Is There A Place For Prenuptial Agreements In Christian / Biblical Marriage?
What is a prenuptial agreement and is it a good idea for a Christian couple in a biblical marriage to have one?
Basically, a prenuptial agreement it is a legally binding contract that establishes the property and financial rights and responsibilities of both parties in the event of a divorce. Its primary purpose is usually to protect property that was acquired prior to the marriage. However, it can also limit a person’s responsibility with regard to their spouse’s debt at the time of divorce.
The trouble with a prenuptial agreement is that it deviates from the biblical vision of marriage.
“The two shall become one flesh”
A prenuptial agreement assumes that there are two separate individuals in the marriage and attempts to protect the interests of each party. It portrays marriage as a contract rather than a covenant. The bible on the other hand is very clear that when two people get married, they are no longer two but one flesh.
“With all my worldly goods I thee endow.”
Traditional, Christian wedding vows are another indication of the Christian vision of marriage. The words “with all my worldly goods I thee endow” are essentially a commitment to share material goods unconditionally. A prenuptial agreement weakens and dilutes this vow.
“Till death us part”
Marriage is a lifelong commitment, and having a prenuptial agreement presupposes that divorce might happen in the future. Preparing for divorce is really not the best way to start a biblical marriage. It devalues the very notion of marital commitment “till death.”
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church”
The bible commands husbands to love their wives just as Christ loved the church. However, just because this scripture specifically mentions husbands doesn’t mean that wives are off the hook. Spouses should love each other unconditionally and selflesslessly and be willing to give themselves and their worldly possessions up for each other – just as Christ did for the church. A prenuptial agreement indicates conditional and selfish love, which is not Christ-like.
What the bible says about marriage is a clear indication that prenuptial agreements do not fit very well into the Christian vision of marriage. A biblical marriage is a covenant where two become one flesh, and commit to love each other and share worldly possessions unconditionally till death. Having a prenuptial agreement that presupposes divorce can only harm this commitment.