Being Single Today
Are you a single Christian woman or man confused about what God says about dating, courting, or the process of becoming engaged and married? How many seminars, church sit-ins, counseling sessions and peer discussions about fornication, sexual morality prior to marriage, finding the one for you, and the length of time that it will take to marry have you had in the last few months?
If you are a discerning, completely sold-out Christian you have these spasms of feelings that you constantly try to deny for Christ. I know, because as a Christian woman, I recorded in my memoir how I felt tortured and frustrated about being single; tired of married Christians telling me to be happy in my singleness and be married to God. And, I was tired of single leadership pretending that they were completely fulfilled. There is nothing wrong with having a desire for a beautiful relationship that results in marriage.
There is a reason God wanted Eve for Adam, and he says it right in the beginning of our manual for life. He says that it is not good for Adam to be alone. By design men will at some point need help and support, and women will want to be a help meet.
This is fabulous in marriage and dangerous in casual relationships. Of course, the support goes both ways, only furthering my point that for Christ’s sake, we do need each other in one capacity or another.
Each individual person has a different set of needs, and desires. There are people who want to make love once a week, and others once a day. Of course, my primary life principle in which I teach my child is that we must maintain complete and total balance in every area of our lives. With balance there is no addiction, only moderation.
The more that people try to control others through organized religion, tradition, government for example, the more that people feel the extremity of such control; but there is always a breaking point, and unfortunately some people turn away from God as a result of pressure.
In my book, Identity Crisis, Identity Christ Is: A Journey to Love I describe being celibate as torture at one point. I also point out that my last relationship did not work because of us “living in sin.”
The truth is, there are elements of reality in my story however more alarming was that for more than ten years my questions remained unanswered about dating relationships, courting, engagement and marriage.
The church that I grew up in was internally known for sexual immorality, even having to excommunicate an adulterous man who was a repeat offender after he slept with and bragged about having sex with a fifteen year old child.
Externally, the church was known for the unadulterated word of God that flowed through the mouth of the bishop that presided over the house. What he gave me in learning the word is embedded in my spiritual psyche and mental capacity in a way that has protected me, and shaped my entire life for the better. I can remember him saying that teenagers were not supposed to date.
I dealt with trauma from abuse, an emotionally absent mother and misinformation about sexual purity, so I had a child as a teenager. There are children sneaking into parked cars on the parking lots of churches to have sex, exchange inappropriate touching and who engage in sexual misconduct as a result of child sexual abuse trauma. The church is doing a poor presentation of sexual morality; prevention of child sexual abuse and sexual impurity within the congregation and the pulpit.
“We can no longer talk about fornication, homosexuality and ignore child sexual abuse, and the process for dating and marriage.”
– Ressurrection Graves
My bishop wrote several books and one of them outlined that in fact as Christians we are not supposed to date casually, rather we wait on God to bring us the person that he has ordained for our lives and we would become engaged and married. Still he maintained that we should not have pre-marital sex.
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Dr. Miles Munroe wrote a book about dating, and what he mentioned about friendships I found very powerful but his words about finding a mate, as if it was not a choice that was spiritual in nature was the direct contrary of the teaching I was raised on which further confused me in my twenties. It confused me because he made it seem like we will have many people that we have commonalities with and be attracted to; pick one.
My strong belief has always been that there is a specific person that will match you spiritually in a way that someone else will not. I do believe that you will be attracted to your mate, as many singles fear the answer to this question, “How does God envision me finding a mate?”
One lady told me that she dated a famous boxer (before he became famous), and that he cheated on her and broke her heart. She went to God and prayed that night that she didn’t want to be promiscuous so she solicited God for a husband and two months later – BAM! Just like that!
They have been married for about fifteen years now, and have three children. I assure you, I had no such answered prayer however, I did have the other experience that people kept telling me was possible. As soon as I take my eyes of it, he will come. And, he did.
In this blog, I am going to answer your single, Christian questions and I pray that it makes you free to be who you are in spite of critics and traditionalists who would rather be liked, than righteous.
Disclaimer: This blog is not up for debate or debacle. I have done research, prayed and have found answers for my own life that have brought even more overwhelming confirmation that is leading me to offer relationship counseling based on the word of God. Pastors are not answering questions and as a result, people are mislead and confused when they truly want to serve God. Enjoy.
The Beginning: Journey to Love
I really cannot think of anyone else in the whole wide world who wanted to be married more than I. For this reason, I put myself in boot camp when I turned about twenty. I started to search for scriptures that related to dating. I was interested in finding out what God had to say about the matter. I along with other passionate bible thinkers decided to search individually and meet up on the telephone as we hunted down answers, to no avail. At one point, I had people coming over my house, as self invited guests to pray and talk about God and relationships.
Finally, I joined a new church and saw the love oozing from the pulpit like cupid was God in the hallucinating flesh, had come down and found the biggest arrow he could find with its most potent love concoction for the pastors.
Of course I wanted to be married after watching them! So, even as a single I began going to marriage conferences and meetings. I started following Jimmy and Karen who are marriage counselors and pastors.
I mean I purchased books by Michelle McKinney Hammond, Waiting and Dating by Miles Munroe and a few other authors who spoke about Christian dating. Some of it was very practical and clear like the Proverbs 31 Man by: Michelle McKinney Hammond. It was a powerful and life changing read. When she began to talk about the spirituality of making love in the marriage bed I almost jumped through the book for a quick High-Five, because intuitively I knew that making love was something so carefully instituted by god – a righteous and holy experience that has become a common casualty to loneliness and selfishness.
Five Myths about Christian Relationships
- Dating without Purpose is Acceptable Christian Behavior for Teenagers or Adults
- Premarital Sex is Prohibited for Engaged Couples
- Premarital Counseling Comes After Engagement
- Engagement Requires a Ring
- Marriage takes time to decide
What I am sharing with you will include scriptures, and may not be exhaustive however I am providing enough information for self-study. We are all required to study to show thyself approved under God. We are all ministers of the gospel and hold a personal responsibility for our salvation.
DATING WITHOUT PURPOSE IS ACCEPTABLE CHRISTIAN BEHAVIOR FOR TEENAGERS AND ADULTS
I never quite understood why people date people in church. It never set well with me and has always confused me as a woman. Church is a holy place where you come to date God, and I just never understood why anyone would want to cloud or create possible friction between the peace that passes all understanding and their ability to enjoy that on Sunday morning or five days a week if you engage in various ministries.
The exception would be hearing directly from God that someone is the mate for you. As a benefit of single’s ministries and connecting to others through church activities, it is fairly easy to gauge connections between you and someone else.
My Pastor said when I was a teenager through conversations that I had with him, through his published books, and through his teachings on the pulpit that dating was never meant to be casual. Dating has a specific purpose; marriage. The idea in Christian life is that if you date, you are dating because you are ready to marry. The person you are dating may not be the one for you, and contrary to some public opinion, it does not take long to figure that out.
As a Christian with intuition who is lead by a higher spiritual being (God), your discernment and relationship with God will reveal that the person that you are dating is not the one for you within the first three months. I have dated a few duds, and usually liars cannot keep face beyond three months. For many more however, you will know within the very first conversation. The person doesn’t have to be a bad person it is possible that they are just not the one for you.
If you don’t know what you want, and have not outlined what you need, you may want to read my blog: How To Ask for The Experience That You Really Want and in the meantime resist dating so that you can make sure that you attract what your heart truly desires.
And, honestly as you mature your financial needs may change for example – but outlining the experience that you want to have will not. I have always been, and will always be affectionate and intimate in my relationships. Therefore, asking for someone who does not like affection as much as I, or who is emotionally absent would make for a frustrating union filled with insecurities and starvation.
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People have said that the bible is silent on dating and courtship however, the bible has not changed, the world has. The bible doesn’t believe in dating for casual reasons. We are to date for marriage. As I said, if you are in the right place to meet someone for marriage, you can spot the wrong person within the first conversation.
