution and millions of so-called laws are commercial laws that apply only to corporations. Our name in all capital letters makes us a corporation or a legal fiction, which gives jurisdiction to the state over our sovereignty as individuals. But knowing all this and more is not enough. One has to convince the courts, judges and prosecutors that you will not participate under their commercial venue. Easier said than done. One has to know exactly what to do and why one is doing it, otherwise there will be trouble.
---Mark_DeBarbieri on 7/25/12

I'm considering the same thing. Like many Christians, I do not want to wait long to get married. I've been with my boyfriend for a year and would like to have the same relationship that much of the secular world has without marriage and other Christians have, and to ask for God's blessing. But I'm not naive. The statistics show roughly the same likelihood for divorce- Christian or not- and those rates are high. I want to be in and honor a spiritual marriage, and get legally married later. Sad to say, but it's when you share a life with a person that you know whether cheating or abuse may be an issue and both are reasons that God would excuse a divorce. Why bet half of my house on it by making it legal too soon?
---lexi on 12/27/10

If you don't legally get married, then you are what we call, "shacking-up"....God is not a sweet coated God. You can beat your drums 500 times, it's wrong and it is a SIN.
---catherine on 10/23/10

The people that believe that one has no need for a certificate are generally those who are married with one. It just makes common sense to argue (right!) about Old Testament marriages against lawful ones which we all know marriage is a Godly promise that both make until death or for some until fault...

The license is a lawful document to prove that you are actually married. whether Godly or not wisdom is something these arguing people lack!
---Carla on 10/21/10

mans laws never outwiegh gods laws or commands.jesus went to a wedding jewish law a contract between the 2 was written,diaires paid.divorce after consumating the marriage didnt happen only during the betrothal period.thus our divorce and marrying another is adultery according to the bible. repent means to flee..dont have may teaching that!
---pat_miaoulis on 10/10/10

You are required by the Laws of marriage to get a legal certificate worldwide, very few Countries accept marriage without some sort of legal binding Certificate.
---Carla on 10/9/10

Yes, but why? In many societies, the consummation of the marriage made it so. At least in the past, some U.S. states accepted a marriage based on the declaration of the couple, or witness testimony that the couple presented themselves as married, or even a hotel receipt. Many still recognize a declaration written in a Bible as proof of marriage, more so if signed by another testificator. In Mexico, the couple has to register with the State for a matrimony to be valid. But Philippians 4:8, 1Thesalonians 5:22, Hebrews 13:4, 1Peter 2:12-13.
---Glenn on 10/5/10

---catherine this statement is not correct.
"You must stand before a preacher and allow him or her to ask you do you take this man or woman for your wife or husband."

The reason I know this is that I was asked to marry a couple in Colorado. On inquiring of the officials in Colorado I was informed that anyone can marry two people who have a license from the state. It is my understanding that this is true in many other states also.
---mima on 10/1/10

If you mean sleep together, live together, the answer is no. You must stand before a preacher and allow him or her to ask you do you take this man or woman for your wife or husband. Do it right and do it legal in the eyes of God. Unfortunately, I believe that man don't care whether you do it legal or not. But, rest-assured God cares.
---catherine on 9/29/10

I am not sure I understand the comments about following the laws of the government and how it applies to marriage. With taxes, following the laws of the state according to Jesus makes sense to me. What I gather is Jesus does not want us to be anarchists and refuse to pay taxes. Correct me if I am wrong. There is no law stating you have to be married. period. Couples live together and are not breaking any laws that I know about. Therefore, getting married spiritually and not legally is not breaking any laws and is not about not "giving to Ceasar's what is Ceasar's". Right?
---Megan on 9/28/10

Marriage: A man and a woman commit themselves to each other, before God, as husband and wife, and then consummate that commitment with the sexual union. There is NO command or precept in the Scriptures that says that some man ("clergy") is to "marry" the couple. No man can marry the couple because it is God who created and ordains the institution, and nowhere does He call for a man to serve as the agent of approving the marriage. They are to be married before God first and foremost.
---righteouswarriors on 11/27/07

The Law of the land states that you should be married for legal/moral reasons and the Institute of Marriage is God. What do you think?
---Carla5754 on 11/27/07

It would be a very rare pastor who would marry you without legal authority.
---alan8869_of_UK on 5/9/07

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Two couples on my block have had ceremony you're describing. No license, no legal marriage, not binding. These two couples are miserable, "wifes" complain husbands talk constantly about deceased wifes. Spiritually they're still tied to deceased. Ministers are performing these ceremonies so they can all keep retirement benefits. Financially they gain, but spiritually they lose and they are not happy...I'm seeing that with my own eyes.
---Rachel on 8/5/06

Can a Christian couple marry in the eyes of God but not legally?

