What's required for two people to be married in an Evangelical/ Non-Denom Church?

Are there any requirements for a man and a woman to be married? Do they have to be able to perform the marital act? Do they have to have adequate mental capacity? Or are the only guidelines for a them to be a man and woman and that’s it?

The reason I ask is that a friend of mine who attends a Christian church posted a video that talked about a young married couple. The thing was though, that the woman still married the man even after he had an accident and had a traumatic brain injury. Anyway, the couple eventually got married and explained that because they loved each other and that they had Christ to strengthen them, they got married because eventually he could communicate.

Now don’t get me wrong, its sweet the woman still stayed with her boyfriend, and it’s wonderful that she took care of him. However, how could they practice to “be fruitful and multiply” in marriage if he couldn’t function in that way (I assume he couldn’t, he was still wheelchair bound), but does this count as a marriage? Also, to me it seemed to promote the message of that marriage is simply about love and children and consummation are not needed in marriage. In Catholic teaching, it’s about procreation as well as love between a man and a woman.

So for those of the evangelical non denominational persuasion, is all thats required of a marriage simply a man and a woman. By the way, this video was put out by a church affiliated with a John Piper. I’m not familiar with him, but it seemed like a typical nondenominational evangelical type ministry that showed this video

Uhh . . . apparently the Catholics in late antiquity didn’t get the memo. They had no problem living like married brothers and sisters . . . no sex at all. Read up on the celibate marriages of the saints and martyrs.

As to your questions, it can vary. Some evangelical pastors/churches may have many requirements or few at all.

Okay, I’ll admit this happens, but the point is you have to be open and able to perform the marital act. For example, I know of a beautiful young couple who were Catholic and she was dying of cancer. I assume it was a brother sister marriage since she died relatively quickly afterwards, but in theory there could have been a miracle that she could have gone into remission and she could have had a child. This is allowed. Now if she had been in a car accident and unable to perform her marital duties (or if the man had the same issue) then they wouldn’t have been able to get married because they couldn’t perform.

I just don’t see any good theological reason for preventing someone to marry simply because they are physiologically incapable of procreation. I mean, don’t get me wrong, its an important part of marriage, but it’s not the end all and be all. If both parties are mentally competent adults who have both seriously and fully considered the realities of their life together and prayed about the matter, I don’t see any reason why they should be refused marriage.

It’s certainly not ideal, but things in life rarely are.

Thomas Aquinas would disagree with you.

do you know for sure that he couldn’t perform the marital act? theoretically, it could still be possible

Also, just a point of clarification, John Piper is not a nondenominational pastor. He is a Baptist General Conference pastor.

I was married in an Evangelical Free Church.

All that was required was a recommended gift for the pastor and six sessions of “counseling” having coffee at his house.

We talked finances, sex, communication skills

That was it.

I supposes if he had not known us he would have made sure we believed what the church taught about Christianity, but he knew we were members.

Technically though I didn’t have to be baptized or a member or anything.

“Be fruitful and multiply” is a blessing, not a command, as even the Roman Haydock Bible points out in its commentary on the verse. (It can not be a command because it is given to the animals as well, and animals can not receive, understand, accept, nor follow a command, but they can be blessed.) Amen for them, their sacrifice of earthly desires and carnal things will see a reward laid up for them in heaven, for they know there are things more valuable than silver and gold, yea, more important than procreation.

“This is allowed. Now if she had been in a car accident and unable to perform her marital duties (or if the man had the same issue) then they wouldn’t have been able to get married because they couldn’t perform.” This is wrong - even by the canon law of Rome - and the inordinate focus on it and similar issues (birth control) by so many Roman Catholics are such as Pope Francis I has realized are those teachings which make a forehead-rub or a laughing-stock of the Roman teaching on the matter, turning the institutional Roman church - or at least the common non-traditionalist-Catholic perception of it - in to a pro-life, anti-contraception, and anti-homosexual lobbying organization (instead of a Church preaching the gospel, as homosexuality and abortion are often treated as sins par excellence, outside the pale of Christianity and the reach of forgiveness, where murder of adults or rape are not; I know this is not official Roman teaching, but the average conservative Roman Catholic most certainly acts as if there were something especially heinous about those two sins), when one says that people can not be married if they can not procreate.