Maybe he or she is not promiscuous but perhaps you have differences in where you want to live, parenting or other important things that can affect your whole life together. Perhaps they hate entrepreneurship and you only want to own companies. There are a myriad of reasons that you in one conversation could detect that the person does not meet your core desired experience however, you will not know at all if you are not clear on what experience you want to have in your relationship.
Salvation and Baptism
Remember, the bible is not silent on dating they just did not have it as an option. People were decisive. Think about our salvation for a moment. God gives us the choice, the ability to choose him. He makes himself available for us to choose, but he does not force or coerce our decision to have an intimate loving relationship with him. This is clear in John 3:16 among other scriptures. God is not a bully; a little gangster maybe, but not a bully.
In Romans 10:9-10 is clear that in order for us receive salvation we must confess with our mouths and believe in our hearts that Jesus Christ was raised from the dead for our sins.
There is a lot of significance in this text. For one, we can never know someone’s heart no matter what they recite. I took an in depth baptism class in bible school and in short, baptism is a type of resurrection.
Baptism is not salvation it is another step that takes place after salvation as a public announcement of what you have done in private. Likewise, what you will read below is the similarity in our relationship with God that the marriage relationship portrays.
Engagement and Marriage: One is a private commitment of marriage, and the other is a public ceremony. What you will learn today will help you to ensure that the person you are with is or is not the one.
I offer individual counseling for single women and men who are interested in identifying the experience that they want to have in their relationships. The more clarity that you have about what you are looking for, the easier it is to attract them to you.
God’s Desire for Dating is Marriage.
PRE-MARITAL SEX IS PROHIBITED FOR ENGAGED COUPLES
For many years it seems that the only types of sexual immorality that is preached about it fornication, adultery and homosexuality. My focus, are on the other sexually immoral sins like Child Sexual Abuse, Incest, and Rape. Additionally, I have always been fascinated by and passionate about marriage. I want to know how God sees marriage, and how to support others in finding the right one instead of compromising. Before entering the marriage bed we have a process, that many Christians are still confused about.
We want to know what the bible says but first, here is what the church teaches through the pulpit and peers:
- Date within the church
- Singles are scorned for desiring marriage or having sexual desires
- Do not have sex until you are married (don’t even touch)
- For mature couples (six months) before marrying
- For couple growing together (two years) before marrying
I will clear up a few things under this heading so that you are able to make decisions confidently about your relationships. If you are really in love with someone and you have connected spiritually, and soulfully, the desire for physical connection is not far behind.
According to teachings by Pastor Tony Brazelton, your soul is your mind, your will and your emotions or as he says, your thinker, feeler and chooser. When you have connected spiritually and there is a match, and in your soul, and there is a match, you physically desire to express your love.
So let me clear up a few items before tackling this pre-marital sex conversation. If you date within the church, it should be because God himself directed you to the individual. In biblical times, the man would ask for the woman’s hand however the woman had a choice to be betrothed. Betrothed in the bible is used synonymously with engagement and marriage.
Singles are not overly ambitious with sexual desires. Promiscuity and fornication are not acceptable Christian behaviors and it diminishes your own self-worth, leads you astray of your own dreams, and can cloud your decision making. Now, let’s talk about sex!
According to the scriptures, fornication is pre-marital sex. However, a woman who is engaged, is married therefore, fornication is not applicable to an engaged couple. Engagement in the bible is marriage. As an engaged couple, your family is aware of your marriage and a contract is drawn up. In present day, that can be achieved by going to the courthouse and getting a marriage certificate (as this is required before a wedding.) All that is needed is a legal document so an alternative could be to write a line to say, “I love you and yes, I will marry you.”
Of course, I am not making any suggestions as to how you formulate a proposal or signify an engagement however the point is that biblically speaking, asking someone to marry you is as covenant as saying “I DO.” If people understood this, less people would ask their mates to marry them just to shut them up or to pretend that one day marriage will happen.
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There are many things that the world does differently than the word. For example, in the world your actions constitute evil, however in the word (bible), it is clear that your thoughts are first recognized as sin.
This means that I could think about killing someone and it be as sinful and spiritually illegal as actually doing it. Likewise, God has a different standard of rules for relationships. We were never meant to try to people out, to be indecisive, to break hearts or to be brokenhearted, and to live promiscuously.
Can a Christian Couple Live Together?
Generally No! However, as a Christian Engaged Couple the answer is, yes. This is a great current into addressing sex before marriage. The bible is clear that a betrothed couple (which is an engaged couple), is considered married, possessing a legal binding agreement between each other, and living together.
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SEX BEFORE MARRIAGE
Mark 10:7-9 7For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; 8And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. 9What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
Deuteronomy 20:7 7And what man has betrothed a wife and has not taken her? Let him return to his house, lest he die in the battle and another man take her.
Deuteronomy 24:5 “When a man takes a new wife, he shall not go out with the army nor be charged with any duty; he shall be free at home one year and shall give happiness to his wife whom he has taken.
These scriptures indicate that a man and a woman would make love during the betrothal period. We have already established that betrothal is engagement, and engagement is where a marital contract is assembled much like going to the courthouse and getting a marriage certificate today. You can type up a document and sign it, and it is legally binding.
Again, the wedding ceremony is for public announcement and celebration, just as baptism is to salvation. Once you “marry” Jesus, you perform a baptism ceremony to celebrate with the public what has already been done in private.
I am only going to use a few scriptures here. In 1 Corinthians 7:36 Paul was saying in layman terms, “Marry or Burn.” At least, that is what the church taught however if you read the entire text (before and after the scripture), Paul is speaking about your personal choices to live married or single.
He was speaking of sexual morality and saying that you should get married if you have sexual desire instead of fornicate. This scripture is not relevant to being a betrothed woman or man as it relates to waiting until marriage to have sex. An engaged or betrothed couple is married. The matrimonial ceremony is what follows.
There is another scripture that is often used is that we must avoid the appearance of evil. We are often taught as Christians that we are in the world but not of it. We are here on assignment. We are not supposed to live like the world. An example that is often given with this scripture is that we as Christians should not walk into liquor stores, or sit at a bar in restaurants because it could make people think that we are drinking. As a side bar, being a drunkard or alcoholic is a sin, however having a drink with a meal is not.
There are many things that I have never chosen to do partly because of my Christian faith, but many times because of something else. My father was an alcoholic so I never drink quite honestly because of that – not because I thought I would go to hell if I had one drink at a party. I hate the feeling of not being in control of or protecting myself therefore, I would never be found stumbling down Adams Morgan or a Georgetown block unable to identify my car or the people that I am with. I am not that trusting. True to my Christian faith however, I wouldn’t be a drunkard because again, it is sinful behavior but there is no indication that being in balance and moderation with respect to social drinking ( one or two glasses of wine, beer or liquor), will strip me of my relationship with God.
The scripture to avoid the appearance of evil is also used relating to living together before marriage. I know of many churches who will ask an engaged couple to live in separate residences while they attend pre-marital counseling so that they will not be living in sin. One theologian that I found broke down all of the translations and clarified that the appearance of evil scripture 1 Thessalonians 5:22 was really referring to interpersonal relationships. Either way, I know it is not applicable to living together because according to the word of God, our manual for ethical and moral living, cohabitating as a betrothed/engaged/married couple was not evil.
Typically the man would go back to his father’s house and his father would be the authority on when the home was prepared for the woman to come and begin living there. She moved in prior to the ceremony. The agreement to marry was already arranged.
MYTH #3: PREMARITAL COUNSELING COMES AFTER ENGAGEMENT
I dedicated an entire blog to this subject so I will not elaborate for long here. However, pre-marital counseling in our current tradition is instituted to support engaged couples in deciding whether they are compatible to marry. The process of dating and courtship looks something like this:
- Dating (just in case he/she is the one)
- Courtship (Monogamous)
- Premarital Counseling
- and if you make it through all of that, Marriage.
