Occasionally people ask my opinion on various personal or church issues. I recently received the following question which I have reprinted below, followed by my response.
I’m writing to ask your thoughts on prenuptial agreements. I’m currently in a serious relationship with someone who I’m almost certain will be my husband. We’ve started having serious conversations about marriage, starting a family, etc. One thing he asked me is how I feel about signing a prenuptial agreement. He is a successful business owner in a family/partner-owned business. So for him, it’s important to protect his business assets and partners, if a divorce happened down the road.
As a Christian couple I have a hard time coming to grips with the idea of a prenup. Marriage is something that is sacred to me and I hope to never end in a divorce. I’m also realistic and know that things do happen. His parents divorced and it’s greatly impacted his view on certain things and relationships. I have a hard time thinking about sitting down before a marriage with a lawyer and saying, if you divorce this is what happens, etc. Basically signing a “divorce” contract before I’m married.
I’m praying about it and asking for God’s guidance. It’s weighing heavy on my heart and my parents suggested I write you.
Thank you in advance & God bless.
I’ve never been asked this question so forgive me if my thoughts appear a bit disorganized. Since the Bible does not say anything specifically about prenuptial agreements, what I say is just my opinion and I hope you will regard it as such and seek counsel from others.
A Biblical marriage is a covenant, not just between two people; it’s a covenant with God. That makes it even more serious than a legal agreement. We take a vow to be faithful until we die. That covenant is not to be broken, just as God’s promise to save us will not be broken.
That vow of permanency is sometimes the only thing that keeps couples together through the trying times that inevitably come. There is a big difference between couples who enter a marriage with the attitude, “If my partner doesn’t change, I’m getting out,” and ones that have the attitude, “I better do my part to work this out because I’m going to spend the rest of my life with this person.” When a couple stays through tough times, they can go on to reestablish a loving, romantic relationship.
In 1519 when Captain Hernán Cortés landed in Veracruz, Mexico, he gave the order to his men to burn their ships. He wanted them to know there was no exit strategy. He wanted his men to be totally committed to staying permanently in Veracruz and to fight for the Aztec treasure as if their lives depended on it. And they did.
The lesson for marriage is obvious. Retreat is much more likely when you have an easy option. It’s better to limit alternatives rather than keep easy, wrong choices on the table. That kind of decisive commitment forces us to make a greater effort to overcome obstacles and endure hardship.
For a Christian couple there should not be any back door exit plan. The believing husband who loves his wife should be willing to pledge to her everything he has because he knows he’s not divorcing. And he trusts that she has the same commitment. First Corinthians 13:4, 7 says, “Love…is not self-seeking…always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
Some might say that’s not realistic. I disagree. While it’s becoming increasingly rare, there are still many examples of that kind of marriage commitment. And it’s that kind of allegiance that makes a marriage last.
I’ve been happily married for 51 years, but there were a few times that I needed (and my wife needed even more!) the pressure of negative consequences to endure. I think the possibility of losing a big chunk of money in a divorce could be a positive force to remain in the covenant —and a romantic demonstration of the husband’s love for his wife.
Follow @BobRussellKY on Twitter!