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  #1  
Unread 26th March 2013, 09:52 PM
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What does God consider marriage?

My husband and I believe we are married, but we have no 'contract'.

We have been married for almost two years. We said our vows in a prayer during worshipping our Father and since then we feel heart and soul that we have been bonded. Before then, we read the bible and prayed over and over and looked for signs from God to see if He approves. So far, we do not nor have not felt any response that was against our marriage at all. Things in fact have been rather positive.

I do not care as to whether or not people from Church approves. I am looking for Gods approval, not theirs. Is there anything in the Bible that could possibly explain if marriage has to be a signed contract with the government in order to be considered married in Gods eyes?

My husband believes that it is more expensive to sign papers; taxes, insurance wise...And we both feel that it is silly to have to justify to the government as to why I am sharing my money and belongings with this person. But still, we plan to sign papers once out of college.

If it happens to be that this is false, and God does not approve, we will either go ahead and either sign or wait until the cheap insurance rates run out and sign then. Things are just REALLY REALLY tight.

I know some if this might sound contradicting, but its just a very long and confusing story, so I am trying to shorten it. Thank you for your help.
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  #2  
Unread 26th March 2013, 11:07 PM
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On one hand, I understand the mentality that says a marriage begins before the wedding. My husband and I were unable to get married when we wanted to and had to wait a very prolonged period of time before we finally could. But we acted in all ways as the married couple. No, the legalities of marriage weren't afforded to us, but we personally treated each other as spouses. Even socially and among our peers, we were firmly cemented as a strong, united couple.

On the other hand, we didn't even begin to have the problems that you're having as was described in the other thread. So in the context of the whole situation, where your other half with the wandering eye doesn't believe in marriage as a legal institution, but doesn't exactly conduct himself as a committed partner... Red flags, red flags everywhere.

In the end, if you want to do what you're doing, not anything we say can sway you... But I see bad idea written all over this one.
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  #3  
Unread 26th March 2013, 11:25 PM
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At this point, I think you should be grateful that nothing is legally binding you to this man.
As for the whole "married in the spirit" thing, I think there are very, very few reasons NOT to follow the normal, legal processes of being married.
It's not difficult to get to a justice of the peace and have them drum up a contract.

I also see it as a red flag that you're having insecurity issues with your 'husbands' wandering eye, and that it was his preference not to get legally married.
Honestly, it sounds like he doesn't want to be married, or even in a committed relationship.

I'd figure that out asap! Don't waste time on a man that doesn't want or appreciate you.

Peace,
~ Niff
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  #4  
Unread 26th March 2013, 11:36 PM
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People believe things all the time that are not necessarily truth. Personally, I do not believe you are married unless it is "legal" - following my study of what a covenant is. A lot of people will try to justify having sex or living together by saying they made promises with each other (vows), but a covenant is a legally binding contract that is witnessed. So I'd say no, you are not married.

The thing about marriage is that two become one, and this is not just a physical consummation of sex. When a man loves a woman enough to marry her, he commits in his heart (and behaviour happens out of the values we hold in our heart) before marriage. My husband did what Job did - made a covenant with his eyes to never look at another woman. His love for me is focused and absolute. I have no reason to question his love or his loyalty to me or the marriage. That is how it should be. If you are not even legally married and your partner is doing this now, how much worse will it be when he feels "secure" in a legal marriage? Where will you get your security from?

Commitment has two parts: consistency and care. If your partner behaves with consistency and care for you, you will experience it as security and significance. I'm willing to bet you feel neither right now, and this makes me question his commitment to you.

You are welcome to correct me if I'm wrong, but my guess is that you probably wanted to honour God by not having sex outside of marriage, so that's why you made vows to each other when you were praying one day. You maybe wanted to feel the relationship was cemented, so he could go to school and you would feel secure. I'm sorry but there are just no shortcuts to marriage, and when you do make a choice to marry, make sure it's with someone you want to become like, because the older you get, the more alike you will become.

I hope you don't mind - I combined my answer for both threads in this post, to cover my response to your situation.
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  #5  
Unread 27th March 2013, 12:23 AM
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In the Old Testament, if a man seduced a virgin who was not betrothed to another man and it was discovered, he had to marry her, but only if the father of the bride approved. If not, he could not marry her, but had to pay the bride price for virgins.

The right to give her in marriage belonged to the father. An Israelite woman whose father died, if there were no male heirs, could marry whoever she chose within her father's clan. I Corinthians 7 says that a widow may marry whoever she wills but only in the Lord.

In the Old Testament, father's gave their daughters in marriage. The same type of language is used in the New Testament where it speaks of men marrying and giving in marriage. Men marry their wives and give their daughters in marriage. I Corinthians 7 has a section that can be interpreted to refer to father's giving their daughters in marriage. I've also read that a Hebrew word used to refer to God presenting Eve to Adam is used of fathers giving their daughters in marriage.

Did your dad give you away?

