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Must Marriage Be Legal

Does a marriage have to be legal such a civil ceremony to be valid in God's eyes? IE can a boyfriend and girlfriend exchange vows in front of God and just live together like common law?

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 ---judy on 9/17/10
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NOR did I state that marriages in The Old Testament were invalid either, but would be in the 20th Century.
The fact that you all got married proves you did so following the example of Good Christian ethic's accepting that this was Gods will or you all would be unmarried legally, obeying the Law of OLD TESTAMENT agreement on marriage.

I believe you are all overlooking that marriage was not just about sexual intercourse there were also dowries and the evidence of a women being a Virgin, and also the exchange of gifts, so don't act like that it was only about Isaac going into Rebecca.
---Carla on 10/14/10

"There is No where in the world which does it not accept a marriage certificate as a valid legal marriage" ~Carla

Actually, Carla, there's no civil marriage for Jews living in Israel. The Rabbinate doesn't even recognize marriage certificates for Jewish residents who married civilly outside of Israel. There have been controversial protests and rulings regarding this exclusion, but religious authorities believe civil marriage opens the door for mixed-faith marriages, same-sex marriages, etc. They flat out reject civil marriage as a religiously valid relationship.

Regardless as to whether the government, including the Rabbinate, accepts or rejects civil marriage, the question is what does God accept.
---AlwaysOn on 10/13/10

\\I was married, in church and so there were exchanged promises before God. It also formed a civil wedding and thus a civil contract\\

I know several clergymen of different faiths who rather resent acting as an agent of the civil state when administering a sacred rite.

In some countries, such as Germany, one MUST have a civil wedding, period, regardless of what other ceremonies, including religious, are held.
---Cluny on 10/12/10

There was no "marriage certificate" as such (like our "marriage license"),


I suggest you read up on the Hebrews customs

you will FIND THE FACTS marriage certificates were signed and RECORDED

yes I mistyped with ceremony verses feast however the marriage certificate was in effect before during and after time of Christ
---Rhonda on 10/12/10


I have never in this thread or any other said that our modern way of marriage was invalid. What I HAVE said, repeatedly, was that the Biblical way of marriage was valid then, and we CANNOT now say that the Biblical way is invalid now, just because we do it differently.

The fact that lawmakers over the years have redefined marriage may or may not be valid, but that cannot invalidate what God considered valid 2000 years ago, since man's laws do not supercede God's laws.
---StrongAxe on 10/12/10

Carla ... Your last post was nonsensical.

Never mind if StrongAxe is married or not.

I was married, in church and so there were exchanged promises before God. It also formed a civil wedding and thus a civil contract.

And those promises and that contract were 100% binding on me.

The fact that I agree with Cluny and StrongAxe that in Biblical times marriages did not have the civil legal aspect they now have does not make me a hypocrite. Neither are they hypocrites ... they are giving you the historical truth

I fly in an aeroplane ... does it make me a hypocrite to do so, or a liar if I also agree that there were no areoplanese 200 year ago
---alan8566_of_uk on 10/12/10


WHY did You get married by that very same bureaucratic society, live and ultimately die by the vows of the same system, if indeed it was not valid, the same You, NOW contradict?

...You are indeed a hypocrite to yourself and the people you witness to because you hold a marriage certificate\\

Carla, I'm not aware of StrongAxe ever saying at any time that he was married, either civilly or religiously, to anyone.

Where did you get the idea that he had said or done so?
---Cluny on 10/12/10


WHY did You get married by that very same bureaucratic society, live and ultimately die by the vows of the same system, if indeed it was not valid, the same You, NOW contradict?

I would have held my hands up and say good for you, however, You did not... You are indeed a hypocrite to yourself and the people you witness to because you hold a marriage certificate and you are now a false witness to the system you skinned your teeth on your wedding day now it's is not a godly requirement, but it was when you got married in church!!!!!
---Carla on 10/12/10

\\although marriage is not defined in Holy Scripture neither is exchanging vows in front of god and living together like common law\\

Actually, in the Bible Isaac merely took Rebecca into his mother's tent (where he was living) and that was that.

