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Keralabrethren.net: Youth Forum: Relation marriages

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# 00086 :   Relation marriages
Is it biblical for a believer to marry his/her relative (1st Cousin, 2nd Cousin etc., espc. from maternal side) if they are also believers and in the fellowship of the church? further to that is there any scriptural reference or guidelines in this subject? Please comment.
Post by : lordswill  View Profile    since : 8 Sep 2005


Reply by : lemuelraj   View Profile   Since : 8 Sep 2005 3:36:23 AM Close
There is a gradual change in how the marriages between relatives were done in the Scriptures.

Cain's wife was obviously one of Adam's daughters, buch such marriages are clearly not allowed in the Scriptures thereafter.

Abraham's wife Sara was the daughter of his father, but not his mother (Gen 20:12). That is, Terah had two wives, and Abraham and Sara are children of different mothers. But later on, such alliances were not encouraged, and the law of Moses forbids it (Lev 18:11). Tamar suggested this kind of marriage to Amnon to escape from him (2 Sam 13:12-13), but such a proposal is clearly against the law.

Jacob married his mother's brother's daughter as per the instruction of his father (Gen 28:2). Leah and Rachel were his first cousins. Rebekah was the daughter of Isaac's first cousin Bethuel, who was the son of Nahor, Abraham's brother (Gen 11:29; 22:20-23). None of these marriages are forbidden in the law to my knowledge.

Othniel married his father's brother's daughter Achsah (Josh 15:15-16). She was his first cousin.

The daughter's of Zelophehad married their father's brothers' sons (Num 36:6, 11). They were their first cousins.

So, marrying first cousins is not forbidden. Neither the law, nor the New Testament forbids it.

Nevertheless, some cultures forbid. There are some societies which do not allow any marriages between cousins.

As for the customs, we cannot follow such customs which tell us to do things which are forbidden by the Scriptures. But if there are certain customs which forbid that which is allowed by the Scriptures, the best principle to be followed is in Rom 14:21, and 1 Cor 8:13, especially if those who are offended are Christians.

Again, let me tell one thing clearly, that any one who is FORBIDS marriages allowed by the Scriptures, is following the DOCTRINE OF DEVILS (1 Tim 4:1-3).

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Reply by : lordswill   View Profile   Since : 9 Sep 2005 4:30:00 AM Close
thanks lemuelraj for ur reply.
So according to biblical principles we can conclude that there is nothing wrong in entering in marriage with our relatives.. ofcourse we need to b careful abt others believers feeling...
but one thing I would like to b clarified. all the cases u quoted are basically frm paternal side. is it then understood that these marriages can happen only from fathers side? any guidelines in that matter?
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Reply by : lemuelraj   View Profile   Since : 9 Sep 2005 8:22:30 AM Close
Jacob married his MOTHER'S brother's daughter, and it was his father Isaac who told him to do so.
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Reply by : joyboy   View Profile   Since : 19 Sep 2005 10:21:42 PM Close
Those OT marriages must be looked at in context--they were all done with the effort to marry godly people, not the pagans surrounding. Abraham didn't want Isaac to marry a pagan girl locally who would potentially subvert his faith. Same for Rachel and her son Jacob.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but after the age of the patriarchs, do we see familial marriages? Unless I am mistaken, I don't think so.

Why would you want to marry your relative today? There are numerous genetic reasons not to, not to mention most parents would not allow it. We must be very very careful, especially if our parents are believers, to defy them regarding marriage.

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Reply by : lemuelraj   View Profile   Since : 25 Sep 2005 1:48:21 PM Close
Quote: "We must be very very careful, especially if our parents are believers, to defy them regarding marriage."

I agree.

Quote: "Abraham didn't want Isaac to marry a pagan girl locally who would potentially subvert his faith. Same for Rachel and her son Jacob."

Rachel's daddy Laban was an idolater. See what he said to Jacob. "And now, though thou wouldest needs be gone, because thou sore longedst after thy father's house, yet wherefore hast thou stolen my gods?" (Gen 31:30). Laban was a pagan, though he knew about the Lord. Abraham's father Terah worshipped idols (Josh 24:2).

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Reply by : lordswill   View Profile   Since : 26 Sep 2005 8:47:06 AM Close
Dear Joyboy:

Quote: There are numerous genetic reasons not to marry your relative..

