Unmarried Virgins, Vows and Betrothal | Victor Tey

I love preaching on dating and marriage. So practical, so relevant, so misunderstood, so many false beliefs on the topic. It’s an all round winner and that’s probably the reason it’s the biggest topic amongst young people. Besides birth and death, most of us will at some stage want to start a family. So it a big part of life, which is why it’s such an important topic to learn about. Even if you don’t plan on being married, or you’re already past this stage of life, make sure you learn what is in this sermon so that you can help teach the coming generations and hopefully we can start to change the culture starting at this church.

Unmarried Virgin

  1. 1 Corinthians 7:34 – “virgin” interchanged with “unmarried”
    1. The assumption is that you have not fornicated either, otherwise you would be a whore, not a virgin.
  2. Fornication is any sexual act outside of marriage
    1. heterosexual (opposite)
    2. homosexual (same-sex)
    3. beastial (animal)
    4. Leviticus 20:10,13,15,16 – death penalty
    5. Deuteronomy 22:28-29 – fornication with a virgin legally forces ownership
      1. What is a concubine? – not just a girlfriend you are fornicating with
      2. Judges 19:1-4 – a concubine is a wife (husband, father-in-law)
      3. Is it a wife due to fornication and not of covenant.

The authority of the father and husband in regards to vows

  1. Numbers 30 – the laws of vows between husband/wife and father/daughter
    1. The vow stands or is nullified in the day the authority hears of it, not when the day the vow is made.
  2. Examples from Scripture
    1. 1 Corinthians 7:39 – whom she will
      1. Seems that when the authority is dead the woman no longer has any authority over her.
      2. If the woman is young and immature then this is not an ideal scenario as there is a danger to go into sin (1 Timothy 5:11-15)
      3. The assumption in 1 Cor 7:40 could be that this is for older widows over 60
    2. Numbers 36 – The daughters of Zelophehad
    3. Gen 24:54-67 Rebekah making the choice, also an example of a quick and simple wedding
  3. Implications
    1. Marriage ceremonies can be simple
      1. When I explain this to people they always ask the same hypothetical
        1. “Could I just get married right now if her father was here and agreed?” – Yes.
        2. Example of Rebekah and Isaac
        3. The first marriage had no minister – Adam and Eve (God as Father of Eve)
      2. Nothing wrong with big celebrations, it is something worth celebrating
        1. Marriage supper of the lamb, Christ went to a wedding in John 2.
        2. People have this idea that the location of a wedding needs to be in a church building, this is just culture and tradition.
        3. There’s nothing holy about this building, you are the holy temple.
        4. I think it’s more practical to have the ceremony at the reception location. But it’s a preference, there is no right or wrong.
    2. If your marriage was made void you are in fornication
    3. A woman cannot lawfully marry another man unless her husband allows her to make the vow


  1. It is the vow which transfers ownership
    1. Exodus 21:8-11 – betrothal is when the dowry is paid
    2. Deuteronomy 28:30 – belongs to you but you don’t get to enjoy
    3. Deuteronomy 22:22-24
      1. Death penalty for adultery
    4. Leviticus 20:10 – adultery is fornication with a man’s wife
  2. Engagement
    1. Modern day concept in which you have made a vow but there is no transfer of ownership.
    2. Laws of vows apply and it is still a sin to break an engagement.
    3. “But if they went ahead with the wedding it would have been a disaster marriage”
    4. Psalm 15:4 – sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not.
    5. Judges 11:29-35 – Jephthah making a foolish vow
    6. Careless vows should not be made in the first place.
    7. Because women are more easily deceived and more emotional, this is why this protection is in place as they may more easily make foolish vows.
  3. Espousal
    1. Hosea 4:13 – daughters/whoredom, spouses/adultery
    2. 2 Samuel 3:14-16 – Michal has two husbands, ideally should be put to death, but David decided to take her instead of carrying out judgement since it was his responsibility to judge as the king.
    3. Luke 1:27 – a virgin espoused (unmarried), so is not marriage
    4. Luke 2:5 – espoused is a wife, but not necessarily married

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