As we have already established the bible does not confirm that this is the way to do things. As a relationship Christian Counselor (clergy), my created and focused method is:
- Waiting until you know what experience you want to have in a long term relationship
- Asking for what you really want with maturity and clarity
- Dating for Marriage
- Premarital Counseling
- Move in Together (not as a trial- according to the word you are married)
- Matrimonial Ceremony
Premarital Counseling comes before engagement because your engagement period was never meant to be on trial. You were never meant to enter a covenant and then run because you don’t share the same beliefs on household products or which way to use the toilet paper.
Additionally, and I am giving you this one for free, if you are dating for marriage it is quite difficult to be selfish or inoperable with your time. When you are dating for marriage you spend time together as often as possible to learn the heart and soul, and spirit of your mate. You talk about everything and leave out nothing, knowing that some things will come easier to discuss with time, and some things are unnecessary to relive like how many boyfriends or lovers you have had (unless it is a qualifying factor in your decision to marry.)
For my past article on Premarital Counseling which gets fantastic reviews, please click here after reading this article and commenting… and sharing on your social networks!
ENGAGEMENT REQUIRES A RING
Here is a Q&A that was answered by Richard Anthony’s blog on the same subject. We differ in one area but the rest of the article I found to be fantastic.
“Question: “Is giving jewelry and gifts to the bride scriptural, or is it from a heathen origin?”
Answer: It is a scriptural principle. When Abraham’s servant, Eliezar, went to get a wife for Isaac, he gave Rebekah Abraham’s dowry gifts of a gold earring and two gold bracelets, clothing, and articles of silver and gold. He also gave other members of her family precious things (Genesis 24:10, 22, 30, 47, 53).” –Richard Anthony
As stated earlier in text Engagement requires a gift or dowry where the husband would present gifts to the wife and members of her family. Some gifts would be to show that he intended not only to take care of his family but leave an inheritance for his children.
There is a vast cultural climate on dowries. What I can summarize from my brief study on this is that some believe rings were created as a pagan ritual and that there is no biblical origin or allegiance. Who offers and receives the dowry depends on the culture.
What I can hold as true and clear is a repeat of what is written above. In order for any legal contract to be valid, there must be an exchange of financial gift. In order for the marriage during the betrothal to be legal, even if were cattle, land, a ring, or a currency like gold this would have been necessary to enter into the marriage.
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You can do more study into the specification of ring but I say, talk as a couple, and come up with something that you can mutually agree upon as a gift. If you are applying this biblically, the ring or whatever it is that you choose is not necessarily what hold the meaning, the present is what holds the ability to enter into the contractual agreement. Dowries may differ based on family finances. The most beautiful thing about a marriage is the merger of two families becoming one.
What is really important is that both families become involved which will create a tighter union for the couple as they execute wedding and ceremonial plans.
I am totally not a believer that the family should completely take over your wedding but it is a beautiful thing when your Aunts and your parents are making all of your favorite dishes, or that they are involved with their gifts and talents. It makes it more memorable and special in some ways.
However you choose to honor each other talk about it. One of the most amazing truths about marriage is your authority and power in agreement. You will have whatever you say!MYTH #5 MARRIAGE TAKES TIME TO DECIDE
I was sitting in the congregation when my former pastors held a singles question and answer event. They answer pressing questions that singles had concerning the process of dating and marriage. Truth be told everyone wanted to know the same thing, “When will the one show up?”
I mean, if you believe in God and you have taken the initiative to not fornicate and are a virgin or to renew your vows to God through repentance, and stop fornicating the first thing you want to know is how long will I suffer without what feels good.
To be honest, I can speak because I have been down that road and it feel so much better to not be in a relationship with someone who I don’t like or to try to make it work with someone who I know is not God’s best for me. Sometimes we stay because we don’t want to start over. Men and women are guilty of staying beyond the revelation that this person is not the one God has hand crafted just for you.
If you are mature, and only you know what that means for you, then you may be ready to marry. If you were to ask me, I would measure during personal examination my spiritual maturity level and my character to determine if I need to work on me before entertaining the idea of marriage.
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Quick Example: If your mate, or child for that matter were to spill milk on the floor and that would send you into a raging beast from hell, you are not ready to be married because you could be an abuser emotionally.
If you cannot keep your hands to yourself, you are absolutely not ready for the spiritual commitment to marry. If you are argumentative, insecure, selfish and not affectionate, these are signs that you may want to work on yourself before pursuing relationships that lead to marriage. In the meantime though, what sets the Christian world apart from the secular world is how you handle not being ready for marriage. Do you date or work on you?
In the bible, the longest “promise” to marry was with Jacob and Rachel. Jacob did call Rachel his wife because Laban (Rachel’s father) promised Jacob that he could have her after seven years. The issue with using this passage is that in my opinion Laban was a jerk.
He required Jacob to work for him for seven years, and then tricked him with the wrong daughter. Jacob then worked another seven years totaling fourteen years of service for this woman. This text is often misused with the idea that a man or woman should wait that long to be together. This is not a biblically accurate scripture to use in order to say that betrothal does not mean sexual consummation. This is because Laban did not have to make Jacob work that long, nor did he have to trick him.
Jacob wanted Rachel and was willing to do what it took which is why female Christians may romantically fall for this passage in scripture but the truth is Laban made a choice to treat Jacob that way and it was unnecessary punishment. Laban called the shots. With that handled, I am removing the idea that we should be connecting ourselves with the mistreatment that Jacob endured for fourteen years, unable to lie with his wife.
So, to answer your question my former pastors say six months if you are mature, and no more than two years if you are not having sex before marriage. What they asked was (because they teach no sex before marriage), what are you doing beyond two years? How can you hold out any longer than that if you really love this person and have connected with them deeply?
I offer pre and post engagement Christian individual sessions and group workshops for those who love God and want to make sure that they are following scriptural protocol for marriage. As a facilitator, my desire is not to change your beliefs or to choose your mate for you, I am simply available to offer biblical and practical support that challenge you and your mate to create the best marriage possible.
Premarital counseling is also Pre-Engagement Counseling. During Pre-Engagement Counseling you will be able to bring any concerns you have to the table that may be self-indulgent or about your potential mate. We consider the options, look at some key factors and you get to make a choice in your own time.
For singles, I offer sessions that support you in determining if you are really asking for the experience that you want to have in your life partnerships. Sometimes I offer these sessions through a group counseling vision board party format. I also speak on the topic upon request in corporate settings, educational institutions in high school and university/college level, and churches without respect to denomination.
I have one caution, if you are engaged and you present the information here about sex before marriage to your spouse and she/he maintains that they want to wait until honeymoon night, I highly encourage you in keeping communication open, respecting and honoring your betrothed husband or wife, and choosing a path together that is agreeable.
I wrote this blog not intending to find the information that lead us to discuss sex before honeymoon night, but to make sure that single christian women and men have a proper outline for and the purpose of dating for marriage.
My analogies of salvation and water baptism are used here to help you imagine the process of engagement and marriage in biblical times. Such commitment cannot by any means be taken lightly. Marriage was never intended to end in divorce and if you are fortunate enough to be considering marriage for the first time around, it is very important that you be true and honest with yourself first about who you are and what your needs may be.
Self-examination will help you to become a better person in weak areas, and will help you to figure out what your life long needs are in a multitude of intimate relationships that you will develop from here on out.
Marriage does don’t make one of you lose yourself for the other. You keep your individual thoughts, beliefs, gifts, and existence and you merge into one beautiful being spiritually, emotionally and physically. To be honest with you, being married is the most selfless thing that you can ever do.
Having children can even be a selfish act, but being married will expose you to yourself, and your accountability partner, your mate. Marriage is a ministry and I pray that this blog has in some way aided you in putting dating with purpose, engagement and marriage in proper perspective. Pastor Cynthia Brazelton says it absolutely best,
The way you treat your mate should be a tangible expression of your relationship with GOD.
Please feel free to contact me if you:
- Have specific questions about your relationship
- Are trying to determine whether you want to continue your relationship
- Have questions about dating for marriage
- Have questions about having pre-marital sex
- Or have more specific questions concerning one of the topics in this article
I offer a 15 minute consultation free. For more information please click here.
Excellent post! Very good information!