If they are truly Christian, they would do things the Lord's way. If they were 'otherwise married' before the learned of God, they can still seek what Father desires for them. Legally on earth, comes before spiritually in heaven. Father's goal, is sealed for time and all eternity.
---Robert on 7/24/06

Jack from your reponse one can see that you are merely trying to make a point that has no value at all. But consider this there is a state in America that has actually allowed people to marry animals and need a civil ceremony to comply with their law, so right now there are more issues to think about than arguing about the ethic's of marriage, you encourage non marriage and you will pay the price of leading astray people that are simple enough to find you intelligent to their own plight.
---Carla5754 on 7/24/06

christina, I dont know. Maybe they havent had a physical relationship yet? I know my theory doesnt sit well with many people, but I really do think that within God's perfect will intercourse is 2 flesh becoming 1 flesh. Maybe this is why God seems to cherish virginity and despise adultry and sex before marriage so much. OT law required death to adulterers and the non-virgins prior to marriage. (deut. 22:20-22)
---tofurabby on 7/24/06

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1 Corinthians 7:9 But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.
1 Timothy 1:8-11 too much to write, just read it and pray about it. Not being married is fornication.
---Dottie on 7/24/06

If what you say is true tofurabby:("As soon as you begin a sexual relationship you are married in God's eyes.") then why does Jesus speak to the woman at the well about her previous husbands then about the man she is now living with that is NOT her husband? Just wondering...
---christina on 7/24/06

As soon as you begin a sexual relationship you are married in God's eyes. It may not be according to his will, but a sexual relationship is the joining of man and woman as 1 flesh as spoken of in Gen. 2:24. Marriage license or not. Eg. sex with a prostitute = 1 flesh. (What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. 1 Cor. 6:16) It is meant to consummate or complete the act of marriage in God's perfect will, but any instance = a marriage.
---tofurabby on 7/24/06

In other words, God's blessing on a couple is bound away until and unless the Civil authority--even if this civil authority is atheistic or actively anti-Christian--permits is.

Crazy thinking.
---Jack on 7/24/06

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No one needs to give scripture/verse because the Law of the land requires that you get a marriage acknowledge by a civil ceremony or certificate. Pretty much most countries of the world have a ceremoney of marriage. We are not in the dark but children of the light and know without a proper marriage ceremony/licence marrige is classed as common law of which has very little benefits.
---Carla5754 on 7/24/06

Before I got saved, I tried to rationalize that it was OK to live with someone you loved "like husband and wife" because in the Bible they didn't have a legal ceremony - they just went in the tent and "knew" each other, therefore, becoming married. Sounds crazy now! Sounds like I was allowing myself to be deceived! I think we have to follow the law for a legally recognized marriage as a part of our Christian witness if nothing else.
---melissa on 7/11/06

SIN, remember that? It is a sin to co habitate without benefit of marriage, LEGAL marriage.
---NV_Barbara on 7/4/06

Oh give it a break Jack. John 2 is the verse both you and I used referring to the marriage at Cana. To be married and blessed in the eyes of God, it must be legal and the marriage preferably performed by a minister of God.
Look in your concordance for the verses on marriage, I did, and spend some time reading instead of trying to cause division here.
---NV_Barbara on 7/3/06

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Tracy, your question is akin to one I asked that nobody could answer either.

Leaving aside the requirements of civil law, what must a man and woman do to make their marriage legal and valid in God's eyes. Please give book, chapter, and verse in your answer.

For those of you posters who are married, it should be VERY easy for you to say just what Biblical commandments you followed that make you truly married before God and not simply living in legally sanctioned concubinage.
---Jack on 7/2/06

NVBarbara: Note that you say, "I don't think..." and "I would imagine..."

In other words, you can't fulfill my request to give an example of an actual marriage ceremony in the Bible, with book, chapter, and verse.
---Jack on 7/2/06

John 2 is talking about the marriage celebration in Cana. If it was just a meal I don't think they would have called it a 'marriage.' I would imagine that it was akin to Jewish marriage ceremonies that still take place in a similar manner if they're Orthodox.
---NV_Barbara on 7/2/06

To answer the original question:

For those who believe that marriage is a sacrament, yes, a sacramental marriage may easily exist, though not recognized by the state.

