This is not about if marriage is a covenant of God. It is about man’s intervention into that covenant.
Some time back I followed two rather interesting discussions. One was by a secular group, one by a religious one.
A marriage license is a legal contract between two people. A marriage is a covenant between two people and their God.
When did having that legal license make it a marriage covenant? That is how many Christian people see marriage in today’s society. Without that license issued by the state you are not married in the eyes of God.
Did you know at one point in history, many pastors’ would go to jail rather than sign a license issued by the state? It was believed that marriage should remain a covenant of the church not the government.
At one time in history, the marriage ceremony would be preformed in front of church family and friends. Maybe it was written in a Bible somewhere the date and place. Sometimes it would be recorded at a local county court house, as were births and deaths.
In my genealogy research, I found sometimes, when no pastor was available, someone else would perform the ceremony. I have a very old hand written marriage paper stating that my great-great grandparents were married on such a day by a certain Pastor.
Sometimes couples would live together until a traveling ministry came through their community. I think of these ancestors as married, with or without that state issued license. With some of the older ancestry’s I also can not find birth certificates’. There are at times, something written in a church log, birth, baptisms, and marriages deaths and so on.
Today most Amish do not acquire birth certificates unless they leave the Amish life. In the English world out side of the Amish community, when a person leaves, they must first acquire that birth record. Than they can get a job, apply for a social security number, a driver’s license and so on. In the Amish community they are married and stay married. There is no divorce.
Is marriage a covenant of God only if the couple receives a state issued license? I am not saying we should not acquire a legal license from the state. I am asking why is it we only see covenant marriage in God’s eyes only if we have that certificate from the state.
Marriage is a commitment, a long term till death parts us commitment. People can have that without a license from the state.
I have also found many older persons that live together without that license because a woman that never worked outside the home has only SS survival benefits from her late husband. If she marries, she looses that and the new husband’s income does not go up enough to cover what she no longer receives. If he is divorced, his first wife could be claiming benefits through him, which would not allow the current wife anything.
My Aunt Vivian was married about 35 years to Uncle when he passed. She could not claim on his SS because his first wife from many years back already was.
Why does the church not have a marriage they could perform for such couples that wish not to acquire that legal license from the state? I remember a time when there was something called a common law marriage. A civil ceremony was preformed and the couple lived the same as any married couple. Most states no longer recognize that civil ceremony.
There is a push and movement on in this country to legalize same gender marriage. Many Christians personally are becoming more and more accepting of this as proper. Many churches are also following this trend. Are they doing this in an attempt to make it acceptable to God? Having that legal contract will not make it a marriage in the eyes of God. I do see it becoming a legal marriage in the eyes of the government, but never in the eyes of God.
No where in the Bible does God lift up this type of same gender relationship as ideal. No where does he tell a husband to have many wives. What God sees as a covenant marriage has nothing at all to do with what a government dictates as a legal marriage.
These are all just questions that I ask my self. Those two discussions made me think about things a little differently.
Marriage is a covenant with God. A marriage license is a legal contract between two people. We will be celebrating our 40th anniversary in July. We have that legal contract. But we have so much more than that. We have a commitment that one can not receive by simply acquiring a legal contract.