A pastoral issue…

People in our world is moving further and further away from marriage (that is, marriage by the state) and choosing to live in defacto relationships. But there seems to be a wide variety in the level of commitment that a defacto relationship carries. That is, defacto can mean “we are just trying each other on”, or it could be that the couple have a very clear mutual understanding that this is a life-long union. They have just chosen not to formalize that union in the state’s eyes.

This raises the question: is it possible to be married in God’s eyes, but not the states? And vice versa, is it possible to be married by the state, but not in God’s eyes?

I think the second is already true. Some divorcees may be remarried in the state’s eyes but because of the nature of the divorce god would suggest they are in fact in an adulterous relationship. Many countries (not Australia yet) allow gay marriage which is marriage in the state’s definition but not God’s (that is, not according to Genesis 1 and 2 where marriage is clearly heterosexual).

Is it possible to married in God’s eyes and not the state’s??? What do you think? I think this will be an increasingly common question that we need to deal with as we evangelise people living in defacto relationships and see them made alive Christ by the grace and mercy of God.

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