Question. Are Prenuptial agreements Biblical?

Status
Not open for further replies.

Anton Bruckner

Puritan Board Professor
So the 50% of Christian marriages that ended up in divorce, due to one party not wanting to stay put. Wouldn't it have been better if the innocent party had a prenup agreement in place before?
 

Anton Bruckner

Puritan Board Professor
Ok Josh, your point brings me to the next question. How do we know that we are marrying a possessing Christian and not a professing Christian? All we can judge are the externals. So wouldn't it be wise for persons to protect themselves in the event of a professing Christian apostisizing of which they didn't know that this professing Christian was such?
 

Puritanhead

Puritan Board Professor
Originally posted by Slippery
Let's say you are a wealthy Christian man or woman, and you meet your "soul mate", but you are in a culture where divorce is rampant i.e a culture not conduscive to marriage, would it be Biblical of you to have a prenuptial agreement?
Personally, I don't think prenuptials make a whole heck of a lot of difference anyway as most states are community property states. All prenups can do is prevent the spouse from laying claim to pre-marriage assets. With most twenty-somethings and thirty-somethings starting in the race of life... such assets are pretty neglible.

With regards to divorced people getting remarried... your laying claim to a covenant marriage has already been smashed on the rocks, so it is absolutely pointless to worry about it. Get a prenuptial! I'll draft it for you! Law school dropouts don't charge anything.
:lol:

I once saw a boat named Prenuptial Agreement in North Carolina... pretty funny...
:bigsmile:
 

Puritanhead

Puritan Board Professor
Originally posted by joshua
Once again, need I epmhasize the fact that the "Christians" in these "Christian marriages" are professing Christians, not necessarily possessing Christians? Furthermore, if it was a Christian divorce, everything should be handled by the Church. The fact that a professing Christian would take an unbiblical divorce to the state is further indication that they are not true believers.
Most all Americans are nominal Christians at wedding and funerals, because they need a preacher... and they need some pretense of piety and solemnity on such occasions...

Good observation Josh.
 

Pilgrim

Puritan Board Doctor
I agree that we may not know, and I know of some Christians who have been burned by marrying people who turned out not to be true Christians. But I also agree that we should not plan for failure.
 

Henry from Canada

Puritan Board Freshman
I have a stupid and somewhat irreverent question.

Has anyone ever done a study to determine the divorce rate amongst couples that signed a pre-nup?

In other words, what percent of couples with pre-nups are divorced within 10 years?

I would suspect that the percentage is high, but then again, I have been wrong before.
 

Henry from Canada

Puritan Board Freshman
I'm not totally sure about this question.

What if one of the spouses has a share in a family business?

Is it reasonable for the family to insist on a pre-nup, so that in event of divorce or death the family business is not broken up?

Pre-nups do not just protect against divorce, they also can be used to protect family businesses in event of death.
 

LadyFlynt

Puritan Board Doctor
Nope...still no go. The family needs to realize that this marriage is bringing another person INTO the family. In the case of a divorce...well, that's just one of the liabilities and, again, it is presuming failure from the starting gate. In the case of death, why shouldn't the spouse (and generally children) continue to receive a portion of support (since that was part of the support while the other spouse was living) from the family business? The family is suppose to take care of eachother...this includes in-laws. My mil considers me a daughter, not just a daughter in law.
 

Puritanhead

Puritan Board Professor
Not to toss a monkeywrench in this discussion... everyone says prenups are wrong... I disagree. BTW I was being tongue-in-cheek beforehand.

Prenuptials are not evil and off-limits per se-- quite the contrary. They do not have to say in so many words: "hey, if we get divorced, I keep this money." A couple can make a covenantal prenuptial that affirms rigorous Scriptural standards of marriage simply by enunciating Scripture, and the two spouses commitment to those standards, as well as love and mutual fealty. They can get a pastor and/or parents to observe, and perhaps help shape the covenant. This could be a broader proclamation concomitant to taking wedding vows. Some Christians get some very well-articulated prenuptials or covenant vows.... it can be great to focus on, in formative years of marriage. What do young Christian couples often focus on in their first years? The Christian ideal of marriage, and mutual fealty towards one another. Covenant vows can be a recurring frame of reference... and it is not legalism, but rather would make one focus on what the Bible says about marriage.

Now, of course, what do I know? I'm not married!
:bigsmile:
 

cultureshock

Puritan Board Freshman
I find this to be an interesting topic. Is a prenuptial agreement inherently and necessarily in conflict with a biblical view of marriage?

Someone said that prenuptial agreements are indicative of a low view of marriage. I don't think this is necessarily the case, especially since the Pentateuch contains some prenuptial-type agreements, like that a man would have to pay back the father of his ex-wife if he divorced her. I can't remember the exact references, but if my memory serves me correctly here, then this is a case where a prenuptial agreement is commanded by God, and it does not necessitate a low view of marriage. In these cases, the prenuptial agreement serves as a an added protection not to enter into marriage lightly, and once you have married, not to divorce quickly.