I have never heard of engagement explained in this manner. I would certainly have to do some studying as this goes against all that I have been taught!
ROTFL Me Too!
Well I do have to say that issue of sex during the engagement period is definitely something I have never heard before but something to ponder. I really do like this post.
Thank you so much for reading!
THER ARE SO MANY THINGS HERE THAT I DONTGET ,BUT ALL I KNOW NO SEXUAL STUFF WHEN YOU ARE NOT MARRIED.AND I DONT BELIEVE IN DATING.GET ENGAGE AND GET MARRIED.
It is better to marry then to burn…may God continue to bless you in your endeavors…< 3
I am sorry I do not agree with engaged couples having sex. If that is the case then they should stay “engaged” and never make the committment to marry. God’s Word is clear….no sex until you are married in His eyes and the law of the land.
I appreciate your comment but I must say that you did not read the text. God’s word does not indicate that engaged couples should not have sex. Remember according to God’s word, engaged couple ARE married! You may have to read the article again. I am not endorsing couples to have sex outside of marriage. Thank you so much for your comment.
Is there an exact scripture in which you can refer, that shows engagement is marriage?
You must read this blog. The scriptures that show this are within the blog. Thanks for commenting!
This was definitely an interesting read, and about things I’ve had questions about recently. My boyfriend and I are living together and are engaged, for all intensive purposes. We just haven’t made a public announcement. I just have to wonder where your research came from for this article. In the discussions about living together before marriage, you say reference Bible verses but don’t actually make mention of exactly which ones you’re talking about. I’d just really like to know where your research came from…
I have decided to revise this article, and to put it in a book. I think that one article can’t do this subject justice. I’ll be sure to let you all know when I have completed the manuscript. My prayer is that it helps us all to see the dating process, and engagement process seriously. Blessings, rg
This article is very good on SOOOOOO many levels. I believe this is good information for couples who are engaged. I googled the words betroth, betrothal, & betrothed. Wikipedia gives many religious views on the word & what I found is one thing in common in SEVERAL different denominations that makes this article very true in my eyes. The Wikipedia states that ENGAGEMENT REQUIRES DIVORCE!!! I was so shocked to see that & thought to myself, if the bible gives engaged couples permission to live together before marriage (knowing there’s 2 scriptures that say “avoid the appearance of evil, & flee from temptation), & you have to get a divorce before a engagement is off then this article must be true. Also Wikipedia speaks of how sex with someone you’re not engaged to is grounds for calling off the engagement…you can’t help but wonder if we’ve been taught wrong!!! Wikipedia also states in more than one denomination that “Engagement is the first step/ process in marriage.” So again, after reading this article, studying the bible scriptures mentioned in this article, & googling the word God uses as engagement I found this article to be very much so truth exposed! One more thing…I do not feel that this article is promoting pre-marital sex, but I do feel that it shows that we as a people have been abusing engagement privileges while thinking we’re doing it right only by not having sex. This article shows that ANYONE who was engaged & called it off & married someone else with out a legal divorce from the previous engagement is possibly in need of repentance from the Lord for their lack of knowledge in this area! A word to ANYONE who disagrees with this article, I challenge you to do as the Bereans did in the bible days & study the scriptures thoroughly! Pray on what you read & wait to hear from God on what it means for YOU! The answers are right in front of you. #dontjudgelestyebejudged / getheplankoutofyourowneyebeforegettingthespeckofdustoutofyourbrotherseye#
Looks like someone has studied to show thyself appoved! Thank for you support by commenting.
Commenting from across the globe! Was Googling engagement and stumbled across your blog and I must say I really enjoyed it and I will be subscribing! I particularly took away the message to begin pre-martial counselling before engagement; it makes a lot of sense the way you have described. And I take your point that people should take engagement as a covenant, promise of marriage – highly important. I personally will choose to wait until I have had the wedding ceremony before I have sex (I say that as a single person yet to feel that burn! 🙂 I don’t believe in long engagements so hope that I can exercise the self control needed when the time comes. Keeping blogging, keep spreading the word. Blessings – BushBabeUK
Thank you so much for your comment. I support you in your decision. And, if he is the one, he’ll respect and appreciate your wishes. I believe that engagements should not be long, as there is little need. Nothing will ever be perfect before you make a decision. It is often after we make a decision that things begin to fall into place. Wishing you the Extraordinary! Peace, Res
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The scriptures you quote regarding the sex during engagement section say anything about sex. Deut 20:7 is simply saying if a man is engaged, he needs to marry the girl so he doesn’t die in battle. The other two passages are speaking about somebody who already has a wife and is therefore married.
Furthermore, if sex was acceptable during engagement, then why didn’t Joseph have sex with Mary, whom he was engaged to? She was a virgin after-all. In fact in Matthew 1, Joseph, “a righteous man”, was going to quietly break the engagement when he found out she was pregnant and before the angel spoke to him. I think this example illustrates that it was not acceptable for anybody to have sex before they were married.
For such a belief about sex before marriage, I think there needs to be a lot more research into the topic and more supporting scripture to back up this thought if you are going to promote it to all of those who might be easily swayed (and not too well versed in the Word) by something they read on your blog.
Ah, I should have read this better before I posted. The first sentence should say:
The scriptures you quote regarding the sex during engagement section don’t say anything about sex.
What? The blog was written just as inspired. I understand you may not approve but there are disclaimers and the blog is about relationships and our christian perspective of them. If you don’t get it, you don’t get it. Have a good day.
I agree with you ressurrection. As for why joseph not having sex with Mary. That was because she was carrying Gods Son. He had to be kept Holy and away from the seed of Adam. Why God by the Holy Spirit impregnated a virgin.
I was commenting on my own original post. I left out the word “don’t”.
Lol I think what’s most frustrating for me is that many of you are so focused on sex, that you miss the actual point which is that engagement is the same as marriage in the bible. We are not supposed to get engaged to try it out, there should be a clear decision made about this choice. Furthermore, I did study. My intention was not to study for you! The bible says show thyself approved unto God. I have additional scriptures that I’ve studied and in your private time you can do the same. Lastly don’t insult me. Ask questions, disagree even but do not attack me or my knowledge of scripture. Again, the point was missed. Good day, Res
I’m not trying to insult you, but just want to discuss the topic. Sorry if it came across this way. I’m trying to state that the verses you posted don’t seem to say anything regarding sex during engagement and also don’t say engagement is the same as marriage. I do agree that people shouldn’t get engaged on a whim though. That’s definitely wise! Like I commented on it already, in Deuteronomy 20:7 it talks about men who are engaged need to get married, otherwise they might die in battle (since they don’t get the year off to spend with their wife till they are married). It seems to me that engagement and marriage aren’t the same in the Bible. That’s why I brought up the example of Joseph and Mary in Matthew 1. If it was the same, Mary wouldn’t be a virgin. It seems pretty clear to me that there is a difference between marriage and engagement in the Bible. Anyway, I was hoping you would comment on this portion of my post.
Also, in Bible times it was pretty common for parents to choose the spouses for the children at a young age (which is when they became betrothed). They weren’t married and didn’t live together or become intimate till they were married. If you could share the other verses you mentioned that you have as well, that would be great.
I will write an additional post with verses. I do appreciate your comment I just think people should not pick someone and give a half hearted consent to marry thereby increasing divorce. With Mary and Joseph they were betrothed, and it says plainly that if he were to leave he would have had to divorce her. Before commenting further I will write an additional post with scriptures. Although sex is the topic people comment on I really wrote it to confront the process of engagement and how many people view it. Thanks again. Res
I find this stuff wanting. You need to do more study on engagement and marriage before you mislead many and they follow your teachings which are contrary to the Word of God
I would encourage you to do the same. Did you get anything out of this other than your confusion about sex? I researched. I’m not promoting sex but judgmental christians won’t get it. Have a great day.
