What does a Biblical marriage look like? What does the Bible say about marriage?
"For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh." (Genesis 2:24 NASB unless noted
YHWH instituted marriage. Man, government, and the supreme court usurped the institute of marriage for their financial advantage.
"Then the LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him."" (Genesis 2:18 )
These verses describe YHWH's plan and purpose for marriage.
God's model for marriage was modified, somewhat, after the fall into sin, but mainly to counter the new conflict in relationship between the wife and husband. As a result of Eve's part in the fall God informed her/us that:
"You will want to control your husband, but he will dominate you.” (Genesis 3:16 NET)
To counter that new flaw God asks the wife to give herself into submission to her husband and the husband is to do a better job of leading than Adam did. (read Fruit of the Fall)
As well, our marriage ceremonies today are rooted in culture, customs, traditions, liturgy, and/or symbolism with very little rooted in scriptures.
How have we come to need a licence from government to marry?
The marriage licence was first made a statutory obligation in England in 1753. There was then and is now no Biblical requirement for a licence.
A "licence" is defined in Black's Law Dictionary as "Permission by some competent authority to do some act which, without such permission, would be illegal." If you have ears to hear it, a civil marriage with a licence is a three party (two "legal persons" and the issuer of the licence) contract representing the merger of these two legal entities or corporations under the authority of the issuer. (5 Reasons Christians Should Not Obtain a Marriage License)
There are a few things that are unlawful in a Biblically marriage. Most notable is that marriage involves a man and a woman and it is forbidden to marry someone who is not properly divorced (see Divorce and Remarriage).
All else being proper, the requirement of a licence is a sacrilege for those who are in relationship with YHWH who instituted marriage.
Are we to be concerned with things that are illegal or only those that are unlawful. Do we understand the difference?
Lawful could be most simply defined as those things that are permitted byYHWH, while legal are those that are permitted by man. Law comes from YHWH to regulate the interrelationships of man, statutes come from man to control the activities of man. Statutes are the private law of bodies politic governing the activities of those who are under the authority of those private bodies.
Loving your neighbour as yourself complies with the Law but may violate statutes. When is it wrong to heal or to do good on the Sabbath?
Because Law states that all of mankind is born equal, what gives one man the authority to regulate the activities of another man? Only one thing, his consent to be bound to private statutes.
That consent may come as a condition for employment or a condition of relationship, but it requires consent.
Where law states:
"These are the precepts of law: To live honourably; to hurt nobody; to render to everyone his due." - a maxim of law.
Statutes can regulate whatever the body politic wants, whenever they want, and they can change it whenever want. Who would knowingly consent to be under regulations like that?
Secular government, a body politic or fictional entity, is the handy work of man. It writes statutes to control the activities of those who consent to bow to their directives. (Romans 6:16) The sounds like idolatry does it not?
"You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them" (Deu 5:8-9 NIV)
A "Common Law marriage" is one wherein two consenting adults agree/vow to share their lives and resources.
A "legal marriage" is one where two consenting "persons" apply for a licence, seek out a government official (justice of the peace) to administer and witness their vows as representative of their consent.
A "church marriage" is merely a legal marriage performed in an incorporate state church using a government official (a minister registered with and licenced by the government) with some additional Bible references as a part of ceremony.
I would propose that a "Biblical Marriage" would be one wherein a man and woman, having their parents approval, consent to give themselves and all they have to each other, and publicly declaring these intentions as a covenant before God and those within their community.
©2015, Dr Steven Bydeley, a man.
All publishing rights reserved. Permission is herewith granted to reprint this article for personal use and to link or refer to it; however, no commercial re-publishing of the material in this article is permitted without prior written consent.
Steven is the author of Fathered by God and with his wife Dianne, co-author of Dream Dreams and Dreams the Heal and Counsel. He has been a guest on the Miracle Channel, Trinity Television, and Crossroads Communication, and have taught internationally on various topics.
Without Prejudice. © 2023, Steven., house of bij de Leij., of man.