Can u explain this point. wether its frm bible or frm scintific studies?

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Reply by : joyboy   View Profile   Since : 26 Sep 2005 11:50:26 AM Close
Scientific. A simple google search should bring some stuff up. I'm at work now, so I'll search for you when I get home tonight.
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Reply by : george6   View Profile   Since : 8 Oct 2005 11:24:33 AM Close
Dear br. I heard from my friend's own testimony that,marriage from bloodrelation will be a reason for many abortion and critical problems in pregnency.Later I will try to give more details.
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Reply by : zoonash   View Profile   Since : 18 Oct 2005 11:50:17 AM Close
Dear lemuelraj..
i am planing to get married to this guy who is my father's 1st cousin's son.. the explanition you gave satisfied me but this much is not enough for my parents, i need some more biblical references to prove that my marriage is not wrong according to the bible.
Actually what my parents say is that it is prohibited in the new testament and you did not give any reference from the new testament that shows this marriage correct according to the bible. If it is in your knowledge please let me know if there is any reference from the new testament and if not then just give a good explanition about relatiuon marriages with reference from the bible..
Please help me out, i'll be waiting desperately for your reply..
Zoonash
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Reply by : jpdobcofjc   View Profile   Since : 19 Oct 2005 12:45:47 AM Close
With 6 billion+ people living in the world today, does a Christian really need to marry his/her closely related cousin? There is a higher risk of genetic abnormalities/diseases, etc occurring with such cosanguineous unions. However, if the intended couple strongly feels that their union is in God's will, then so be it. I do think it's interesting that we don't see many such marriages in the New Testament; I wonder why?
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Reply by : lemuelraj   View Profile   Since : 20 Oct 2005 4:46:51 PM Close
Dear Zoonash,

Sorry for the delay. I saw your post just now. I am not aware of any NT Scripture where such a marriage as you mention is prohibited. But if your parents show some verse, you may let me know that. But one thing is sure. You must marry "ONLY in the Lord."

Also, marrying against parents' wishes (esp when they are believers) is something I do not support. A woman is given in marriage by her father. "So then he that GIVETH HER IN MARRIAGE doeth well; but he that giveth her not in marriage doeth better" (1 Cor 7:38).

Marriage is an important milestone, that needs to be entered into with much prayer. Finding the right spouse whom the Lord provides is important. And the Lord will surely lead you if you desire to follow Him. Abraham's servant said, "I being in the way, the LORD led me" (Gen 24:27).

Sincerely

Moses

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Reply by : zoonash   View Profile   Since : 22 Oct 2005 6:23:02 AM Close
thank alot Moses..
Pray 4 me..
God Bless u..
Zoonash
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Reply by : zoonash   View Profile   Since : 22 Oct 2005 6:30:57 AM Close
Dear Moses..
Please dont mind.. but plZ can u tell me from where do u get ur biblical knowledge?? what do u do?? cause when i'll tell my parents that i got this info from some1 they are going 2 ask what does that sum1 do?? is he a father of a missionary... sio plZ would u mind telling me a little abt urself?? if u donot like 2 tell im in his forum plZ mail me abt urself.. my email add is zooneytoons@yahoo.com
im sorry if ur hurt my n e thing i said..
thanx alooooooot...
Soncerely..
Zoonash
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Reply by : lemuelraj   View Profile   Since : 23 Oct 2005 1:15:10 PM Close
Dear Sis. Zoonash,

Thanks for your kind words. Biblical "knowledge" comes from the Bible. Obviously any one who spends good amount of time reading the Bible, reading it over and over again will remember lot of things in it, and the Holy Spirit helps us to apply it appropriately. That said, I am not really a "know all" guy, and there are several brethren in this forum who know the Scriptures better, and can help you.

I am a simple believer of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Bible, attending a local church in Secunderabad, India, secularly employed to earn my living. I am not a "father of a missionary," but father of two boys; one is six years old, and the other 2 weeks old. Hope this "about myself" helps.