Please read the entire blog. I’m tired of responding to people who are not actually reading the blog. I appreciate you visiting. All of the answers are in the blog. Peace, Res
To be honest I’m not sure how I feel about your blog. Interesting outlook so I won’t come with this you’re wrong bit. I am a Bible College grad, I disagree based merely on the cultural studies of the Biblical times and the OT Law and NT Law. The word for engaged is אֵרַ֤שׂ in Hebrew. It was a “covenant” between families for marriage not for an engagement. Secondly that was how marriage was done in the Old Testament. The New Testament presented marriage authority given to government which is appointed by God, (not the individuals but government concerning biblical foundations). Engaged was no longer the covenant but just the agreement, marriage itself became the covenant which is documented now rather than bonds between families. Just some food for thought.
Second your view of baptism is way off, to say baptism is a declaration of faith is saying God is a spectator. Baptism is a direct parallel of His resurrection. It is not a statement or a celebration, it is the dying to self and being made new just as Christ had died for sins and risen again so that we can be baptized in the name of Jesus…. dying to sin so that we can be raised again in a new life. People often argue well if baptism is a condition of salvation what about the thief on the cross, had Christ yet died and risen? No, so he was not under the new law in which the apostles spoke of. Christ fulfilled the law and now the law of Grace became through his death and resurrection. I do not believe baptism is necessary for salvation however it is not a statement or a declaration to public. It is much more significant than that. So I could be wrong on the engagement, but the baptism view of a statement should be re-evaluated.
I love you, and God bless! Also, thanks for your time creating this blog and having biblical discussions.
Hello, Thank you for writing your comment. I will respond to some of what you said. Regarding the OT and NT way of getting married the point in short here is that there is a “covenant”, and “agreement”. I do not see where we separate the two because when you agree with someone in essence you form a covenant. I would have to be in front of you talking to explain my point on this because it is too much to write. Secondly, I took a VERY intense baptism class and my view is definitely not off, in fact from what you have written we are saying the same thing, using different words.I’m confused as to whether you believe baptism to be required for salvation however I understand and have always been taught that you can liken baptism as a public announcement of your declaration to God. I never said God was spectating. It is a celebration. If you read Roman 10:9-10 salvation takes place in your heart and you speak it out of your mouth. In other words, it is a personal experience with God that can honestly happen anywhere (at home, in a park, at the altar etc…) Baptism is a type of Resurrection which is exactly what you have described in your comment. Is that not a public showing of the inner-workings of God in our lives that the old man would go down in the water and the new man would emerge? I hold God is complete reverence and calling baptism (as an example) a public declaration was neither off or a way to be irreverent. I have always been taught from my pastor and in bible classes that denying Christ before men could make him deny us before the Father. Baptism reconciles this when we are ready to take that step. There are people who get baptized when they truly rededicate themselves, and some who get baptized after they have repeated “the sinner’s prayer” (accepted salvation).
The real point of this blog is with the answers to your initial questions. If engagement would require a writ of divorce, then by engagement or betrothal and applying them to present day, we have entered a contract. This means that engaged people (spiritually and under verbal or written contract if they so choose) are married. The idea is to caution people about making decisions to become engaged and enter a covenant or agreement, and then back out. If we hear from God, and choose dating wisely we will not succumb to pressure to marry someone that we do not want to marry, or someone that we will regret marrying. There is hope and possibility of waiting for the one that God has as best for you. I hope this offers some explanation in answering your questions.
Out of curiosity, how did you find this blog?
Thank you again for taking enough interest to comment.
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Mary (the mother of Jesus) was betrothed to Joseph. In Jewish culture they were not married (fully) but nevertheless, to end the relationship Joseph was going to divorce her quietly (which indicates the seriousness of the betrothal). But they were not allowed to have sex – otherwise, would they not have already? Mary was a Virgin so that could not have been the case. Jewish law is very clear on what is okay and what is not okay for a betrothed couple. If they were allowed to have sex then this would not have been such a scandal.
Thanks for commenting. You agree with the article then. Thanks
I think that’s a great point, Katie, and something I was trying to say in my earlier post regarding the fact that Joseph and Mary did not have sex while they were betrothed. Resurrection doesn’t seem to like to discuss this issue (and outright avoids it) even though it is a major section of her article. I know that her point she is trying to emphasize is that engagement is important (I agree that it’s important) and is the same as marriage in the Bible. I don’t believe it is equivalent to marriage, but engagement was serious in Bible times and culture (hence the need for divorce to separate). However, the marriage wasn’t to be consummated (i.e. sex) in biblical relationships until a year after betrothal after the couple was married.
I still think it is misleading for one to say that engagement is the same as marriage and to say that sex is ok within engagement, when there is no evidence for the that in the Bible and there actually is evidence in the Bible showing that it is not true. I think many people that come and read this and don’t read their Bible think, “oh! I can have sex when I’m engaged, because this person said the Bible is ok with it! Yay!”
I am not endorsing for anyone to have sex before marriage. Your comment shows me that you don’t fully understand the article.
And, I haven’t avoided anything. The scriptures are available for you to read. I have not confiscated your bible, and the scriptures are in the article.
There are clear references, I’m just tired of talking about it to be honest.
Take from it what helps you, if it doesn’t that’s fine as well.
I believe that engagement is marriage. I was at a church on Sunday, and a pastor said it over the pulpit. The problem is that people want to live modern day vs. the olden days when God is the same.
We should not get engaged with the option to walk away. We are married. The wedding is the celebration of what has already been decided.
Lastly, no one reading this should go straight to thoughts about sex because there are six steps before it. People are dating people who are NOT the one.
It seems that even in the church the concern is SEX. This article is not about sex. That is why it is the last point. You don’t get to have sex because you have a title.
Lastly, people who are sincere, and have questions about the article may not leave a comment but they do contact me via facebook or email to ask specific questions about their relationship.
And when they ask questions, they too are usually concerned with whether they should be having sex or living together.
Before I talk about their sin, I ask them if the person is “the one”? People make lifestyle changes including fornication when the develop further intimacy with God.
I am not going to go through my specific conversations in counseling but be clear that no one is confused.
If the church would stop focusing on sex, and teach people how to find the one and how to live for God, I believe you’ll see a decline in fornication.
Thank you for commenting. Have a good day.
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I have neve found teachings as amazing as these.How i wish we would link up to change the lives of Iteso children who are living in the opposite direction.
Thank you so much for reading.
This was very helpful to me. My boyfriend and I of 2 years have been talking about marriage recently. We both started our walk with god together after we were already in a monogamous relationship. There are so many rules to be with someone in a non-marriage relationship that it is hard to follow. We had moved in with each other only to find out shortly after that it is a sin unless you are married. This is painful for both of us because we are stuck in a lease that we can not afford to break but if we can become engaged and resolve our current predicament that makes me very hopeful for our future together. Thank you so much for this information and god bless you. 🙂
I’m so glad that I could help you. If he is the one, by all means say YES! I wrote this blog because I want people to understand how important it is to know that the person is the one for you, before engagement. It is a serious but beautiful commitment. I pray that you all have an extraordinary life together. Blessings, Res
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Awesome info.. 😉
Thanks so much. Love your site.
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Knowing someone’s sex strength is another sensitive thing before and after mariage and how can we go about this in order to avoid a broken mariage?.
That is a great question. You should be able to communicate about everything. If this is the person that you considering spending your life with, asking questions about their sexual desires or abilities are necessary. Some people have diseases that may affect their sex drive. You need to know this in advance and find out how you both will be satisfied in the bedroom. Women need it more often than men as you age, should find out their interests in compromising, and keeping the spark alive with romantic effort. All of your concerns should be put on the table and you can come up with answers together. Communication is more important than money or sex in a marriage. However difficult or able your communication is now, is what you can expect when you marry. Great question and thanks for asking. Let me know if you have any additional questions. Blessings, Res
I have carefully gone through your article especially as regards the status of an engaged couple. I think you’re mistaken, no where in the bible is engagement viewed as marriage. Let’s look at Jacob and Rachael. After Jacob signified interest to marry Rachael, they never slept together until the wedding ceremony was performed. Luke 1;27 says that Mary was engaged to be married to Joseph. If engagement is the same thing as marriage then Mary should not have been engaged to be married. 1 Cor 7;36 says If a man thinks he ought to marry his FIANCEE because he has trouble controlling his passion and time is passing, it is all right; it is not a sin. Let them marry. Here, there is a clear cut diference between engagement and marriage. Even the wikipedia defines engagement as a promise to marry and also the period of time between proposal and marriage. During this time, a couple is said to be bethroted or engaged to be married but not married. No matter how committed a couple may feel, until they actually pledge themselves to one another on their wedding day, they cannot pledge themseves to one another with their bodies in bed. Waiting to share the gift of sex should not be seen as a passive delay of passion but as an active training in faithfulness. There is no act of love (true love) that goes against divine will. If it contradicts the scriptures, then its not love but most probably lust. Lust says I want it and I want it now but love says i’l wait until the time is right cos am patient. Until the marriage vows are taken, a woman is not a wife and should not be treated as one.
