What It Entails:
- Forced marriage is a marriage that takes place without the consent of one or both people in the marriage. Sometimes family members will threaten or use force to make someone consent to marriage. This issue does not just affect female victims; research suggests that 15 percent of the cases involve male victims.
Why It Matters:
- Marriage is a sacred covenant between a man and a woman instituted by God Himself. Forced marriage is a crime against humanity and in the case of children, it is child abuse.
What God Says:
- Hebrews 13:4- Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.
- Ephesians 5:29-31– After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church for we are members of his body. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.
- Victims of a Forced Marriage Overseas
- Know the signs of a forced marriage
- The person may become depressed, start self-harming, or start to abuse alcohol or drugs.
- You may notice that they are spending unexplained periods away from school or work, or they suddenly stop attending.
- You can never be with them without a family member insisting on being with them.
- You are suspicious that family violence or abuse is occurring.
- There is an established family trend of children marrying under the age of 18.
- Your contact may tell you that they are engaged but they are not showing any pleasure at this.
- Be aware and prepared to contact authorities and provide information.
- Unchained At Last– dedicated to ending forced and child marriage in the United States through direct services and advocacy
Truly good marriage relationships will always point us to God and his love for us.
With tender humility and quiet patience, always demonstrate gentleness and generous love toward one another, especially toward those who may try your patience. Be faithful to guard the sweet harmony of the Holy Spirit among you in the bonds of peace… Ephesians 4:2-3