There was no ceremony. So much for "a man leaving his father and mother," right?

\\without a marriage you are just a boyfriend and girlfriend commiting the sin of fornication
---Rhonda on 10/9/10\\

In other words, Rhonda, you allow the civil authority to determine what is a sin?

It is also worth mentioning that in the Roman Empire--the civil authority at the time the NT was written, there were three kinds of marriage, depending on social class.
---Cluny on 10/12/10


Of course you are right. In most countries today you need a document signed by a secular bureaucrat, for that jurisdiction to recognise a marriage. However, this blog's question is not whether a marriage is legal in thestate's eyes, but in God's. For this, must see how legal marriage worked in Biblical times.

God's does not suddenly change because a bunch of beaurocrats decide they need more paperwork than before (Hebrews 13:8). In Monty Python and the Holy Grail, a peasant complains to King Arthur, "watery tarts flinging swords is no basis for a system of government". similiary, God's Law is not changed by disgruntled commoners dumping tea into Boston Harbor either.
---StrongAxe on 10/11/10

This is getting monotonous and going nowhere and is typically the type of convo Paul advises not to engage in.There is No where in the world which does it not accept a marriage certificate as a valid legal marriage, but you would find it would be difficult to find the majority of civil living Countries to legally assign matrimonial heritage and respect to one's whom are not married without a legal marriage certificate.

This convo is as bad as asking how long is a piece of string!
---Carla on 10/11/10

\\It DID say he attended a marriage feast (what we call a wedding reception). \\

Actually, John 2:1 says, "There was a marriage in Cana....." at which Christ was present.

While it does not say specifically that Jesus attended the ceremony, and I don't pretend to know how pubic such a rite was, there is no reason to suppose a priori that He was not present at it, if this was the custom.
---Cluny on 10/11/10


You said: Christ attended a marriage ceremony

If he did, the Bible did not record it. It DID say he attended a marriage feast (what we call a wedding reception). Typically, such a feast was the sealing and celebration of a marriage covenent, but there are no details of an actual ceremony involved (here, nor anywhere else in the Bible). There was no "marriage certificate" as such (like our "marriage license"), although there was a document called the Ketubah specifying a groom's rights and responsibilities to the bride (like our "pre-nuptual agreement").

The Bible mentions marriage many times, but it was not entered into in quite the same way that we do so today.
---StrongAxe on 10/11/10

although marriage is not defined in Holy Scripture neither is exchanging vows in front of god and living together like common law

Christ attended a marriage ceremony

Christ as a Jew if he had married would have signed a marriage certificate and divorce was known before and during Christs time

today the states and governments handle marriage certificates

without a marriage you are just a boyfriend and girlfriend commiting the sin of fornication
---Rhonda on 10/9/10


While all of those scriptures are true, they do not help to answer this question.

Philippians 4:8 tells us to go for what is true - but does not itself define what is true.

1 Thesalonians 5:22 tell us to avoid evil - but does not itself define what is evil.

Hebrews 13:4 says marriage is honorable - but does not itself define just what marriage actually is.

1 Peter 2:12-13 say we should submit to ordinances of man - yet most jurisdictions (at least in the USA and Canada, and probably most others) do not require marriage. At most, they place certain restrictions on it (outlawing polygamy, setting a low age limit on consent, etc.)
---StrongAxe on 10/5/10

No. 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

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I did not say that you have to drink alcohol Walking into a bar itself is not a sin (neither is moderate responsible drinking of alcohol - something that has been debated to death on other blogs here) but drunkenness is. Being in a bar is just a stumbling block for those who erroneously equate Christianity with abstinence.

