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Joined: 2009/1/21
Posts: 1559
Locport, Illinois

 Marriage committment

You know i have had a few christians come up to me and say that biblically it never says that you have to have a marriage ceremony to be married but when you get sexually involved with someone you are then married through that sexual union. I disagree with this completely but does anybody have any information through church history on what marriage meant in the old testament times and new testament times? What constituted marriage? I have young brother in a relationship who was it almost seemed to justify his sexual relationship with his girlfriend of 1 month and he wants proof about the marriage ceremony being mandatory. I just am very angry over this for some reason, can someone pleae help, and also what is the definition of fornication?

John Beechy

 2010/1/18 15:32Profile

Joined: 2009/12/12
Posts: 592

 Re: Marriage committment

Well on the one hand, having sexual intercourse outside of marriage does form a spiritual bond:

1 Cor. 6:15-16 "15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? Certainly not! 16 Or do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her? For “the two,” He says, “shall become one flesh.”

This however would be an unsanctified union. As for having a sanctified covenant endorsed by God, how young is your brother? Is he still living with your parents? Genesis does make clear that the man shall leave his family and cleave to his wife. If he has not left his family, he is out of biblical order. There is more of course because many worldly people have left their parents and are not legit. I will think more on this. I'm sure others will have good feedback too.


 2010/1/18 15:52Profile

Joined: 2007/6/27
Posts: 1573
Omaha, NE

 Re: Marriage committment

Marriage is a covenant bond between one man and
one woman. Yes, your young brother is trying to
justify living in sin (fornication) as marriage!!

Martin G. Smith

 2010/1/18 16:40Profile

Joined: 2009/1/21
Posts: 1559
Locport, Illinois


he is my brother in Christ and he is just in a sexual relationship with a believer and i have been warning him.

John Beechy

 2010/1/18 17:15Profile

Joined: 2005/8/25
Posts: 130



I am not justifying the sin, but you need to love this man in spite of his sin. I am saying this because you said "i am angry". I believe we must be very careful in labeling our "anger" as rightoues anger. Especially as young believers we can easily be angry in our zeal, but it is a work of the flesh. Dont misunderstand me, I am not justifying the sin. edit: But do you ask the Lord for brokenness and tears and love for this man?


Daniel Sahm

 2010/1/18 17:23Profile

 Re: Marriage committment

Deu22:13 If any man take a wife, and go in unto her, and hate her,
Deu22:14 And give occasions of speech against her, and bring up an evil name upon her, and say, I took this woman, and when I came to her, I found her not a maid:
Deu22:15 Then shall the father of the damsel, and her mother, take and bring forth the tokens of the damsel's virginity unto the elders of the city in the gate:
Deu22:16 And the damsel's father shall say unto the elders, I gave my daughter unto this man to wife, and he hateth her;
Deu22:17 And, lo, he hath given occasions of speech against her, saying, I found not thy daughter a maid; and yet these are the tokens of my daughter's virginity. And they shall spread the cloth before the elders of the city.
Deu22:18 And the elders of that city shall take that man and chastise him;
Deu22:19 And they shall amerce him in an hundred shekels of silver, and give them unto the father of the damsel, because he hath brought up an evil name upon a virgin of Israel: and she shall be his wife; he may not put her away all his days.

Deu22:20 But if this thing be true, and the tokens of virginity be not found for the damsel:
Deu22:21 Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father's house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die: because she hath wrought folly in Israel, to play the whore in her father's house: so shalt thou put evil away from among you.

Deu22:28 If a man find a damsel that is a virgin, which is not betrothed, and lay hold on her, and lie with her, and they be found;
Deu22:29 Then the man that lay with her shall give unto the damsel's father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife; because he hath humbled her, he may not put her away all his days.

 2010/1/18 18:25


Fornication is a tricky word to interpret. I've used the Strongs in bringing this example out. I hope this helps.

Matthew 19:9 And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.

In this example, as we can see, this is a man who has a wife and if there be cause for divorce it would have to be on the grounds of fornication.

I have heard that fornication is s-x before marriage, but in this verse, the man already has a wife.

The information below solidifies that.

Strongs has it to be taken from the Greek, "Porneuo"; harlotry (including adultery and incest); figuratively, idolatry -- fornication.

cause to commit fornication, "continually", great, be an, play the harlot

A primitive root (highly-fed and therefore wanton); to commit adultery (usually of the female, and less often of simple fornication, rarely of involuntary ravishment); figuratively, to commit idolatry (the Jewish people being regarded as the spouse of Jehovah) -- (cause to) commit fornication, X continually, X great, (be an, play the) harlot, (cause to be, play the) whore, (commit, fall to) whoredom, (cause to) go a-whoring, whorish.