I agree that love will wait. I do not agree that engagement or betrothal is not marriage. In the bible a contract of divorcement is required to sever a betrothal/engagement. The point of the article is not to invite people to engage in pre-marital sex. I’m not sure what you’re reading. The point of the article is to invite people to see how serious engagement should be taken. it is marriage according to the bible.
Thanks for commenting.
Synthia, you have so many great points and I agree with you. So far the evidence that I have read and seen others post from the Bible does not support the claim that engagement is marriage. Thanks for posting this. When there are so many that comment on this post and point out biblical passages that do not support the blogger’s viewpoint that engagement is the same as marriage, you would think that more consideration would be taken in the blogger’s response to back up her viewpoint or to reconsider that maybe the viewpoint is not supported in the Bible. I think it’s important that we all, as Christians, seriously seek out the truth in the Bible and not make it to say what we want it to say.
Jason the blogger’s name is Ressurrection Graves, and I’m confused as to how your opinion is supposed to change the biblical text. I was at a church service and a pastor made the statement across the pulpit that it was the same as marriage about one month ago. He said it to the whole congregation and then showed them in scripture.
I have never talked to this pastor privately and he doesn’t know this blog exists. Instead of continuing to try to get others to rally together perhaps you would consider that your interpretation of the scripture is in fact inaccurate and decide maturely to reason that we have a difference of opinion. The blog is not for you. Period. The people that will get the point, will. And those who do not, simply will not but the constant comments are unnecessary at this point. I stand by what I said because it is in the bible, and supporting text that in order to not be betrothed anymore, you must write up a bill of divorcement.
Keep studying. I found supporting information online, and since it is available to you maybe you should look it up. There are other people who agree that we should take engagement very serious because in God’s eyes engagement is marriage. At the point of engagement, you should not be in a position where you are still trying to figure out whether the person is the one. And, if you do not understand that my message is to reduce divorce by encouraging people to look at many factors before making a choice to be engaged then you just don’t get it. And that is totally fine. But don’t dilute the message.
People need to know that in the bible engagement is marriage and that in this day and time we should be using our spirits to determine if the person that we are dating has spouse potential, and ask God if the person is the one. This blog is a guide. People have a choice to click off of the blog if they do not identify with it.
No, I am not changing my answer because it is not suitable for you. Pull out your concordance and do your own study if you want but the word hasn’t changed.
Continued comments that promote discord and not discussion will be deleted and will not appear in the blog.
I enjoyed reading your blog and found it to be very interesting as well as informative!
Reblogged this on The D.U.L.C.E. Movement.
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Thanks for visiting my blog as it gave me a chance to find yours. Interesting stuff. Looking forward to more…
Absolutely. Blessings, Ressurrection
I am in love with this girl. My parents are aware of it and her parents are aware of our relationship. Our pastor is also aware since we all attend the same church. I love her so much that anytime am close to her, I cant control my sexual desires. She also confessed this same problem to me. I opted to marry her but her father insisted she completes tetiary and start working before he will accept any bride price, and that will be about 4 years. We tried waiting but it was only for 6 months when we failed by having sex. We were both baptised before we met. I am afraid I cant wait that long. What should I do?
If you both are in love, and serious about the desire to get married. I would do something to show your families how serious you are – without having sex. Go to pre-marital counseling. Learn each other a little more and decide if your instincts about this person being the one is real. Then, marry her. Make sure it is a decision out of love, and not lust. I wish you well. Bless you, Ressurrection
Is it a sin to simple sleep next to your fiance’. My wife to be and I are not having sex but we sleep in the same bed. She has not moved in she just simply stays the night. Am i living by the bible or sinning? I dont know
Reading the the gospel of Jesus Christ,when He was asked about Marriage and Divorce…he referred them to the begining of creation.God Himself is the author of marriage ,not the church or society.But God, and we see from the first biblical union,there was no other witness there in that marital union except God,God placed a seal on Adam proclamations over Eve as a wife,their union was sealed by God even in a closeth.Going by this I will agree with you that engagement(w hen both the male and the female agree) is seen before God as marriage.Over the years I believe we have become so concerned and attached to the physical that we really loose the essence of truth,Marriage is a spiritual term and work,Wedding is a human term and human works.For instance salvation is likened to a spiritual marriage.And like the writer said your marriage to Jesus is in your personal declaration of Jesus as the Lord and saviour of your soul…It doesn’t have to be known or done in the public to prove you have now been married to Jesus(saved).So permit me to say a moment of agreement(engagement) of a man and woman is seen by God as marriage,it may not be seen as such by man…it doesnt make a difference,man did not make the marriage institution,God did.
Wow. This comment is awesome. I sincerely appreciate your input and hope that others will read it and take the time to see the revelation in the article and not continue to try to rip it apart because it sounds like something that they have never heard before. What you said is absolutely right, and I too agree. Thank you, Ressurrection
God bless you am highly blessed, More grace !!!
so many things here are contrary to the word of God.indeed thes are the last days …
These are the last days because I used scripture to show that betrothal is engagement and people should not idly get engaged? Wow I can think of a number of other things that are actually signs that the world could end, but not helping people to make better long term relationship choices that are WITHIN the will of God.
I came across this articule last night and after reading through the comments I could not help commenting. Firstly I noticed resurrection, that you are not open towards other peoples opinion hence ur response towards Jason, which was may I point out hostile.
Secondly I don’t need biblical backing to prove this as sanctity before marriage is supported by almost every tribe in the world! Engagement is an agreement between a man and a woman, marriage on the other hand is that agreement being made in front of God and both families. Even the bible preaches honour ur parents so don’t you tink it will be a tad disrespectful to be engaged and carry on as if you were married?
Thirdly I don’t tink it proper that you share this kind of information on a blog that different people have access to! Not every faith is as strong as your and a lot of people will be misled! People who are led by lust will get engaged and cary out their desires cos its “okay”. Pls pray and be led more b4 u unknowly led ppl astray! God Bless
In your comment you said, “Engagement is an agreement between a man and a woman, marriage on the other hand is that agreement being made in front of God and both families. Even the bible preaches honour ur parents so don’t you tink it will be a tad disrespectful to be engaged and carry on as if you were married?” What you say is not biblical. In your culture this may be the case, but it is not biblical. Engagement in the bible is marriage. That is the point of the END of the article. At the end of your comment you say, “I don’t tink it proper that you share this kind of information on a blog that different people have access to! Not every faith is as strong as your and a lot of people will be misled!” So because I’m sharing information to people you perceive to not have faith that is as strong as mine, I am misleading them. If this were true then God would not have designed pastors to help others understand true events, life application and to shepherd people who must be built up in their faith as they live for God. Lastly, I’m not hostile. I have not said anywhere in this blog that it applies to people who are motivated by lust and I believe THAT is the real issue. Everyone is afraid that by sharing this information people who are carrying out their lusts through fornication will feel that it is okay to do so but this article does not encourage unbelievers first of all, and it warns against lust making it very clear that we should not get engaged so quickly because entering engagement already connects us (spiritually) in marriage. To me most of these comments are derived from fear, and not a desire to know the word concerning these matters. Notice that I have 7 different things that I mention as steps to finding the one here but the only thing some people have picked out is that about sex. Sex is a hot button issue for most people, but it is not the point of this article. NOTE: IF PEOPLE READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE THEY WILL UNDERSTAND THAT IF YOU DO 1-6 YOU WILL NOT MAKE THE CHOICE TO BE “ENGAGED” OUT OF LUST, OR CHOOSE “MARRIAGE” OUT OF LUST. Thanks for commenting.
