Question:

I would like to ask you a question: I have read your responses to other people. Iam in a relationship. Both of us are Christians and we love God. We prayed together and vowed to God about our lives for our marriage. We are preparing for our wedding next year. We do have safe sex together. We are at peace about it -- no concerns really. We are committed to our church and it has been announced to the church about our marriage. Are we fornication as we have sex?


Answer:

It appears you are making a distinction between getting married and having a wedding. Your prayer together did not form a covenant of marriage. It is missing witnesses for one thing. Nor is there a formal record of the marriage existing. I very much doubt that in your country a simple claim to be married is accepted as a marriage. See "Can a couple get married by simply taking a personal vow between them and God?" for additional details.

Basically you are taking your intentions for getting married at a wedding in the future as being enough to make you husband and wife. Intentions do not make it a reality. On some level you understand this. You are trying to avoid having children until after the wedding. Thus you show that you understand that you are not truly husband and wife at this time.

Until you are formally married by making a covenant of marriage before witnesses (i.e. a wedding), you are only pretending to be married. Therefore, you are committing fornication at this time.

Most countries have a way to form a civil marriage by making vows before a government official or a preacher with a few witnesses. In most places you can be formally married within a few days. Make your marriage real and then you can celebrate it with your friends next year.