This position is explicitly ruled out by the CIC, which states that marriage between infertile participants is valid. In any case, even if such a marriage were outlawed by the CIC, the law of man could not annul the law of God, and the law of God doth not say, “For this reason shall a man leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife as long as she is fertile and in good health, and the two shall be one flesh only if she be impregnated.”

This thing about marriage requirements always bothered m a little. I mean , Joseph and Mary were married and apparently agreed from the get-go to remain celibate–so if scripture is correct, not only was their marriage never consummated, but it was entered into with a complete agreement never to do so.

Firstly, as someone pointed out, just because a person is in a wheelchair dos not mean they can’t have sex. Secondly, if a man has had a vasectomy in the past, repents and goes to confession and then he and a Catholic woman were to be married in the church, he is under no obligation to have the vasectomy reversed. In history, there have been several married female saints who took vows of chastity and still married.

I don’t know about requirements for marriage in protestant denominations. I sort of suspect that the bottom line in the Catholic church is the concept of openness to possible new life. This would eliminate same sex unions of course, as that is biologically (ie naturally) impossible. As long as the marriage is between a man and a woman, they certainly have the correct plumbing for procreation–whether they choose to use it or not. Moreover, even if a person is unable to have sex–say a high level spinal cord injury in a man or a radical prostate removal (which can sometimes leave a man impotent) if God wants to create life in this situation he can do so. Miracles do happen. I sort of suspect that if all conditions are favorable for a Catholic couple to marry other than either an agreed willingness to abstain from sex or a perceived physical impairment at the time of the marriage–again, agreed upon by both parties) that they would end up married in the church if they chose. Somehow, I suspect things like this coming up are rare–and maybe more common in older couples marrying a second time after a spouse’s death or such than in most young couples anyway. I saw the post that the thread originator referred to on my FB too. The only issue I see is that I hope the young woman really understands what her future will be. If she does and they make a go of the marriage, with or without the gift of children as I have no idea what he is capable of–she helped him stand up if you watched the video, so he was brain injured but not completely paralyzed–well praise God. If in 10 years, she is completely worn out with it though, you won’t see that post on FB.:shrug:

[quote=Khalid] “Be fruitful and multiply” is a blessing, not a command, as even the Roman Haydock Bible points out in its commentary on the verse. (It can not be a command because it is given to the animals as well, and animals can not receive, understand, accept, nor follow a command, but they can be blessed.) Amen for them, their sacrifice of earthly desires and carnal things will see a reward laid up for them in heaven, for they know there are things more valuable than silver and gold, yea, more important than procreation.

“This is allowed. Now if she had been in a car accident and unable to perform her marital duties (or if the man had the same issue) then they wouldn’t have been able to get married because they couldn’t perform.” This is wrong - even by the canon law of Rome - and the inordinate focus on it and similar issues (birth control) by so many Roman Catholics are such as Pope Francis I has realized are those teachings which make a forehead-rub or a laughing-stock of the Roman teaching on the matter, turning the institutional Roman church - or at least the common non-traditionalist-Catholic perception of it - in to a pro-life, anti-contraception, and anti-homosexual lobbying organization (instead of a Church preaching the gospel, as homosexuality and abortion are often treated as sins par excellence, outside the pale of Christianity and the reach of forgiveness, where murder of adults or rape are not; I know this is not official Roman teaching, but the average conservative Roman Catholic most certainly acts as if there were something especially heinous about those two sins), when one says that people can not be married if they can not procreate.

This position is explicitly ruled out by the CIC, which states that marriage between infertile participants is valid. In any case, even if such a marriage were outlawed by the CIC, the law of man could not annul the law of God, and the law of God doth not say, “For this reason shall a man leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife as long as she is fertile and in good health, and the two shall be one flesh only if she be impregnated.”
[/quote]

For safety sake…do not hold your breathe too long waiting for the Church to changes it’s teachings.

