Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Married in the Eyes of the Lord, not the Church

The elderly couple sitting across from me explained their different last names by saying that they were married in the eyes of the Lord, and that was sufficient. Pushing them a little, I asked if they had a church wedding. They responded in the negative, and brusquely told me that the Lord didn't require that either. We agreed that their's would be what we call a "common law marriage." I was meeting with them for an unrelated reason anyway, so I took note of their social status and moved on. It seems to me that co-habitation is more or less the norm these days, but I found this couple's reasoning a bit different from what I had heard in the past. Later, I wondered how pastors respond when a new couple comes to their church and presents themselves to him/her in this manner? Does it make a difference if they are young or old?

What if one is a singer in the park?

"My old man
He's a singer in the park
He's a walker in the rain
He's a dancer in the dark
We don't need no piece of paper
From the city hall
Keeping us tied and true
No, my old man
Keeping away my lonesome blues"
Joni Mitchell 1970 Blue

1 comment:

  1. I have often heard of this scenario and in seems to often involvethe couple might be lose some social security benedits from a former spouse or something akin to that.

    I have wondered how that is treated. I am under the impression that if a Church could not give an legal wedding then it was hesitant to do it al all