General Question

giggles187187's avatar

Will God consider me (female) to be married to my fiancée (male) if we have a ceremony but don’t legally file?

Asked by giggles187187 (17points) March 12th, 2011

Was there really a marriage license or certificate way back in the New Testament days of the bible? How were marriage ceremonies preformed in the biblical days? Will that be sufficient in Gods eyes if I do the same this day in age?
As of now Im viewed as living in sin. So that is my biggest concern regarding the question I posted. I don’t want to be living in sin .
My religion is Christian.

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44 Answers

Mamradpivo's avatar

I’m sure He will, but the State won’t.

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bobesherman's avatar

Yes, but God is not Admitted to Practice before the IRS

Randy's avatar

If I’m not mistaken, I believe the union of two people in the old testament was solidified by having sex. I don’t have the scripture to back this up, but if I remember correctly, “in the eyes of God” you’re technically married to anyone you have sex with.

Kardamom's avatar

Not sure what country you live in, but in the U.S. you have to file a marriage license and get married by an authorized officiant. Marriage, is a legal contract. No one knows for sure if there is a God, and all religions follow different methodologies for marriage ceremonies that are viewed as valid within the perspective religions. If it is important for you to not appear to be “living in sin” then you need to speak with someone within your church to get a real answer. If you’re just a Christian that doesn’t follow any particular church, then it would probably be best to have a civil ceremony, so that your marriage is legal in the eyes of the government. If you don’t, you are not entitled to certain marital benefits.

harple's avatar

Welcome to fluther

God aside, the church won’t consider you married until you have legally performed the ceremony and have a marriage certificate (whether you do a religious or a civil service)... As you are following the Christian churches teachings, for you to feel at peace on this, I get the feeling you will need to have the full deal.

Personally, I think that God has bigger things to worry about…

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Lightlyseared's avatar

No. Basic christian dogma – what is true on earth is true in heaven. If you’re not legally maried on earth you’re not legally married in the eyes of god. Matthew 16v19

reijinni's avatar

Nope, because only the state is the only one that can say whether or not you’re married.

giggles187187's avatar

Yes, I am very serious. I grew up going to church, turned away from my church. Now I have 2 children with my fiancée. I and other Christians view what I’m doing as living in sin but I haven’t been able to get a direct answer to my question. I wasn’t going to say why we couldn’t get married yet but I might as well… Please no judgments as I’m trying my hardest to get out of the situation I’m in.

We can’t get married because I am in insulin dependent diabetic with thyroid disease. I’m currently going to school to become a nurse. But I’m on MEDIcal through the government which pays for all my prescriptions and durable medical equipment that I need to survive. If I get married before I can pay for a very high costing insurance I will lose my benefits through the state of CA.
I’m waiting to get legally married until I finish school. As many Christians know this is considered to be living sin…

john65pennington's avatar

I rarely answer biblical questions, simply because it arouses the bad on Fluther.

This is only my answer to you.

One of the Ten Commandments is “Thy Shalt Not Commit Adultry”.

Does this commandment apply to only married couples or does it apply to unmarried couples only?

How can one commit adultry, if they are not a married couple?

BarnacleBill's avatar

You need a marriage license to protect yourself legally. Marriage, in biblical times, was a contract between tribes to form political alliances; a daughter was “sold” to another tribe with exchange of dowry and marriage barter – the groom gave the bride’s father a bunch of goats, she came with some cash and household goods. The two families agreed to have eachother’s back.

Marriages were not recorded because the state did not meddle into daily life. Women in most cases did not inherit from either from their fathers or their husbands. When their husband died, they were often turned out of their home and became beggars. That part, to a certain extent, still exists today if you are not married to the person your a living with as a “spouse.”

Legally, it’s in your best interest. Spiritually, I doubt God cares that much about who you’re sleeping with. But other Christians might.

giggles187187's avatar

Adultry in the bible is when someone goes outside the marriage for sex, not being married and having sex is called fornication..
That wasnt my question though.. ( :

giggles187187's avatar

What is Christian dogma??

cazzie's avatar

God won’t defend you in a divorce trial, but common law will. Make sure you file legally as a married person if that is where you need to be. Marriage has nothing to do with a Deity and everything to do with the Judge that will hear your case as needs be.

Soubresaut's avatar

@giggles187187—I have a very limited religious background, so I’m no expert. But, I have a hard time imagining what you’re doing as sinful in any way. It’s smart; it’s dealing with issues in your life and making them all work; it’s marrying as much as you possibly can for the moment. I’d be really hard pressed to think God doesn’t understand the difference.

Marriage has been institutionalized, but love and commitment haven’t. And it may just be me, but I tend to think it’s the love and commitment that really counts, not the paper.

