How does GOD define a
So what constitutes a "legal" or legitimate marriage in the eyes of
God? It's really a lot simpler than one would expect based upon how things are
commonly done nowadays. The current pattern followed by most Christians is the
formula used by the world. However, the biblical pattern is:
Step 1. the father (or whoever has taken over this shepherding role due to
the death of the father) gives the bride to the groom. If the groom accepts and if the
bride does not convince her father not to give her away, its a done deal after
Step 2. a marriage feast is held
Step 3. the marriage is consumated
THAT'S IT! DONE! FINI!
There is no mention in scripture of marriage licenses from the state or even
"a marriage ceremony" or of couples making vows to one another or
exchanging rings. The Bible says, let your yes be yes and your no be no.
Vows are not necessarily bad and can serve a purpose to remind people of the
seriousness of the step they are taking. But beyond that, what is of
utmost importance is that the bride and groom:
are committed to one another and to the Lord.
are not expecting more from the other person than from themselves.
are able to tell the difference between infatuation and biblical love.
love one another as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it.
know and acknowledge that "what God hath joined together let man not
understand that real love involves giving without expecting anything
in return, self-sacrifice, turning the other cheek, going the extra mile and
forgiving seventy times seven.
are willing to really get to know the other person and their friends and
families (future in-laws). This requires spending time in activities that
involve more than just the two of them. It also involves spending time doing
chores and running errands together, visiting people, working together in
ministries, becoming familiar with the other person's favorite friends and
As for what defines the breaking of a biblical marriage covenant, that is a
subject of much debate and contention, which we will not get into at this
time. The best advice of course is always to do it right the first time,
making sure that through much prayer, bible study and sound biblical counseling,
you find the right mate and you be the right spouse. May God bless you with much
patience, love and wisdom as you consider marriage and as you strive to live out
your marriage to God's glory.