Similarly, old testament and new testament laws were typically common-law. So common-law marriage is not per se a sin - just possibly (as you put it) a poor witness for those who happen to believe that a marriage license is required for Christian marriage.
---StrongAxe on 10/3/10

No I have not. As a matter of fact I am a state chaplain for the VFW and spend a lot of time at post with bars talking to veterans that will not come to a church or talk to me about Christ in the streets. We must go where we are needed. But because I am there does not mean I have to drink alcohol. Keep your witness pure for it to be heard.
---Harold on 10/3/10


Have you considered that, while a Christian who goes into bars may be a poor witness to tea-totallers, he might be an excellent witness to drunks, who may be more likely to need a good witness in the first place?
---StrongAxe on 10/2/10

My comments earlier were not a defense of the type of ceremony or custom. It was if you live outside of what is expected in your community and what your church expects you will lose your Christian testimony. Now which is more important, the type of paper you may or may not have or your testimony before your brothers and sisters in Christ and before a lost world.
---Harold on 9/30/10

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God says marriage is forever.

Civil law says it's for as long as 2 feel like being together.

God says what He joins together, no one can put asunder.

Civil law says the government can put asunder

God says some 2nd marriages are adulterous.

Civil law says 2nd, 3rd and 20th marriages are honorable.

God says marriage is between a man and a woman.

Civil law, in several states, says marriage can be between 2 men or 2 women.

God says He joins 2 together.

Civil law says the government does.

Both use the word "marriage", but they conflict. One is spiritual, the other isn't.

Google Secular Marriage by Virgil Cooper for more on how the government views marriage.
---AlwaysOn on 9/28/10

Micha 2 continue: Jesus then said,
"But from the beginning of the creation, God made them male and female. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shll become one flesh, so they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no man separate." Which tells me that when two people come together that is a marriage. Divorce is not mention. Because He said, "Let no man separate" No added laws or divorces are mentioned. Now, today we have laws that divorce, made by man, but many times with good reasons, not because of the hardness of the heart, but because many women are abused, beaten, and there would be no way out.
---MarkV. on 9/28/10


Yet scripture was written IN THAT VERY ERA that I speak about. Marriage had a specific meaning back then, and it was similar to, but NOT the same as we use today.

Just because our own society has chosen to redefine marriage in a different way than how it was defined in both the old and new testaments, does that mean that how we do it is now right and how they did it back then is now wrong?

You could say they are BOTH right, but to say current tradition invalidates how it was done in the Bible is like the Oneness people who insist the Apostles baptismal formula supercedes and invalidates what Jesus commanded, or the Pharisees whose traditions superceded the actual word of God - something Jesus condemned them for.
---StrongAxe on 9/28/10

Micha, great answer. I believe that Strongaxe is wrong when he goes by what many did through time, Jewish laws and other laws they, not God, instituted. In fact when Jesus was ask by the Pharisees "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?" Which tells me there was marriage, and Jesus answered with,
"And He answered and said to them, what did Moses command you?" and they answered, "Moses permitted a man to write a certifcate of divorce, and to dismiss her" and to that Jesus answered and said to them,
"Because of the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept." Moses instituted that percept of divorce because man were dumping their wives for no reason.
---MarkV. on 9/28/10

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basically strongaxe,
Your argument is futile since you still hold a foreign view of marriages in one era totally equal to thousands of Centuries after God walked the earth to have the same validity as a marriage with a Lawful certificate in this late part of the 21st century.

You need to ask yourself how you hold this view while you are legally married .

What's good for the goose is good for gander!. Alternately you open a whole can of worms that this assumption stands without water in today's Fornicating and Adulterous society.
---Carla on 9/28/10

people if u are going to answer the question,please respect those whose opinions or doctrinal beliefs may differ.dont call them contentious or say they are hell bound or any other insult.These are Christian brothers and sisters regardless of minor differences of doctrine or interpretation of said doctrine.
---judy on 9/28/10

Basically I want to know,what if a person did say vows unto God and considered themselves married and lived monogomously?Maybe they dont legally marry for financial reasons or some other reason.If they truly met their vows that they spoke, would God really consider it sin,or is it based on what is in their hearts?
---judy on 9/28/10


That was how it was in old testament times, and that was how it was in new testament times (since Jesus and the Apostles lived in Judea, which was under Jewish law).

