Q. Both myself and the man I am dating are Christians. We were planning on being married but now he says he wants a premarital contract. He says he lost half his assets in a previous divorce and he's not going to let that happen again. I am against this. What does the Bible say?
(Submitted by: Elaine)
A. It is true, admittedly, that the Bible never deals with the subject of marriage contracts with built-in clauses regulating the disposal of assets and the custody of children, etc., in the event of divorce. However, there is a problem with them intrinsically from a Christian viewpoint. Marriage should be lifelong, and the grounds for divorce and remarriage are very narrow when those married are both Christians (e.g. adultery), which is why Jesus gave a warning:
"The Pharisees also came to Him (Jesus), testing Him, and saying to Him, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?" And He answered and said to them, "Have you not read that He whomade them at the beginning 'made them male and female,' and said, 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. THEREFORE WHAT GOD HAS JOINED TOGETHER, LET NOT MAN SEPARATE."
"They said to Him, 'Why then did Moses command to give a certificate of divorce, and to put her away?' He said to them, 'Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except forsexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.' " (Matthew 19:3-9, NKJV)
Although a Christian couple could divorce on other grounds, neither partner could marry anyone else then.
A prenuptial agreement is a built-in way for a couple marrying to "cross their fingers" when saying, "I do." But if a couple conditionalizes their commitment to each other, that by itself can help cause what is feared ahead of time and covered in the prenuptial agreement. It shows a lack of commitment to the other partner in such a fundamentally important and intimate relationship to have such mental reservations in advance of committing to him or her. Furthermore, there is always the issue of materialism here.
We as Christians shouldn't be so terribly upset if half of our assets are lost, if we take seriously what our Savior taught against prioritizing the acquisition of material wealth. Are we put on earth to serve Mammon (money, wealth) instead of God, and to heap up treasures on earth (Matthew 6:19-33)? This is a hard thing to say, but it's worth serious consideration even when a man or woman may be very wealthy: Are we really willing to let go it if we had to?
So I believe your analysis is correct, that Christians shouldn't sign prenuptial agreements. This has serious considerations for you personally, which I appreciate. For you aren't just looking at this issue as a theoretical issue, but it directly affects your relationship with a man who you have been very seriously involved with romantically. So I wish you well and God's blessing in your decision-making process.