If An Unmarried Couple Is Expecting, Should They Be Required to Marry?

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If An Unmarried Couple Is Expecting, Should They Be Required to Marry?

  • Yes. Any couple that has sex is required to marry.

    Votes: 6 18.2%
  • Yes. If a baby is involved, they should definitely marry.

    Votes: 6 18.2%
  • No. A child is not a reason to have to marry.

    Votes: 7 21.2%
  • No. If they will go back to living celibate lives, they should not have to marry.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • The couple should marry only if they want to.

    Votes: 9 27.3%
  • It really depends on the situation--I will explain my answser in my post.

    Votes: 5 15.2%

  • Total voters
    33

seoulsearch

Senior Member
May 23, 2009
10,775
355
83
#1
Hey Everyone,

I was talking to someone at work last week about this issue and was wondering what you all think. I grew up in Lutheran schools that pretty much required anyone who became pregnant "by mistake" to marry the father... (I went to a Lutheran high school in which pregnant girls "disappeared"--rumor had it that they were asked to leave. So much for Biblical concepts such as forgiveness and compassion...)

I once worked at a place in which almost every girl under the age of 23 became pregnant and was unmarried. I have seen several instances, both Christian and non-Christian, in which the girls married the fathers, pretty much exclusively because they were pregnant.

After a few years... I don't know of any of those marriages that are still together (perhaps one, but I lost track of that person.) All the others I know of dissolved into situations in which one or both partners left for someone else. And again, this has been something I've observed with both Christan and non-Christian couples...

I myself personally do not believe that a couple should automatically marry because of a child. I am NOT in anyway approving sex outside of marriage, but I am also NOT condemning anyone who may have found her or himself in this situation. I guess in my old church, they figured the couple would continue to have sex anyway and that the best solution was to just get married, as well as making the union "legal" for the sake of the child.

This is just me, but sometimes I think marrying just for the sake of the baby (maybe they made a mistake and in reality, don't even really know or like each other) can be an even worse mistake in that, what of it's not God's will for them to marry? The sex outside of marriage was not God's will either, but another wrong won't make it right. I personally believe that the reason so many marriages fail is because many people, myself included, married whomever WE wanted or chose, even for reasons that made sense at that time, instead of what God wanted for us in the first place.

What have your experiences been, and what do you think/believe from your knowledge of Scripture?

I have heard some people say that an unmarried couple who has sex is Biblically required to marry, especially if a child is involved, but I don't know of any passages to support this (?) Please feel free to include them if you know of any.

As Christian singles, others are looking to us as examples of how we live out our faith. The person who brought up this subject with me is not a Christian and wanted to know my personal feelings over the issue. All I could do is tell her what I had observed, and what I believe (I am divorced with no children.)

I am wondering what my fellow Christians have seen, experienced, and believe as well. I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts!
 
L

lightbliss

Guest
#2
I kind of feel the same way.

Of course, if one has premarital sex, they should be responsible and deal with the consequences. But, I don't think, any good can come out of rushing into marriage. Ever.

Many people feel guilty about being an unmarried parent (not having ever been married beforehand) and many people guilt them into marriage. Marriage is supposed to be something both partners want and look forward to but that is hard to do with every other person shunning and cursing them. Having a child out-of-wedlock is difficult enough without having to add to it.

If they get married, I think it is better for them to wait until they are ready than to rush in with guilty and bitter hearts. I've read too many stories of people marrying because of being pregnant only to divorce not a year later.

Just because they rushed one thing does not mean they should rush another.

As to the verse people use, this is the only one I've found (besides the fact sex is meant for married couples and God is displeased when it's otherwise):

Deuteronomy 22:28-29
If a man finds a young woman who is a virgin, who is not betrothed, and he seizes her and lies with her, and they are found out, then the man who lay with her shall give to the young woman’s father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife because he has humbled her; he shall not be permitted to divorce her all his days.
 
R

Rissa77

Guest
#3
I kind of feel the same way.

Of course, if one has premarital sex, they should be responsible and deal with the consequences. But, I don't think, any good can come out of rushing into marriage. Ever.

Many people feel guilty about being an unmarried parent (not having ever been married beforehand) and many people guilt them into marriage. Marriage is supposed to be something both partners want and look forward to but that is hard to do with every other person shunning and cursing them. Having a child out-of-wedlock is difficult enough without having to add to it.