Prenuptial agreements do not assume that marriage will fail, as if it is certain to happen, but the terms and conditions of the agreement only kick in and govern in case the marriage does dissolve. It's like this: Just because I have a fire extinguisher with the words "In Case of Emergency" does not assume that there will be a fire. It is there in case a fire happens. Just because the author of Hebrews gives a warning to the elect not to depart from the living God, and threatens consequences if they do, does not mean that they will, or even that they can (Heb. 6:4-20)--and this is not Arminianism.

Couldn't it be wise to use a prenuptial agreement as an added boundary to reinforce the seriousness of the marriage covenant? That is, perhaps because two Christians see marriage as sacred, they want to make it extra difficult for either partner to make a clean break with all the money. That way, when he is tempted to leave the marriage (yes, even true Christians are tempted to leave their marriages), he does not feel the added temptation, due to greed, to divorce. As it is, our hearts are dark enough that we sometimes seriously consider falling to just one temptation, let alone many. Maybe in some cases, if we can minimize temptation to divorce through the help of the civil magistrate, it would be wise to cast ourselves on that God-ordained means of help.

True story: When I was young, I attended a Wesleyan church. After church one Sunday night, the pastor split with another woman he'd been committing adultery with, cleaning out the bank account he shared with his wife. As David with Bathsheba, one sin leads to another. Sometimes external compulsion is valuable, even for Christians.

What do you all think?

Brian
 

satz

Puritan Board Senior
Brian,

that's a very interesting way of looking at the topic and on first glance i think i can see some merits to your view.

Maybe in some cases, if we can minimize temptation to divorce through the help of the civil magistrate, it would be wise to cast ourselves on that God-ordained means of help.
Without having done much deep thought on the subject, i think you raise a good point. Lofty ideals of hating sin and loving righteousness are certainly good, but i think there is wisdom in setting up barriers that will make the actual commission of sin difficult... at the very least it will give your conscience some extra time to kick in...

Adultery is a horrible sin and the offense it causes against God and ones spouse should be more than enough to convince any right thinking christian person to stay well away. But Solomon didn't think that was enough. In warning against adultery in Proverbs 5-7, he also told is son (?) of the fact that adultery would waste away his substance and his strenght. He warned of the disgrace and shame of discovery. He also warned against the terrible anger of a cheated husband to make sure his son had many reasons to keep away from adultery.

Jesus Christ told us to cut of your hands and eyes to avoid sin. A perfect man would need to do no such thing as his hatred from sin and love of God would be enough to keep him away from sin. Yet it seems Jesus was saying that if we find outselves weak against temptation, we should remove the ability to sin so as to safeguard ourselves.

My instinctive reaction would be that pre-nups for christians are a worldy addition we do not need. Yet i do see some wisdom i setting up additional barriers against sin, or making the commission of the sin difficult. A man or woman in an unhappy marriage may well be sorely tempted to take the easy way out and seek a divorce. Yet the prospect of financial hardships following that event might serve to restrain him or her, hopefully until the marriage can be mended by more biblical means.

Just floating some thoughts...
 

cultureshock

Puritan Board Freshman
Just to clarify my position, I'm not necessarily saying that there should be prenuptial agreements in every case, or even in a lot of cases, I'm just trying to argue for some good ol' Christian liberty here.

Brian
 

Anton Bruckner

Puritan Board Professor
Brian I like your points.

Today I see many men subjected to "financial serfdom."

Here's how it goes.
1. They get married.
2. They have 2-3 children
3. They have a mortgage
4. They have car payments
5. They have student loans.

The wife decides to divorce since the marriage is, "unfulfilling", and the man is now required to pay 25-35% of his salary in child support payments in addition to paying the mortgage, car payments and student loans he has. Now after paying all of this, he now has to find a way to get shelter for himself.

No Fault divorce is too powerful a weapon that brings psychological, and financial destruction. And the man being a good father is irrevelant since 90% of the custody battles end up in the woman's favor.

I don't think with the above being the reality in America today, we can afford to have an idealistic notion of marriage.

I think a prenup can be constructed and be biblical, which states that no party shall be allowed a divorce unless there is adultery and or abandonment. But if a party insists on a divorce if no adultery and or abandonment is involved, certain penalties should be accrued to the person who wants the divorce, so as to preserve some financial health of the victimized party.
 

cultureshock

Puritan Board Freshman
Keon,

What you described is just the sort of thing I'm talking about. If a Christian couple decided to do it that way before getting married, I wouldn't be able to tell them not to, at least not on biblical grounds (because of my arguments above). Therefore, I think it is an infringement on Christian liberty to try to enforce this issue.

Brian

[Edited on 1-23-2006 by cultureshock]
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top