02 December 2021
As previously noted, the Western approach to things is all about economics, not people. Western marriage is a contract; biblical marriage is a covenant. The Hebrew approach to marriage and sex will appear to be similar on the surface in some ways, but the underlying orientation is radically different.
Our Covenant with Christ places us in a separate domain from the secular State. We are in this world on loan from the Creator. God says that marriage is His business, and counts it against the people involved when the State intrudes into His affairs. Scripture does not require a secular State certification for anything. You simply declare to the Covenant community your marriage covenant and nothing more is required. Everything else is custom and ritual local to your covenant body.
Typically that means you would have some kind of covenant body gathering and declare the union in front of the elder and pastor. At the lowest level of law code, this warns the other men and women to recognize the boundaries and not attempt to disrupt the marriage. Poaching threatens the community stability. These two have surrendered their sexual agency to each other; end of story. Neither the State nor society has any say in the matter.
Side note: The woman marries into her husband's family. While she doesn't break ties with her own, they are eclipsed by her new family. If her husband then dies, she remains an asset and responsibility of her husband's family. They remain her covering. In Scripture you'll notice that only if she comes from a political powerful family does her husband stand to gain anything from her parents. That's because powerful families are always looking for fresh talent beholden to them, since they have so many threats from those they cannot trust. But you'll notice this caveat has nothing to do with moral truth, only politics. In Covenant terms, the woman always belongs to her husband's family.
There is no biblical model for courtship, except that once the marriage begins, the courtship on both sides never ends. Given our filthy and defiled Western traditions, it's exceedingly hard to form a covenant community in the first place. Marriage in the Bible was typically arranged by people in the community who had a talent for such things. A man was seldom established in society until age 30. Women were typically regarded eligible around age 15-20. This age disparity solved all kinds of problems, answering the needs of the Covenant community.
It would take a fat book to explore all the implications. Generally, it made men heroes and wives were precious treasures. The kind of female independence we see in the West today is defiling of the land the people living on it. God intended that she be bound to her husband, and he to her. Her redemption from the Fall is bound up building a nest early. Precious few are the people God intends to remain celibate, and there is no allowance for sex outside of the marriage covenant. Sexual gate keeping is the prerogative of God working through the Covenant community, not the woman alone.
This is the image that God painted in His Word. Defiance is costly. In our world today, particularly here in the USA, there are so few people with any kind of Covenant consciousness that we are forced to stand alone most of the time. Given the context, a Covenant man should be very wary of American women; most of them are defiled before you encounter them. It tends to be worse in churches. The man himself probably bears a lot of moral scar tissue, so it's hard to find virgins on either side. Most people come to the Covenant later in life, after they have already done a lot of damage. The influence of our pagan American culture is overwhelming.
Fortunately, our God heals and restores at least some measure of His Covenant shalom to those who earnestly seek His face. In our society today, despite the foul mythology about marriage, it is possible to find a Covenant path out of this mess. If you are already married, you have a long journey ahead. Trust the Lord and make your choices based on the Covenant boundaries. Until your family submits to the Covenant, it's well nigh impossible to apply any moral authority.
If you come to the Covenant prior to marriage, be aware that it remains in the woman's hand to choose her mate, if there is no one covering her to offer her hand in marriage. It's not a question of pursuit, but of being aware of the dynamics that rule the context. The Covenant man being what he is should draw positive attention in any setting. Be wary of the social instinct to look at age mates. A man is not a pedophile for preferring younger and more impressionable females; that's the way God intended things. But because of social and legal constraints, you may not have much choice. Either way, never consider a candidate who doesn't already share you Covenant commitments.
Guys, don't pay much attention to any woman who isn't smitten with you. There is plenty of so-called "Red Pill" teaching online to cover the details. Learn how to read the body language and social behavior of women. Learn how to dominate in holiness, treating her as your most precious gift from God in this world. If you come into the Covenant with a woman at your side, declare your commitments and the changes that should come with it. Give her a chance to adjust; use the same "Red Pill" teachings to gain proper dominance. Your convictions will tell you how long you should keep up trying to redeem her. The whole game is to polarize her response -- either she will embrace it fully, or she'll be repelled and leave you.
Ladies, learn to listen to your convictions about men. Don't listen to the flutterings of your flesh. You cannot go back and restore lost virginity, but you can raise your Covenant marriage value by seeking the Lord's healing and restoration of the proper outlook. Your man will be your hero; a critical element in your role is to confirm that for him. Never doubt that God will work through him. Always support and lift up his reputation in every context. You can do far more than you realize to heal the wounds this world gives him. If you aren't already married, seek out a man as a gift from God, someone worthy of that devotion. If you are already married, make him understand the Covenant boundaries as best you can. If he is unworthy, it is quite likely the Lord will eventually drive him out of your life, so as not to hinder your Covenant service.
Be prepared for either outcome. Guard against the ravages of divorce court; a man's position is weaker before the secular law. If you can afford it, buys, let the State's lawyers handle the State's claimed interest in such things. Keep your eyes on the Lord. The same goes for Covenant women dealing with a worldly husband. If he rejects the Covenant boundaries, consider carefully what the Lord requires of you. Your position is naturally weaker in the Covenant, but far stronger in secular law. Pursue peace with God first and foremost.
Covenant elders and pastors: The burden is on you to guard the community shalom. You are the one who is supposed to know enough about the situation to wisely advise the men and women under your Covenant covering. Yours is the longer outlook, seeking a constantly renewing vision of how God wants to work in your community. You will fail at times; your scars will be many. That's part of your role. Don't second-guess yourself. Seek the voice of conviction and walk manfully in your choices. Don't take yourself too seriously, but you are the shepherd for these people. Marriage is easily the hardest thing humans do.
Change in the Covenant community is a constant, yet stability is paramount. People coming into the Covenant will typically bear a potent sense of God's power for change. They'll tend to change a lot of things in a very short time, because their brains are reeling under the power of the heart to hear the voice of God. A potent sense of divine calling does not justify hasty decisions about marriage.
Final note: The Western male obsession with a woman's physical beauty is a serious distraction from Covenant obedience. This obsession is by far the greatest threat to Covenant shalom, because it is nothing more than pandering to petty fleshly desires. It's also the most pernicious lie among fans of the "Red Pill" lore on the Net. The Bible says a woman's true beauty is her character and her obedience to God. That's what a man should desire first. "If the lust of your eye causes you to sin..." When Jesus spoke of plucking out your eye, it was hyperbole meant to shake you loose from trusting what your flesh desires. Learn to see and discern women based on their Covenant fervor, regardless of the packaging. You still have to live with her once that youthful beauty fades, so what she looks like isn't a good long term investment guide.
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