Why wouldn't you want to get 'officially' married. There is a poster on these forums who has been arguing for keeping marriages off the books so if the wife leaves, she won't clean the husband out in divorce court. Otherwise, I can't see good reasons for not getting legally married. In some states, if you live together long enough, you should get married.

If a man has promised a woman marriage and taken her virginity, then he should take responsibility and really marry her.

When I decided I wanted to marry my wife, I wanted to do it in a way where people knew and acknowledged we were married. I wanted her parents to approve. I wanted to be married in front of witnesses. I did not want our relationship to be hidden or unofficial. I didn't want there to be an excuse for anyone to accuse her of being a fornicator or sexually immoral because of her relationship with me.

Also, let's say I had some assets. If I died without a will, my assets would go to my wife. If I own a sole-proprietorship in this state, we can co-own it without having to register a partnership with the federal government. We can file taxes together. I got her a greencard to my country, and she can get me visas to her country.
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  #6  
Unread 27th March 2013, 01:42 PM
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A marriage license is extremely affordable (mine was $50) and easy to obtain from your local courthouse. There is no excuse for "pretending" to be married just because you want to buck the system and be rebellious against the laws in place. I believe God recognizes a marriage when it adheres to both the religious aspect (publicly declaring vows before a minister; "praying" together secretly does not make you married) AND when it adheres to the laws in place, which God has ordained (Romans 13:1-5: Everyone must submit to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except from God, and those that exist are instituted by God. So then, the one who resists the authority is opposing God’s command, and those who oppose it will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have its approval. For government is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, because it does not carry the sword for no reason. For government is God’s servant, an avenger that brings wrath on the one who does wrong. Therefore, you must submit, not only because of wrath, but also because of your conscience.).
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  #7  
Unread 28th March 2013, 04:41 PM
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Listen, if you're happy with living room vows in front of each other, God, your friends, family, and your dog, and you think that to be spiritually binding, rock on.

Illegal? Not per say. Legally binding? Not so much. Will the whole of society view those non-legally binding vows the same as a legal marriage? Maybe or maybe not... But if you're doing a non-legally binding marriage for personal reasons and don't want a part of a legal marriage and the societal and social trappings that come with it, then you're probably not going to care that society as a whole gives your vows no marital weight.

All that being said, if you think that by not being married (especially if you have kids), that means you can up and wander out of the union when you no longer think the sun rises and sets on your spiritual wife without worries about division of assets, housing, support, or the rest of that fun stuff that gets sorted out with a legal divorce...? Yeah, that's not going to happen. You might just be able to say "I now unmarry you," but all that fun stuff still has to get worked out. In my state, it actually gets worked out at the same court as the divorces do. So if you think you're saving yourself hassle, if you break up, you'll learn the hard way that you actually created a big old disaster for yourself that can drag out much longer then a divorce. Common law marriage (which actually doesn't automatically occur just because you say some vows, but I digress) is just like going through a divorce when you end it.

Besides which, if you say that you don't want to marry somebody because you don't want to deal with the hassle of divorcing them, you're pretty much saying that you need an out on the relationship... Which is fine, but really, when you list that as a reason for not marrying, why would you think people would take your relationship seriously? Not wanting to get married, not being interested in marriage, thinking a marriage doesn't define your commitment, that a marital commitment can exist without a legal marriage... Ok, I totally get it. Fine, wonderful, glad you found something that works. Not for me for the long run, but whatever. But not wanting to get married because divorce is a pain? I mean, come on... That's not a relationship that screams "commitment" to me. Especially as you save yourself no hassle in that regard by staying unmarred. And any girl who hears a guy say that a marriage is undesirable because he wants to leave himself the option to walk away without it being hard or obligating him to anything after the relationship ends... Hello red flag.
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  #8  
Unread 28th March 2013, 06:15 PM
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Excellent post, TW. I find it rather telling that in view of gay people's fight to GET married, there are heterosexual people who are fighting for the right to NOT get married (or get "married" without getting married). lol
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  #9  
Unread 29th March 2013, 08:49 AM
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The one thing I've noted that most marriages after Adam and Eve had in common in the bible was recognition by those who live around them. Marriages are and have always been a public affair. That is because private vows can't be enforced by anyone.

I do not believe that God recognizes your marriage, because it was not done in a way that was both public and creates recognition in the community around you.

It is especially telling that the people at your church do not recognize it. The church is Christ's body on earth. If Christ's body rejects the fact that you are married. . . God rejects the fact that you are married.
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Unread 29th March 2013, 06:18 PM
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In addition to the great reasons listed by several already, there is the fact that for a marriage to be considered real in your state it requires the proper license and other steps set forth by your government. And, since their rules are not in contradiction of God's word, then Romans 13 applies. To be married, you are to obey the laws of your area.

So it is no surprise that others, including the church, would not recognize you as married.



Romans - Submission to Governing Authorities

13 Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2 Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. 4 For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.
6 This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. 7 Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.
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