What constututes a marriage?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by revmwc, Oct 17, 2015.

  1. revmwc

    revmwc
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    So does a couple need to go before a preacher or Justice of the Peace for God to recognize their marriage. Does the Marriage license issued by the state constitute the marriage in God's eyes. Or is it the commitment to one another to remain together and live as husband and wife along with consummating the marriage by coming together to become one flesh? I've been ask this question and thought I'd pose it to you folks.
     
  2. Aaron

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    Marriage is a matter of law, but the law does not make a marriage. A man and woman are wedded when in the presence of witnesses they exchange vows and publicly confess that they will live together as husband and wife.
     
  3. Scarlett O.

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    A man should leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife.

    What separates that from clinging to his mistress or concubine or prostitute?

    Well, in the US, you have to fill out a piece of paper and get someone authorized by the state to put his/her signature on it to validate it.

    That's it. While this does not constitute biblical marriage and is pretty much meaningless - we are commanded to obey authorities unless what they command goes against God.

    Every culture has man-made traditions that do not by any means make you officially married in God's eyes, but they are just social and religious traditions. Lots of people follow these traditions and God in no way brought these people together nor does he approve of their marriage. In some cases he does. So it can't be the tradition. In the culture's eye, it makes you married, but because these traditions vary so around the world - they pretty much mean nothing as far as "biblical" marriage.

    The bible does not tell us what constitutes making a union a marriage. Across the bible, people "married" differently.

    I would say as long as you have that signature on that silly piece of paper and it's signed by the required number of witnesses and you TELL people that's what you have done - you are married.

    Anything else is just fluff.
     
    #3 Scarlett O., Oct 18, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2015
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  4. Darrell C

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    Sure it does. Paul distinguishes between virgins, married, and widows.

    We can distinguish which of these are married according to God through His spokesman Paul. There is no room for anything but a husband and a wife, and clear terms as to what God expects (as well as a little advice form Paul, which we can safely assume was inspired teaching) is found in all of those cultures that span Redemptive History.

    For example, we know Abraham violated what falls under a proper course in a marriage when he was not truthful, but deceptive, about his wife. We see marriage used to illustrate God's relationship to His people, where we see the underlying teaching of faithfulness.

    We can go to the Word of God and determine whether what is called marriage is acceptable to God, and determine what is not. The particulars of the culture or society are secondary to the teachings of the Word of God in regards to marriage and how it is to be carried out by those married, and we should be able to determine if our marriages are right in the sight of God based on Biblical Doctrine (both in ceremony as well as practical application).


    God bless.
     
  5. revmwc

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    Let's look at our elderly in this nation. In many cases if they marry they lose income. But they want to commit to each other. Many do and live together as husband and wife. So in the sight of god are they married? Does going before a minister change the commitment? A night stand stand would constitute something entirely different but the commitment to each other and the ability to have enough funds to live on which is better and how would you term the relationship? Isaac and Rebecca went into his mothers tent and became one flesh. No ceremony. Of course a dowery deal was made but that again was man's God saw them as one.
     
  6. Aaron

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    No. They're lying. And stealing.

    There is no commitment without the public exchange of vows in whatever ceremony communicates that the couple is united in marriage.

    So did everyone else. Sex doesn't make a marriage. A man and a woman might commit adultery, or fornication, but they don't commit marriage.
     
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  7. heisrisen

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    Who says you have to go before a bunch of witnesses for it to be considered right in God's eyes? Some people can't afford to do a ceremony and can't make that happen anyway The only witnesses are the people who signed the certificate. I believe we have to go by the law of the land and get the license, but you don't need an elaborate ceremony.
     
  8. Aaron

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    Just wondering who it was that made such an assertion?
     
    #8 Aaron, Oct 18, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2015
  9. revmwc

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    Just wondering can you give chapter and verse where we are commanded in the Bible to publically exchange vows and have a ceremony?

    How are the elderly stealing and lying. If she for instance had a pension from her first husband who passed away and by marrying she would lose that income then what is the recourse? I know several whom this applies too.
     
  10. TCassidy

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    A marriage is one man and one woman committed to each other for one lifetime. It is not within the purview of government to licence a marriage. Marriage is an agreement between two people, or two families with or without the blessings of a religious practitioner of choice. Government issued marriage licenses did not become the norm in the US until around 1850. Up until then the local minister would publish the banns and if there was no objection the couple would be married.

    If there was no minister or church the couple would simply make their marriage vows to each other.

    The idea of a marriage license is racist in it origin. The first marriage licenses were issued to prevent Chinese labor, who came to work on the railroads (the B&O in 1830 and eventually the Transcontinental Railroad in 1847), from marrying "white" women.

    Then after the Civil War it was to prevent Blacks from marrying "white" women.

    married.jpg
     
    #10 TCassidy, Oct 18, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2015
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  11. percho

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    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
    17 But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.
     
  12. revmwc

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    There in is what God recognizes the act in and of itself makes one flesh the commitment to each other solidifies the marriage
     
  13. Aaron

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    The first marriage there was a proclamation.

    This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.​

    Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

    Marriage is not a private matter. Marriage is a societal matter. How is one to know that a man and woman is married? There's only one way. They say so in a public manner.

    The elderly in your example are telling the people they're not married in order to defraud their benefactors.
     
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  14. Aaron

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    I would agree about the matter of a license, but the fact that the state has a duty and vested interest in enforcing and protecting the institution.
     
  15. revmwc

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    Okay so they have a ceremony with folks in attendance. But never send in the marriage license nor legally change any documents. They proclaimed their love showed it to the world but in order to be able to put food on the table and make ends meet they never do the legal name changes.

    Those benefactors you speak of would be her husband who put money in a retirement account all of thier marriage but will not be hers in a name change. Or he was a government employee and the name change takes her rights of his retirement money he paid in from being hers.
     
  16. percho

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    Hypothetical

    Let's say a twelve year old boy and a twelve tear old girl fine themselves marooned on a habitable island and manage to live tens of years. In the eyes of God could they ever be considered married? When, if yes?
     
  17. revmwc

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    As soon as they consummate the marriage
     
  18. Darrell C

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    Two teenagers walk into your office and say "We went into one of our mother's rooms and now we believe we are married, but our folks have a problem with it."

    What do you say to them?


    God bless.
     
  19. agedman

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    Bring you parents here, and lets all sit down and work this situation out.

    If one is 18 or 19, and the other is 17 or less, then the authorities must be called.
     
  20. Darrell C

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    The context of the question is whether one needs a marriage license or ceremony in order for a couple to be married.

    The example given was an elderly couple that would lose benefits by being married. If we say it is okay for them to be considered married, then this would have to equally apply to anyone who wanted to be married.

    God bless.
     

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