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[quote=Khalid] “Be fruitful and multiply” is a blessing, not a command, as even the Roman Haydock Bible points out in its commentary on the verse. (It can not be a command because it is given to the animals as well, and animals can not receive, understand, accept, nor follow a command, but they can be blessed.) Amen for them, their sacrifice of earthly desires and carnal things will see a reward laid up for them in heaven, for they know there are things more valuable than silver and gold, yea, more important than procreation.

“This is allowed. Now if she had been in a car accident and unable to perform her marital duties (or if the man had the same issue) then they wouldn’t have been able to get married because they couldn’t perform.” This is wrong - even by the canon law of Rome - and the inordinate focus on it and similar issues (birth control) by so many Roman Catholics are such as Pope Francis I has realized are those teachings which make a forehead-rub or a laughing-stock of the Roman teaching on the matter, turning the institutional Roman church - or at least the common non-traditionalist-Catholic perception of it - in to a pro-life, anti-contraception, and anti-homosexual lobbying organization (instead of a Church preaching the gospel, as homosexuality and abortion are often treated as sins par excellence, outside the pale of Christianity and the reach of forgiveness, where murder of adults or rape are not; I know this is not official Roman teaching, but the average conservative Roman Catholic most certainly acts as if there were something especially heinous about those two sins), when one says that people can not be married if they can not procreate.

This position is explicitly ruled out by the CIC, which states that marriage between infertile participants is valid. In any case, even if such a marriage were outlawed by the CIC, the law of man could not annul the law of God, and the law of God doth not say, “For this reason shall a man leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife as long as she is fertile and in good health, and the two shall be one flesh only if she be impregnated.”
[/quote]

For safety sake…do not hold your breathe too long waiting for the Church to changes it’s teachings.

Posted from Catholic.com App for Android

[quote=Khalid] “Be fruitful and multiply” is a blessing, not a command, as even the Roman Haydock Bible points out in its commentary on the verse. (It can not be a command because it is given to the animals as well, and animals can not receive, understand, accept, nor follow a command, but they can be blessed.) Amen for them, their sacrifice of earthly desires and carnal things will see a reward laid up for them in heaven, for they know there are things more valuable than silver and gold, yea, more important than procreation.

“This is allowed. Now if she had been in a car accident and unable to perform her marital duties (or if the man had the same issue) then they wouldn’t have been able to get married because they couldn’t perform.” This is wrong - even by the canon law of Rome - and the inordinate focus on it and similar issues (birth control) by so many Roman Catholics are such as Pope Francis I has realized are those teachings which make a forehead-rub or a laughing-stock of the Roman teaching on the matter, turning the institutional Roman church - or at least the common non-traditionalist-Catholic perception of it - in to a pro-life, anti-contraception, and anti-homosexual lobbying organization (instead of a Church preaching the gospel, as homosexuality and abortion are often treated as sins par excellence, outside the pale of Christianity and the reach of forgiveness, where murder of adults or rape are not; I know this is not official Roman teaching, but the average conservative Roman Catholic most certainly acts as if there were something especially heinous about those two sins), when one says that people can not be married if they can not procreate.

This position is explicitly ruled out by the CIC, which states that marriage between infertile participants is valid. In any case, even if such a marriage were outlawed by the CIC, the law of man could not annul the law of God, and the law of God doth not say, “For this reason shall a man leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife as long as she is fertile and in good health, and the two shall be one flesh only if she be impregnated.”
[/quote]

For safety sake…do not hold your breathe too long waiting for the Church to changes it’s teachings.

Posted from Catholic.com App for Android

[quote=Khalid] “Be fruitful and multiply” is a blessing, not a command, as even the Roman Haydock Bible points out in its commentary on the verse. (It can not be a command because it is given to the animals as well, and animals can not receive, understand, accept, nor follow a command, but they can be blessed.) Amen for them, their sacrifice of earthly desires and carnal things will see a reward laid up for them in heaven, for they know there are things more valuable than silver and gold, yea, more important than procreation.

