IS THIS MARRIAGE LEGAL?

24th September 2012 by Bill Davis
I recently had a very interesting situation brought to me. A lady came and said she was afraid her daughter was not really married but was living with a man in a “marital” situation. She was not saying there had never been a marriage ceremony, she was questioning the scriptural validity of the marriage. Seems she has a Christian view of marriage while her daughter and now son-in-law have a more secular view of marriage. She went on to explain that the service was not held in a church. I explained that I felt a marriage service could be performed basically anywhere. She then explained that what really bothered her was that the “facilitator” was not a minister and there was no mention of God or any scripture read during the service. I still assured her that perhaps this is not the way I would want one of my children married, but it was still probably legal. That is when she asked the question that really started to haunt me. She asked; “Legal in the eyes of who? God or man?”
2 Corinthians 8:21 Contemporary English Version (CEV); “But we want to do what pleases the Lord and what people think is right.”
The world often tells us certain things are right or the Bible just isn’t relevant in a particular area anymore. This can be a very dangerous attitude to have. Paul had some wise words in his message to the churches in Galatia.
Galatians 1:6-12 Contemporary English Version (CEV) Selected; “I am shocked that you have so quickly turned from God. You have believed another message, when there is really only one true message. Some people are causing you trouble and want to make you turn away from the good news about Christ. I pray that God will punish anyone who preaches anything different from our message to you! It does not matter if that person is one of us or an angel from heaven. I have said it before, and I will say it again. I hope God will punish anyone who preaches anything different from what God has taught.I am not trying to please people. I want to please God. My friends, I want you to know that no one made up the message I preach. It was not given or taught to me by some mere human. My message came directly from Jesus Christ.”
No where in scripture could I find a description of a “Godly” wedding ceremony and it certainly does not say a wedding has to be performed in a church. Our culture and law seem to expect some form of ceremony. In weddings, as in much of our society in general, we often ignore overall Biblical teachings. We minimize the importance of vows; especially those made before God. We remove words from wedding vows to be more “socially acceptable”. Often wedding arrangements become undignified, if not sacrilegious. It is important to remember, there is a vow being made not only in front of people, but to God. The knowledge that we have of God can guide us regarding marriage ceremonies today. For hundreds of years, pastors have presided over wedding ceremonies in such a way that the God who honors marriage has Himself been honored and His Word proclaimed. God santifies and should govern the union of man and wife.
Malachi 2:14 Paraphrased; “The Lord is the witnessbetween you and your wife. You should never be unfaithful to her. “She is your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant.”
As a Pastor, it is paramount that this covenant be between the couple and God and sealed in the reading of His Word.
Bill Davis           <“)))><

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