 2010/1/18 22:42

Joined: 2009/4/5
Posts: 1999
Joplin, Missouri

 Re: Marriage committment

Mar 10:7 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife;
Mar 10:8 And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh.
Mar 10:9 What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

What this couple is missing is that God has not joined them together. They have taken that upon themselves.

God has ordained elders in the body of Christ to provide leadership and oversight. The marriage ceremony is a recognition by this God-ordained eldership of the fact that God has joined the couple and an ordination if you will of their union. The new testament example of setting in place of eldership and spiritual offices in the body were by ordination by existing eldership or apostolic and prophetic leadership. The marriage ceremony is very similar in that it is God's way of officially ordaining the couple to life and ministry together. While there is no specific type or length of ceremony that is required and while these ceremonies are very culturally determined, the fact is that two are recognized and ordained by eldership is important.

My thoughts anyhow.



 2010/1/18 22:48Profile

Joined: 2004/7/7
Posts: 7464

 Re: Marriage committment

that biblically it never says that you have to have a marriage ceremony to be married

This may only partly be true. Scripture does talk about being married but it does not give us any details how this marriage ceremonyis to be performed. However it is to be done, it must be recognized by the prevailing culture that a marriage has occurred and that this couple is now bound together for life.

anybody have any information through church history on what marriage meant in the old testament times

The example of Joseph and Mary could be used here. They were betrothed when she was discovered to be pregnant. This betrothal was so binding that only a divorce could cancel this commitment. The time of betrothal was to give the groom time to prepare a place for he and his bride to live after the wedding. Conjugal relations were not entered into until after the wedding. This was their culture at the time of Christ.

When one studies the obligations of a marriage as recorded in the WORD it would give a person a sound Biblical basis on what constitutes a marriage. For starters you could look up all references in Strongs that relate to divorce, married, marriage, wife and husband. Put them all together and this should teach you all you need to know.

My understanding - hope it helps.

I do understand your frustration when someone will challenge a concept you thought would never be questioned. I agree with another poster who suggested the fellow just wants to justify his sin.

BTW: why does this fellow not want to make a commitment? Sounds to me like as though all he wants is to experience pleasure minus the responcibility. Stinks like a kettle of fish that has been in sun all day long on hot July day in Missippi!


Sandra Miller

 2010/1/18 23:59Profile

Joined: 2010/1/6
Posts: 17

 Re: Marriage committment

First off call it like it is. This doesn't take Charles Spurgeon or Ravenhill to answer this question, you're brother is living in sin if not lost as well as his girlfriend. The Word teaches that if we are Christians and believe contrary to something God teaches as true He will correct us. I meditated over this thought myself years ago about marriage vs sex. Biblically, one man + one woman + sex = one flesh. Sex was designed as a blessing meant only in the context of marriage, anything outside of that context is wicked and sexually immoral and God hates it.

1 Corinthians 6:9-11 "Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such WERE some of you; but you were washed..."

Galatians 5:19-24 "Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery...just as I have forewarned you, that those who practices such things will not inherit the kingdom of God..."

This is what scripture says of it. Goodness sakes, it is at the very beginnnig of the Bible that ONE MAN, shall leave his family and cleave to ONE WOMAN, and they will become ONE FLESH. You can't be one flesh with one woman or man if you have slept with more than one person. I understand some people did this before salvation, and that even some true Christians have fallen to this themselves. God can restore spiritually what the flesh devours. Take the heid of Paul in 1 Thessalonians 4:3 that you abstain and flee from this sin.

As for the ceremony question, it was ordained by God for man and woman to be wed. I have not read throughout the OT like leviticus to tell you that it is written to have a marriage ceremony. But no where in scripture do you see a man and a woman sneaking off to have sex ordained or blessed by God. Based on tradition in all cultures it is easy to assume that marriage ceremonies were established and upheld by all people. God ordains marriage the right way, the way that glorifies Him in purity and purpose. If ya just go around and have sex with the person you are in a relationship you are not only breaking the purpose He has for sex, but you are destroying His name and being just like the world. Don't be deceived by the sinful mind.

As for being angry with your brother, that is ok. Remember first Jesus wept over Jerusalem before He tore into the temple and started turning tables over. Be broken over his sin the way God is, but also have enough back bone to turn tables over. Marriage and sex are a God ordained thing, He will not let those who treat it flippantly to go undealt with. Marriage and family are God established and even said by some if not most to be 2nd most important thing in life other than salvation.

Read Hebrews 13:4

 2010/1/19 7:25Profile

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