Watching Politics From the Pew: Two-Year Marriage Licenses

Each week in Watching Politics From the Pew, Benjamin Bartlett offers a thoughtful Christian perspective on the latest political happenings in the news.

Mexico City is considering issuing two-year marriage licenses.  That’s right; you would just be married for two years and then your marriage would end, unless you went back to renew.

There are some really interesting arguments to be made for this issue. Couples have a chance to see what marriage is like.  People in bad situations can choose not to continue on. There could be large savings in reduced divorce proceedings. In short, the law could very well be a better reflection of today’s culture and today’s needs than is currently the case.

Of course, there’s just one catch.  Scripture clearly calls us to life-long monogamous marriage relationships.  And in most cases the law is supportive of that basic structure. If it isn’t, we still must promote life-long committed relationships in our churches and families.

If two-year marriage licenses are the way of the future, though, churches need to start preparing now. We need to have ready answers as to why God ordained the one man, one woman structure.  We have to know how to teach young couples why the idea of a term-limited marriage is inherently wrong.  And we have to know how to give counseling to new believers who find themselves in complex situations.

Just think of it; a pastor could very well be in a situation where a person has had multiple two-year marriages, and is thankful that they were able to get out of those relationships.  How do you advise them going forward?  And how many pastors will have to contend with churches who allow such things to happen without calling them sin or advising against them?

Events like these just serve as a reminder to me that the government can fail you at any time.  Pastors cannot look to the state to tell people the right way to live.  Instead, the church must disciple its members to have a, “city on a hill,” sort of mentality, where our ethics stand above and beyond those of the state both because they are right and because it is a proclamation to the world that the Kingdom of God is not like the Kingdom of Man.

The times keep on a-changing, and changes like these highlight the fact that the secular world will do what it wants to do, and the church must be strong in holding to its understanding of God’s will despite those changes.  My prayer is that your church and mine will be ready and able to weather those storms.

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