“This is allowed. Now if she had been in a car accident and unable to perform her marital duties (or if the man had the same issue) then they wouldn’t have been able to get married because they couldn’t perform.” This is wrong - even by the canon law of Rome - and the inordinate focus on it and similar issues (birth control) by so many Roman Catholics are such as Pope Francis I has realized are those teachings which make a forehead-rub or a laughing-stock of the Roman teaching on the matter, turning the institutional Roman church - or at least the common non-traditionalist-Catholic perception of it - in to a pro-life, anti-contraception, and anti-homosexual lobbying organization (instead of a Church preaching the gospel, as homosexuality and abortion are often treated as sins par excellence, outside the pale of Christianity and the reach of forgiveness, where murder of adults or rape are not; I know this is not official Roman teaching, but the average conservative Roman Catholic most certainly acts as if there were something especially heinous about those two sins), when one says that people can not be married if they can not procreate.

This position is explicitly ruled out by the CIC, which states that marriage between infertile participants is valid. In any case, even if such a marriage were outlawed by the CIC, the law of man could not annul the law of God, and the law of God doth not say, “For this reason shall a man leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife as long as she is fertile and in good health, and the two shall be one flesh only if she be impregnated.”
[/quote]

For safety sake…do not hold your breathe too long waiting for the Church to changes it’s teachings.

Posted from Catholic.com App for Android

[quote=Khalid] “Be fruitful and multiply” is a blessing, not a command, as even the Roman Haydock Bible points out in its commentary on the verse. (It can not be a command because it is given to the animals as well, and animals can not receive, understand, accept, nor follow a command, but they can be blessed.) Amen for them, their sacrifice of earthly desires and carnal things will see a reward laid up for them in heaven, for they know there are things more valuable than silver and gold, yea, more important than procreation.

“This is allowed. Now if she had been in a car accident and unable to perform her marital duties (or if the man had the same issue) then they wouldn’t have been able to get married because they couldn’t perform.” This is wrong - even by the canon law of Rome - and the inordinate focus on it and similar issues (birth control) by so many Roman Catholics are such as Pope Francis I has realized are those teachings which make a forehead-rub or a laughing-stock of the Roman teaching on the matter, turning the institutional Roman church - or at least the common non-traditionalist-Catholic perception of it - in to a pro-life, anti-contraception, and anti-homosexual lobbying organization (instead of a Church preaching the gospel, as homosexuality and abortion are often treated as sins par excellence, outside the pale of Christianity and the reach of forgiveness, where murder of adults or rape are not; I know this is not official Roman teaching, but the average conservative Roman Catholic most certainly acts as if there were something especially heinous about those two sins), when one says that people can not be married if they can not procreate.

This position is explicitly ruled out by the CIC, which states that marriage between infertile participants is valid. In any case, even if such a marriage were outlawed by the CIC, the law of man could not annul the law of God, and the law of God doth not say, “For this reason shall a man leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife as long as she is fertile and in good health, and the two shall be one flesh only if she be impregnated.”
[/quote]

For safety sake…do not hold your breathe too long waiting for the Church to changes it’s teachings.

Posted from Catholic.com App for Android

[quote=Khalid] “Be fruitful and multiply” is a blessing, not a command, as even the Roman Haydock Bible points out in its commentary on the verse. (It can not be a command because it is given to the animals as well, and animals can not receive, understand, accept, nor follow a command, but they can be blessed.) Amen for them, their sacrifice of earthly desires and carnal things will see a reward laid up for them in heaven, for they know there are things more valuable than silver and gold, yea, more important than procreation.

