Question:

Hi, God bless you!

My girlfriend and I are Christians. We have been together for two years now, and everything is going great so far. We have never had any time of sexual intercourse or anything related to it. We are planning on getting married right after graduating from college, which is about three years from now.

The thing is that I have a scholarship. As part of the contract I have to go back to my native country and spend two years there. We were thinking on getting married through a church ceremony in my country to then be able to consummate our marriage. Then she would come back here and when I get the permission to come back here again, then we would get married by the law. Do you think this is correct in God's eyes? Is it must for us to get married by the law first? Are we deceiving the government?


Answer:

I'm a bit confused because in this country no distinction is made between where a marriage takes place. Both religious and civil ceremonies are recognized by the government. Since you want to be seen as married by two different governments, you need to see what requirements those governments have -- especially since you will be out of the country in one government's view.

In regards to the teachings of God, any marriage is recognized that is formed by a witnessed covenant between a man and woman who have the right to marry. See: Marriage Covenants. Since Christians are expected to follow the laws of their government (Romans 13:1-2), Christians are expected to do whatever society deems necessary to recognize their marriage, so long as those things don't violate God's laws.

Please realize that living apart shortly after marrying is going to put a strain on your relationship. You will need to work extra hard both while you are apart and after you get back together in forming the tight bond needed to make a marriage work.