It will be profitable if other brethren (esp the elderly ones) would throw more light, because of the cultural reasons involved in this matter.

sincerely,

Moses LemuelRaj

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Reply by : zoonash   View Profile   Since : 23 Oct 2005 3:43:33 PM Close
Dear Moses..
thanx alot 4 the info u gave me.. actually for a person like me its really difficult communicating with people be it my parents or any1 else.. when its just about typing i can write alot but whe it comes on speaking up i really get annoyed.. n i know that my parents are going to deny this marriage..
Moses im really comforted with your words.. I am a person who is really into Jesus but still go astray at times of trouble.. you said you've recieved the Holy Spirit?? that guy's parents are coming over to my place this friday to talk to my parents.. will you pray for me??
thanx alot Br. Moses..
GOD Bless You..
Zoonash
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Reply by : catburglur   View Profile   Since : 23 Nov 2005 11:10:00 PM Close
Brother "Lords will", for a man too marry his cousin whether its first and/or secound is a -kinky- relationship all too itself. In the holy bible i remember reading in the old testament that it was prohibited. But in the New testament theres know commandment provoking that practice.
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Reply by : jinopv   View Profile   Since : 7 Jan 2006 2:30:31 PM Close
Hi
As some post said there can be few scientific reason.

In some places some Government laws doesn't allow that. For Eg. Cristian marriage act in Kerala doesn't allow to marry blood relation( I think it is 4 generation in father's side and 3 generation in mother's side. Not exactly sure about generation. May be there is a difference of 1). But Hindu marriage act allow that.

Don't take the example in Old testament exactly in everything. Definitely you may not marry your own brother or sister( As cain did). We don't see any example in new testament where somebody married cousin or any relative nor in church history(Apostolic father's writing). So pray to Lord and take decission. Discuss with the elders in your Church. Discuss with your parents.

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Reply by : ammukutty   View Profile   Since : 8 Jan 2006 7:45:07 AM Close
Dear Zoonash,
I don’t know whether you have taken a decision or not. Any way I am posting this.

Being attracted by a person of opposite sex is a natural phenomena. "Marriage is honorable to all" (Heb: 13: 4).

This is the time to take a crucial decision in your life, so be serious and commit yourself at the feet of the Lord. I can understand the state of mind and the frustrations you are going through these days. In your case, I think it is more emotional than genuine love. As cousins, you might have been all the freedom to meet or converse each other which in turn lead you to this stage.

It is important to note that, your parents are against this proposal as they want their daughter to have a marriage “proper to the Saints”. Sometimes they may give a green signal to go ahead if you are adamant in your decision, but remember, they have to bow their heads in front of their co-believers and also to the worldly people around them. They may be mocked and condemned by others. They have to bear the shame and heart-ache for their daughter's decision. Your loving mother may be the one who has to bear the blame. I feel sorry for them.

“Children obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. HONOR THY FATHER AND MOTHER (which is the first commandment with a promise), THAT IT MAY BE WELL WITH YOU, AND THAT YOU MAY LIVE LONG ON THE EARTH.” (Eph: 6: 1-2).

In the Old Testament times it was common to have such marriages, but we do not see any supporting doctrines for that in the New Testament. If you go through Lev: 18, you will get a better picture that it was forbidden by the Law of Moses. We do not see such practices in the Church history. O.T times there was the custom of Polygamy. We do not see any such practice or any question of practicing Polygamy among N.T. believers We don’t need any explanation for these things. “Let all things be done in properly and in an orderly manner”. That’s all. “But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come”.

..cont....

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Reply by : ammukutty   View Profile   Since : 8 Jan 2006 7:48:42 AM Close
Continuation..
I have heard of a couple who were married like this. They are not leading a successful married life now. May be by the pricking heart they are having a brotherly or sisterly affection even after the marriage, which disturbs the proposed relation as husband and wife. They have no children and I think they are not staying together now.

I am staying in a Muslim country where Muslims are having relation marriages. This is the country where many children suffering from a painful disease called "Sickle Cell Disease", a genetic disorder due to blood related marriages. It is horrible to see such children. There are many children with other genetic disorders around us. We have a neighbor having all the 4 children disabled due to genetic disorder. They have to suffer life long. It doesn’t mean that all relation marriages are having such problems.

I know it is difficult for both of you to have a negative approach for this particular issue, but don't spoil your life for momentary emotional feelings. This is the thrill of the young blood. You have to face the realities of life. So both of you have to think seriously, talk seriously, kneel before the Lord and wait for His guidance.

Dear Zoonash, as a mother, my humble advice for you is:
“BETTER DON’T GO FOR SOMETHING WHICH IS NOT THE PRACTICE OF THE CHILDREN OF GOD (N.T).”

May God bless you.

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