I came across your web site and I have read several articles pertaining on the subject of premarital sex but I have a very unique situation for which I cannot find an answer.
My daughter and her fiancé have engaged in premarital sex. When I confronted her about this and gently told her that they needed to repent to God, her reply to me was, "In my eyes we are already married, so I did not sin." Her reasoning is that a piece of paper does not make a marriage.
I told her that she was correct that a piece of paper does not make a marriage, but a marriage is a covenant agreement between the husband and wife and God. Her reply was that she and her fiancé are committed to each other and will be getting married in the near future, so, as far as she is concerned, he is already her husband because he is the man that she is committed too.
She then asked what people used to do in biblical times before they were married by a priest or pastor or clergy. This would include times before the Levitical priesthood.
Her attitude of non-repentance regarding this is a big issue. What do I tell her? Any help or advice regarding this situation would be greatly appreciated.
This is not a unique situation. You'll find similar arguments that you daughter is making on this web site. Your daughter is trying to play both sides at once. She claims she is already married because she is "committed;" yet, she plans to get married. Thus, she admits she is not currently married. Therefore, she proves that she lies to herself and others.
She admits that she is having sex with a boy she is not married to; yet, she claims she is not sinning in her eyes. Thus, she is stating that she has no respect for God and His authority because she feels that her beliefs overrules God.
In answer to her question, people were joined as husband and wife from the very beginning (Genesis 2:24). That joining was done by God and not man. "And He answered and said to them, "Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning 'made them male and female,' and said, 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate"" (Matthew 19:4-6). That joining by God comes about by the covenant that a man and woman makes before God and witnesses. "Yet she is your companion and your wife by covenant" (Malachi 2:14). You can see this in the words of King Lemuel's mother when she calls her son, "son of my vows" (Proverbs 31:2).
Like a number of people, your daughter foolishly assumes that modern times are different from ancient times and that marriage covenants must have developed over time. The truth is that marriage existed from the time of the first two people. Details of the ceremony may change, but the core of what makes a marriage -- the covenant -- remains.
As a parent, you don't have to support her in her sin. You can tell her she is on her own and when she gets married you'll gladly accept her and her husband in your home.