Jews did have a marriage document (called a Ketubah), but this was a contract, more like a pre-nuptual agreement today - NOT a marriage license.

Registering marriages was a civil secular matter, used to ensure proper division of property - and universal registration of marriages was something that did not come about until many centuries after the new testament.
---StrongAxe on 9/28/10

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If marriages was about a man just taking a woman to be his wife then what you quote according to your confession is correct. The father would have to deal with this man, that he either paid for this act or indeed marry her.

So where is there need for a ceremony if he is married in the sight of God and if indeed one does not need a certificate today how is this situation different from then?

You see the trouble you get into when you make an assumption based on Old Testament Law/living!
---Carla on 9/27/10

Yes about 50% of Christian marriages end in divorce but as Christ told the Pharasees from the beginning this was not God's intent.
I used to believe that once you slept with a woman you were married in the sight of God. Upon more study one of Jacob's sons slept with his daughter in law and conceived twins. They were not considered married but he was still held responsible for this action and the results. This may have been Jacob himself, I don't have my Bible infront of me. Sorry for any names I got wrong.
---Harold on 9/27/10

Oops - I accidentally left out one very important word. I meant to say:

I have heard some people on these blogs say "if you sleep with someone even once, you are automatically married to them in God's eyes". I have NOT said that here, nor is there any Biblical justification for that.
---StrongAxe on 9/27/10


How could you possibly have arrived at that conclusion from what I wrote? What I said was in the Bible, they did not have marriage LICENSES or CEREMONIES. I did not say they did not have MARRIAGES.

I have heard some people on these blogs say "if you sleep with someone even once, you are automatically married to them in God's eyes". I have said that here, nor is there any Biblical justification for that.

In old testament Jewish law, if a man sleeps with a virgin, he must pay her brideprice, and marry her (father willing). This means after he slept with her, he wasn't married to her yet (and if the father was unwilling, he never would be).
---StrongAxe on 9/27/10

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Strong axe,

This is what you are proposing that every woman who is with a man that she did not lose her virginity to is committing Adultery, If that man is still alive and she did not marry him.

Now how are you going to deal with that?????
---Carla on 9/26/10

Strongaxe-- I may have to concede this point to you... because only the justice system considers marriage a legal contract. Many agreements today are undertaken casually and not signed on to by either party. Only in matters of profound impact do people sign and ask another party to sign a legal document. Business contracts are meant to last, but not marriages.
---Donna66 on 9/25/10


These days, 50% of all marriages (Christian or non-Christian alike) in the U.S. end in divorce. Since legal divorce from a legal marriage is so easy to get, people don't need to use "shacking up" as an excuse to get out of marriage.

Since a couple can get married (or divorced) by an Elvis in a drive-through chapel in Las Vegas faster than it takes to order a burger and fries at a drive-through McDonalds one block over, such marriage licenses are as meaningful as napkins from that McDonalds (like university diplomas you order online by mailing a check). They show no intent for commitment.

ACTIONS determine commitment, not retractible words on paper.
---StrongAxe on 9/25/10

I can see no reason for a couple who says they are committed to each other, and are legally able, not to marry. A marriage license is the only proof to the world of your intentions to stay together in good times and bad. It's an enduring reminder of the responsibilities you have taken on and an incentive to solve any relationship problems between the two of you.
If you want to have an "out" in case things don't can't claim to be in a "committed relationship".
That's my opinion.
---Donna66 on 9/25/10

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To maintain our witness yes marriage must be legal. But what is legal, a pastor saying the words, a justice of the peace, or jumping of the broom stick (an old custom where there was no legal authority to marry showing the couple were committed to each other)? Remember when Rebekah first arrived at Abraham and Issac's home the Bible says she lit off her camel (did you know she smoked), and Issac took her into his mother's tent, a public sign that this was a serious commitment.
Stay with what is legal and accepted in your society and your witness will not be lost.
---Harold on 9/24/10

You are not living in sin just because you don't have a marriage license.
But, if you think by not having a marriage license that you can live in sin, you're wrong.
Show to others your faith in God and your commitment to your wife by making it legal and avoid any appearances of evil, for some equate a piece of paper with a godly marriage.
State recognition and a covenant blessed by God are two different things, although they can overlap.
---micha9344 on 9/24/10


Do you actually read the entirety of what I write, or only the words you don't like?

