Comments/Questions from Readers

Question #8: I was told that if I had sexual relations with a man in the presence of his wife and with his wife's blessings, that it constituted marriage. My understanding of the bible is far from complete, however, I was of the opinion that it would take a more formal type of ceremony and in the presence of two or more witnesses. From what I have read on your website, it would confirm my belief. Would someone address these ideas for me?

I'm not sure if I entirely understand your question, but I believe you're asking that if you, as an unmarried woman, were to have sexual intercourse with a man, who happened to be married and whose wife was present and giving her consent, would you then become married to the man. The Biblical answer is a conditional "no", you would not be married in any sense.

Marriage requires a commitment of both parties to one another for life, so regardless of any actions, sexual or otherwise, marriage must be an agreed upon arrangement first and foremost. I say conditionally no, because if you and the man were to desire to be married and have made such a commitment to one another, then you would already know you were married, and the sexual act would only be consummating that union. I guess the best way to answer the question is, if you have to ask the question, the answer is no. A covenant requires the consent of both parties or there can be no covenant. Sexual activity doesn't make one married, any more than going to church makes one a Christian.

That having been said, the issue of the wife's presence, involvement or agreement has no bearing on the situation, except maybe to preserve the peace within his existing family. I only clarify this point because the covenant is between you, the man, and God. Her covenant is a separate covenant between her, the man, and God. The man, regardless of his existing marital status, can enter into a binding covenant with an unmarried woman by making a covenant with her under God's ordination, without needing anyone's approval (aside from the father of the woman he desires to marry, since, unless she's widowed, she's still under the authority of her father to give her to the man).

However, my personal recommendation, if you were seriously desiring to be married, would be to participate in some type of informal ceremony to commemorate the event. It's not necessary to make it a big, elaborate thing...perhaps just the two of you, his existing wife, and any children within the families to bear witness. I would urge you both to carefully weigh your decisions however. I don't know what country you live in or what culture you were raised in, but in most western countries, you will no doubt encounter extreme resistance and persecution to the idea of polygyny. I would recommend allowing the Holy Spirit to guide you both after several months of serious praying on His will for your lives.




"...In essentials we maintain unity, in opinions liberty, and in all things love..."

Your comments are welcome!