Kingdom Marriage 2 - Betrothed
"... a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph,"
Kingdom Marriage begins with a Betrothed Covenant. The woman and the man covenant together before God in the presence of the Lord's People.
To be betrothed is the equivalent of being married according to the New Testament. This is made clear from the very difficult circumstances in which Mary and Joseph found themselves.
In the following verses from Matthew 1, the betrothed Joseph is declared to be Mary's husband and the betrothed Mary is declared to be Joseph's wife:
19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly.
20 But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.
24 Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife,
25 and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son.
WOOED AND PLEDGED
The state of being betrothed is a specific period of association, not a trial. It means living each day in the prospect leading to the certain knowledge of a solemn pledge - a covenant promise of a "troth" (a truth).
Strong's concordance says the meaning of the Greek word for betrothed (mnesteuo - pronounced "mnace-tyoo’-o") is twofold:
"To woo her and ask her in marriage." / "To be promised in marriage. Be betrothed."
Although marriages in Israel were arranged, it also seems that wooing is a main activity involved in being betrothed.
But it is wooing with the aim of making a pledge to marry with the man taking the initiative. And he is also expected to propose.
How does this take place! Presumably, there is no formula, except that the behaviour is in line with the word of Christ.
Presumably the couple's understanding of what being betrothed is and the ceremony of making a Betrothed-Married Covenant would be well established in their thinking.
In the days of Joseph and Mary the period of being betrothed was one year. It goes without saying that couples need to aware of the wiles of the enemy and his temptations.
It may be that the person who is making an approach to woo is unacceptable to the other one. It's then that the difficulty of having to discourage the other person arises.
This conversation should take place early and in a respectful manner. It's important for the godly relationship between them as brother and sister in Christ should be preserved.
It may be that the couple's mutual desire to marry hardly needs to be expressed verbally to each other.
However, when the couple have decided to make a Kingdom Betrothed Covenant they are responsible to share their intention with some important others.
With their Parents and their Elders involved the announcement and the covenant-making ceremony can be made.
Throughout this process an experienced godly married couple could be prepared to advise, counsel or mentor the newly-betrothed ones.
If necessary this couple could talk with the betrothed couple's parents about any concerns they may have and explain what the Kingdom Betrothed-Married Covenant means if necessary.
If either of the betrothed couple has no living close relatives, other mature Believers who they are close to could substitute for them.
WHY IS A COVENANT NEEDED?
The intention in making a Betrothed-Married Covenant is to begin marriage in Christ, before the Father.
"... whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven," Matthew 10'32.
The Lord assures His People that as we confess Him in our daily lives He confesses us before our heavenly Father.
The state of being betrothed is an open one. And the covenant ceremony is made before appointed witnesses as well as before the members of the body of Christ who the couple are part of.
The Betrothed-Married Covenant document can be made from the draft document which is at the end of Kingdom Marriage 3 - Wedding (see the Menu).
Prayer: Thank you heavenly Father for Kingdom marriage and the wonder of human life, human love and godly love in Christ.
In Jesus' name. Amen.