Resurrection please can you support your claims with bible quotations? I haven’t seen anywhere in the bible where engagement is referred to as marriage
Hello Synthia, Please check out the scriptures that are in the article, they do provide the information that you are requesting. Please do a deeper study on “betrothal”. Thanks so much, Ressurrection
I have done a careful search of the scriptures you quoted. Unfortunately, none of them lends credence to your assertion that engagement is the same as marriage
Hello Synthia, I would encourage you to do additional study, it’s there. I’ve said it many times that betrothal is engagement and in the bible it is clearly written that to end the betrothal period, which is engagement you are required to get a bill of divorce. You will need to continue self-study because this is an online article and it’s difficult to offer an in person session online. It’s there.
Interesting article, lots of opinion and information. It’s missing sound biblical convictions. While you used scriptures, John 3 and Romans 10 to support the salvation process…do note these are the most commonly used passages and equally misquoted. There’s no way the context of John 3 (and the entire book of John, and the gospels and the letters – including Rom. 10) arrives at believe and confess. It is part of salvation but falls away short…unfortunately, Christendom has accepted it as the path to salvation because Most of us never studied the bible and put too much trust on who ever gets on TV with a bible.
That said, You’ve got me thinking and I encourage you to think about your foundational doctrine on salvation. Thanks
Hi Don, Thank you so much for your comment. I’m glad that I have you thinking! I do not use John 3 as a foundational scripture for salvation when I’m talking to someone and sharing the salvation process with them. I’m not sure where that came from but thank you again for your comment. Blessings, Ressurrection
wel i must say reading da article was an eye opener da r things i agree wit like dat engagement is important but simply bcoz da word of GOD says wen we make promises we shud kip dem…so engagement is a promise which ought to be kept under holy circumstances…my question is with so many untrustworthy people how many times is one going to have sex before being legally married..REssurection i respect ur revelations and i believe u have something to say but as far as the blog is concerned it is my decision to maintain my beliefs dat NO SEX b4 mariage simply becos da HOLY spirit in me interprets it similar to what jason has bin trying to tell u n u just dont wana understandnd…u r only welcoming to ppl who agree wit u…full stop
Amen. Please do not have sex before marriage. As I’ve mentioned over and over, my intention is not to tell you to do so, it is simply to inspire you to take engagement seriously and realize that engagement is indeed marriage in scripture. I would actually have to teach this in order for someone to understand and follow it in a way that IS NOT worldly. You can not mix the world and the word. As for my “welcoming people who want to agree with me” statement, I’m not looking for you or anyone else’s approval so this is inaccurate. Ministers will say what I’ve said in this article across the pulpit. It is not my beliefs, this is really what the bible says. What I do encourage is that people who read this take it to the word. You don’t have to challenge me, seek God. Thanks! Res
In the Bible, there were three steps the Jews had to take when getting married. The families first had to agree to the union, and then a public announcement was made. At this point, the couple was betrothed, or engaged. Finally, they were officially married and began to live together. Betrothal, then, was somewhat similar to what we call engagement now, except that our society does not honour the seriousness of engagement as they did then. When a Jewish couple was betrothed during Bible times, they were already bound together by a contract that could only be broken through death or divorce.
Any Christian who is considering marriage needs to realize the depth of this kind of commitment and not jump into it lightly. God intends marriage to be a lifelong commitment, not a temporary arrangement.
This is a very different view on marriage and engagement. Although I have never heard it explained like this before, it makes a lot of sense.
I found your article very interesting. You expounded on some of my own interpretations from the Word. I have personally decided to wait until the wedding night to have sex with my fiance, but for my own reasons. One thing that I would like to point out is that today’s engagements are unfortunately not like biblical times (which is probably why there is such a high rate of divorce…). Therefore, I do not want to encourage (for lack of a different word) couples to have pre-marital sex if they are engaged. BUT I do believe that the process you described is pretty accurate for an ideal situation between two Christians. Each person should be 100% committed in engagement. It should also be a selfless commitment with the person that God brings into your life. Thank you for your time and effort put into this post. I hope that people keep an open mind and pray to God for the right decision. God bless you.
Absolutely, and my prayer is that you do choose to wait! The article I hope, expounds on the idea that we don’t NEED to take years to figure out if someone is the one and that long engagements are not necessary if you’re tuned in and mature. As I mentioned, I’m not advocating that people run and jump into bed but I’m glad that people are understanding that from a biblical perspective engagement is marriage so you shouldn’t take the idea of asking or accepting someone’s hand in marriage lightly. Make sure you get pre-marital counseling too. It is very important, and will do nothing but support your efforts in communication and intimacy. BE. Extraordinary! – Ressurrection
I really like your quote on chosen. A question to ask. In my church their is a sister looking beauty extremely,she has interest in me,also I do, but I’m frighten on her by the way she will be disturb by people before and after engagement. You know that easilly lady do fall when they get destrarted. I’m confused. I’m Olawole Olateju.
Lord Jesus, please protect your people. Some of the things mentioned in this blog should be kept ‘out of reach of children’. I agree with Jason, you are misleading God’s people in some of the things.
Well, I have a daughter whom I’ve taught that her body is the temple of the holy ghost. She’s read the blog, and still keeps herself pure. She understands that dating is for marriage, and she does not take commitment lightly. The principles in this blog actually help her to make wiser choices. She understands that sex before marriage is sin. And, she holds young men who are interested in her, accountable for their pick up lines. She’s amazing! Your fright is just that, your fright. Peace, Res
Thank you for this blog post! I’ve been struggling for weeks about living with my fiance 11 months before the wedding. I know a few of my friends would disapprove of my decision once the news comes out (all of them Catholic), but it’s not like we’re dating and living together (which I’m against). WE’RE ENGAGED!! We’re getting married! How it is a sin for me to live the commitment we have already made together? While I disagree that engaged couples should have sex before marriage (I personally will be waiting until my wedding night for my own personal and spiritual reasons), I agree that once you’ve made the commitment (engagement), you are bound to each other. The wedding is just the public declaration that the commitment has taken place. Thank you so much for your blog and God bless you!
Glad I could support you in getting some clarity. I agree that waiting is important for your own spiritual reasons. Having no sex keeps things clear, after all you are making life decisions here. Have a beautiful wedding day and a blessed marriage. 🙂
I have some one I have been dating for A year now. Her parents especially her mum knows me very well and considers me a future Son-in-law. for a while, she introduces me as her FIANCEE to people and I have been doing too, but they has been no formal engagemnt even though we have made promises to each other.The point is I have so many Good reasons why we cannot continue, will be wrong if I call it off?
I have so much respect for your honesty. She may not at first, but if you truly feel that you have red flags or good reasons to discontinue the relationship you should tell her, and move on. If you believe that some of these details can be worked out, be willing to work them out. If not, it’s nothing wrong with moving on. Also, one thing that is clearly an issue is communication. You can’t just run around claiming each other, you must talk and come to the conclusion that you want to be engaged, and then married. I think you’re making a great choice. Blessings, Res
You’re misguided about various things. The consummation of a marriage cannot occur unless the marriage has occurred, I pray God gives revelation to you of his true word and what It means. You will note that the bible compares marital relationships to the relationship between the church and God. The consummation of our relationship with God will occur at the Marriage feast. The consummation a marriage between man and woman cannot occur before the marriage ceremony. It is as if you are suggesting that a man has a right to his bride before she has been handed over by her father. My dear you are misguided and are sending quite a number of persons down a path of destruction. Please do not take this likely, REPENT and be baptised. Grace, Mercy and peace.
