Can my girlfriend and I get married after committing fornication?


I have some issues I want to share with you so you can pray with me and give me some advice.

I was searching the web for some answers on some Christian web sites when I came across your answer to a question that I had, and I am in a similar situation. My girlfriend and I fell into fornication. We are both Christians, we have repented, and I believe God has forgiven us. Does this mean we need to break up? I heard a preacher once say that God will never bless such a union. Is this the case? We want to get married next year, and we are serious about it. Kindly advise on what to do because I am pretty confused.

Several years ago my girlfriend moved in with a man and they lived together for three months. She discovered he was married and had a child with another woman. She left the man. Can we consider this a marriage? Is she divorced? Does she need deliverance from any spirit that may follow her from that relationship?

I come from a broken family, and I find it hard to trust people. I didn't trust anyone, not even my girlfriend, and I keep thinking she is seeing someone on the side! She hasn't given any indication that she is unfaithful. She is a really nice woman. Kindly advise me on what to do.


A marriage is created by making a covenant. "Yet she is your companion and your wife by covenant" (Malachi 2:14). Sex doesn't create a marriage. If it did, there would be no reason for Israel to have a law that said, "If a man entices a virgin who is not betrothed, and lies with her, he shall surely pay the bride-price for her to be his wife. If her father utterly refuses to give her to him, he shall pay money according to the bride-price of virgins" (Exodus 22:16-17). The act of sex did not create the marriage. The woman's father could choose whether to permit the marriage or not. Regardless of the father's choice, the man still had to pay the dowry, but neither the sex or the dowry gave him a wife. It was a separate step.

You and your girlfriend sinned. In that sin you undermine some of the trust that ought to be in a relationship. Such lack of self-control leaves some people with doubts: If the person can't restrain themselves now, before marriage, will they be about to remain faithful to their vows after marriage? Such doubts can be overcome, but it means extra work in the relationship. See "Marriage's Glue" for more on this topic.

I hope you misunderstood the preacher because I know of no statement by God which says people who commit fornication cannot marry. In fact the passage I cited in Exodus 22:16-17 indicates the opposite. One ought to marry instead of remaining in sin. "Nevertheless, because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband" (I Corinthians 7:2).

What your girlfriend did with the other man was commit adultery. She was having sex with a married man. No, she was not married to him. He had no right to another marriage while married to another woman -- besides the fact that their sexual relationship did not create a marriage.

The idea of being delivered from a spirit is not a Christian concept. Satan and his minions do encourage people to sin (I Timothy 4:1), but the Bible doesn't say that committing a sin ties an evil spirit to you.

You last point is the most troublesome. Paul says that love "bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things." (I Corinthians 13:7). You may be building a loving relationship between you and she, but you aren't there yet. True love includes full trust in the person you love. There will be times, because we all are not perfect, that events might cause you to doubt your beloved, but it should not last. An on-going lack of trust tells me that you aren't ready for marriage yet. Which makes your sexual action all the more shameful because you were having sex with someone you didn't completely love. I suspect you might have thought that having sex would strengthen your relationship, which would be another hint that you aren't fully in love yet.

It is not that the love won't develop, I'm just pointing out that it isn't fully there at this moment. If you want to live the rest of your life with this woman, and she with you, then by all means get married. Just remember that you are vowing before God to give her your full trust. If your situation is such that you are going to be tempted to have sex again, then you are better of getting married now than a year from now. "If they cannot exercise self-control, let them marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion" (I Corinthians 13:9).

Thank you so much for your response. You are the only person I have spoken to about this whole issue. I didn't misunderstand the preacher, he actually said and I quote, "If you fall into fornication before marriage you may as well sign your divorce papers because God will never bless such a union." To be honest we really wanted to wait, but we fell. We were not thinking that having sex would make us fall in love more. I am not justifying what we did; far from it, I admit we did wrong in the eyes of God.

Finally, can you pray for us for our marriage to survive? Kindly just remember us and thanks so much for your advice.

Of course you have my prayers on your behalf. It is always a joy to hear of people who strongly desire to live righteously. Make sure you take serious steps to avoid a repeat of your sin, especially since you plan to wait for the marriage.

I had hoped to give the preacher the benefit of the doubt, but since you are certain as to what he said, I would strongly suggest finding someone else to teach you the gospel since this preacher has proven that he doesn't stick with the text (I Peter 4:11).

I wanted to give you an update since you prayed for us and have me wise counsel. My girlfriend and I rededicated our lives to Christ. We approached a preacher, confessed our sin, and gave our lives back to Christ. Right now I am feeling free and so forgiven. I am not feeling ashamed and I can lift up my hands and worship the Lord Almighty as his forgiven child.