If they get married, I think it is better for them to wait until they are ready than to rush in with guilty and bitter hearts. I've read too many stories of people marrying because of being pregnant only to divorce not a year later.

Just because they rushed one thing does not mean they should rush another.

As to the verse people use, this is the only one I've found (besides the fact sex is meant for married couples and God is displeased when it's otherwise):

Deuteronomy 22:28-29
If a man finds a young woman who is a virgin, who is not betrothed, and he seizes her and lies with her, and they are found out, then the man who lay with her shall give to the young woman’s father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife because he has humbled her; he shall not be permitted to divorce her all his days.
I agree with you all up until the verse. I don't believe the context of that verse applies here simply because the other consequences of adultery and rape in this passage is stoning to death. That verse in NIV makes the "seizes her and lies with her" more descriptive:

28 If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, 29 he shall pay her father fifty shekels[c] of silver. He must marry the young woman, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives.
 
L

lightbliss

Guest
#4
Okay, I see.

Other than the mass of those scriptures, the Bible does not state anything about whether an "expecting" couple should get married. And whether expecting or not, if a "couple" has such relations with each other, I'd still apply my above post minus the scripture.

I think it may come down to prayer and discernment.
 
Jul 24, 2010
829
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0
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#5
Absolutely not. Marrying because of a child will make the child feel like it's their fault if the parents eventually want to break up but can't because they agreed to stay together for the kids. An unexpected child is the absolute worst reason to get married. Seen a lot of people ruin their lives because of it and their kids bore the brunt of it. It ends up hurting the kids more than it helps them if the parents don't want to stay together.
 
N

NodMyHeadLikeYeah

Guest
#6
If a woman gets pregnant i think the two should marry.

If you wanna play around and act like your married, havin sex with each other. You both need to suck it up and do what needs to be done, get married and raise your child.

I hear what a lot of you are sayin, Getting married just because of a child is a bad idea! Well whats a better idea, the kid getting tossed between the mom on one weekend the dad on the other. Then say the mom gets married to some other guy now the kid has got a stepdad, then maybe the kids dad gets married and now he's got a step mom. Well then what if both sets of parents have kids with their husband and wife, now the kids got a bunch of half sisters and brothers and feels like he doesnt fit in anywhere...
I mean seriously what a mess.

All of that could have been avoided if the mother and father of that child got married and decided to raise that child together the way it should be.
 

niceguyJ

Senior Member
Feb 5, 2011
520
25
28
#7
If a woman gets pregnant i think the two should marry.

If you wanna play around and act like your married, havin sex with each other. You both need to suck it up and do what needs to be done, get married and raise your child.

I hear what a lot of you are sayin, Getting married just because of a child is a bad idea! Well whats a better idea, the kid getting tossed between the mom on one weekend the dad on the other. Then say the mom gets married to some other guy now the kid has got a stepdad, then maybe the kids dad gets married and now he's got a step mom. Well then what if both sets of parents have kids with their husband and wife, now the kids got a bunch of half sisters and brothers and feels like he doesnt fit in anywhere...
I mean seriously what a mess.

All of that could have been avoided if the mother and father of that child got married and decided to raise that child together the way it should be.
That would be ideal. The problem is that most people are too selfish to do that.

I know sometimes one person does want to do that but the other doesn't.

People just need to learn to keep their pants on til after marriage and they wouldn't have all this to worry over. This kind of thing is just another reason why God says no sex before marriage.
 
A

allforfun

Guest
#8
1. So, the people get pregnant, then get married and live happily ever after.
2. So, the people get pregnant, then get married and divorced and hate each other and the child knows they got married for him/her and divorced because of him/her.
3. So, the people get pregnant and raise the child and get along amicably without marriage and the child at least knows a little bit of normality without bitterness.

It would be nice if it never happened, but that isn't reality. It would be nice if this was the still the 50's and people got married because they were forced too.

Or not.
 

Jullianna

Senior Member
Apr 21, 2010
12,810
117
0
#9
My parents married because my mom was expecting. They weren't planning to. They were not in love. Two years later, they were divorced. I don't remember a thing about my biological dad. As I said in another thread in the family forum, I was never allowed to talk about him growing up or ask questions about him. That's how much they hated one another. If they hadn't married, who knows....maybe they wouldn't have hated one another and I would have had an opportunity to know my dad. Yes, I would have been illegimate, but, hey, I was adopted by my stepdad anyway, so....

