Hello Pastor Chris,
My fiancé and I were wanting to get married now and get a marriage
license at a later date. We want to honor God in Holy matrimony but we
are not sure if He would bless our marriage if we did it this way.
Please let us know what the Bible says.
Thank you and God bless!
There is a secular aspect to marriage and a spiritual aspect to marriage. The secular aspect of marriage has to do with the laws of the state. In Texas, counties issue marriage licenses which make it legal for a minister to officiate a wedding. In other words, the state accepts what a minister does as legally binding for secular purposes. In the eyes of the law, therefore, a marriage license is a type of contract. This is one place where church and state cooperate.
Concerning religious obligations and secular obligations, Jesus said: “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s” (Matthew 22:21, NIV). Jesus was talking about paying taxes in this verse, but the principle holds true for other applications. A follower of Christ is expected to obey the secular laws of the land (Romans 13:1-2). The exception to this principle is when a secular law comes in conflict with God’s law. In that instance a believer obeys God rather than man (Daniel 3:13-18; Acts 4:18-20).
The spiritual aspect of marriage has to do with two key things: 1. the fact that God Himself brought Adam and Eve together (Genesis 2:18-25); and, 2. the fact that marriage is a picture of Christ and the church (Ephesians 5:22-33). Spiritually speaking, in a Christian wedding we are remembering that marriage is given to us by God and that marriage is to be lived out in the same way as Christ loves the church, with sacrificial love.
You write: “We want to honor God in holy matrimony.” You will do that in the best way by getting a marriage license to show that you are obedient to the laws of the state (as God expects you to do); and, by having a Christian wedding ceremony that points those in attendance to the God who established marriage and the home. This will show others that you are followers of Christ and will encourage them to follow Him, too.