But by the same token, a marriage might well have civil validity, though not be a valid sacrament in the spiritual sphere.
---Jack on 7/1/06

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question to MOD. Can there be more than one person posting with same name? This is my screen name, but I didn't ask this question.

Moderator - Use something unique like a penpal account User Name.
---Tracy on 7/1/06

JohnT ... Now that you make me think more deeply (-: about this, I suppose that maybe Tracy is involved with a Mormon who is already married, and is wondering whether a Mormon wedding, not validated by secular law, would be regarded by God as a proper marriage.
---alan8869_of_UK on 7/1/06

Alan & Jack:

You are correct that there is nothing in the Q suggesting polygamy.

Yet here is a person asking for advice, and what she posted is a riddle.

Given the scant data, no one can truly answer the Q. Thus, I guessed. That is one scenario that fits her question. Can you think of a better one?

Besides, she should answer it, the rest of us merely guess.

BTW I am not upset at you, although you may think I was impertinent. I don't share that opinion.
---John_T on 7/1/06

I forgot to add that duckspeak of any kind, especially Christian, is something I unbellyfeel.
---Jack on 7/1/06

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Thank you, Alan! That's EXACTLY what I'm trying to do--provoke people into thinking instead of indulging in doubleplusgood Christian duckspeak.

Or, as I prefer to put it, I seek to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.
---Jack on 7/1/06

JohnT ... Jack can be really provocative, can't he? But in this case I think he is right about your comment, which seems to be unwarranted and insulting.
---alan8869_of_UK on 7/1/06

John T, there's nothing in Tracy's question that suggests polygamy.
---Jack on 7/1/06

NVBarbara, can you give an example of wedding ceremonies in the Bible?

In John 2, there is no mention of a "ceremony" but only the supper/reception at one.

Rebecca and Isaac didn't have a wedding. (In fact, there's no mention that Rebecca loved Isaac. Later on it's clear they had separate agendas for their children.)

There were suppers and festivities, but no example of a wedding "service" as such.

Could you enlighten me?
---Jack on 7/1/06

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What do you think of the advice here?

I bet you are in some sort of polygamous situation, right?
---John_T on 7/1/06

The bible says we are to go by the laws of the land. Further, the wedding ceremonies in the bible were our example of being married in God's eyes and legally as well.
---NV_Barbara on 7/1/06


The Secular State determines what is sin in God's eyes. (Or, what boils down to the same thing, God allows the state to determine what's a sin.)

Talk about caesaropapism.
---Jack on 6/30/06

If you're not married legally, you're NOT married. Some states recognize it being legal after you have lived together for several years, 'Common Law marriage.' You need to married legally AND in the eyes of God, otherwise you are living in sin.
---NV_Barbara on 6/30/06

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No. Many live together and pretend to be married, but this is not God's will. It is hard for God to bless a couple who has co-habitated before marriage, unless they repent, otherwise he would be blessing sin.
---Dijon on 6/30/06

Maybe in your god's eyes, but not so the God of the Bible.

Your Q makes it seem as if you are living together, and want to do things your way, not according to law. That is a RED FLAG

I know of NO situation where a state in the US refuses to recognize a marriage in a church, unless you are talking about a FLDS church, and you are bride 2+.

If that is the case, then you are not a "Christian couple", either.
---John_T on 6/30/06

I can think of many legal marriages involving Christians which I find offensive. The bible says the couple is practicing adultery. It is also offensive that the church body often thinks that these marriages are peachy keen. But hey, they're in love.
---ralph7477 on 6/30/06

As soon as your "marriage" offends one Christian it's a shame to you.

Don't be cheated, take God's blessing for all that it is, let your marriage be celebrated by God's people.

Even Jesus observed man laws, temple tax is a good example. (Matthew 17:24-27) and why?

Mat 17:27 Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them...
---Pharisee on 6/29/06

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In other words, God is kept from blessing a marriage unless the civil government says so, even if the civil government is officially non-Christian or even atheistic.

OTOH, if the civil government gives permission to enter into a second marriage after divorce, God blesses this even though God-made-flesh said such liasons were adultery.

Is this what you're saying?
---Jack on 6/29/06

God ordained goverment, government gave us law to follow, if we break government laws we are going against God. The only time we are to go against government laws is when they conflict with God's law. So if you get married outside of the law of the land, you are just shacking up and not married at all.
---Rev_Herb on 6/29/06

It likely can occur but the practice should not be encouraged. In such a case there is no sanctification of the union. And the union my or not have civil legal status which affect various types of inheritance, property, insurance issues as well as illegitimate off spring.
---notlaw99 on 6/29/06

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