As I was writing about adultery , I realized that modern marriage and Biblical marriage are completely different. However modern Christians have disregarded the Biblical meaning and adopted the modern marriage laws instead. Before going any further into the other sexual sins, we must know The Highest Gods marriage regulations. There are four steps in the marriage process: the first step to marriage is betrothal, second endowment, third marriage and lastly the consummation.
First, marriage in the bible is formed by a written agreement between an unmarried woman’s fiancé and her father that gives the couple divine permission to live together, love one another and procreate.
Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance
- Betroth, Betrothed: H781 aras, To engage for matrimony- betroth, espouse.
- Endowed: H4117 mahar, a prime root (rather the same as H4116 through the idea of readiness in assent) to bargain for a wife. To wed- endow, x surely.
- Dowry: H4119 mohar. A price for a wife- dowry.
- Consummate: To complete a marriage through sexual intercourse. (Oxford: New Desk Dictionary Thesaurus.)
Marriage is a spiritual, physical and mental contract between two persons for life. Women play a very passive role in the marriage process. She is seen as a precious jewel, a rare and pure spirit meant to be protected. Her father or any respectful male figure in her life was expected to guard her with his life. Any man seeking a wife has to meet certain financial requirements. The man had to show that he could provide for the lady he wanted as a wife. He could do this in two ways: give his desired lady and her family jewels, and money; or he could provide a type of financial service to them.
This is usually agreed upon in a meeting with the father of the maiden and the suitor. This is the divine Biblical process for a man to obtain a wife. First he must be able to betroth a lady to himself by a contract with her father, then perform the duty of giving a dowry or endowment price or service and lastly he is then permitted to consummate his love.
“16 And if a man entice a maid that is not betrothed, and lie with her, he shall surely endow her to be his wife.
17 If her father utterly refuse to give her unto him, he shall pay money according to the dowry of virgins.”
23. “Hast thou children? Instruct them, and bow down their neck from their youth.
24. Hast thou daughters? Have care of their body, and shew not thyself toward them.
25. Marry thy daughter, and so shalt thou have performed a weighty matter: but give her to a man of understanding.
26. Hast thou a wife after thy mind? Forsake her not: but give not thyself over to a light woman.
This book, Ecclesiasticus, is an apocryphal book. It is the rest of the most known book Ecclesiastes. It gives us more in depth morals to live by. Although women were passive characters in the realm of marriage, it was her fathers duty to ensure that she was protected, respected, loved and provided for. The act of giving one’s daughter away in marriage is a very serious decision. It’s a choice that can’t be undone and affects everyone for the rest of their lives. A father can deny a marriage even if his daughter loses her virginity to a man. Having sex does not guarantee a marriage at all. If the young man cannot prove his worth, then he cannot marry.
How Did Marriage Start?
There’s no need to go to a pastor or judge to solidify a marriage. However, it is a requirement for a man seeking a wife to ask her father permission to marry her. According to the bible, a marriage is not valid unless the couple goes through the father. Marriage is not fully explained in the new testament except for a few scriptures against homosexuals and premarital sex. This still gives us a clue that marriage is only between man and a woman and that sex is sacred and restricted to marriage only. However the new testament scripture does not specify the marriage process. This is because the scriptures were written to people who have already known this process. Since our modern generation doesn’t know the biblical marriage process the New Testament seems vague.
The marriage process is seen throughout scripture. Marriage is not new, it is a divine pairing since the beginning of time. First male and female were created as one ultimate being; man. Then he was split into two beings; Adam and Eve. The two together were given dominion over the earth and their responsibility to each other was to care for one another, be fruitful and multiply. In other words they were supposed to have a wonderfully loving relationship ruling the earth with children. The male and female aspect of the marriage is a reflection of The Highest God. The highest God is the father in this scenario, Eve is his daughter and Adam is the fiancé. Genesis 1:26-28.