Neither OT nor NT had "marriage licenses". So if someone insists on "Biblical marriage", they can't insist on those, since the Bible never mentions them.

Some people believed then (and some do now) that since we are under grace, we can sin as much as we want (and in fact, doing so shows God's grace even more). Paul showed how absurd this idea is.

Also, just which "of my mistakes" do you think I am trying to correct?
---StrongAxe on 9/24/10

Strong axe,

Your stance was to prove marriage was without a license in the Old Testament. Either you are providing evidence for or against a licence.I hope you see now that by providing that argument professed something as ridiculous as the below statement you are now agreeing is needed.

Trying to correct your mistakes with Paul's underline statement to show, you cannot sin because of Grace is totally different to what you seem to advocate and still pushing????
---Carla on 9/24/10

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In none of my posts have I advocated "going back to marriage without a legal binding document". I HAVE said the Bible nowhere requires a marriage license.

If you insist on "Biblical standards" of marriage, you should be consistent. You can't just cherry pick a few things from the Bible and a few other things from 21st century law, put them into a blender, and insist "That is how God wants it".

Those who REALLY want things "the Bible way", should read the satire "a letter to Laura Schlessinger", copies of which are all over the web. This seems ridiculous but hilights the difference between Biblical (esp. OT) standards, and standards even believed by modern Christians.
---StrongAxe on 9/24/10

Strong axe,

Why don't you just answer in laymen's terms instead of using jargon I'm afraid I do not understand, either know the answer or you do not.

Who would support your going back to marriage without a legal binding document in this day and age?

I can read from your responses that your flawed ( floored) and the example you gave is not the best in proving a marriage licence is indeed not needed and for those who do not respect the Law or indeed the biblical Law of marriage it may as well be. However it stands legally binding for those who are married according to their Civil Laws of the Land/ Government.
---Carl on 9/23/10


You are still missing my point. The distateful conclusion I was mentioning is NOT true. However, it WOULD be true if one first accepts 1st_cliff's original premise.

This is the nature of the argument method called Reductio Ad Absurdum. You demonstrate that a premise is false by first pretending it is true, and then following it to its absurd conclusion. Since the conclusion is false, the premise must have been wrong in the first place as well.

Paul himself uses this method in Romans 6 to ridicule the idea that since our sin demonstrates God's grace, perhaps we should sin even more to show God's grace even more.
---StrongAxe on 9/23/10


Ive noticed in many of your blogs you pervert the very love of God and his Holy Bible, you need salvation if not you are going to burn in hell ! you are accountable for ever word you speak to God.
Luke 1:30

And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.

Luke 1:34

Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?

Luke 1:35

And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
---Lea on 9/23/10

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Strong Axe, **What did that make him(Jesus)?** It made Him the "Son of God"
Joseph and Mary were "betrothed" Betrothal in those days was as strong a relationship as marriage more of a bond than today's "engagement"

It gets a little "personal" here as I have a daughter who lives with her "boyfriend" who just had a talk of marriage ,"Oh it's just a piece of paper" is their attitude which riles my emotions big time!
---1st_cliff on 9/23/10

If I am to understand marriage, God's original plan is that a man and a woman come together and live as one flesh.

Now read, If I AM to understand marriage, why me becasue i have read the bible and grown up to undertand through bible teachers that marriage is persued through a ceremony and marriage licence.

Okay that's me done. Does everyone who get's married understand why they get married? Does every individual understand the union of marriage? Doe everyone have the same right's married or not?
---Carla on 9/23/10

Strongaxe-- Common-law marriage is recognized only after someone makes the jurisdiction aware of the fact. But the legal protections of these marriage partners and their children are still on shaky ground( esp. regarding support and inheritance if a will is probated or one partner dies intestate) the law is often unclear in these cases.
---Donna66 on 9/22/10


I was trying to use reducto ad absurdum to show how judgmental and insensitive 1st_cliff's comment was. If one stigmatizes children whose parents are not married when they are conceived by calling them "illegitimate", one must necessarily also label Jesus the same way, because his parents were not married when HE was conceived. In fact, many of his detractors levelled that very accusation at him.