I'm gonna have to go with the two wrongs don't make a right thing here. If the couple was planning to marry anyway, marry. Maybe they should wait a bit and see how things go between them first. It could turn into a happy ending, who knows?

Whether they marry or whether they don't, the most important thing they should do is take loving responsibility for their child. When you become a parent, what's convenient for you no longer counts.
 

Ugly

Senior Member
Apr 19, 2011
20,530
524
113
#10
This is absolutely not a good idea. I've known too many bad marriages that started out this way. Often times one of them did not want to get married but was pressured into it by family, or friends. More than once the relationship ended in abuse. Telling one or both people that are either not ready to get married, or don't have 'marriage feelings' for the person, that they need to be forced into marriage & raise a child in a situation with loveless parents is ridiculous. Yes it could be 'possible' that the two might grow to love each other, but the odds are against it. That is not usually the case.
 

zeroturbulence

Senior Member
Aug 2, 2009
20,352
578
113
52
#11
If she's pregnant via a rapist or sex abuser: No

If she's pregnant because of a one night stand: No if the guy is just going to be a bad influence/trouble on her and the baby. Yes, if the guy is responsible and mature.

If she's in a relationship and didn't plan on the pregnancy: Yes
 

phil36

Senior Member
Feb 12, 2009
5,900
89
0
#12
It's not an easy situation. But I think scripture is clear. there is no one verse/s that delve into a situation like this but the over all morality given in scripture explains it well.

Of course, we are dealing with a secualr society, christian don't fare much better. But, when you have a child, it is not about me me me, it is about the child child child! However, I realise that we cannot force what is morally correct upon those who don't have scriptural morals. But concerning Christians, we should be the people upholding an example, and not agreeing with the worlds views of the 'its all about me' attitude.

All actions have consequences, but how often are we consumed with ourselves, that we neglect the consequences on other of our actions..like the child!

I know that is the ideal, and won't happen, so my greatest prayer is for young and older christians when they get married, they stay married, faithful through the good and bad, and the worse, as an example of biblical living, and for the good of our communites to the glory of God. Sometimes our own 'bad' experiences loud our thinking.

So i would have to say I agree with NodMyHeadLikeYeah.

It is maybe here that we should start thinking.... its not about me me me.
 

Pheonix

Senior Member
Jan 17, 2007
576
5
18
#13
requireing a pregnant couple to marry is asking for disaster for one simple reason, one or both of them will in the future end up feeling trapped. Like they were tricked and chained into the marriage. this sort of thinking will only end in divorce, which is compounding the sin. It is better that they choose and decide to marry rather than forcing it on them at gun point.

I don't have any bible verses to back this up, it is simply my opinion. The sin is done and the only thing they should do if the couple hasn't already is stop sleeping together. IN the mean time, love and support both of them as the deal with the consequences of their choice in life. don't shut them out as I've heard some have done and in the end lost lost both the couple and the child.
 
R

rainacorn

Guest
#14
I'm not so sure that a couple that becomes pregnant outside of marriage is equipped for marriage in the first place. They're clearly selfish and self absorbed and they can't see beyond what is happening in the moment. Marriage won't change that and there just isn't any room for that nonsense in a real marriage (or in parenting, really).

I know it's brutal or whatever, but come on. We all know how babies are made.

Why try to drag God into something you tried so hard to keep Him out of?
 

francina

Senior Member
Mar 21, 2011
176
2
0
#15
If a woman gets pregnant i think the two should marry.

If you wanna play around and act like your married, havin sex with each other. You both need to suck it up and do what needs to be done, get married and raise your child.

I hear what a lot of you are sayin, Getting married just because of a child is a bad idea! Well whats a better idea, the kid getting tossed between the mom on one weekend the dad on the other. Then say the mom gets married to some other guy now the kid has got a stepdad, then maybe the kids dad gets married and now he's got a step mom. Well then what if both sets of parents have kids with their husband and wife, now the kids got a bunch of half sisters and brothers and feels like he doesnt fit in anywhere...
I mean seriously what a mess.

