Christianity -- Christian Living/marriage


Dr. Swaby, I noticed you have expertise in marital questions, so here's one: What if i came to you with my common law wife ( I explained that we went to the river and said vows to each other putting God at the center of our marriage and dedicating it to Him). Would you say our marriage is valid?

Hello Barney,

Thank you for writing as you know I am a Christian Counselor. So my first concern is what the word of God says about marriage. Marriage and the family are established by God. Even though you two exchanged vows you are not considered married by the laws of the land any children you have will be born out of wedlock. Read Ephesians 5:22-33 that will give you some insight as to how God views marriage.

During the wedding ceremony you are sharing your "commitment" to each other with those you invite to the wedding (witnesses) they are there to witness and support the two of you.The commitment you make in a legal marriage according to the word of God you two become one.

So to answer your question  Barney, your marriage is not valid, because it was not a legal marriage  with the right to be intimate with each other, and there is no record to show that you two are legally married records that allows you to act as one. Is there  a reason that you two not marry legally? I pray this answer was helpful.
Please feel free to write again if you have any additional questions.

Dr. Swaby

Christianity -- Christian Living

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Dr.M. Swaby


I am able answer to questions on salvation, marriage and family, forgiveness and divorce as well as other biblical and life related question. I am a Licensed Clinical Pastoral Counselor, I am able to research and answer questions according to the Word of God.(Bible) I enjoy guiding others to explore what the Word of God says about living our lives according to His Word. The Word of God answers all of lifes questions, which if followed will give us a life that will weather the storms, at which time we will find that we are still standing even in the mist of the storm. Remember, the Word of God promised us "That he will never leave us or forsake us" May God Bless and keep you in his perfect care.


I am a licensed Clinical Pastoral Counselor, I have done marriage Counseling Pre-Marriage Counseling, Biblical Counseling, and Counseling with teens. I love sharing information that will assist one with their walk. Even when we make a mistake it is important not to give up, but to repent ask forgiveness and get back on track. I enjoy encouraging and praying with my fellow Christians.

Member of National Christian Counseling Association

The National Christian Counseling Licensed Clinical Pastoral Counselor Certified Temperment Counselor

©2017 All rights reserved.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]