I guess what I’m saying, is I think God would consider your intentions. Following your beliefs to the best of your ability, how can that be sinful?

janbb's avatar

Why don’t you ask Him?

Kraigmo's avatar

You’re asking Fluther to do something that preachers and governments are always attempting to do: and that is speak for God.

The governments of the world, including America, are irrelevant to your spirituality.
You know whether you are married to that boy in your heart, or not.

Only you and your fiance and God know. It’s none of my business (except for the fact you asked). And, it’s none of the government’s business (although the government will disagree on your semantics, and you’ll be considered “unmarried” by bureaucrats).

If you you and the fiance consider yourselves married and you have made your spiritual vows with each other, then you’re spiritually married. And any person who disagrees with you is irrelevant.

You don’t need a government to validate a spiritual union.

LostInParadise's avatar

In biblical times there was no separation of church and state. The religious ceremony was in effect a state ceremony. It is only in more recent times that the state has set up a separate legal requirement for marriage. From a religious point of view, just getting married in the church would be sufficient.

As a practical matter, I would advise you to get legally married as soon as it is feasible. It avoids a lot of complications.

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bolwerk's avatar

I don’t see why Lord Wotan would care what the State thinks, honestly.

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augustlan's avatar

My father and his (now) wife had a similar situation to yours. She was a widow, and was receiving support from the death of her husband. She couldn’t marry until a certain date. They had a ‘commitment ceremony’ at their church, which helped their fellow church members accept them living together. Everyone considered them married in the eyes of God. When they could, they made it legal.

filmfann's avatar

It doesn’t matter. In Heaven, there is no marriage.
However, if you are worried about making it legal, you better make it legal.

perspicacious's avatar

A vow to God needs no human legal license. The sincerity with which it is made is the important thing.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@giggles187187 The short answer to your question is yes: a wedding ceremony performed by someone from the clergy (a priest, a pastor, a minister, etc.) will be enough to mean you are no longer living in sin according to standard Christian doctrine. Given that your concern is spiritual rather than legal, a religious ceremony is all you need right now.

To answer your other questions:

(1) No, there were no marriage licenses or certificates when the events of the New Testament were going on. The church and the state did not get formally involved in marriage until the 16th century, so there was no need for such things. Marriage was essentially a private contract. And like private contracts today, the state had nothing to do with them unless someone breached the contract and a more powerful authority was needed to enforce it or dispense punishment.

(2) There wasn’t much in the way of a marriage ceremony in Biblical times, at least not based on the evidence of the Bible. Among the Jews at that time, marriage was typically arranged between families rather than individuals. It was a special occasion where people wore their best clothes and feasted, but it was not a particularly religious affair. Of course, we need to remember that there were cultures other than the Jews back then. In Greek and Roman culture, you could get married simply by agreement and you didn’t need any kind of ceremony at all.

john2020md's avatar

I should jolly well hope so…

Lightlyseared's avatar

I still believe that Mathew 16v19 is the verse in the bible you should be reading and praying over. In the words of GOD – if you are not married on earth you are not married in heaven in the eyes of GOD. Sorry, but the scriptures are quite clear on this. With out the legal filing you are living in sin in the eyes of God. It doesn’t matter what happened in the past – what matters is the present.

Of course you could just ignore the scriptures altogether and do what you damn well please like the rest of us.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@Lightlyseared Married in the church is married on Earth. The state is not the only earthly institution, and the church does not have its headquarters on Venus.

Lightlyseared's avatar

@SavoirFaire If all that it took to be married was to have the church service the church wouldn’t bother filing all the paper work and paying the state for the privelage to conduct weddings. What you suggest is the church as it was formed has stayed the same for 2 millenia and will always stay the same for all eternity. That is as good as admitting that the church and religion has no place in the modern world.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@Lightlyseared The church bothers to fill in the paperwork because it’s nice to also have the ability to provide legally binding marriages as well as spiritually binding ones. But note that churches still perform marriages even in countries where church ceremonies and civil ceremonies have to be separate (meaning that clergy members don’t have the authority to create legally binding marriages). Or consider the Catholic church, which won’t consider a marriage to have God’s approval if not performed under certain conditions even if it’s legally binding.

As for the church staying the same for millenia, I have no idea where you are getting that from. It seems like you just have no argument and want to attack me for disagreeing with you.

Lightlyseared's avatar

@SavoirFaire Where I got the idea that the church stays the same for millena is you sugesting that what was true in the roman times is still true now and using that as an argument as to why one shold ignore the scriptures so as they can do what they damn well please. The answer to this question like many others is very simple and can be answered by accepting the word of God. The fact that you feel quite able to ignore that is symptomatic of what is wrong with most religions today.