Actually based on your comment you seem misguided. I push people to look deeper. What you’ve said about marriage is inaccurate. A father walking a woman down the aisle and giving her away is not an indication that the couple is wed. If that were the case, with the number of absent or dead fathers, many women would miss the opportunity to be married and be forced to live in sin. What I am saying is that biblically, engagement is marriage. Rather than focusing on my “Repentance” I hope this post encourages others to dig deeper, read the scriptures and understand that we are not governed by the laws of this land but by the bible. I am not leading anyone down a path of destruction and you sound extremely ignorant to suggest this. I have grace, mercy, peace, salvation and have been baptized. I hate when religious people who are uncomfortable with what they don’t know start throwing a book at you that they don’t understand. Just take the time to go to the scriptures and ASK God to show you how he views the process by which people get married. Lastly you said, “Husband have his bride” but don’t they “have” each other? The bible says that your husband should love you like CHRIST “the anointed one” loves the church. Not sure what that scripture has to do with your point. Before being overly judgmental, take the time to read the word. Basically, I’m saying that God is not as silent as people think on this issue. Whether you choose to agree with my post or not, read the book. Peace, Res
Read your bible again. In biblical times engagement is considered marriage. The argument is not about premarital sex.
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Which is d greater sin, he who has sex during his engagement and goes along to marry and love his wife all d days of his life till he dies.
Or those that get wedded in d church, and after a while get a divorce. Not only that ,go ahead to marry 4 or 8 or more people in their lives?
Or have sex before engagement, get married and get divorced. And remarry again and again and again.
Or just live a life of fornication, with as many people as possible.
i feel very much that God has punished me when it comes to meeting a good woman to settle down with, especially when i have to see so many very blessed men and women that have met one another to have a family just like i certainly would have wanted myself. why are certain men and women blessed, and many of us innocent ones not? i am no different than they are. then again, there are certainly not that good women out there anymore to meet like years ago when they were real ladies.
wow i have read everyones comments and i don’t think what resurrection is saying is hard to understand. I think it is hard for some people on here to accept and understand what is being being said because they are caught up with worldly traditions etc… i believe that an engagement should be taken seriously because it is a promise. In society we believe that a person should date many, or have sex with many to really know what (they) want i totally disagree with that. This modern day show that people put on has become a mockery of GOD we put these big extravagant shows only to be divorced a few months later.. I believe that marriage counselling is an important step as well, I also believe that in order to know if one is truly ready for marriage both parties definition of marriage should be the same. with that being said ressurrection keep up the good work..Its also funny how quick many are to prove you wrong the bible is open for interpretation only when you are filled with the anointing does the word speaks to us…..ever heard the saying that you can read a bible verse today take something from it, read the same verse the next day and it reveals something totally different to you. anyways stay blessed.
I’m inspired and couraged by what i have just read in the previous page, i now know which way to go and what to do…Thank you:-)
yes it is very helpfull
Wow i never heard Engagement explained like this I’ve learn a lot no one will lead me astray about it starting from now on and always.
Do we really know why Joseph and Mary weren’t having sex? I’m honestly curious. I’ve read others’ comments explaining their thoughts about it, and it only seems like assumptions. Some say that Joseph and Mary were not having sex yet because Mary was a virgin. Does the Bible state it that way? Yes, we know Mary was a virgin. Yes, we know that because she was a virgin, it all proved more of just how much of a wonderful miracle it was. Yes, we know that Joseph was considering a divorce because he thought that Mary had sex with someone. I am commenting because when I read these verses for the first time, I didn’t think the way that others on here did. I had to wrap my mind around the fact that he actually thought it was possible for Mary to have sex. My comment is not rhetorical. Could it be possible that they hadn’t had sex yet because their relationship had just started recently or they just hadn’t had sex yet? I only wonder because if they were deeply committed and had been together for some time, then it would be less likely that Joseph didn’t trust Mary. Yes, the fact that she was pregnant “could” cause question, but no matter what, there wasn’t trust. What reasons did Joseph have to think there was such a possibility that Mary betrayed him? Maybe that’s the reason God didn’t have them conceive a child of their own? I’m not saying they were punished, I’m just curious if their commitment was taken seriously. There’s other possible reasons to the story. Or maybe someone can comment with evidence to say otherwise? Like this blog said, engagement should be taken seriously. I didn’t want to add to the numerous comments that focus around “sex”, but I’m also questioning their actual commitment. I’m just adding thoughts to the blog, I am not in any way saying that I am right. I’m not saying anyone is wrong. I’m just typing out my thoughts like anyone else. However, those attacking Ressurrection’s blog with their discord are indeed wrong. It’s everyone’s prerogative to voice their opinion, but why do it in that fashion? When it comes to the internet, it’s absurd to tell people what should and shouldn’t be on here. As for children, it’s a parent’s responsibility to either control what is being read or to teach them to form their own opinion so that blogs or web sites doesn’t lead them “astray”. There is so much content on the internet and we know that everything does not cloud people’s decisions. Instead of attacking Ressurrection in that way, try exiting the web site or try keeping it specifically to a discussion and not telling her what to do. Thank you Ressurrection for creating your blogs. I appreciate the read. God bless.
I appreciate your comment. And, what I will add is that this blog is several years old and people are still coming to it. Many people (who have not attacked me here), reach out to me for counseling, and we dig deeper into the content of the blog. They often do their own research and find out that what I’ve written here has truth. Just because it’s not what you grew up on doesn’t mean it isn’t truth. That said, many of the people who have contacted me have either solidified their commitment or exited the relationship before engagement. The conversations may have began about having sex or living together but by the time we are done, deeper decisions have been made that have changed the course of people’s lives. And for that reason, I’ve allowed this blog to remain here, because I know what God has used this blog to do. Thank you again for commenting. Blessings, Ressurrection
Because an angel TOLD Joseph about Mary. So he wasn’t going to TOUCH her until that holy Child was born.
i really love dis***************
I think what is confusing in your article is too much vocabulary. I understand you are trying to defend that enagement is same as marriage. But may I tell you that many will not see it that way even if you are correct. Let’s deal with practical life issues. We believe you are a single man or woman until you ask someone out as a single man or the single woman says yes to you, introduce yourself to your pastor, parents and family members and that makes you engaged single. However, you used ” engaged couple” and that’s the misconception. The truth remains that if you are not married, you are not married. I believe , you have read the comments about Joseph and Mary, even if they were engaged they didn’t have sex. What interested me In that passage of scripture was the fact that, even when Mary was pregnant, joseph should have still had sex with her but he didn’t until Jesus was born. Sex is what consummate marriage. Even in the old testament, Rachael was engaged to Jacob, for 14 years, and there was no sex. Didn’t the parents of Rechael agree to give Rachael to Jacob for marriage? Even Leah that was deceptively arranged for Jacob, it was the night after the feast and celebration of the marriage( wedding) that he had sex with her. Isn’t that what you said marriage is? When I first read that your myth no 2, I wad wondering if I was reading the right thing or my eyes and my brain are deceiving me. Please, do your research well. Though a well thought article. I agree with your all write-ups here except that. More grace.
I’m confused about who to ask for their daughters hand in marriage. She says I should ask her mother since her dad moved out, but the only scriptures I find refer to asking of the father if he can be asked. I find that I’m supposed to ask her father so he is ready for her to part from being a significant part of their families routines or needs. Her father has already let her go so am I required to ask anyone besides her and God?
Kevin, I’m not sure why this is such a big challenge for you. Her father is absent, biblically the father was present. In the absence of the father, you can certainly reach out to mom because she deserve love and honor for her contribution in making your fiancé as amazing as you believe her to be. It is a courtesy, a coming together of family. I say talk to her mom if their relationship is healthy and it means a lot to your future misses. God bless you! And, thanks for reaching out to ask. – Ressurrection
I was engaged for a little bit under a year I’m up before my wedding night he decided not to marry me my whole world felt like it had came to an end.My heart was broken in a million billion Trillian pieces it has been 9 months and I’m still feeling overwhelmed and I’m still feeling overwhelmed how do I begin to heal and what does biblically God says in relation to this