Isaac and Rebecca
The second example is Isaac and Rebecca Genesis 24:: Isaac, son of Abraham, was the only man in scripture that didn’t go out looking for a wife. His father Abraham sent one of his servants out searching for one. Nonetheless, it was a legit process of marriage. First, the servant went to the land of Canan where Terah lived, Abraham’s father, to find a maiden for Isaac. Surprisingly he found a lovely young lady on the first try pitching water from a well. Next, he asks the young lady if she would marry his master’s son. The lady, who’s name is Rebecca, introduced him to her family and let them decide whether or not she could marry a distant relative of theirs.
Upon doing so, the servant gives the young lady and her family an abundance of jewelry. Rebecca and her family agreed that she will marry Isaac. The fine jewelry served as a dowry payment and generous exchange for Rebecca. Soon afterwards, Rebecca left home with a few handmaidens and the servant. Upon her meeting Isaac, she covers her head. Isaac then brings her into his tent and consummated their marriage.
Jacob, Leah and Rachel’s.
The third example is Jacob and Rachel and Leah Genesis 28-29. Jacob had a rough time out of the three. Jacob journeyed from Isaacs home all the way to his uncle Nahor with no money on foot. He then met Rachel and fell in love at first sight. Since he had no money to give her father for a dowry price, he made a deal to work for her father for 7 years to earn his right to marry Rachel. Unfortunately Rachel’s father is a jerk and tricked him into marrying her sister Leah first causing Jacob to work another 7 years to finally marry Rachel. At the end of 14 years Jacob and Rachel finally consummate their marriage.
Proof of Marriage
Marriage was quite simple in its humble beginnings. Proving the legitimacy of a marriage wasn’t necessary therefore the biblical relics didn’t stop and put anything in writing or saved any physical trademarks of the marriage aside from jewelry. However, as the Isrealite nation multiplied, certain writing and physical evidence had to be produced. Usually evidence was needed if someone didn’t believe tow persons were actually married. A ladies father would prepare a marriage bed for the couple. After they couple was done consummating their marriage, the father of the damsel would save the bed sheets where she had bleed on mingled with her husband’s sperm. These sexy sheets are tokens of her virginity. This is grose but a normal practice to ancient Is real. Deuteronomy 22:15-17.
Documents such as betrothal, engagement and marriage certificates were kept by the maidens father and husband as proof. Sometimes the lady would obtain a divorcement letter if she was put away. Isaiah 50:1.
Modern Marriage vs. Biblical Marriage
Most people today would consider the biblical law of marriage too strict. It is customary to have sex with anyone we want until or unless we find someone we love enough to marry. Then once we decide to marry, we go to the judge or a pastor, then file legal documents. Some of us may throw a wedding or not. But then we might not like our spouse 5, or 10 or 15 years later and we’ll just get a divorce. Then we’ll start dating again or just enjoy our time having sex with other people.
If someone coming from this widely accepted sex practice and into the biblical way of marriage might get upset. We’re so used to bypassing parents, especially the father, in making any decisions. Not to mention that not all of the fathers alive today are respectful or righteous. So what happens then? Some women don’t like their fathers. Some fathers can’t be found. Biblical marriage calls for young men and women to act on their sexual needs more seriously and consciously. It leaves them no room to play intimate love games with multiple people.
Respect Thy Father.
The biblical culture calls for respect and honor towards our parents. The father is the head of every household and immediate family. This is a design that was established from the beginning. We know that The Highest God is also called The Heavenly Father who rules all. Therefore in order to show respect to your heavenly father we must also show respect to our worldly father. In this case on marriage, when we ask him for permission to marry, know that we are not asking the worldly father. The question is directed towards The Highest God, the Heavenly Father.
His decision is given through the mouth of the worldly father. If we bypass the worldly father, it reflex how we are treating our Heavenly father. Therefore respect the decision of thy father. If they lady has no father oh her father is a “bad guy”, then Any other respected man in her life would suffice as her divine protector. End if she doesn’t have a respected male figure in her life, then a judge or priest has divine authority and protection over her.
Should Christians keep These marriage laws? Yes, anyone following the biblical text should adhere to this rule. The marriage laws isn’t just some strict law to conform to it as none of the cultural foundations of righteousness. By doing so we are respecting the divine order of family. We show our spiritual obedience to The Heavenly Father and we’re Les likely to commit fornication. Also this is a form of respect towards women as well. Honor thy father and thy mother Exodus 20:12.