Thursday, September 27, 2012

Christian Marriage (3)

The state has taken over marriage and turned it into a pale shadow of its former self. That is not a problem for Christians, because marriage is a covenant between two people based on the standards of God. It can function without government legislation, as marriage law has very little impact on the quality of a marriage. Most married people have never read the Marriage Act, but that does not matter, because marriage is a relationship and not a legal entity. The law is only becomes relevant when a marriage breaks down.

Christians should take marriage back and reshape it according to God’s word. Instead of looking to the state to legislate marriage, Churches should develop marriage contracts or covenants that reflect the word of God. Christian lawyers could develop a standard marriage agreement to be used by churches to make marriages independent of the state. This contract should be given a different name so that everyone is clear that it is a Christian institution and not a creation of the state.

This new marriage covenant should clearly define the rights and responsibilities of husbands and wives according to God’s word (1 Cor 7; Eph 5:22-33). It should also define the responsibilities of parents to children. The impact on property rights should also be specified. The new contract should also specify the conditions for divorce and provide a process for disputes to be resolved using Christian elders.

  1. Christian marriage is a covenant relationship, not just a contract between two people. The vows declare to each other are also a vow to a God. They are not just committing each other, they are committing to God.

  2. The covenant vows are also a declaration in front of the church that is recognising and recording the covenant marriage. The elders of the church are also committing to support the couple and help them growing a strong relationship, so that they can serve God in unity.

  3. A marriage occurs when a man and a woman promise before God to love each other with an unconditional love. God responds to this commitment by making the two people one. Their sexual relationship is a consummation of God joining them together. This why the marriage service often speaks of a man and woman being "joined by God".

  4. The couple making a marriage vow will be agreeing to live together, or recognising that they have been living together. They are committing to sacrificial love (agape), in which they put each other’s needs before their own.. They are promising to submit to each other so they can become one (Eph 5:21). They are agreeing to give up their personal benefits for the sake of the unity as a couple.

  5. Churches should develop a new method for recording covenant marriages. A few Christians with technical skills could serve the by the churches by setting up an electronic database for recording marriages. This would provide a record of all marriages between Christians. No one would have to use this of course. Christians would not need to make their marriage public information, if they do not want it in the public domain.


Unknown said...

I'm just curious: In which ways has the state turned marriage into a pale shadow of its former self?

Anonymous said...

This latest reform to the marriage act being discussed in parliament is not wholesome. It is not cultural.