Did the paper we signed make us married?


Hi there,

Firstly, I have enjoyed the past hour reading through your well-balanced, Bible-based answers. You are providing a great service, and I pray that God continues to bless your ministry and your family.

I have been engaged with a woman for over five years. Shortly after we met, but after many hours in communication and prayer, we felt God had brought us together to be man and wife. We wrote out and signed a covenant with God stating our lifelong commitment to each other and his will for our relationship.

My fiancee had a young daughter, and I developed a strong bond with her and assumed a fathering role.

Early on, my health went bad, really bad, to the point where I had several specialists involved and was mostly bedridden. This was the case for many years, causing financial hardship and a delay in marriage plans, partly due to the unpredictability of my sickness, etc.

Recently, thanks to the Lord's awesome healing, I am much better and am able to start work and plan a marriage ceremony. As my fiance cared for me while I was unwell, we lived in the same house and, shortly after, the same bed. When we moved to another city we remained living together, always committed to being officially married.

I had been excited about my returning health and looked forward to marrying my fiancee. However, she now no longer wishes to marry me and is strongly committed to that decision. (I could try to explain it all, but it's likely to take too long.) I've gone through desperate attempts to understand, to feel hurt, to feel that God's with me and will help me through all this. Thankfully I am able to remain in regular contact with her daughter. I would rather say my daughter because that's how I see her. There is no animosity between my fiancee and me.

My question is this: where do we stand with God with regard to our marriage or commitment covenant signed before God with her leaving the relationship? I'm in the midst of packing up and getting ready to move, but I'm confused about where we stand with God due to the covenant and all.

Please advise whatever you're led to, as soon as possible.


See Marriage Covenants. While your paper contract had some aspects of a covenant, it wasn't an actual covenant. You acknowledge that because you both never saw yourselves as married. You had strong intentions to marry, but it remained a future event.

The problem is you began living as husband and wife without actually becoming a married couple. Nothing prevented you from getting married before, other than your fears about your illness. Now your fiancee has decided not to marry you. The pretense of living like you were married did not bind the two of you together.

There really isn't anything you can do about it. You have been committing fornication with a woman for years while you put off getting married (Hebrews 13:4). It takes two people in agreement to make a marriage. You tried for a solution of convenience and it didn't work, but such is the nature of sin.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email