You said: God requires that we are legally married.

The key is, what does "legally married" actually mean? The definition of marriage is different now than it was in Jesus's day, and different again in Moses's day. So which of these definitions is the "one" God meant?
---StrongAxe on 9/22/10

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What kind of an answer is that, what does this make Christ?

I'll tell you if you don't know, HOLY and it makes one who is not born within the constraints of a legal contract ILLEGITIMATE.

God requires that we are legally married I just don't know how hypocrites who are married can even go there, with the heresy that marriage legally is not needed.

why use the Old Testament living to judge today?

You evade the question because your heart are evil and full of contention.

Google the Sun newspaper and have a good read it has two fascinating reviews over twenty illegitimate children, around the same in mothers with only 2 men none with a legal contact of marriage.

---Carla on 9/22/10


Right. In common-law marriages, such marriage are also recognized by others. In some jurisdictions, living together for a period of time (for example, two years) is de facto official "proof" of a common-law marriage (i.e. the government acknowledges a state that exists between a couple and that everyone around them knows about).

(This is as opposed to a couple of people just "shacking up" with no strings or commitments.)
---StrongAxe on 9/22/10


You wrote:
"Mommy, where are you and daddy's wedding pictures?"
"We don't have any, your father and I are not married"
"What does that make me?"

Jesus was conceived while Joseph and Mary were engaged but before they were married. What did that make him?.
---StrongAxe on 9/21/10

In biblical times, marriages were matters of civil contract law, between parents of bride and groom...marriage recognized by the state, or even by the church) is a MUCH later invention....
The important similarity is that in both cases, the marriage was considered official by somebody other than just the bride and groom.

"Marriage" exists in all societies for one purpose. It establishes genealogy and inheritance. If the marriage is not somehow documented officially, there may be doubts, lasting for generations, about parentage, bloodlines and the legal rights of parents regarding children and vice versa.

If Mary and Joseph hadn't married, the Jews could never have accepted Him as the prophesied Messiah.
---Donna66 on 9/21/10

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You said: Contrast the decency and respectability of a legal marriage with the "shack-up" of a common law arrangement.

In biblical times, marriages were matters of civil contract law, between parents of bride and groom. The notion of "legal marriage" (that is, marriage recognized by the state, or even by the church) is a MUCH later invention. In biblical times, ALL marriages were common law. This does not mean just "shacking up" as you put it - such marriages were considered respectable. And there WAS a difference - when Jesus spoke to the woman at the well, he distinguished between the husbands she had, and the man she had then who was not her husband.
---StrongAxe on 9/21/10

1Cor.14.40 (KJV) "Let ALL things be done decently and in order"
Contrast the decency and respectability of a legal marriage with the "shack-up" of a common law arrangement.

"Mommy, where are you and daddy's wedding pictures?"
"We don't have any, your father and I are not married"
"What does that make me?"
---1st_cliff on 9/21/10

Now this question is where you get the Pharisees and Christ situation. Christ knows that the people he is answering are only looking to trip him up because of what was written and their own interpretation of it.

Listen You are married and therefore how can you then say you just as equal is are persons who can ask God the bless the union of fornication and the union of marriage and it be seen as a marriage.

Are we in those days where people went in to their spouses and declared they were married stayed together and that was it. Or are we living in the era where you agree to stay with your boyfriend then he runs off and marries another cos there was no legal agreement?
---Carla on 9/21/10

The simple answer Judy is that man's civil code does not measure up to or connect to God's "validity".

We are to obey our government on such laws as a matter of God's recognition of order for he CREATED government.

God recognizes government and state-sanctioned marriage requirements, but they do not on themselves denote validity.