All of that could have been avoided if the mother and father of that child got married and decided to raise that child together the way it should be.
Most marriages fail, mainly because of selfishness. Men & now many women (enter Casey story) do not want the responsibilities or work required to have a family. I agree with Nod, therefor. I know the church is almost equal to the secular world in immorality now. Which is bad because the bible promises that our judgment will be harsher.
The bible prophesies that 'the faith' (that is not the WOF type but principles of, as in, doctrine left for us to follow by Jesus & Apostles) will begin to deteriorate. In accordance with 'the faith' love holds up the whole structure. Every sin opposes the principle of love. Every virtue comes from it. That is why there is only 'one' fruit of the Spirit with nine layers, like an onion. Love does not look out for only it's own interest but also the interest of other. Love is not impatient. You get the point.
Anyone who walks in love does not live in sin & divorce is just as much a sin as fornication.
My point is the problem in the church is a sign of people not becoming Christ like, which is the purpose of God for us. It has nothing to do with being too young, you can become a mature christian at any age. It is not because they married for the 'wrong' reason, getting married to take responsibility for a child & each other is right. It is the fact that the 'salt has lost it's savor'.
For the secular world, they need Jesus.
 
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thimsrebma

Senior Member
Jan 15, 2011
984
8
0
#16
I think marrying because you are prego can be an unfortunate situation. If you wanted to marry and were ready to be joined to each other, you would have been already. People who do that often don't stay married long any way.

The only time I would say it was okay was if the couple was engaged and she didn't want to be 6 months pregnant in her wedding gown.
 

thimsrebma

Senior Member
Jan 15, 2011
984
8
0
#17
If a woman gets pregnant i think the two should marry.

If you wanna play around and act like your married, havin sex with each other. You both need to suck it up and do what needs to be done, get married and raise your child.

I hear what a lot of you are sayin, Getting married just because of a child is a bad idea! Well whats a better idea, the kid getting tossed between the mom on one weekend the dad on the other. Then say the mom gets married to some other guy now the kid has got a stepdad, then maybe the kids dad gets married and now he's got a step mom. Well then what if both sets of parents have kids with their husband and wife, now the kids got a bunch of half sisters and brothers and feels like he doesnt fit in anywhere...
I mean seriously what a mess.

All of that could have been avoided if the mother and father of that child got married and decided to raise that child together the way it should be.
Yeah that sounds nice but its unrealistic.

Many people play house but don't want to take care of one. Just because you create a child doesn't mean you are going to love the other parent the way God has called you to love a spouse. If that is not there you are going to be unhappy in that household and walk away eventually.

Its better to have two civilized parents that live apart than two in the same houshold constantly at each others throats.

Maybe that last sentence should be in Psalms somewhere?
 

Maddog

Senior Member
Apr 10, 2009
1,340
3
0
#18
If a woman gets pregnant i think the two should marry.

If you wanna play around and act like your married, havin sex with each other. You both need to suck it up and do what needs to be done, get married and raise your child.

I hear what a lot of you are sayin, Getting married just because of a child is a bad idea! Well whats a better idea, the kid getting tossed between the mom on one weekend the dad on the other. Then say the mom gets married to some other guy now the kid has got a stepdad, then maybe the kids dad gets married and now he's got a step mom. Well then what if both sets of parents have kids with their husband and wife, now the kids got a bunch of half sisters and brothers and feels like he doesnt fit in anywhere...
I mean seriously what a mess.

All of that could have been avoided if the mother and father of that child got married and decided to raise that child together the way it should be.
I agree with this.

The child they have just conceived has a right to be born legitimately, and the parents have a duty to raise him in a stable environment. Honestly, whether or not you planned or wanted to get married is rather besides the point at this stage. Love for your child ought to compell you to be responsible and to make the best of it.
 

Ugly

Senior Member
Apr 19, 2011
20,530
524
113
#19
A 'stable environment' is not usually the case in a marriage where they marry out of obligation. Majority of those marriages end in divorce, and many end up in abuse. Personally i've yet to meet a happy couple that married under those circumstances.
 

Maddog

Senior Member
Apr 10, 2009
1,340
3
0
#20
A 'stable environment' is not usually the case in a marriage where they marry out of obligation. Majority of those marriages end in divorce, and many end up in abuse. Personally i've yet to meet a happy couple that married under those circumstances.
Do not conflate 'stable' with 'happy'. Of course, happiness helps, but this is really about responsibility and doing the right thing even if you don't really want to. Most of us can buckle down and do jobs we don't really like out of a need to pay the bills, so we ought to be more than willing to buckle down and do the 'job' of raising our children, which are obviously a much higher priority.

If it ends in divorce? Well, I can't see how that is any worse than not marrying at all. The only difference is the length of time one was willing to accept one's responsibilities. And besides, many 'happy' marriages also end in divorce.

And abuse? Really? Assuming that the couple are both basically decent people, I think this one's a stretch.