A friend of mine studying considers herself married. She has stated she has not had a ceremony and does not have an official document of marriage. She has stated she and her boyfriend bowed down and asked God to marry them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit; therefore they are married. I have been unable to find a scripture clearly stating that you need a certificate to be married, or be married by a preacher to be married. I think her argument is clearly a justification for her to be sexually immoral with her boyfriend and to justify her sin. Where in the Bible does it discuss clearly God's procedure for his people to get married? -- Aquilah

I think you are right; this couple is looking for an excuse for sex. They are in breach of the laws of the land. The question I ask about valid marriage is this: Does your own government recognize you as married? Could you obtain a passport or immigration certificate based on this marriage? If not, the marriage is not a marriage.

The Bible never says only a preacher can marry you. Or even that a certificate is required. We are required, though, to obey the laws of the land (Romans 13) -- provided they do not violate the Word of God or conscience, of course. The nations of the world are generally clear about what constitutes legitimate marriage. Those who refuse to respect these laws are in contempt of God's law. And yet marriage is initiated and solemnized differently in different cultures.

So, to answer your question, Nowhere does the Bible clearly discuss "God's procedure" for people to get married. (I think you knew that already.) It would be nice if it did. If we really love our fiancés and fiancées, we will do whatever it takes to become man and wife. We will not play silly religious games.

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