Some third-world governments may sanction marriages between adults and minors - then what?
---larry on 9/20/10

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Yes, Carla, I am married. And, no, I am not telling people not to marry. I am not in favor of fornicating, not encouraging others to fornicate and am 100% in favor of marriage.

The OT is as valid as the New, but neither supports your position of Our Father requiring a civil ceremony. When the Messiah attended the marriage at Cana (notice in John 2 of the KJV it's NOT called a "wedding"), He did not pronounce the couple husband and wife, nor is a civil ceremony or even a vow exchange mentioned. Nowhere are these found in scripture. Why not?

You label me contentious and, perhaps, even a hypocrite, but I offer scripture as my source. Yet you provide no scripture for your position that marriage requires a civil ceremony.
---AlwaysOn on 9/20/10


Yes, in both testaments there were marriages. However, in neither testament is there any record of an official "marriage ceremony" being performed by any kind of clergyman or civil functionary. There was no distinction between "official" and "common-law" marriages. ALL marriages were essentially common-law, usually as a result of contracts between the bride's and groom's fathers. This didn't make them any less "legitimate".

1 Timothy 4:1-5 talks about "forbidding to marry", not just "encouraging not to marry".
It's about people going off on cultic tangents, believing doctrines of devils - demanding celibacy, vegetarianism, etc. which the bible does not require.
---StrongAxe on 9/20/10

can a boyfriend and girlfriend exchange vows in front of God and just live together like common law?

Good question
Lets see what the bible says:

Genesis 24:67 And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah's tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife, and he loved her: and Isaac was comforted after his mother's death.

Genesis 29:23 And it came to pass in the evening, that he took Leah his daughter, and brought her to him, and he went in unto her.

Well, based on these texts: All you need is one or two witnesses ,and to have the deed done IN GOD'S EYES

the court papers is a modern way of making it public.
---francis on 9/20/10


You speak untruths,

That's why I posted that you are contentious, In Christ's day there were marriages.

why do you use OLD TESTAMENT scriptures to validate, Isaac and Rebecca's relationship. She was given through Gods plan/will.

We are living in a different era post New Testament, when we need contracts or multitudes of individuals both parents and children, grandparents too would be illegitimate.
---Carla on 9/20/10

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Pray tell me if you yourself are married?

If your married you have no argument, you are a hypocrite and if you live with someone, and have sexual relations with that person, you are a fornicator and I need not engage in any conversions with you, either.

How ever if you are not married then God help you if you think fornication means something other than sexual relations with someone you are not married to.

Define marriage in today terms where a legal binding certificate is needed in almost every Christian Country or State in America never mind the world.

What did the bible say come the last day people would encourage others not to marry...

End of.
---Carla on 9/20/10


Yes, we must render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's. However Caesar does not demand that people get married either. Civil marriage merely simplifies many secular civil matters (child custody, property distribution upon divorce or death, hospital visitation rights, taxation, etc.) While these are good things they are all secular (rather than religious) matters, and are all optional as far as the state is concerned.
---StrongAxe on 9/20/10

Wanting the benefits of marriage without the legal obligation is sin. Do it right, get a license and make it legal.
---Eloy on 9/20/10

I'm contentious, Carla? Really? Judy asked a question and I answered it with biblical references. Please, without negative labeling and without offering unsolicited advice concerning my family, let's just stick to the topic at hand, shall we?

Now, your opinion is appreciated, but can you support it scripturally? If so, I'm all ears. But, if not, then it's probably best that you and I end our conversation on the point that this is merely your opinion on what marriage requires, but is not an established biblical fact.

---AlwaysOn on 9/19/10

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There must have been a ceremony in terms of acknowledgement of the joining of the flesh, and that was done by God in thoses days as it is done in the spirit today.

However physically there Has to a be a Legal binding unless you are an animal of which it does not matter.

You are so contentious, just make sure you advise your own family that they should not marry legally and not others the blind lead the blind. I doubt you'll have any luck though, You'll need it( not faith)
---Carla on 9/19/10

Q: Does a marriage have to be legal such a civil ceremony to be valid in God's eyes?

