Ask Your Preacher
If a couple gets married by a christian pastor but does not record it with the local government, how does God view it? I would assume He deems it legal and binding. But, of course, the government does not view it as legal and binding. Thank you for answering my question!
Dear Veiled Vows,
Whether or not the marriage is legitimate could very much be debated, but there is really no Biblical precedent for being “married before God” and not married before the law. Christians are supposed to obey the laws of the land (Rom 13:1-3). In fact, you can't even find a verse that says marriages need to be performed by religious figures. If a religious figure could perform a marriage ceremony without legal documentation... why couldn't a Justice of the Peace perform the same ceremony without legal documentation? The religious leader doesn’t have any more biblical authority to skip the paperwork than the civil leader would.
The Scriptures say that people should get married rather than live together in a sinful relationship (1 Cor 6:18), AND they say that we should obey the laws of the land (1 Pet 2:13-15). In your scenario, the couple would be obeying one command… but not the other (if they are “not legally married”, that – by definition – means they would be doing something they believe/know is illegal). We can’t simply obey some of God’s laws and forsake the others. The sum of God’s Word is truth (Ps 119:160).
Is it sinful to become aroused? Or have sexual desires?
Sexual desires are not wrong, but like all desires, they must be fulfilled in only righteous ways. God designed men and women to be attracted to one another. God even said, "It is not good for man to be alone." (Gen 2:18) God's solution to Adam's loneliness was marriage to Eve (Gen 2:24). Sexual desires are normal, but we must guard against sinful temptations that are often associated with those desires – temptations like adultery, pornography, and other types of fornication. We should flee from all those things (1 Cor 6:18). However, the desires aren't in and of themselves wrong; they are just designed to be fulfilled in marriage (1 Cor 7:1-2).
Is sex before marriage a sin?
Sex before marriage is a sin. From the very beginning, God designed marriage as the realm for sexual relations (Gen 2:24). 1 Cor 7:1-2 states that any relations outside of marriage are fornication. God tells us to flee all fornication (1 Cor 6:18). Even though sexual immorality is rampant in our culture and accepted by our society, that doesn’t make it right. Christians are called to honor God and honor marriage by leaving the marriage bed pure and undefiled (Heb 13:4).
My ex-wife and I were both members of the church when she decided to divorce me. Am I now free to re-marry?
Alone and Lonely
Dear Alone And Lonely,
Your question deals with the issue of marriage, divorce, and remarriage. This issue is a big issue, and each individual must study the Scriptures concerning this before making a personal decision about it. Whenever people send us questions dealing with marriage, divorce, and remarriage, we always point them toward our sermon series on the topic. That series should answer most questions about the subject. If there are still questions after listening to those five lessons – feel free to write back, but please make sure to include your e-mail, so we can contact you directly. Here is a link to that series of sermons: “Marriage, Divorce, And Remarriage”. We are so very sorry for your pain and the sorrow you are going through. We appreciate your desire to do find and do what is right, regardless of the consequences.
Today, many older people cannot afford to marry due to funds they get each month for different reasons. They will lose part of their money. What does a christian do about this problem? Thank you.
Dear Social Insecurity,
There is a reason that the marriage vows include the words “for richer or for poorer”. We can certainly sympathize with difficult financial circumstances, but money problems aren’t an excuse for living together outside of wedlock. Young and old alike have financial considerations to factor in when getting married. God promises that if we trust Him and do what is right, He will always take care of us (Rom 8:28). If two people truly love each other and want to get married, then they should both count the cost and just say, “I do”. No matter what, it would be ungodly to have sexual relations outside of marriage (1 Cor 7:2).