Question:

My boyfriend is thinking about moving abroad a few years from now. He wants me to come with him. I would have to find a job and start a new life because I don't know anybody there. I would also want to live in separate apartments until we get married. He wants us to have a permanent home before getting married. I'm not sure I'd want us to start a life together by moving abroad with him without the commitment of marriage. He thinks I'm pushing for marriage and that marriage doesn't guarantee anything. He's also open to the possibility of getting married to a citizen for his residency and then marrying me. I'm not okay with that. Your advice please?


Answer:

The reason your boyfriend is avoiding marriage is because he has the fantasy that he can arrange a marriage of convenience to get citizenship in another country. He can't do that if he is already married. But what he is proposing is lying to a government to get around their rules.

He probably doesn't care, but he thinks he can divorce whoever he marries once he has citizenship and then marry you. Thus, before even meeting someone, he is already planning to end his marriage. His divorce will not be due to his wife's unfaithfulness, but his own. "And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery" (Matthew 19:9). By God's law he would not be permitted a second marriage. If you did marry him, you would become guilty of adultery.

There is another statement that I find telling: he said that marriage doesn't guarantee anything. He doesn't see marriage as a commitment for life to you or any other woman. This is a man who plans to abandon any marriage that he finds inconvenient or difficult.

The accusation that you are pressuring him into getting married is an empty excuse. Does he say the same thing about his pressuring you into committing fornication with him? He claims it is pressure because he doesn't want to marry you since that will interfere with his plans.

I don't see this being a sound choice in a husband. If you really want to marry him, despite this warning, I would strongly recommend that you tell him that you will not be moving to another country with him unless you are married. The choice is then his, but if he goes through with his plan to marry someone to gain citizenship, making it clear that you will not be his second wife.

Thank you for your advice. He also wants to be close to God and live for Him, but I don't think we're on the same page in terms of what being Christian means. For him, there is no rush to marry because there are couples who wait 5-10 years before marrying. But we're not like the other couples he refers to. We're not having sex, although he's not okay with it. He hasn't pressured me, but if I change my mind, it would be back on the table. He thinks that if we're already doing it, there was no point in stopping, and we can just ask for forgiveness each time. I told him it was hard to stop, but I felt I needed to do it to have a relationship with God. Also, wouldn't his fake marriage be null and void since both parties knew they didn't mean their vows? I've prayed about our relationship, but I don't know what God is saying to me, if anything.

Your boyfriend, by his own words, is a fake Christian. "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?" (Romans 6:1-2). He thinks there is nothing wrong with fornication because "everyone else is doing it," and he wants to be doing it too. And as we discussed before, he plans on committing adultery.

Let's see, American rules for a fraudulent marriage contains this penalty: "Any individual who knowingly enters into a marriage for the purpose of evading any provision of the immigration laws shall be imprisoned for not more than 5 years, or fined not more than $250,000, or both" [Immigration and Nationality Act § 275(c); 8 U.S. Code § 1325(c)]. Afterwards, they are deported and never allowed back into the country.

And then there are God's laws: "Walk prudently when you go to the house of God; and draw near to hear rather than to give the sacrifice of fools, for they do not know that they do evil. Do not be rash with your mouth, And let not your heart utter anything hastily before God. For God is in heaven, and you on earth; Therefore let your words be few. ... When you make a vow to God, do not delay to pay it; For He has no pleasure in fools. Pay what you have vowed - Better not to vow than to vow and not pay" (Ecclesiastes 5:1-2, 4-5). A marriage vow is before God. To take a vow and then claim you never meant it is a clear way to get God angry at you. Thus, no, his marriage vows would not be null and void because he later claimed he didn't mean it.

The more you describe him, the worse he sounds. Find a real Christian man to marry.

That's a lot to think about. Thank you very much for your insight. God bless you.