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SavoirFaire's avatar

@Lightlyseared I mentioned Roman culture once, and it was to highlight how different things are now. Nor did I say to ignore the scriptures. You simply aren’t reading the passage you cite correctly. You aren’t reading my responses correctly, either.

For what it’s worth, I am not a religious person. But I did once train for the clergy, and it is with that hat on that I am answering this question.

Hidden_Mystery's avatar

There was no letter of marriage but there was a written letter of divorce.
But marriage was an action of commitment and words spoken under a signed agreement between parents having taken place first.
So there was a letter of terms and agreements.

John 4 the woman at the well. She had been married a number of times but the man she now lived with as a husband she was not married to.

16.Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither.

17.The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband:

18.For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly.

So I think if you have not gone through a ‘form’ of marriage service then you are not married.

chinchin31's avatar

Uhh… this questions sounds shady.

Why do you not want to file legally as well ?? Are you hiding from something or someone. Is there someone that you don’t want to know you got married. Usually it is the other way around. People want to get married legally but not in church.

It is clear already that you know in your heart what is right. But you are looking for someone to convince you otherwise .

I am Christian too. I got married in church and legally. I actually found it was easier to get married legally than in church. In church requires more procedures as they have to check that you are genuinely getting married for the right reasons.

If you are really christian as you say you will already know that getting married in Church is seen as being more important. Legal marriages were created by governments so that couples get protected under law and is a clear means of monitoring marriages in society as there are so many religions in the world today.

Get married in church!!!! If you only get married legally technically you will still be seen as living in sin according to Christianity. That is the way it is in most christian churches.

However at the end of the day I think God judges you according to what is in your mind and heart. There are lots of people that get married in church for the show and endup divorced .
Whether you get married in church or not… what is important is that you are genuinely commited for life , for richer for poorer for better or worse. Getting married in church was set up I believe for human beings to publicly decare in front of their family that they they believe in God and are getting married with God as their witness.

I personally would get married in church if I was a true christian. If you really say you are christian there is nothing to it.Just do it. You don’t even have to have a big ceremony. It can be 4 or 5 people.

Also what does your partner think? Does he want to get married. If he doesn’t believe in it then maybe you two are not right for each other.

It sounds to me like you are having some kind of guilt complex stemming from your upbringing. I don’t hear you saying anything about what you partner thinks.

Also if you think you are living in sin but he doesn’t maybe you are not compatible for each other and should be thinking of marriage at all. Don’t get married just for the sake of it or because you feel guilty. You both have to want it or you will end up unhappy and divorced.

Ther are too many angles to this situation. you need to give more info. Goodluck :) ha!

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

You don’t want to live in sin, but what does God say about obeying the law of the land? For you to go through them to get what God ordained is not usurping God’s degree. God knows your heart, if there were no way to go through channels the government set, I would say you would not have the need, however, since there are laws by the government stating you have to do certain things, you would still be sinning for not obeying government. If it were that simple we would not have had to go through the latest SCOTUS debacle ruling as it would not have had any wind in its sail from the start.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central But the law of the land doesn’t require people to obtain a state-recognized marriage in order to have their marriage recognized by God. All that the law of the land says is that if you want access to certain rights, protections, and responsibilities (about 1,100 of them, all told), then you must obtain a state-recognized marriage. So long as @giggles187187 is not attempting to obtain those rights with only a church-recognized marriage, she is not violating the law of the land.

cazzie's avatar

What people are suspecting here is that @giggles is not filing a marriage certificate because it disadvantages her to some point financially. Either that or one party is still legally married and filing officially would make them a bigamist. Suspicious lot we are.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@SavoirFaire But the law of the land doesn’t require people to obtain a state-recognized marriage in order to have their marriage recognized by God.
It is more than that, if the idea that having a ceremony (privately) and saying you are married but not going through the laws of the land is causing one to be viewed as living in sin, it goes further than that. God know the heart, even those who go through the ceremony, how God sees it is how He sees it; He knows the heart. However, it is more than that, it is about being good witnesses as to one’s obedience to God, and if the marriage the state ordains is in line with the union of marriage God ordained then one should be a good example and follow the law of the land as God has told us. God might see them as married but guilty of disobedience and being a poor witness; if they do not have to get an official license how can they witness to someone just cohabitating because they are just as legally unmarried as she would be, Earth wise.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central US law allows people to get married by the church without getting married by the state. It only forbids them from claiming certain benefits if they haven't been married by the state. So there's no violation there “Earth wise.”

That leaves us with your claim about witnessing. But someone who has been married by the church is married, the same way that a person married by the church in a country that doesn't let Christians marry is married (and presumably God would recognize that marriage). So that person would not be “merely” cohabitating in the same way as the person who has been married by neither the church nor the state and could therefore witness without inconsistency.

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