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Ask the Pastor

† Theological musings and answers to selected questions by a confessional Lutheran pastor.






30 May 2005

Prenuptial Agreements and Scripture


Q: Are prenuptial agreements Biblical? Are they along Scriptural lines or are they totally against the Bible?

A: Taken as they are, prenuptial agreements remind us of our sinful, fallen natures. They attempt to protect us from our own evil thoughts, words, and deeds. Some people hate them because these agreements seem to assume that a marriage will fail. This assumption has some statistical support. Even among chosen people, the Lord knew that sin would tear apart some marriages. As Jesus reminded the Pharisees, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. (Mt 19:8)” Certainly, prenuptial agreements could be considered in light of Christ in Luke 16:8, “For the sons of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than the sons of light.”

God never absolutely condemns or forbids earthly wisdom. With all the cultural differences between Biblical times and ours, direct comparisons are often difficult. However, we might be able to consider such agreements akin to the marriage contracts of days gone by.

In other words, I think that a believing couple can prayerfully construct an agreement that addresses divorce, as well as death and disability. It can confess the sanctity of marriage while still defending the principals from some of the damages that devil, world, and sinful flesh might inflict. Please take this as my opinion based upon Scripture while remembering that the Bible remains silent on the details of the question.

Scripture quoted from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version™, © 2001 by Crossway Bibles.

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Walter Snyder is the pastor of Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Emma, Missouri and coauthor of the book What Do Lutherans Believe.

3 Comments:

Blogger Bob Waters said...

Can't agree here.

Pre-nups are in effect fingers crossed at the altar. They make provision for the decision of one or both partners to violate their vows. I think it's a reasonable question whether a couple which marries while even contemplating the possibility of not keeping those vows is truly married at all.

31 May, 2005 15:11  
Blogger Preachrboy said...

I have posted a response to this on Bob's blog:

http://watersblogged.blogspot.com/2005/05/can-nups-follow-pre-nups.html

Would love to hear more from both sides.

31 May, 2005 21:57  
Blogger Xrysostom said...

I've posted a response to Bob’s comments and Preachrboy’s followup on Bob's Blog.

31 May, 2005 23:37  

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