Question:

I have a question about getting married. My fiancé and I have been engaged for two years now. We have finally gone down to the courthouse, have filled out an application, and have obtained our marriage license. We had an appointment with the Justice of the Peace today.

I have sinned with her and with other girlfriends in the past before being baptized. I have given my whole heart to Christ and haven’t looked back. But my issue today is that my fiancé and I live together because I have nowhere else to go. We both stay in the same room, and there's nowhere else in the house I can go. I try to keep the peace due to the situation. My fiancé doesn’t think it’s a big deal to have sex before marriage.

We both fell back into the same routine again because we couldn't help it. We recently stopped for the last week or so because I told her I wanted us to wait until we got married, and it’s been that way ever since. We haven’t held hands or kissed or hugged at all. I won’t touch her, and I make sure there's no room for me to create my own desires to entice me. A great fear came over me. I want to obey God's command. She agreed and accepted that’s what I wanted. The problem for me is that there are moments when I am tempted because we have to stay in the same room. We planned to get married because of the coronavirus everything is shut down.

All courts and municipal offices are closed to prevent any spread and a curfew has been set for everyone to be home from 8pm to 5am. I don’t know what God wants me to do in this position, now that everything is closed. I don’t know when the courts will open back up again. I’ve been containing myself, but it hasn’t been easy.

Is there another affordable way we can still get married? At this time I’m fighting up against temptation which is very close, and I don’t wish to fall because the flesh is weak. I feel like this is a trap to fall. How can I avoid fornicating with my betrothed when we are going through a world epidemic and unable to get married through courts until further notice?

Answer:

I need to mention that the reason you are in this situation is solely due to your own choices to live your own way. You've been violating God's commands and now complain that you can't comply with those same commands because you've dragged your feet for so long.

Don't misunderstand me. I'm glad you became a Christian and want to live righteously, but you are still insisting that this be done on your terms and not God's. Someone should have talked to you about your fornication before you got baptized because repentance from sin is a part of becoming a Christian (Acts 2:38). There was no reason you could not have gotten married before you were baptized.

But let's take the current situation: In your state and judge, mayor, or town clerk can perform a wedding. In addition, any religious leader can perform a wedding. Therefore, since you were baptized, go talk to the preacher who baptized you and explain the situation. Ask if he can conduct a small wedding with a few of your friends there to serve as witnesses. If he declines, start calling around. I'm sure with a little bit of effort you'll find someone willing to do the wedding.

Question:

Hi,

Thank you. You are truly right. Unfortunately, we're not able to obtain the marriage license at this time because the court is closed. Is it legal or considered good in God's eyes if we have a commitment ceremony because no one will marry us if we don’t have a copy of our marriage license, which is why we're stuck at the moment? I don’t know what else to do.

Answer:

I checked online can't find any indication that the government offices are completely closed in your state. Are you just assuming they are closed or have you actually checked? Have you called your preacher and asked about the situation?

A "commitment ceremony" is not a marriage. Technically, a marriage does not require a license. That is required by the government. There does have to be witnesses and a record of the marriage (see Marriage Covenants). If you talk to your preacher, he might have some ideas. At worse, you could have the wedding and then get the license when the courthouse reopens.

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