Question:

I am 29 and have been in relationship with my fiancee for more than two years now. Of late, the pressure that has been mounting on me sexually is unprecedented, and we believe in God's principles about purity. I am best described by what was mentioned in I Corinthians 7:37, behaving himself unseemly to his virgin. In a bid to checkmate this trend, which is becoming unbecoming, so that I do not misbehave, I am feeling we should tidy up our relationship, i.e get married.

Our challenge lies in the fact that our parents would not support our timing because of our financial status at the moment. i am working, but she will soon start her job in a couple of months. In our country, people attach much importance to society weddings, but we are thinking of a private wedding in a marriage registry outside the knowledge of our parents. When we are that 'rich' in their eyes, we will do the society wedding which they want for us.

We will rather do it outside their knowledge for now than to sin against God. What do you feel about my reasoning? I guess they do not appreciate how we feel because in actual sense, they do not really mind even if we relate together sexually so long it does not result in pregnancy. In any case, this view is pervasive in our society and not peculiar to them. 

Please, I need an urgent assistance or a referral to a man of God who can help.


Answer:

There is nothing wrong with your plan. "But I say to the unmarried and to the widows: It is good for them if they remain even as I am; but if they cannot exercise self-control, let them marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion" (I Corinthian 7:8-9). There is no requirement for a large wedding.

Notice what is happening. Society, in general, is under the sway of Satan. It is society that is pressuring you to expend a large amount of money for a wedding when it is unnecessary. And so the wedding is put off until the funds can be raised. But isn't this all really about pride? Does it matter if you look rich in the eyes of your neighbors? "A man's pride will bring him low, but the humble in spirit will retain honor" (Proverbs 29:23). So because of pride, you delay your wedding, but at the same time the temptation to become sexual increases dramatically. At the same time, society says there is nothing wrong with having sex, contrary to the will of God (I Corinthians 6:9-10). You can tell that people still see sex outside of marriage is wrong in your country because while they don't mind the sex, they don't want a pregnacy -- proof that fornication had been taking place. Such duplicity toward morality is common in the world.

While it is perfectly fine to have a quiet, small wedding, I would like you to consider that you have an opportunity not only to do the right thing by your fiancee, but to also make a statement for God to your family and neighbors, "providing honorable things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men" (I Corinthians 8:21). I don't want you two to be living a lie, claiming to be unmarried while secretly married. Doing so will damage the cause of Christ because you will be telling your family and friends that you accept fornication. If you do this and a younger brother or sister of yours then moves in with his girlfriend or her boyfriend, how are you going to say it is wrong when to them you set the example? Is salvaging your parents' pride worth causing someone else to stumble?

What I would like you to do is get married, but let your family and neighbors know of it. Now many of them are not going to like it. For some it will wound their pride. For others it will seem like a personal insult because they had sex with their boyfriends and girlfriends before marriage, so your insistance on getting married first will feel like a slap in the face to them. They will understand that it indirect condemns their choices.

In telling your family, do not approach it as asking for their permission. Either tell them just beforehand where it will take place and say that you would like them to come if they can, or tell them right after so everyone knows why you are moving in together.

I've told this story many times, but when my wife and I decided to get married, we realized that her family could not pay for a wedding. We also could not afford an elaborate wedding, but we were going to get married anyway. Once our minds were made up, we kept coming up with ideas for how we could celebrate with our friends without large expenditures. We got married in a public park (no cost), my wife and her friends made their own dresses, I and the grooms men bought suits that serve us in business later, we ask those we invited to bring a dish for the reception at the park (a pot-luck), my wife's aunt grew roses and supplied the flowers for the tables, we ask several friends to take pictures (no professional photographer), a friend of my wife made the wedding cake and one of my aunts was a professional cake decorator so she supplied the decorations for the cake, etc. We had a wonderful wedding that was all the more memorable because of the contributions of friends and family to make it happen. Even our honeymoon was low cost as we stayed in the cabin of a friend of my aunt near a beautiful area of the country and we camped on our way back home.

When you are determined to do the right thing, invite others to help you. Compromising with Satan is never an option. And then you and your bride will stand as a beacon to others with no cloud of shame hanging over your heads. A wedding is a time of joy, so have fun at getting married with the resources you have available. Don't let your pride or the pride of others stand in your way. "The humble shall see this and be glad; and you who seek God, your hearts shall live. For the LORD hears the poor, and does not despise His prisoners. Let heaven and earth praise Him, the seas and everything that moves in them" (Psalms 69:32-34).

"You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven" (Matthew 6:14-16).