Why The Church Should Offer Marriage Licenses

Marriage Certificate

The traditional definition of marriage is being attacked, and the government and court system has now bowed to the unending pressure. That’s why it’s time for the church to take marriage OUT of the government’s hands. Why did they even have it in the first place?

Why doesn’t the church offer our own licenses for married couples? Marriage is a biblical institution, and a spiritual institution. The goverment issued license does nothing to actually support, promote, or protect marriage. With all the legal excuses for divorce now, the government license contract is nearly meaningless. You can get out at any moment for any reason.

But what if the church began issuing our own licenses for marriage? We could define the meaning biblically. We could hold members accountable in the community for such a commitment. We could require more of a couple before entering the sacred union, such as counseling. And it would mean a whole lot more than a mere tax bracket. We already have our statements and beliefs about marriage. Let’s put a license out there to back it. We have ministry licenses, teaching licenses, some even have worship leader licenses, and all other sorts of licenses. Why not marriage licenses? Marriage should have never been the government’s to define in the first place. Why don’t we take back what’s been ours all along? A godly, biblical, traditional definition of marriage. I don’t mean to say we should stop fighting the political battle,but let’s make a bold statement on where we stand.

And when we create our new marriage license, it should include the following quote–in calligraphy:

“Mawwiage. Mawwiage is what bwings us togethew today. Mawwiage, that bwessed awwangement, that dweam within a dweam. And wove, twue wove, wiww fowwow you fowevah and evah… So tweasuwe youw wove…”

—The Impressive Clergyman in The Princess Bride

Just a thought. Whatcha think? Love it or hate it? (the idea, and the movie)

(Full Disclosure: this idea is not original. It was shared with me by a friend who had discussed it with another friend and I was given permission to write about it. Thanks, Randy!)

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6 Replies to “Why The Church Should Offer Marriage Licenses”

  1. Darren – in my limited opinion, it is all about money. Notice what is said at the end of the marriage ceremony by the clergy: “By the power invested in my by God and the STATE…” If we do not recognize the state’s authority we lose our tax exempt statue therefore we cannot offer marriage certificates apart from the state. Again, in my opinion, if churches want to by-pass any government interference in matters of faith, they should be willing to discard tax exempt statue and recognize the authority of God alone. Just a thought. Love the movie by the way…

    • Interesting thoughts. I was just discussing this with someone, and realized that we agree with the separation of church and state when it comes to the state interfering with church, but we disagree with it when it comes to church interfering with state, and I think your comments touch that idea. It’s tough to have it both ways, I guess.

    • I have heard of that. In fact, I think they also offer something similar here in TN. It’s certainly a step in the right direction. My thought was that we still honor and accept the state licensing, but we could offer something similar to the covenant through a denominational offering or even a program, for lack of a better word.

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