“This is allowed. Now if she had been in a car accident and unable to perform her marital duties (or if the man had the same issue) then they wouldn’t have been able to get married because they couldn’t perform.” This is wrong - even by the canon law of Rome - and the inordinate focus on it and similar issues (birth control) by so many Roman Catholics are such as Pope Francis I has realized are those teachings which make a forehead-rub or a laughing-stock of the Roman teaching on the matter, turning the institutional Roman church - or at least the common non-traditionalist-Catholic perception of it - in to a pro-life, anti-contraception, and anti-homosexual lobbying organization (instead of a Church preaching the gospel, as homosexuality and abortion are often treated as sins par excellence, outside the pale of Christianity and the reach of forgiveness, where murder of adults or rape are not; I know this is not official Roman teaching, but the average conservative Roman Catholic most certainly acts as if there were something especially heinous about those two sins), when one says that people can not be married if they can not procreate.

This position is explicitly ruled out by the CIC, which states that marriage between infertile participants is valid. In any case, even if such a marriage were outlawed by the CIC, the law of man could not annul the law of God, and the law of God doth not say, “For this reason shall a man leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife as long as she is fertile and in good health, and the two shall be one flesh only if she be impregnated.”
[/quote]

For safety sake…do not hold your breathe too long waiting for the Church to changes it’s teachings.

Posted from Catholic.com App for Android

From a medical standpoint, erection and orgasm are mediated by the caudal ganglion at the base of the spine, not the brain. A brain injury therefore does not preclude being able to perform sexually, A case in point is the actor Christopher Reeves, who became quadriplegic after breaking his neck in a fall from a horse. He and his wife were able to produce children afterward, even though he was paralyzed from the neck down.

I know, I wonder the same thing. It gets tough being a caretaker for someone. I hope it works out, but who knows

I understand infertile couples are allowed to marry. I’m sorry if I didn’t make that clear. But the point is that you have to be able to do the procreation process. I know a couple where the woman is infertile and she obviously is able to get married in church. The issue is when someone can’t really perform. If a soldier lost his whole bottom half in warfare, sadly he couldn’t get married. See infertility is no obstacle because God can intervene and perform a miracle with an infertile couple. It’s a little harder to do it for someone who has had everything below the waist lost, granted thats an extreme situation.

If I might re-frame the question, “What is the purpose of marriage in Evangelical or Non-Denominational teaching?”

I was raised and married in the Presbyterian Church (neither of which I’d consider evangelical in the popular sense or non-denominational). The requirements for marriage were setting up a date for the wedding with the pastor and (maybe?) being a member of the church. I had been in the youth group and knew the pastor well so maybe we got off easy. I think we talked to him for perhaps 20 minutes one time, but that was about it. We were not required to go through anything like pre-cana and any requirements/underlying assumptions like the Catholic Church weren’t explained to us.

Here is what would be required under the current teaching of that denomination (PCUSA).

In preparation for the marriage service, the teaching elder shall provide for a discussion with the man and the woman concerning
(1) the nature of their Christian commitment, assuring that at least one is a professing Christian,
(2) the legal requirements of the state,
(3) the privileges and responsibilities of Christian marriage,
(4) the nature and form of the marriage service,
(5) the vows and commitments they will be asked to make,
(6) the relationship of these commitments to their lives of discipleship,
(7) the resources of the faith and the Christian community to assist them in fulfilling their marriage commitments.

Number 3 above, “the privileges and responsibilities of Christian marriage”, were never explained to us and I can’t find anything that actually spells out what that means in Presbyterian teaching.

In reading how marriage is treated through the various confessions that the Presbyterian Church USA adheres to there appears to be a subtle shift over time in the understanding of what the purpose marriage is. One of the things that doesn’t change is a focus on marriage as a “medicinal remedy” for fornication/incontinence. That would imply that there is an assumption that sexual congress is a part of marriage (if not the reason for it), but nothing I could find states that it is an absolute requirement in that church.

So how would I answer my original question 20 years ago as a Presbyterian? “Uh… we marry because we were told sex outside marriage is sinful?” Okay, I’ll admit at 21 I wasn’t exactly concerned about the theology of marriage :smiley:

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