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How Should Believers Navigate Prenuptial Agreements?

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Getting engaged is a pivotal moment in a couple’s lives and comes with much excitement and anticipation. However, this glorious moment can be shattered when one says, “’ I’ll say, ‘I do,’ ‘til prenup do us part?”  It doesn’t really have a nice ring to it. So, what is a prenup, and how should we go about this highly controversial topic as believers?

The history of the prenuptial agreement (prenup) dates back to ancient Egyptian times and was often used as a means to care for a widowed woman. According to Brodie Friedman, marital and family law attorneys, these contracts were written up to protect the wealth and property that came from both the bride and groom’s family. Due to prearranged marriages then, a bride was given away with a dowry, and a groom was to pay her family to marry her. This nuptial agreement was designed to ensure that she would have rights to wealth and property if her husband passed away.

Fast-forward to today. These nuptial agreements have since faced some skepticism but have become rather commonplace since the laws on divorce began to change in the early 1950s (Wikipedia). Now, we see a different evolution of what marital agreements entail, as a prenup states how money, possessions, and assets are to be divided in the unlikely event that a couple part ways and proceeds with a divorce.

This “agreement” not only comes with a pretty bad connotation nowadays but can stir up distrust and mixed feelings, especially among Christian couples. Rightfully so, as believers, we hold to the notion that a marriage is meant to be a life-long venture, sacred and holy under God (Mark 10:8-12). That said, putting a prenup in place would cheapen the most favored human relationships, deeming it more like a contract than a covenant (Matthew 5:32). 

However, it may be worth questioning whether there is ever a rare or certain case in which a prenup might be warranted. According to Focus on the Family, “blended families and already-started business ventures can create unique financial situations that need to be addressed with explicit care. A prenuptial agreement could be a wise way to avoid future financial and legal headaches, particularly where extended family is involved.” There was also mention of going into a marriage with significant financial debt or extreme assets where a prenup may be worth considering.

We must recognize that we live in a fallen world riddled by tragedy, and unfortunately, divorce is a part of that. However, when a couple goes into a marriage with a mindset of the possibility of it “not working out,” the motives are already way off base. The truth of the matter is that God’s design for a marriage is to bring two of His beloved children together and make them one flesh (Genesis 2:24). This sacred union is to be valued as a commitment to life (Ecclesiastes 9:9). 

Husbands are called to love and lead their wives, giving themselves up for her, while wives are to honor and respect their husband’s role and submit to him being the weaker vessel (1 Peter 3:7-9). Each brings a beautiful role into a marriage, holding equal value but different and unique qualities that are required to make a marriage based on faithfulness and devotion while being rich in love (Ephesians 5:22-31).

Christian couples should enter a marriage by seeking to honor and glorify God’s design for marriage and enter their union equally yoked (2 Corinthians 6:14-18). When each spouse says “I do” to honor and submit to God first and foremost, then submit to one another in marriage as Christ did the church (Ephesians 5:21), that is the only agreement needed.

Father, we thank You for the precious gift You give us in marriage. Please help us see our fiancés and future spouses as You do – as a beloved child and priceless treasure. Help us honor Your perfect design for marriage and live in a purposeful way that glorifies You together. Amen.

Photo Credit: ©Pexels/Edmond Dantès

Alicia SearlAlicia Searl is a devotional author, blogger, and speaker that is passionate about pouring out her heart and pointing ladies of all ages back to Jesus. She has an education background and master’s in literacy.  Her favorite people call her Mom, which is why much of her time is spent cheering them on at a softball game or dance class. She is married to her heartthrob (a tall, spiky-haired blond) who can whip up a mean latte. She sips that goodness while writing her heart on a page while her puppy licks her feet. Visit her website at aliciasearl.com and connect with her on Instagram and Facebook.





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