Many couples who marry religiously but not legally do so because of an elopement or without obtaining a license.
Although Christians must abide by the laws of their respective country, that doesn’t mean they should disregard biblical principles surrounding marriage. Jesus attended wedding ceremonies and supported this concept of union as evidenced by His attendance.
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1. You must be a Christian
Many people mistakenly believe that God only requires faith in Jesus Christ and His sacrifice for your sins, yet true Christians understand that this alone isn’t enough if you want your life to reflect God’s will. They understand this by adhering to his Word by following it themselves, including loving their spouse as Christ instructed; abstaining from fornication while living together without official marriage is among their main duties as well.
As a Christian, it’s essential that you abide by the laws of your country. Although no Biblical requirement dictates marriage in church, obtaining a civil marriage license could give tax benefits or legally recognized next of kin status if necessary. Attending church regularly and giving to its work are also valuable ways of deepening your relationship with Christ while serving Him more efficiently.
There is no biblical basis to suggest that one cannot be considered married in God’s eyes if they choose not to marry at church or through Justice of the Peace. Indeed, people can make covenants of marriage with one another any way they see fit; there’s no reason for breaking local laws in any case.
If two people want to enter into a covenant of marriage before God but outside the eyes of state law, it’s best that it takes place as privately as possible. This will help them keep their promises and avoid potential issues in the future while creating an intimate and loving relationship between themselves and each other.
Some may argue that it is indefensible for couples to make marriage covenants with God but not with the state, though this argument can be difficult to sustain; after all, God instituted marriage before civil governments existed and initiated marriage covenants when He created Adam and Eve. Furthermore, it would not be fair to judge others according to their beliefs or actions.
2. You must have a ceremony
Ceremonies are an integral component of marriage and can take many forms. Couples can get married before a Justice of the Peace or attend religious ceremonies that include their vows to each other, or choose to renew them later as part of celebrating their love story.
God Himself presided over Adam and Eve’s first wedding ceremony as He explained the law of marriage: that each man shall leave his father and mother and cleave to his or her wife, becoming one flesh.” According to Scripture, marriage is meant to last for life.
Many believe it is possible to marry in God’s eyes without going through a traditional wedding ceremony, with spiritual ceremonies often being less formal and more intimate. However, spiritual marriages do not recognize by governments or legal bodies.
If you are planning a wedding ceremony, it is essential that you meet with the couple prior to the big day in order to discuss their vision for it. Learn what elements they would like included, and draft a draft for review by them. Additionally, it would be beneficial if a rehearsal were scheduled prior to stepping onto the stage so any issues can be addressed prior to beginning your work at a ceremony.
As the couple may have specific religious preferences for their ceremony, it is also wise to discuss any religious aspects with them beforehand. Many officiants choose to open with an invocation that sets the mood or begins their speech by saying an opening statement which introduces both themselves and the couple involved.
Some states allow members of clergy or public officials to officiate weddings; this includes priests, ministers, rabbis, and other clergy. Furthermore, some states recognize those who have been ordained online as officiants at weddings.
3. You must have witnesses
God has high standards when it comes to marriage. He designed man and woman as equal partners who should share life together as partners for life, yet He expects faithfulness – He abhors divorce (Malachi 2:16) and condemns Israel for being unfaithful (Jer 3). Additionally, He expects civil authorities to recognize marriage legally – this makes getting legally married so crucial.
Many couples believe that God recognizes their union even if it’s not legally recognized, such as through eloping or unlicensed marriage. If the couple celebrates and consummates their marriage sexually during a ceremony then this constitutes marriage in His eyes – this being said, cultural, familial or covenantal practices should be employed to recognize their marriage as official.
One thing not clearly revealed by the Bible is when God considers a couple to be married in his eyes. Some believe they become legally wedded when they undergo formal wedding ceremonies that involve covenantal vows; other believe their marriage becomes valid upon engaging in sexual activity, and still others think marriages only remain valid if witnessed by civil authorities.
No matter what their decision may be, both couples must have witnesses present at their ceremony to sign the marriage license. There are various methods of selecting witnesses; it is best if those chosen can give an accurate account of what transpired at the ceremony and can understand its language during it. Additionally, at least one legal age person (18 or over) and can understand it should sign their witness card as witnesses for signing it.
Witnesses are usually required for legal marriage ceremonies. Their role is to verify that the ceremony took place and that both partners freely entered into it; otherwise, the marriage is considered invalid. When inviting witnesses for your legal marriage ceremony, be sure to invite those that will appreciate being part of such a momentous event so you can have peace of mind knowing your ceremony is being conducted according to law.
4. You must have a marriage license
Marriage licenses are legal documents that give two individuals the legal permission to marry each other legally, issued by a county clerk’s office and obtained prior to any ceremony. As each state may differ regarding this process and requirements for receiving one of these documents varies accordingly, you will need to contact your local clerk’s office in advance to ascertain any requirements that pertain to you specifically. Typically this means having two forms of identification such as driver’s licenses or passports on both parties as well as being aware if anyone of them have ever been divorced before entering into this legal union.
In most states, in order to obtain a marriage license you will need to go directly to the county clerk’s office in person. Arranging an appointment ahead of time will speed up this process and both parties must appear together when applying for it; also bring any prenuptial agreements that you might have signed along with any copies that might exist if appropriate.
There is typically a 72-hour waiting period, though this can differ. You will need to provide proof of age and residency; acceptable documents could include state/country ID cards, driver’s license/passport or certified copies of birth certificates as proof. Furthermore, your social security number (if applicable) and address will need to be provided if applicable.
If either party was previously married, you will need to present copies of their divorce decree or annulment agreement and death certificates (if either spouse has passed). Furthermore, special written authorization will likely be needed if either applicant is on probation or parole.
After the wedding ceremony has concluded, the officiant must return the marriage license to the clerk’s office either through mail or personal delivery. Once returned, this office will issue a certified copy that details both parties involved in the union.
Certified copies can serve many purposes, from taxes and insurance claims to banking applications and mortgage mortgage applications – even name changes! Sometimes they’re even required when applying for passports or visas! For only $12 in person or $14 by mail you can secure one today!