A: No

Q: Can a boyfriend and girlfriend exchange vows in front of God and just live together like common law?

A: Yes

Isaac and Rebekah did not have a "wedding". Further, the wedding at Cana is portrayed as what we'd call a reception today. In other words, there is no record of an exchanging of vows or of an officiant pronouncing a couple husband and wife. Lastly, legal marriage is a man-made institution and bears little resemblance to marriage as it is defined in the Bible (compare the two and you'll see the contrast). Legal marriage is useful for legal purposes, but it is not required by our Father.
---AlwaysOn on 9/18/10

The purpose of a public, "legal marriage" is to bind the parties to a publicly declared vow, though this is often short-circuited by men through easy "no-fault" divorce. If you don't take vows before witnesses, you will be MORE likely to break those vows when things get too tough for you or your spouse. Many do not think through what they are doing when they take their vows, but you/we are making a promise before God and men that we will stay no matter what. If you really love a person, you will want to make a commitment to them for "as long as you both shall live, so help me God."
---tommy3007 on 9/18/10

You must married. Forget all this jargon about names, traditions of fornicators and transgressors of the Law, get married.

Sinners and people who call themselves children of God but are wolves in sheep's clothing, telling you it is not required encourage others not to marry when they themselves are married.

Does the wedding in Cana ring any bells.
---Carla on 9/17/10

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//Living together without marriage is commiting [sic] fornication.//

1. Living together in states that recognize common law is not fornication.

2. At least 50% of the legal marriages probably were not recognized by God in the first place legally binded or not.

3. Isn't amazing that most marriages start with a "gift" from God and end with a "thorn" from Satan? If we want man to not put asunder what God puts together, we need to recognize God first and then man's rules second.

In that form, aren't we fulfilling function of the law.

BTW-Jesus said we'd do greater works than He through the Spirit. Who would argue that marriage is not work? lol
---aka on 9/17/10

\\ can legally take the last name of husband\\

This is mere custom, nothing more.

At common law, you can call yourself anything as long as there is no intent to commit fraud.

Changing the surname simply shows that the wife enters her husband's family. There's no reason why the husband cannot take the wife's surname, especially if she is of a higher social class (as among royalty). Queen Elizabeth's children, for example, bear the surname Windsor, not Montbatten.

And some societies, such as traditional Ethiopian and Icelandic, have no surnames.
---Cluny on 9/17/10

Christians are told Titus 3:1 Put them in mind to be subject to principalties and powers,to obey magistrates,-. That means we are to obey the laws of the land. Matthew 22:21-- Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesars,and unto God the things that are God's. Yes one must be legally married to be seen in the eyes of God as married. Living together without marriage is commiting fornication.
---Darlene_1 on 9/17/10

(1) your vows or pledge or spoken promise (secretely or openly made) before God that you will be for each other cannot be easily broken before God. (2) The Bible teaches us to obey all government regulations that are not ungodly eg Titus3:1.(3)The above means you must fulfill 1 of n government stipulations to register or signify to the society that you are now husband and wife.
---Adetunji on 9/17/10

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clarification of my question-what makes living with your boyfriend a "marriage"in God's eyes as opposed to just being fornication(and playing house)?Does God insist on legal marriage or is it only a spiritual thing?
---judy on 9/17/10

Yes. this is what my 1rst husband & I did 2 months before legally getting married, HOWEVER it is wise to be married leagally for a lot of reasons... can legally take the last name of husband purposes
3. emergancy reasons.. being legally married shows that you ARE the spouse & can answer for them incase they get ill v.s. not recognizing you as a spouse.
It didn't work out with my first husband, but my now husband of over 10 yrs it has & we got legally married.
---candice on 9/17/10

I've asked a similar question, judy, namely what a man and woman must do to be TRULY and VALIDLY married in God's eyes, using Biblical verses to support their views--in other words, how Christian marriage differs from mere concubinage--and NOBODY has really answered my question.
---Cluny on 9/17/10

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